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West Michigan Woman October November 2015 : Page 36

TRAVEL ruises RIVER Imagine drifting past the picturesque rice paddies, steep gorges, and rainforest-clad peaks of Asia’s Mekong. Consider a waterside view of quaint European villages and fairytale castles as you meander along the Danube. As new ships set sail for new river destinations across the globe, river cruising is no longer just for baby boomers. Families and multigenerational groups are discovering the wonders of river cruising, and cruise lines are meeting the increased demand with fresh programs, more sophisticated amenities, and even kid-friendly fare, all designed to enhance the experience and create memorable voyages for travelers of all ages. WHY THEY’RE BECOMING ALL THE RAGE. By Holly Bowne I 36 DELIGHTFUL DESTINATIONS European itineraries along the Danube and Rhine rivers are popular with first-time river cruisers. In addition, “There are some really nice cruises in France along the Rhône and Seine rivers,” said Angela Denton, director of marketing for Breton Travel. Travelers might visit Paris, Normandy Beach, and Monet’s Giverny. And because river cruise ships are smaller than their ocean-cruising counterparts—hosting only about 165 guests—they can access off-the-beaten-path cities such as Arles and Nuremberg. “Fall is popular for European wine cruises,” said Denton. “And if cold weather doesn’t bother you, northern Europe’s Christmas Market cruises can be fun.” For those who prefer stateside travel, Viking Cruises announced New Orleans as the homeport for its first North American river cruise, debuting in 2017. For the more adventurous, river cruise itineraries are opening up in places like Egypt, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia. OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015 : WMW

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