The hottest thing in cruising right now seems to be river cruising, both in Europe and the USA.
The river ship building boom continues, with Avalon Waterways announcing it has ordered two more “suite ships” to debut in spring 2013. The 166-passenger Avalon Expression and 128-passenger Avalon Artistry II will join two other similar Avalon ships already on order for delivery in the coming months in sailing on Europe’s waterways.
The first Avalon suite ship, the 166-passenger Avalon Panorama, debuted last May in Germany. This May, Avalon will unveil two new suite ships, the Vista and the Visionary.
Full article from USA Today: Avalon Waterways orders two more river ships
Viking River Cruises has ordered two more ships in the Viking Longships class for delivery in 2012, bringing the total of new vessels to six. This will mark an unprecedented number of ships launching in a single season, an accomplishment that eclipses Viking’s own record of four ships christened into the fleet in 2001. Six more ships are scheduled to launch in 2013!
Viking River Cruises launched two of its new longships, the Viking Odin and Viking Idun, in Amsterdam last week. Two other new longships, Viking Njord and Viking Freya, were receiving final touches at a German shipyard, so their christenings were shown via video. Named for Viking gods and heroes, the ships have the largest suites (at 445 square feet) on any river ships in Europe, cabins with full and French balconies, indoor/outdoor al fresco dining spots and eco-friendly features.
Viking also has an option for six more of the longships for delivery in 2014. By the end of 2013, the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock, Germany, will have built at least 13 river cruise ships for Viking.
In 2011, Uniworld launched three new ships, their new Super Ship, the S.S. Antoinette; the River Saigon; and the Douro Spirit. Two more ships are coming in 2013, the River Orchid and the Queen Isabel.
Sources/credit: USA Today, Viking, Uniworld, TravelMarketReport.com, Travel Weekly