It has prompted the line to ‘add extra focus’ to its 2024 Epic Voyages, including longer itineraries and city stay extensions.
Epic Voyages range from 15 to 23 days in duration and consist of the line’s best selling river cruise itineraries placed back-to-back to create a longer trip, either on the same ship or with a flight or coach trip to pick up a new vessel halfway through.
‘We’re thrilled to say that we’ve enjoyed really solid levels of sales since the preview of our 2024 programme went on sale, and what is clear is that there is a real appetite among consumers for taking longer holidays again,’ Andrea Stafford, director of trade sales for Scenic & Emerald Cruises, explained.
‘This could be pent-up demand from the Covid pandemic being converted into bookings, as guests seek bucket list experiences and a taste of the luxury lifestyle…’
The 15-day ‘Rhine & Rhône Rivers’ itinerary links two of Emerald Cruises most popular sailings – ‘Jewels of the Rhine’ and ‘Sensations of Lyon & Provence’ – into one voyage with a transfer between Star-Ships. Starting out in Amsterdam with an included canal cruise, passengers will have a guided tour of Cologne and visit a local farm estate for a cooking demonstration. In Strasbourg, passengers will spend time in the scenery of the Petite France district.
Transferring on to the next sailing, Southern France, passengers journeying from Lyon to Arles can take in Roman ruins, a guided vineyard hike in Tournon and an authentic Provençal dining experience with an acclaimed local chef on board. Prices start from £5,425 per person based on a CAT E Emerald Stateroom departing August 10, 2024.
Further highlights of the new 2024 European River Cruises brochure include two new itineraries. One, ‘Danube Explorer & Highlights of Budapest,’ features an all-new extended two-night stay in the Hungarian capital. Departing from Passau, during the 10-day cruise, passengers can take Bavarian brunch at a local farm in the German city before visiting Melk Abbey. Passengers wanting to get off the beaten track can take part in an active walk through Weissenkirchen in Austria and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Česky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Vienna and Linz in Austria and Slovakia’s capital Bratislava, are also included. Prices start from £3,095 per person based on a CAT E Emerald Stateroom departing April 1, 2024.
The second new itinerary is the 11-day ‘Rhine Castles & Moselle Vineyards’ sailing from Amsterdam with calls in Utrecht and Nijmegen, Netherlands, Koblenz, Bernkastel, Cochem, Rüdesheim, Mainz, Kehl and Breisach in Germany, Strasbourg, and Colmar in France and Basel in Switzerland. Utrecht and Nijmegen are new ports of call for the line. In Utrecht, passengers can sail the city’s canals on a guided boat tour to see old wharf cellars, bridges, statues, and the Dom Tower of St. Martin’s Cathedral. From there, passengers sail to Nijmegen for the visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinderdijk Windmills.
Prices start from £3,365 per person based on a CAT E Emerald Stateroom departing July 20, 2024.
Upgrades to business-class flights are offered on the above itineraries.