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5 River Ships Coming In 2018

2nd January 2018

As is customary at the beginning of a new year, it’s time for us to look ahead at the next 12 months to see which new ships will be making their debuts on the world’s rivers. New vessels not only increase the capacity on the most popular waterways but also help to forge new courses and improve the options on some of the lesser-known routes.

Last year saw the introduction of the breathtaking Amadeus Provence and Uniworld’s beautiful Joie de Vivre, but which new ship will you climb aboard for a range of 2018 river cruises?

Viking Ra

Viking Aquivit Terrace

Named after the Egyptian Sun God, Viking Ra will help to herald a resurgence for Nile River cruises. A number of incidents over the last few years have really impacted tourism in this part of the world, but there are positive signs that confidence is growing once again. Security has been improved and people are taking advantage of the crowd-free tourist sites, leading to a huge upturn in advanced bookings.

This all means that Viking Ra is set to have a busy first year cruising along the Nile. The all-suite vessel will have the capacity for 52 guests, will offer free Wi-Fi to all and will combine panoramic indoor spaces with both sun-drenched and shaded outdoor spots. It is not a completely new ship in that it hasn’t been built from scratch, but the vessel bought by Viking River Cruises was completely stripped to its framework before being re-envisaged. She will start her first ‘Pharaohs and Pyramids’ itinerary on 23rd March.


AmaLea Twin Balcony

AmaLea will become AmaWaterways’ 20th ship and will offer many of the amenities and public spaces that can be found on other recent additions. The sister of 2017’s AmaKristina, AmaLea will again feature twin balconies, connected cabins and even accommodation that can sleep three people. It is hoped that this will appeal to families and larger groups, two sets of people who are starting to river cruise more often. One new inclusion is the ‘Sip and Sail’ cocktail hour, during which a selection of wine, beers, spirits and soft drinks are complimentary.

The new 156-passenger vessel will begin life with a selection of Christmas market cruises in November along the Rhine and Danube.

Crystal Ravel and Crystal Debussy

Crystal Ravel and Debussy

Crystal River Cruises will almost double its fleet of ships in 2018 with the addition of two new vessels. Spring will see the arrival of Crystal Ravel on the Main, Danube and Rhine Rivers whilst sister Crystal Debussy will also join on the Danube and Rhine in the summer. As a luxury cruise line, it’s no surprise that Crystal will include some unusual, yet welcome, features on these two new ships. This includes large walk-in wardrobes and comfortable king size beds. Other onboard facilities include a swimming pool under a retractable roof, a gym and a sumptuous spa. Both ships also offer Crystal’s signature butler service in every suite.

Avalon Saigon

Avalon Siem Reap and Saigon

Proving that Europe isn’t the only region to get excited about in 2018, Avalon will launch its second ship along the Mekong River. The all-suite Avalon Saigon will make her debut in the spring, offering a range of river cruises between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City that also include land extensions to Hanoi, Halong Bay and Bangkok.

The ship itself can host just 36 guests but has space for around twice that number. This means that you will enjoy plenty of deck space in which you relax and soak up your unique surroundings. Public spaces include a front-facing lounge, open-seating dining room, fitness room and a spa. Drinks flow freely (in both senses of the word) throughout the day and complimentary Wi-Fi is also included.

If you would like to experience any of these new ships this year, there are still spaces available on certain itineraries. Call us on 0800 954 0064 to plan your 2018 river cruise.

These Shorter Itineraries Are The Ideal Introduction To River Cruising

31st March 2020
If, when things are back to normal, you’re thinking of taking a river cruise for the first time and you’re concerned that seven nights is too long, consider some of the options below.

The Best Natural Sights On A European River Cruise

24th March 2020
Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the ship to enjoy breathtaking points of interest. Sometimes the river itself is what everyone wants to see.

Celebrate Women’s History Month By Following In The Footsteps Of These Remarkable Figures

10th March 2020
Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout March in the UK and USA, presenting the perfect opportunity to commemorate some of the most influential females in world history. Why not follow in the footsteps of the great figures listed below?


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