Published online by Travel and Leisure| By Jane Wooldridge
What’s new at sea? Boatloads, from redesigned ships to souped-up technology (finally, free Wi-Fi!). We’ve also got the scoop on river cruising—one of the year’s hottest trends.
New river ships, around the globe
Interest in river cruising is peaking thanks to a wave of sleeker ships in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States. “Our river-cruise business has tripled in the past five years,” says travel specialist Ruth Turpin, who is on T+L’s A-List of top advisors. “People are looking for an in-depth experience of a country.” In Europe, Viking River Cruises has 12 ships launching, while Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, Scenic Cruises, and Emerald Waterways are christening two ships each, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, one. A pioneer of luxury cruising on the Amazon, Aqua Expeditions is turning its attention to the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia with the 205-foot Aqua Mekong. Stateside, American Cruise Lines’ Victorian-inspired paddle wheeler, American Eagle, will begin plying the Mississippi in March.