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River Cruise Newsletter


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River Cruise Newsletter Dated July 22, 2014

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Today, I'll tell you about the world's 10 best rivers for cruising.

A river cruise is frequently the easiest and most enjoyable way to explore the cities and towns that lie along inland waterways. Passengers sail aboard small and well-appointed ships, dine on gourmet food and enjoy personalized service. Daily sightseeing excursions capture the highlights of each port city.

Vacations To Go offers the widest variety of itineraries along every major river in the world, plus every discount, deal and special promotion available. Below are brief summaries of the top 10 rivers, in no particular order. To see all the latest deals and a complete list of itineraries for each river, just click the applicable link.

Rhine River -- View vineyards and castles from the deck of your ship while sailing the Rhine. At the heart of Germany's Rhine wine region lies Rudesheim, where terraced rows of vines climb the banks. In Cologne, Germany, you'll visit the spectacular Gothic cathedral with twin spires. German and French cultures meet in Strasbourg in France's Alsace region; the district known as La Petite France is a nice place for exploration on foot.

Danube River -- Flowing from Germany's Black Forest to the Black Sea, the Danube leads to Old World cities like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. In the Austrian town of Melk, most visitors head to the Benedictine abbey that overlooks the town, while in Germany's Regensburg, you'll walk past well-preserved medieval architecture and the old Roman gate. During a visit to Passau, Germany, you may hear a concert on the 17,774-pipe organ in St. Stephen's Cathedral.

Seine River -- Seine trips usually start in Paris, where sightseeing allows for photo ops at the Eiffel Tower, the Arch of Triumph and Notre Dame. Highlights of the cruise include Monet's home and beautiful gardens at Giverny; Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart's stronghold in Les Andelys; and D-Day landing sites along the beaches of Normandy.

Saone and Rhone rivers -- River cruises in southern France usually combine these two rivers in a single itinerary. During the Saone portion of the sailing, the ship meanders through the Burgundy region, where you'll learn about the local wine industry in towns like Beaune. The Rhone River runs south through the Provence region to the Mediterranean coast. Among stops are Arles, one of Van Gogh's favorite places, and Avignon, a walled city with a 14th-century papal palace.

Yangtze River -- Yangtze River cruises often are part of longer tours in China that also incorporate hotel stays. You'll travel between Beijing and Shanghai and see some of the country's most popular sights, like a well-preserved section of the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian. Highlights along the Yangtze include Shibaozhai Temple, a 12-story red pagoda that clings to the side of a cliff; the magnificent peaks and waterfalls of the Three Gorges; and the Three Gorges Dam, which spans nearly a mile and a half and stands more than 600 feet tall.

Mississippi River -- These sailings explore one of America's true historic treasures: a 2,320-mile waterway that flows through 10 states, from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Itineraries stop at cities that flourished on the river and its tributaries, like St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. Civil War battlefields, restored plantation homes and picturesque towns perched on bluffs also are featured. The origins of blues and jazz can be traced to this region, and it's celebrated in literature, too, most memorably by Mark Twain, who grew up in the port town of Hannibal, Missouri, and once worked as a riverboat pilot.

Columbia River -- Follow in the footsteps of explorers Lewis and Clark on a cruise of this Pacific Northwest waterway. Sightseeing can include visits to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, the Columbia River Gorge and Hells Canyon. Photograph Victorian-era architecture in the Oregon town of Astoria, or learn about the heritage of the Nez Perce Native Americans. Vessels sail a portion of the Snake River as well. Both rivers offer an abundance of history, natural beauty and wildlife.

Amazon River -- There are two ways to explore this South American river: aboard an expedition ship that has a shallow draft and can travel the Lower Amazon in Brazil or the Upper Amazon tributaries in Peru, or on an oceangoing cruise ship that enters the mouth of the river on the Atlantic Ocean and navigates the Lower Amazon as far as Manaus. See the flora and fauna of this verdant basin, like orchids, giant lilies, caimans, monkeys, sloths and toucans. Often there are opportunities to learn about the traditions of the region's communities and purchase locally made crafts.

Mekong River -- Bustling cities, rural villages and floating markets are part of Mekong River cruises through Cambodia and Vietnam. In Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, sightseeing excursions take in the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. In Ho Chi Minh City, you'll visit sites linked to the Vietnam War, like the War Remnants Museum and the underground tunnels used as hideouts by the Viet Cong. Angkor Archaeological Park is a top attraction; the large complex of ornate stone structures dates to the early 12th century.

Irrawaddy River -- Exotic scenery and ancient temples provide an intriguing backdrop on cruises of this river in Myanmar (or Burma). See Shwedagon Pagoda, considered the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese, and view the 18th-century, wooden Yoke Sone Kyaung monastery. More than 2,200 temples, pagodas and stupas (a type of Buddhist monument) await in Bagan, while Amarapura lays claim to the world's longest teak bridge.



Here are this week's Top 20 River Cruises. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.

1) The Enchanting Rhine, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Travels between Basel and Amsterdam with stops in Breisach, Heidelberg and Koblenz. Save $1,500 per couple. Starting at $2,699. Departs November 16 & 17, 2014.

2) The Seine Valley & Its Winding River, 7 days with CroisiEurope. Begins in Honfleur and ends in Paris with stops in Caudebec-en-Caux, Rouen and Vernon. Travelers ages 2 to 9 save 20%. Starting at $1,201. Departs August 8, September 23 and October 5 & 24, 2014.

3) 9 Day Danube River Cruise, 9 days with Gate 1. Travels between Budapest and Nuremberg with stops in Vienna, Passau and Regensburg. Save $2,000 per couple. Starting at $2,299. Departures from September 6 through November 22, 2014.

4) Tulip Time Cruise, 8 days with Avalon Waterways. Begins and ends in Amsterdam with stops in Ghent, Antwerp and Maastricht. Save $500 to $1,000 per couple. Starting at $2,349. Departures from March 31 through May 1, 2015.

5) Rhine Northbound to Amsterdam, 8 days with A-ROSA Cruises. Begins and ends in Cologne with stops in Amsterdam, Antwerp and Arnhem. Receive a free €400 (Euros) onboard credit, plus enjoy waived or reduced single supplements in certain cabin categories. Starting at $2,405. Departures from April 11 through October 3, 2015.

6) Jewels of the Rhine, 8 days with Emerald Waterways. Travels between Basel and Amsterdam with visits to the Black Forest, Mannheim and Cologne. Save $500 per couple. Starting at $2,445. Departures from March 23 through October 8, 2015.

7) Traveling up the Mekong River, 11 days with CroisiEurope. Begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Siem Reap with stops in Sa Dec, Phnom Penh and Kampong Chhnang. Save $625 to $840 per couple. Starting at $2,513. Departures from August 6 through December 28, 2014.

8) Fall Foliage, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins in St. Louis and ends in Jeffersonville with stops in Cape Girardeau, Paducah and Henderson. Save $800 per couple. Starting at $2,549. Departs October 11, 2014.

9) New Year's Celebration, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins and ends in New Orleans with stops in Natchez, Vicksburg and Baton Rouge. Companion cruises for free. Starting at $2,549. Departs December 27, 2014.

10) Christmas Time Cruise, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Travels between Nuremberg and Budapest with stops in Regensburg, Passau and Vienna. Save 20% to 40%. Starting at $2,699. Departures from November 22 through December 23, 2014.

11) Castles Along the Rhine, 8 days with Uniworld. Travels between Basel and Amsterdam with stops in Strasbourg, Rudesheim and Cologne. Save $600 to $800 per couple, plus enjoy waived or reduced single supplements on select departures. Starting at $2,899. Departures from March 15 through November 8, 2015.

12) Enchanting Danube, 8 days with Uniworld. Travels between Munich and Budapest with stops in Passau, Melk and Vienna. Save $600 to $1,000 per couple, plus enjoy waived or reduced single supplements on select departures. Starting at $2,899. Departures from March 22 through November 8, 2015.

13) Cultural Treasures of the Danube, 8 days with Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Begins and ends in Passau with stops in Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. Companion cruises for free. Starting at $2,999. Departures from August 9 through October 12, 2014.

14) Paris & Normandy, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins and ends in Paris with stops in Vernon, Rouen and Les Andelys. Save $1,500 per couple. Starting at $2,999. Departs November 13 & 20, 2014.

15) Burgundy & Provence, 8 days with Uniworld. Travels between Avignon and Lyon with stops in Tarascon, Viviers and Tournon. Save $600 to $800 per couple, plus enjoy waived or reduced single supplements on select departures. Starting at $3,199. Departures from March 22 through November 8, 2015.

16) Portugal, Spain & the Douro River Valley, 8 days with Uniworld. Begins and ends in Porto with stops in Regua, Pinhao and Salamanca. Save $600 to $800 per couple, plus enjoy waived or reduced single supplements on select departures. Starting at $3,199. Departures from March 29 through November 15, 2015.

17) Chateaux, Rivers & Wine, 8 days with Viking River Cruises. Begins and ends in Bordeaux with stops in Pauillac, Blaye and Cadillac. Companion cruises for free plus save $1,000 per couple off roundtrip airfare. Starting at $3,349. Departures from March 21 through December 19, 2015.

18) Columbia & Snake Rivers, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Clarkston and Portland with visits to Sacajawea State Park, The Dalles and Astoria. Companion cruises for free. Starting at $3,795. Departures from August 24 through November 9, 2014.

19) Elegant Elbe, 10 days with Viking River Cruises. Travels between Prague and Berlin with stops in Litomerice, Dresden and Potsdam. Companion cruises for free plus save $1,000 per couple off roundtrip airfare. Starting at $5,049. Departures from March 12 through November 28, 2015.

20) Imperial Jewels of China, 13 days with Viking River Cruises. Travels between Beijing and Shanghai with visits to the Great Wall of China, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian and the Three Gorges Dam. Companion cruises and flies for free. Starting at $5,449. Departures from March 8 through November 1, 2015.

Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-510-4002. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

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Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@rivercruise.com and I will respond the same day.

To send a copy of this newsletter to a friend or friends, click here.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO


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