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Specialty themed cruises are on the rise, with a number of lines, like Avalon Waterways revealing a huge number of special interest cruises for 2020.

Whether you love a craft beer, a gastronomic tour of Europe, WWII history or the gardens that inspired painters like Monet, river cruise lines are catering to guests with specialised cruises where they can mingle with like-minded guests as well as listen and learn from local experts.

“Avalon’s ‘Special Interest’ itineraries complement stories with stout, history with harmony and impressions with impressionism,” said Gai Tyrell, Managing Director Australasia, Globus family of brands.

“In addition to announcing new author and photography cruises in 2020, we are also unveiling new culinary-themed cruises and favourites featuring wine, beer, history, heritage and of course, Christmas. Regardless of the theme, our passion-filled cruises have the great distinction of uniting our guests with their pastimes and other like-minded travellers.”

Other cruise lines like European Waterways and Botanica also offer specialty themed cruises and have extended their programs for the next river cruising season.

On a European Waterways cruise, guests can play golf at some of the most famous and pristine courses in Scotland, Ireland, England and France. The cruise line will organise tee times which will work in harmony when the cruise picks you up downstream. Some of the great courses guests can tee off at include Royal Dornoch, Lahinch, Galway Bay, Wentworth, Sunningdale and Cap d’Agde.

While nature and garden lovers can embark on a Botanica cruise through Europe, visiting some of the gardens that inspired Monet and Manet.

Here are some of Avalon’s new itineraries for 2020:

A Picture-Perfect Itinerary

New for 2020, Brenda Tharp, renowned photographer and co-author of Extraordinary Everyday Photography will lead photography enthusiasts the landscapes of the Seine River. Guests will learn from a seasoned photographer, cruise through postcard-perfect backdrops and enjoy the beauty and scenes of France, from Paris, the “City of Light,” to La Havre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stops in between include the WWII Landing Beaches in Normandy, Monet’s Giverny, Rouen’s astronomical clock, Van Gogh’s Auvers-sur-Oise and Napoléon’s Chateau del Malmaison.

  • NEW Reflections on the Seine for Photography Enthusiasts (May 5 departure)

Palate-Pleasing Adventures

The line is offering new itineraries designed for the gastronomic cruisers through France, one of the best places for food.

  • NEW A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence (March 29 departure)
  • NEW A Culinary Experience on Rhine & Rhone Revealed (March 24 departure)
  • NEW A Culinary Experience on Grand France (March 24 departure)

The World in Red & White

Whether travellers are aspiring sommeliers, or simply enjoy an evening tipple, it’s time to take a cruise where the river and Rieslings flow. On these 2020 wine cruises, vino lovers of will meet renowned winemakers and masters on the rolling vineyards of Europe.

  • NEW Danube Dreams for Wine Lovers (April 30 and October 29 departures)
  • NEW The Danube From the Black Sea to Germany for Wine Lovers (April 20)
  • Burgundy & Provence for Wine Lovers (October 6, 20 & 27 departure)
  • Grand France for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)
  • Rhine & Rhône Revealed for Wine Lovers (October 6 and October 20 departures)

Adventure is Brewing

For the beer lovers, Avalon’s Beer Cruise promises a history lesson in European beer production.

PaTulip Time Cruise for Beer Enthusiasts (April 4 departure)

  • Enchanted Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (July 16 departure)
  • Magnificent Europe for Beer Enthusiasts (October 27 departure)
  • German Grandeur for Beer Enthusiasts (July 23 departure)

Wonder in Bloom

Spring in Holland and Belgium is known for its tulip displays and the countryside bursts in an array of colour.

  • NEW Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium for Garden & Nature Lovers (May 3 departure)
  • NEW Grand Tulip Cruise of Holland & Belgium for Garden & Nature Lovers (May 3 departure)
  • Tulip Time Cruise for Garden & Nature Lovers (April 11 and 18 departures)

Remembrance on the River

Avalon has specific World War I and II history cruises make a special trip to honour and commemorate the significant sites of the fallen who fought during this historic battle.

  • NEW Tulip Time in Holland & Belgium WWI Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
  • NEW Grand Tulip Time Cruise of Holland and Belgium WWI Remembrance & History Cruise (April 19 departure)
  • Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)
  • Grand France WWII Remembrance & History Cruise (June 2 departure)

Once Upon a Castle

From the palaces of Budapest and Vienna to the castles and estates of the surrounding countryside, these enchanted fairytale themed cruises will take you to some sites that inspired the artists and authors.

  • Danube Dreams with Habsburg & Royalty (August 13 departure)

Under the Star

History’s most moving chapters come to life sailing down the Danube, Rhine and Rhône Rivers on an Avalon Jewish Heritage cruise. Deep in the Jewish quarters of Europe’s most historic cities, explore museums and monuments, cemeteries and synagogues and hear the touching stories behind each of them.

  • Romantic Rhine with Jewish Heritage (July 21 departure)
  • Rhine & Rhône Revealed with Jewish Heritage (July 14 departure)
  • The Legendary Danube with Jewish Heritage (August 13 departure)

Passion Play

Finally, for travellers who have been waiting years (and years) to experience Oberammergau’s Passion Play – a theatrical tradition that has taken place every ten years since 1634 – Avalon Waterways is delivering unforgettable cruise experiences and preferred seating at the Passion Play.

  • Danube Dreams with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)
  • 13 day Romantic Rhine with Oberammergau 2020 (multiple departures throughout 2020)
  • 12 day Romantic Rhine with Oberammergau 2020 (July 14 and August 11 departures)