FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The River Less Traveled: 3 Compelling River Cruise Itineraries Debuting in 2024

by Elyse Glickman

Dec 1, 2023

© Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

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In addition to intimate settings, smaller staff-to-passenger ratios, and personalized food and beverage options, river cruises have the advantage of providing a deeper dive into a region’s culture, food and history. The Rhine, Rhône and Danube in Europe and the Mississippi River and St. Lawrence in North America have much to offer travelers with their itineraries, tying together beloved cities and lesser-known destinations along their routes.

Uniworld

© Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Cruises along the Nile in Africa and the Mekong in Southeast Asia, meanwhile, have opened the world up and out, providing travelers incentive to visit places beyond Europe and North America while encouraging others to give cruising a try with more challenging athletic activities and cultural pursuits. In 2024, boundaries continue to be pushed as several cruise lines and travel companies offer new itineraries, ships and on-board programing promising to redefine what it means to “go on a cruise.”

The Ganges River, India

Although wellness programming is now standard on many luxury cruise lines, India sailings aboard Uniworld Boutique River Cruises’ 28-room/58-guest Ganges Voyager II elevate the concept. More dates for its The Sacred Ganges cruises have been added for 2024 and beyond, incorporating cultural and historic immersion at various villages along the Ganges River, along with yoga, meditation practice, cooking demos and guidance on holistic living throughout the trip. The Sacred Ganges & The Maharajas’ Express itinerary has been expanded, running from Kolkata to New Delhi instead of Mumbai. A rail portion of the journey includes visits to Jodhpur (The Blue City) and Jaipur (The Pink City), and there’s an optional excursion to Ranthambore, home to a national park known for its large population of Bengal tigers.

suite

© Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

The Magdalena River, Colombia

While AmaWaterways was the first major river cruise line to chart a course down the Magdalena River in Colombia, AmaMagdalena makes its long-awaited debut in 2024 with two distinctive itineraries. Passengers sail the only river in the Caribbean region, between Cartagena and Barranquilla, and experience cultural traditions and excursions in towns and historic sites recognized by UNESCO for their historic and cultural value. The 60-passenger ship features staterooms between 237 and 516 square feet and the line’s signature twin balcony design, with both a French balcony and an outside balcony.

The Murray-Darling River, Australia
U.K.-based travel company Travel-Lingual, noted for its cruise itineraries down the Zambezi River in Southern Africa and the Ganges in India, offers a sojourn up the Murray-Darling, Australia’s longest river. The route weaves through the Outback, offering an up-close look at native wildlife and some of Australia’s most picturesque riverside towns. According to founder James Smith, the company carefully plans custom itineraries and coordinates with “local and reputable cruise companies” specializing in these areas.

Of note: Thanks to the popularity of its Magnificent Mekong sailings, Viking announced the expansion of its river fleet in Southeast Asia with the new Viking Tonle ship, set to debut in 2025. In the meantime, 2024 sailings are available aboard Viking Saigon, designed to navigate the Mekong River.

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