To meet steady demand, more than 30 new river cruise ships will launch this year


Marilyn
It seems that the steady growth of the river cruise industry hasn’t been enough to meet the ever-growing demand. In an effort to feed the hungry market, more than 30 new river cruise vessels are set to launch in 2014. The following are a few of the highlights.

AmaWaterways: The 164-passenger AmaSonata and AmaReina will launch in Europe, sister ships of AmaPrima and AmaCerto. AmaSonata will sail the Danube and Rhine on seven itineraries, while AmaReina will cruise the Rhine exclusively.

Aqua Expeditions: The 20-suite Aqua Mekong will debut in the fall, sailing between Siem Reap and Vietnam. Designed with local and sustainable materials, the ships will take passengers to shore for group excursions via four auxiliary aluminum launch boats.

Avalon Waterways: Avalon will present three all-suite ships this year: the 164-passenger Avalon Impression and Avalon Illumination and the 128-passenger Avalon Poetry II. Itineraries will be offered on the Seine, Rhine, Danube, Main, Moselle, Rhone, and Saone, including a new set of themed cruises.

Emerald Waterways:
Two newbuilds are in the works for the new and more affordable brand launched by Scenic Cruises, the 182-guest Emerald Star and Emerald Sky. The ships will begin sailing seven- to 14-night cruises on the Rhine, Danube, and Mosel beginning in April and June.

Luftner Cruises: This line’s Amadeus brand is often offered through tour operators such as Abercrombie & Kent. This year, Luftner will launch cruises on the Mekong and in Myanmar, while 2015 will see sailings on the Ganges.

Sanctuary Retreats: A division of Abercrombie & Kent, this line will introduce the 48-passenger, all-suite Sanctuary Ananda in Myanmar in late 2014. All suites will have private balconies, and top categories offer private butler service.

Scenic Cruises: Two new SpaceShips are on tap for 2014, the 126-guest Scenic Gem on the Seine, and the 169-passenger Scenic Jade on the Rhine, Main, and Danube.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection:
The 159-guest Catherine will debut in France this year, a sister ship to the Antoinette and one of the line’s largest ships.

Viking River Cruises:
Viking will debut a stunning fourteen 190-passenger ships this year, with a greater number of large suites. The line plans to have 100 longships by 2020. In addition, Bordeaux and Myanmar will be added to the destination lineup for 2014.