River European cruising is set to restart this summer with five lines announcing start dates of their summer season. It’s been more than a year since river cruise lines have sailed on the rivers like the Danube, Rhine, Rhone and Seine.
Luxury line Uniworld will be one of the first to sail from 20 June. The cruise line will begin sailings with its newest ship, the La Venezia in Italy. The itinerary will commence on 18 June with Milan, Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy.
Guests will spend two days in Milan before travelling to Venice to board the La Venezia.
These cruises will be followed by sailings in France with departures beginning onboard the Bon Voyage on 27 June. The Joie de Vivre will begin sailing on 4 July, and the Catherine on 11 July.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment and are beyond thrilled to be back on the rivers, welcoming back our loyal guests on four of our most beautiful Super Ships this summer,” says Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld.
“Our guests are like family to us, and their safety is our main priority, which is why we’re taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure they’re comfortable when they’re ready to explore the rivers with us again.”
Viking will restart its river cruise operations in July in Portugal, France and along the Rhone River. The company just this week restarted is ocean-going vessels with the Viking Venus sailing out of the United Kingdom.
“The response to our initial Welcome Back ocean voyages has been overwhelmingly positive,” Viking founder and chairman Torstein Hagen said in a statement accompanying Wednesday’s river cruise announcement.
“It is clear that many people are eager to get back out into the world.”
Viking on Wednesday said its initial comeback in Europe would focus on five itineraries that are among its most popular, including its classic seven-night “Rhine Getaway” routing on the Rhine River between Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Basel, Switzerland.
The four other itineraries that Viking will restart include a nine-night “Portugal’s River of Gold” trips on the Douro River in Portugal that include a seven-night cruise on the river and a hotel stay in Lisbon; seven-night “Paris and the Heart of Normandy” sailings on France’s Seine River; Seven-night “Lyon and Provence’ sailings on France’s Rhone River and a 15-night France trips that combine the Seine and Rhone river voyages.
Scenic and Emerald will restart in Portugal with sailings taking place on 30 July and 31 July.
The river cruises are roundtrip from Porto and sail on the Douro River as far as the quaint port village Vega de Terron over the Spanish border. Unique to the two cruise lines is their own purpose-built dock, located in Porto’s historic Cais de Maragaia, and only a five-minute walk to Cais de Ribeira, one of Porto’s most popular riverfront promenades.
German river cruise line A-Rosa expects to start sailing on the Douro, Rhine and Danube rivers by mid-June.