Adventures by Disney entering the river cruise market



Adventures by Disney has announced a new partnership with AMAWaterways to bring an exclusive river cruise itinerary to their guests in 2016. The cruises will be an eight-day, seven-night itinerary down the Danube River, sailing between Budapest, Hungary, Slovakia and Germany.

In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Ken Potrock, Senior Vice President and General Manager Disney Vacation Club and Adventures by Disney, said, “We think the Disney brand will bring families to the river cruising category, and we think that’s a very exciting development for the industry.”

Five departures are planned for 2016 – July 7, 14, 21, 28 and December 22. Potrock says, “We aspire to more, both in terms of the number of departures and the rivers that we consider, and (also) in terms of the geographic locales from a worldwide perspective. We think the response is going to be great, and we’re already having conversations about what more could look like.”

Ports will include Budapest; Passau, Germany; Linz, Melk and Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia and Vilshofen, Germany. A two-night Adventures by Disney trip to Prague can be added either before or after the sailing as well.

According to USA Today, “shore tours and on-board activities also are being custom-designed with families in mind.”

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Families can ride bikes along the Danube, learn archery at a historic castle and master the fine art of strudel making. Interactive games and family competitions will take place on board the ship, as well as junior adventure nights with special activities for the kids.

Potrock says passengers will be able to choose from five or six different activities each day. They “might choose to do one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.” He wants people to “come away and say ‘wow there was more (there) than I ever thought I would get to do.’” Eight adventures guides will be onboard the ship to lead all of the activities.

The ship, called AmaViola is “being custom built for the family market with cabin configurations that can hold up to five people – a rarity in river cruising.”  It will feature “four suites with beds and pull-out sofas that can hold a family of four. An additional dozen cabins will be able to hold up to three family members, thanks to chairs that convert into an extra bed. There also will be six sets of adjoining cabins that can be connected via a three-foot-wide wall segment that slides open at the push of a button. The adjoining cabins will allow for four or five members of a family to share accommodations.”

Potrock said, “We really wanted to build this from the ground up (for families). The traditional river cruising vessel is staterooms for two, and families don’t travel in that configuration. Sometimes they travel in three and four and five, and multigenerational, and families traveling with other families.”

Children must be at least four years old to sail, but the recommended age is eight and up.

The cruises will start at $4,179 per person and includes meals, gratuities, wine at dinner and transfers between the airport and ship.  Bookings begin April 14 for Adventures by Disney Insiders (have previously traveled on two Adventures) and on April 15 for the general public.

News source: USA Today

Photo credit: Adventures by Disney via USA Today

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