By Christine Dayao for ShermansTravel
Disney is setting sail once again -- but not on the seas via its own beloved cruise line. Adventures by Disney, the company's family touring arm, is partnering with river cruise company AmaWaterways for four sailings on the Danube River in 2016.
Adventures by Disney operates land-based tours around the world -- from close-to-home destinations like Nashville and San Francisco to far-flung ones like Costa Rica and Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos -- but this partnership with AmaWaterways marks the first time it's offering entirely river-going itineraries. What's more, the river cruising is largely geared towards adults, so the Adventures by Disney sailings open up the market to families.
The sailings won't be a miniature version of Disney Cruise Line cruises, though. While guests will be treated with the same personalized attention and thoughtful service, the voyages are all about the real world adventures, focusing on the culture and history of the ports (as river cruises like AmaWaterways do so well). In fact, you won't find any Disney characters onboard -- instead, local performers who will come aboard to entertain will be the "characters."
The four seven-night trips will be hosted aboard the new AmaViola, sailing from Vilshofen to Budapest on July 14 and 28, then back from Budapest to Vilshofen on July 21 and December 22. Trip highlights include attending an Oktoberfest event in Germany, visiting filming sites featured in The Sound of Music in Austria, taking in the sights at Slovakia's Devin Castle, and learning to make authentic goulash in Hungary. The December sailing, a special holiday-themed one, will also include tickets to a Vienna Boys Choir performance.
To accommodate families with members of all ages, the ship will have features never before seen on a river cruise, including reconfigured cabins that can be connected to fit families with three to five people. And where AmaWaterways' other ships have areas for wine tastings, guests can expect reimagined entertainment spaces with the likes of karaoke, Disney movie nights, and games on AmaViola. Suffice to say, "I'm bored" is something you'd never have to hear or utter on these trips.
Prices at start from $4,539 for adults and $4,319 for children (age minimum is 4-years-old, though the recommendation is 8 or older). The price covers outside stateroom accommodations, all meals, unlimited local beer, wine and soft drinks during lunch and dinner, a cocktail reception, and Captain's dinner onboard. Off the ship, a choice of multiple excursions daily with the services of eight adventure guides, some onshore meals, and bicycle rentals are complimentary. Gratuities are also taken care of, as is Wi-Fi.
photo: Adventures by Disney
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