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River Cruise Newsletter


Our current river cruise newsletter is below. To subscribe to our newsletter, absolutely free of charge, please click here. To email this newsletter to friends or family, click here.

Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, river cruises around the world temporarily stopped operating. Some ships are now planning to resume sailing on U.S. rivers in August or September, and we will let you know as soon as they are operating again.

In Europe, a limited number of river cruises are already operating but for Europeans only. The European Union began accepting visitors from select non-EU countries last month, which is a step toward a larger restart of river cruising. The list of approved countries, which is said to be reviewed every two weeks, includes Canada but does not yet include the United States.

And in the U.S. just last week, the State Department ended its worldwide "do not travel" health advisory for international trips.

Today, I'd like to highlight a few of the grand castles and palaces that you can see while cruising along Europe's famed rivers. Each of these photogenic sights has a fascinating story to tell.

To see photos of these attractions, click the castle or palace name below.

Castles are common along the Rhine River -- a stretch known as the Upper Middle Rhine is home to more than 40 fortifications. Many Rhine itineraries include an excursion to the German city of Heidelberg, where the red sandstone Heidelberg Castle looms over the old town center. Once a grand Renaissance palace, the castle was destroyed during the Nine Years' War of the late 17th century. Some rebuilding was done (though never completed), and the edifice was later damaged by lightning strikes in 1764. The ruins caught the attention of 19th-century poets and artists and soon came to symbolize German Romanticism. Click here for Rhine River cruises that visit Heidelberg in 2021.

On the Mosel River, travelers can explore Cochem Castle, or Reichsburg, in Cochem, Germany. In 1294, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle and about 50 surrounding villages on royal land to the archbishop of Trier in order to finance his coronation as German emperor. Neither the king nor his heir could come up with the funds to reclaim the castle, and it remained with the Trier archbishops until 1794. The original structure fell to ruin, but in 1868, Berlin businessman Louis Ravené bought the site and rebuilt the castle around its Gothic foundations. Click here for 2021 Mosel River cruises that visit Cochem.

Climb up to the Imperial Castle for splendid views of Nuremberg, Germany, featured on Danube River sailings. It was one of the most important castles of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages. One of its oldest remaining parts is the double chapel -- two chapels with the same floor plans, one sitting atop the other. They are connected by an opening in the middle that allowed the congregation in either chapel to hear the service in the other one. Click here for Danube River cruises that visit Nuremberg in 2021.

Danube River itineraries also can provide an opportunity to visit the fairy-tale Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps. Neuschwanstein was built on its spectacular mountain perch from 1869 to 1886 by Ludwig II, sometimes called "Mad King Ludwig." After losing sovereignty in his kingdom, Ludwig withdrew into his own world of myths and legends and built elaborate royal residences where he could feel like a true king. Neuschwanstein is the most famous, and among its highlights is the Byzantine-style throne room with frescoes and cobalt blue columns and a grotto built to resemble a natural cave. Click here for 2021 Danube River itineraries that visit Neuschwanstein.

A stay in Prague is included on many departures on the Danube, Rhine and Elbe. Prague Castle is one of the world's largest castle complexes and official residence of the president of the Czech Republic. Also called Hradcany Castle, after the neighborhood that surrounds it, it's comprised of palaces, churches, towers and gardens. The Bohemian Crown Jewels are housed here, though they're rarely displayed. These treasures are stored in what's been called the least accessible place in the castle -- an iron safe secured by seven locks. To open it, all seven keyholders -- which include the president and prime minister -- must be present. Click here for Danube, Rhine and Elbe river cruise itineraries that stop in Prague in 2021.

On Douro River cruises in Portugal, passengers usually head to Casa de Mateus during port calls in Regua. Built near the town of Vila Real in the first half of the 18th century, the palace is a fine example of Baroque architecture. Some might recognize it from the label that adorned flask-shaped bottles of Mateus rosé, a popular wine in the early 1970s. Mateus is most famous for its formal gardens, an elaborate display of topiaries, manicured hedges, tiered pools and a path shaded by a cypress tunnel. Click here for itineraries that visit Regua in 2021.



Here are this week's Top 10 River Cruises. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.

1) Enchanting Danube, 8 days with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. Travels between Budapest and Passau. Save up to 10%. Plus, receive up to an additional $1,500 per couple discount. Starting at $2,949. Departures from March 14 through October 31, 2021.

2) Charms of the South, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Memphis and New Orleans. Save up to $1,400 per couple, plus receive a free $140 per cabin onboard credit. Starting at $1,999. Departures from February 6 through December 12, 2021.

3) Heartland Heritage, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins in Minneapolis and ends in Red Wing. Save $1,000 per couple, plus receive a free $140 per cabin onboard credit. Starting at $2,099. Departs July 18 & 25, 2021.

4) Lincoln's Illinois, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins in Chicago and ends in Alton. Save $600 per couple, plus receive a free $140 per cabin onboard credit. Starting at $2,299. Departs September 25, 2021.

5) The Seine, Paris & Normandy River Cruise, 8 days with Riviera River Cruises. Begins and ends in Paris. Save $200 per couple. Book a cabin on the middle or upper decks and save up to $1,500 per couple. Plus, receive a free $400 per couple shipboard credit. Starting at $2,549. Departures from April 20 through October 19, 2021.

6) Pacific Northwest Splendor, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Vancouver and Clarkston or Spokane. Save up to $3,000 per couple, plus receive a free $140 per cabin onboard credit. Starting at $2,699. Departures from March 14 through November 14, 2021.

7) Jewels of the Rhine, 8 days with Emerald Waterways. Travels between Amsterdam and Zurich or Basel. Fly for free or save $2,000 per couple. Plus, receive an additional $250 per couple discount. Starting at $2,995. Departures from May 1 through October 24, 2021.

8) Melodies of the Danube, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Budapest and ends in Vilshofen. Companion flies for free. Starting at $2,999. Departures from March 29 through December 27, 2021.

9) Active & Discovery on the Rhine, 8 days with Avalon Waterways. Travels between Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Save $1,500 per couple. Book a suite and save up to $2,800 per couple. Starting at  $3,599. Departures from May 25 through October 5, 2021.

10) Black Sea Explorer, 8 days with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. Travels between Bucharest and Budapest. Fly for free or save $2,400 per couple. Plus, receive up to an additional $1,000 per couple discount. Book a suite on the Diamond Deck and save an extra $500 per couple. Starting at $4,595. Departures from April 19 through October 18, 2021.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Executive Chairman
Vacations To Go




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