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River Cruise Newsletter

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River Cruise Newsletter Dated April 11, 2015

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

In addition to being the world's largest seller of river cruises and oceangoing cruises, Vacations To Go also is among the top sellers of escorted tours and basic air-and-hotel packages. If you browse our sites, you'll find travel options for every interest and budget.

From Caribbean cruises on megaships to river cruises along the Danube, Mississippi and Mekong, and from escorted tours of Italy and Ireland to tropical all-inclusive resorts, we're here to help you see the world at the lowest possible price, in whatever style you choose.

Today, I'll tell you about some of the best and most trusted companies throughout the travel industry, leaders in their segments, along with special discounts and deals for Vacations To Go customers.

Some of the cruise line offers include free shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on board and can be used to pay for almost anything not included in the upfront cost of the cruise, like spa treatments and shore excursions.

Just click any link for more information.

The river cruises of AmaWaterways provide an easy, relaxing way to explore the inland destinations of Europe, and you'll only have to unpack once. On an intimate river vessel that carries no more than 164 passengers, you can expect personalized service and exquisite cuisine.

Our customers can save $300 to $2,000 per couple ($150 to $1,000 per person) off cruises along the Rhine, Danube, Seine and other European rivers. Book by April 30.

The price of an AmaWaterways vacation in Europe includes a river-view stateroom, daily shore excursions and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board. AmaWaterways is the only river cruise line inducted into La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the world's oldest gastronomic society. Dine in your choice of multiple venues, including the Chef's Table restaurant where regional dishes are prepared before guests. Enjoy amenities like a fitness room, spa, heated pool and complimentary onboard Wi-Fi.

AmaWaterways boasts award-winning ships, and many feature the line's unique twin-balcony staterooms, which include a French balcony plus a full step-out balcony. An in-room "entertainment on demand" system features music, English-language TV channels, recently released movies and Internet access.

The company often provides a choice of complimentary excursions at every port. Among offerings are small-group Limited Edition culinary and guided bicycle tours. There's also a fleet of bikes on each ship, should you wish to explore on your own.

Click here to view all departures and discounts from AmaWaterways, which also sails rivers in southeast Asia and southern Africa.

Royal Caribbean, a line known for its big, innovative ships and creative onboard amenities, is offering our customers a terrific "tax-free sale." Pay no taxes with your fare, plus enjoy huge discounts of up to 72%, reduced deposits and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $150 per cabin on select Caribbean and European voyages departing through March 2016. Book by Wednesday, April 15. Click here for dates and prices.

Royal Caribbean's newest 5-star Quantum-class vessel is set to launch: The Anthem of the Seas will make its maiden voyage on April 22 from London, then sail a series of European cruises through October. In November, it arrives in the U.S. to begin a season of Caribbean cruising from Bayonne, New Jersey.

Among the features that will grab the attention of passengers are RipCord by iFly, which offers a simulated skydiving experience, and the North Star, a glass capsule that lifts occupants more than 300 feet above the ocean for all-around views. The Solarium provides a no-kids retreat, and the Vitality Spa supplies a range of health, beauty and relaxation rituals. Roller skating, basketball and bumper cars are on the agenda at the SeaPlex.

Click here for more information about Royal Caribbean and its 25 ships -- including two more brand-new ones on the horizon: the Ovation of the Seas (launching April 2016) and the Harmony of the Seas (debuting June 2016).

If the green hills of Ireland and historic cities of Great Britain are calling, check out the fully escorted vacations of CIE Tours. The company has the largest selection of itineraries in the Emerald Isle and has been named Tour Operator of the Year for two years in a row by Scotland's Heritage, which represents more than 800 attractions throughout the country.

The price of a CIE vacation includes accommodations, airport transfers, guided sightseeing, deluxe motor coach transportation, admission fees and most meals. No optional "extras" are sold -- everything is included, such as medieval banquets, walking tours and scenic cruises. According to CIE, the value of these included components exceeds $550 per couple for every week of travel.

CIE is offering Vacations To Go customers a fantastic special: Save 7% off all 2015 departures of seven of the company's best-selling tours (up to $822 per couple off the price). Book by May 10.

Among the itineraries in this promotion is the new Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, which meanders along the west coast. See the heather-cloaked hills of Connemara, learn about 1850s Ireland at the Museum of Country Life and travel the Grand Atlantic Drive past beaches and craggy headlands.

Also included is Best of Ireland South, another new itinerary for 2015. It gives participants a taste of local culture through dinner in a Dublin pub, tea and scones at a farmhouse and a sheep-herding demonstration. Attend a medieval-style banquet at Bunratty Castle and see the beautiful Cliffs of Moher.

To see all offers and itineraries from CIE, click here.

Resembling the classic paddle wheelers of Mark Twain's day -- but with all the comforts of the 21st century -- the ships of the American Queen Steamboat Company sail the Mississippi River and its tributaries and the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

Vacations To Go customers can take advantage of a fantastic 2-for-1 deal: Companion cruises for free on select departures when you book and pay in full by April 30.

Every sailing includes complimentary wine and beer at dinner. Bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees are available throughout the cruise.

The Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio river itineraries of the 432-guest American Queen all are themed. Join the Fourth of July Celebration and view festive fireworks in St. Louis, explore Kentucky's Bourbon Trail on a bourbon cruise and take a nostalgic journey on Music of the '50s and '60s.

The wit and wisdom of Samuel Clemens comes to life on a Mark Twain voyage. Sporting a full head of white hair and white three-piece suit, tribute artist Lewis Hankins channels Twain for his performances in the Grand Saloon.

On the Columbia and Snake rivers, the 237-guest American Empress treats guests to nature's splendor at its very best: deep canyons, soaring mountains, plunging waterfalls and lush, green fields. Visit a winery, explore the Bonneville Dam and learn about Native American interpreter Sacajawea.

Click here to see all American Queen Steamboat Company itineraries as well as additional savings.

Sporting contemporary designs, Canyon Ranch SpaClubs and creative cuisine, the ships of Celebrity Cruises sail to intriguing ports worldwide. The fleet ranges from the 98-passenger Celebrity Xpedition, which explores the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands, to the Solstice-class ships, which accommodate more than 2,800 guests and cruise popular regions like the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Alaska.

Celebrity is offering Vacations To Go customers fantastic savings of up to 74%, plus choose one of the following amenities: 1) a shipboard credit of up to $900 per cabin, 2) free gratuities or 3) free drinks. Click here for dates and prices.

The latest of the Solstice ships is the Celebrity Reflection. It features the Lawn Club, a top-deck expanse of real grass; the Lawn Club Grill, an interactive, outdoor dining experience; and the Art Studio, with hands-on instruction in painting, drawing and more. At this writing, the ship is preparing to cross the Atlantic for Rome, where it will begin cruising the Mediterranean on 10- and 11-night trips that visit Greek gems like Santorini and Mykonos.

This month, Celebrity introduces a new specialty restaurant for guests who book suite accommodations. Luminae will specialize in "modern eclectic" cuisine that draws upon regional and seasonal ingredients, serving complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner. Luminae will be on all vessels except the Celebrity Xpedition.

To see all Celebrity departures and discounts, click here.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is known for impeccable service, fantastic gourmet cuisine and engaging enrichment programs. Next summer, the six-star line will debut the highly anticipated Seven Seas Explorer.

Regent is offering our customers savings of up to 82% and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $1,250 per cabin on nearly every departure. In addition, your Regent fare includes unlimited shore excursions, gratuities, unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits and, on select sailings, unlimited Internet (valued at $30 a day). Click here for dates and prices.

This January, the keel was laid for its newest ship, the 750-guest Regent Seven Seas Explorer, which Regent bills as the "world's most luxurious ship."

It will feature all-suite, all-balcony accommodations, and the verandas are said to be the largest in the industry. There will be three specialty restaurants -- Paris-inspired Chartreuse, Prime 7 steakhouse and another yet to be revealed -- and it will have the line's first culinary instruction center. The Constellation Theater will evoke the golden age of Hollywood, while the Observation Lounge will pay tribute to the Roaring '20s.

The ship's crown jewel is its magnificent, two-bedroom, 3,875-square-foot Regent Suite. It will boast a cruise industry first: an in-suite spa retreat with sauna, two ceramic heated loungers and treatment area (unlimited complimentary in-suite spa treatments are included in the fare for this suite).

The Regent Seven Seas Explorer debuts in July 2016 in the Mediterranean. Click here to view all Regent departures and rates.

For more than 120 years, the ships of Hurtigruten have navigated the spectacular Norwegian coastline. Richard With and Anders Holthe mapped out a safe trade route between the country's north and south in the late 19th century, charting a course around reefs, through narrow inlets and along vast stretches unmarked by lighthouses. In 1893, Capt. With's steamer, the DS Vesteraalen, began regular service along the seaway, leading to the establishment of Hurtigruten.

Hurtigruten's ships still transport local Norwegians and cargo, but they also carry international passengers eager to photograph the stunning fjords and waterfalls and explore the picturesque towns and villages. Today, 11 vessels offer year-round daily departures from Bergen in the south and Kirkenes in the north, sailing at an average speed of 15 knots on one-way itineraries of six or seven days and round-trip voyages of 12 days.

The company has a special offer for Vacations To Go customers who want to experience this unique trip: Save up to 30% off select Norwegian coastal cruises.

Hurtigruten also sails to Antarctica. Round-trip itineraries from Buenos Aires, Argentina, start at 13 days. The 256-passenger expedition ship MS Fram is designed for cruising these polar waters. Travelers go ashore in sturdy Polarcirkel boats that can land in otherwise inaccessible areas, providing a rare opportunity to see the wildlife of the icy continent up close, like gentoo and Adelie penguins, seals and whales.

Click here to see all dates, rates and discounts for Hurtigruten's Norwegian coastal voyages and expedition cruises.

World-class cuisine, attentive service and destination-focused itineraries have won many repeat guests for Oceania Cruises. The line's midsize ships visit more than 330 ports worldwide, traveling to exotic locales while pampering guests in an elegant, country club ambience at sea.

Oceania is offering our customers greatly reduced rates in a diverse array of sailing regions around the world -- save up to 76%. Plus, enjoy exclusive shipboard credits of up to $3,025 per cabin on select departures. Free Internet and free gratuities also apply to certain sailings. Click here for dates and prices.

Onboard life is unhurried and relaxed on the ships of Oceania: the 1,258-passenger Marina and Riviera and the 684-guest Insignia, Nautica and Regatta. Attend a lecture by a noted historian or former ambassador, get a massage in the Canyon Ranch SpaClub or take a painting class in the Artist Loft.

Dining venues range from a poolside grill to the sophisticated Polo Grill steakhouse. The Marina and Riviera are home to Jacques, featuring dishes by master chef Jacques Pepin, who is the line's executive culinary director.

Another 684-passenger ship will join the fleet next spring: Oceania will acquire the Ocean Princess from Princess Cruises and give it a $40 million refurbishment. In April 2016, it will debut as the Sirena.

For more information about Oceania and its fleet, click here.

Do you want to explore old villages tucked into the Mediterranean coast, the nature preserves of Costa Rica or the incredibly blue seas and green islands of French Polynesia? The small vessels of Windstar Cruises sail to an array of alluring ports, many of which are inaccessible to larger ships.

The company has long been popular for its three sleek, masted sailing ships, the 310-passenger Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Spirit and Wind Star. Now the fleet is growing to include three 212-passenger power yachts. The first of these vessels, the Star Pride, launched last May. The Star Breeze and Star Legend both will debut next month.

Windstar is offering Vacations To Go customers exclusive discounts on select departures in the South Pacific, Europe and the Caribbean, with savings of up to 76%. Plus, receive a free one-category upgrade when you book select categories and shipboard credits of $200 per cabin. Book by April 20. Click here for dates and prices.

Guests can look forward to a casually elegant onboard atmosphere; windsurfing, sailing and other activities at the ship's water-sports platform; massages and facials in the spa; and even visits to the bridge to chat with the captain.

All Windstar voyages feature a complimentary onshore "Private Event," designed to give passengers a unique introduction to the destination. Dine under the stars amid the splendid ruins of Ephesus, join a wine tasting with lunch in Sicily or spend the day on a secluded, powdery beach -- reserved just for Windstar guests -- in the Caribbean.

Click here to view our discounted Windstar departures.

The Alaska cruise tours of Princess Cruises allow passengers to go beyond the coast to fully experience the region's scenery, history and culture. These land and sea vacations range from 10 to 20 nights and combine an Alaska sailing aboard an amenity-filled ship with touring and hotel stays.

Princess is offering our customers savings of up to 55% on these vacations, plus exclusive shipboard credits of $200 per cabin on all 2015 Alaska cruise tours. Past guests may see better rates on select sailings. Click here for dates and prices.

During the cruise portion, you'll navigate the glacier-filled Inside Passage and stop at destinations like Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan; ships also spend time cruising Glacier Bay National Park, where passengers should be on the lookout for humpback whales, orcas and harbor seals.

The land segments are fully escorted trips with hotel accommodations and comfortable transportation by rail and motor coach. They visit such destinations as Banff and Jasper national parks in the Canadian Rockies, and Denali National Park and the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

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

1) Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Siem Reap and ends in Ho Chi Minh City with stops in Phnom Penh, Sa Dec and Cai Be. Receive a free eight-night land tour. Starting at $2,299. Departures from July 27, 2015 through January 4, 2016.

2) Experience the Main & Danube, 8 days with Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Begins in Frankfurt and ends in Passau with stops in Bamberg, Nuremberg and Regensburg. Save $200 per couple. Starting at $1,649. Departs June 14 and August 31, 2015.

3) From the Saone to the Rhone Passing Through Burgundy & Provence, 8 days with CroisiEurope. Begins and ends in Lyon with stops in Macon, Vienne and Arles. Receive free shore excursions. Starting at $1,813. Departs October 13, 2015.

4) Bourbon, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins in St. Louis and ends in Cincinnati with stops in Cape Girardeau, Paducah and Louisville. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions and more. Starting at $2,699. Departs July 5, 2015.

5) The Enchanting Rhine, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Travels between Amsterdam and Basel with stops in Cologne, Heidelberg and Strasbourg. Save $500 to $1,500 per couple. Starting at $2,799. Departures from June 25 through November 9, 2015.

6) Castles Along the Rhine, 8 days with Uniworld. Travels between Amsterdam and Basel with stops in Cologne, Koblenz and Breisach. Save $1,200 per couple. Starting at $2,799. Departures from March 20 through November 9, 2016.

7) Enchanting Danube, 8 days with Uniworld. Travels between and Budapest and Munich with stops in Bratislava, Vienna and Linz. Save $1,200 per couple. Starting at $2,899. Departures from April 3 through November 13, 2016.

8) Bordeaux, Vineyards & Chateaux, 8 days with Uniworld. Begins and ends in Bordeaux with stops in Bergerac, Saint-Emilion and Cadillac. Save $1,200 per couple. Starting at $2,999. Departures from March 13 through November 13, 2016.

9) The Romantic Danube, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Vilshofen and ends in Budapest with stops Passau, Melk and Vienna. Save $500 per couple. Starting at $3,299. Departs July 11, 27 & 29 and August 19, 2015.

10) Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy, 8 days with Uniworld. Begins and ends in Venice with stops in Padua, Bologna and Verona. Save $1,200 per couple. Starting at $3,399. Departures from April 3 through November 6, 2016.

11) Paris & Normandy, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins and ends in Paris with visits to Giverny, Omaha Beach and Les Andelys. Save $300 to $2,000 per couple. Starting at $3,499. Departures from April 30 through October 22, 2015.

12) The Romantic Rhine, 8 days with Tauck. Travels between Amsterdam and Basel with stops in Strasbourg, Heidelberg and Koblenz. Single travelers pay no supplement in Category 1 cabins. Starting at $3,590. Departures from April 6 through October 20, 2016.

13) Columbia & Snake Rivers, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Clarkston and Portland with visits to Nez Perce National Historical Park, Sacajawea State Park and Astoria. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions. Starting at $3,795. Departures from April 26 through November 8, 2015.

14) Southern Culture, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between New Orleans and Memphis with visits to St. Francisville, Natchez and Vicksburg. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions and more. Starting at $3,999. Departs April 25, May 9 & 30 and June 6, 2015.

15) Splendors of Europe, 15 days with Emerald Waterways. Travels between Budapest and Amsterdam with stops in Bratislava, Wurzburg and Cologne. Save $1,000 per couple. Starting at $4,025. Departures from April 30 through November 26, 2016.

16) Tulips & Windmills, 10 days with Viking River Cruises. Begins and ends in Amsterdam with visits to Hoorn, Antwerp and Keukenhof Gardens. Companion cruises for free, plus save $1,000 per couple off round-trip airfare. Starting at $4,149. Departures from March 25 through May 6, 2016.

17) The Rhine & Moselle, 13 days with Avalon Waterways. Travels between Amsterdam and Zurich with visits to Bernkastel, Trier and the Black Forest. Receive $500 per couple in air credit. Starting at $4,199. Departures from April 28 through October 30, 2015.

18) 15 Day Jewels of Europe River Cruise, 15 days with Scenic Cruises. Travels between Amsterdam and Budapest with stops in Cologne, Nuremberg and Vienna. Fly for free. Starting at $5,395. Departures from March 9 through October 19, 2016.

19) 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 Shibaozhai Temple. Companion cruises and flies for free. Starting at $5,449. Departures from May 17 through July 24, 2015.

20) 11 Day Douro River Cruise, 11 days with Scenic Cruises. Begins and ends in Porto with stops in Regua, Vega de Terron and Salamanca. Fly for free. Starting at $5,570. Departures from May 6 through September 23, 2016.

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.

For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click here.
To save up to 40% with escorted and independent tours, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

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

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Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO

  1-800-510-4002 OR Click to inquire about a
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