Now it’s the river cruise where the destination is a mystery. Go figure!

With the traditional cruising season still very much up in the air, lines are working harder and harder to tempt cruisers with ever more interesting offers.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, the line that gave us the first millennial river cruise ships, has now come up with something even bolder:  the “mystery” river cruise.

Since you step aboard your vessel at one point on a river and get off at another, this may sound like a challenge.  A cruise to nowhere at sea is quite common.  But can you translate that to a single stretch of water?

Uniworld says yes. Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge promises a wonderful experience, describing the trip as an “incredible bucket list trip full of surprises for those that love the thrill of adventure; the biggest surprise being the itinerary reveal that will only happen when our guests are already on their way to the airport.”

Perhaps she was borrowing from Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous phrase:  “It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive”.

Ms Bettridge is very confident in the concept: “After this chaotic year, there’s no need to take on any additional stress, so we’ve taken care of all of the details so that our guests can sit back and enjoy this mystery trip of a life.”

Its first ‘Mystery Cruise’, which is set to leave from somewhere in Europe on June the 12th next year,Prices will begin at $6,999 per person and post itinerary-reveal refunds do not appear to be overly encouraged. 

So, as long as not knowing where you’re going until you’re nearly on the plane isn’t a source of stress for you, the concept does sound quite intriguing. 

This will not be the only mystery tour on the market, with luxury travel site Wonderlust partnering with agency Travel Sommelier to offer a luxury mystery tour that starts at $11,999. Once you express interest in the trip, you’ll be given a questionnaire to fill out to ensure the itinerary aligns with your interests.

While not a brand new concept, it’s an interesting trend. Who knows if it’ll burn out in two years or if 50 years from now we’ll all be cruising blindfolded. 

Elsewhere in the river cruising world, Avalon Waterways has announced the ‘Storyteller Series’, cruises that will be hosted by celebrity authors and musicians.

Amongst the confirmed hosts are Gillian Flynn, the author of ‘Gone Girl’, singer-songwriter Edwin McCain, Candace Bushnell, author of the “Sex in the City” series and Diana Gabaldon, author of the ‘Outlander’ novels.

Pam Hoffee, the managing director of Avalon Waterways commented: “Our new, exclusive Storyteller Series invites travellers to enhance the storytelling tapestry of their lives by embarking on incredible, ‘once upon a river’ vacations.” Guests will have the chance to mingle and learn from these hosts on selecting 2021 and 2022 sailings. 

These announcements all might be catering for admittedly niche tastes, but it does seem to suggest you’ll really have your pick of a wide range of experiences once you are ready to river cruise.

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