Disney Bringing Family River Cruises to Europe
Written by: Amanda Bailey on April 15, 2015
Adventures by Disney has announced a partnership with AmaWaterways that stands to change the river cruising industry in a big way.
Starting in the summer of 2016, the companies will team up to offer week-long, family-oriented cruises on the Danube River.
Most river cruise ships and itineraries are geared towards older adults and couples, although several lines like Tauck and Uniworld occasionally run family-friendly sailings.
Adventures by Disney, which currently offers family excursions in 30 different countries around the world, has developed itineraries catering to kids and parents both onboard and off. Passengers will sail on the AmaViola, a river cruise ship being custom-built to fit with familys’ needs.
For example, the ship will feature three- and four-person suites, and sets of connected rooms, a first in the river cruise industry.
Four cruises will embark in the summer, and one December cruise will give travelers the opportunity to explore Europe during the Christmas season. Passengers will visit eight cities in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.
Unlike Disney’s ocean-going vessels, the brand’s iconic characters won’t be featured onboard or during excursions. Instead, Disney “Adventure Guides” will serve as the guests’ hosts during the trip, introducing them to local experiences on and off the ship.
Guests of all ages will find entertainment on the AmaViola. Adults can participate in wine tastings, food pairings, dancing, and musical performance. Younger passengers have plenty of fun options available too, including activity nights, movies, games and karaoke.
Excursion highlights of the 8-day/7-night itinerary include:
- A tour the medieval Devin Castle in Bratislava
- A carriage ride and visit to a petting zoo at Lazar Equestrian Park in Budapest
- A falconry show at the 900-year old Hohenwerfen castle in Austria
- Outdoor thrills at a unique adventure center in Kopfing, Germany
- Fun and festivities of Oktoberfest in Germany
For travel agents, the collaboration between Disney and AmaWaterways opens up river cruising to a completely new market. Potential clients would be families who have enjoyed traditional Disney vacations and ocean cruises, and are looking for something different for their next big vacation. Because of their higher price point, agents also have the potential to earn more commissions with river cruising.
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