Why river cruising?

TRAVEL

If you are tired of hopping in and out of motor coaches or checking out of hotels at 6am on traditional land tours, a river cruise offers the convenience and luxury of a deep-ocean cruise combined with the in-depth experience of a land tour and the personal freedom of a river cruise. Step aboard. Unpack once. Explore, and enjoy.

The benefits of river cruising

For many travellers the slow chug along the river is just the right pace for getting the lay of the land. Sitting on the top deck of a ship under brilliant blue skies, you gaze on fabled landscapes dotted with castles, villages, and vineyards. A flight of stairs down, and you have all the amenities of a modern hotel — restaurants, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, spas, internet access, and comfortable staterooms.

River cruises offer opportunities to step ashore in fairy tale towns and fabled cities. Immerse yourself in contemporary culture, and learn something about the history of the towns along the Continent’s greatest rivers.

The season runs March through the end of December, beginning with Tulip Time cruises in Benelux countries and ending with Christmas Market cruises in Hungary, Austria, and Germany.

Onboard experience

As you are greeted on board you will appreciate the five-star quality of the warm-coloured wood and marble that has been extensively utilised, while above, the innovative atrium tastefully bathes the whole welcoming scene in natural light. All the vessels have air conditioned decks as well as individual controlled air conditioning in each cabin.

Relax in the lounge areas where the ship’s designers have managed to create a really lovely genteel atmosphere of understated elegance with a wide selection of comfortable seating. Where could be better to lose yourself in conversation with like-minded new friends, sip a coffee, perhaps play chess or bridge, or just relax while admiring the incredible scenery?

The welcoming bar offers a full range of drinks sourced from all over the world, including the finest wines and spirits. When the sun sinks slowly below the riverside hills this is the perfect place to relax and reflect on another day’s experiences.

Sample the culinary delights of a superbly elegant restaurant where the ship’s outstanding chefs will amaze you with superb fine dining of the highest order, using freshly prepared seasonal produce to create the very best of European cuisine. The sumptuous breakfast buffet, with omelettes and fresh eggs prepared to order, ensures a great start to the day, and a lunchtime buffet ensures you can eat a full meal or something as simple as a fresh crunchy salad – just as you desire. The evening dinner features excellently executed dishes with silver service, plus a relaxed atmosphere and an ‘open seating’ policy that ensures your dining experience is one you will always enjoy.

The sun deck is perfect for watching the historic riverside villages, steep vine-clad valley sides and other scenic wonders as you glide serenely by. It is well equipped with plenty of comfortable outdoor chairs and sun loungers, deck games including a putting green and giant chess, a small splash pool where you can cool off, and a purpose-designed spa.

What is included

Prices are per person, based on two people sharing a twin cabin with a limited number of single cabins available on all decks, at the relevant supplement. The price includes full board from dinner on your day of arrival until breakfast on your final day; if you choose to travel on any of the full day excursions by coach, a packed lunch will be provided. Anyone choosing to stay on the ship may of course have lunch in the restaurant; morning/afternoon tea and coffee; all visits and excursions as mentioned in the itinerary, airport/station transfers, coach travel as mentioned, travel to and from port of embarkation; and the services of a local tour manager. Flights are not included but can be booked at competitive prices.

For more information, contact McDermott Travel, 9 Market Lane, Westport, Co Mayo. Phone: (098 ) 29621 or log on to www.mcdermotttravel.ie

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