Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

River cruise companies are incorporating unique elements into their ships, like onboard herb gardens, heated pools and innovative designs for private balconies. I've highlighted some of these features below. For more details on the riverboats, and to see the itineraries they sail along with departure dates and prices, click the applicable links.

Opulent fabrics, rich color schemes and fine art and antiques from auctions and private collections are used for the fleet of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. No two ships are alike. The S.S. Beatrice displays artwork by Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder, while the S.S. Antoinette has a 10-foot blue Baccarat chandelier that once hung in New York's famed Tavern on the Green. The S.S. Joie de Vivre has a pool with a hydraulic floor that can turn into a dance area or outdoor cinema at night.

The Suite Ships of Avalon Waterways feature 200-square-foot Panorama Suites, which have nearly 11-foot-wide, wall-to-wall windows that slide open to transform your entire stateroom into one large, open-air balcony. Plus, beds face the windows so you'll always see the view.

The Viking Longships of Viking River Cruises have the indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace at their bows, with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors. Longships sail with energy-efficient, hybrid diesel-electric engines and solar panels, as well as organic herb gardens. Two-room, 445-square-foot Explorer Suites have private wraparound verandas.

Several ships in the AmaWaterways fleet include staterooms with twin balconies: a French balcony with glass doors that open to a railing (but you can't step out), and a full balcony that you can walk out on. Some vessels have heated pools with swim-up bars on their sundecks. The AmaMagna, debuting in 2019 as the line's largest ship to date, will have a water-sports platform stocked with Zodiac boats, canoes and other recreational equipment.

AmaViola, AmaKristina, AmaLea and AmaMora -- which sail for AmaWaterways and Adventures by Disney -- boast connecting staterooms that can accommodate up to five family members.

The Crystal Mozart, the first ship to sail for Crystal River Cruises, has a sundeck with a "pop-up" bar, a retractable movie screen, a rooftop garden and skylights that invite natural light into the deck below. Two tender boats help guests explore waterways up close. The line's four smaller ships feature all-balcony, all-suite accommodations with walk-in closets and double vanities in most cabins, the "pop-up" bar concept and indoor pools.

New river cruise brand U by Uniworld launched two sleek ships, The A and The B, each with matte black exteriors and contemporary interiors. The Rooftop Lounge hosts morning yoga classes and late-night snacking, and the top-deck Ice Bar is on hydraulics so the entire space can be lowered to fit under bridges as the ship sails. Cabins feature built-in Bluetooth speakers.

The American Song (debuting in October) and American Harmony (launching next May) are the first in the "Modern Riverboat Series" from American Cruise Lines. They sport contemporary styles and airy, light-filled spaces. All staterooms have private balconies, even the single cabins for solo travelers. The 900-square-foot Grand Suites provide separate living and sleeping areas and wraparound verandas with private dining areas. The bow of each ship opens so that a retractable gangway can extend to the riverbank or dock for easy disembarkation.

Though they offer all the comforts of contemporary cruising, the paddle wheelers of American Queen Steamboat Company were designed to resemble the riverboats of the past, with fluted stacks, gingerbread trim and large red paddle wheels. Accommodations on the American Duchess include the 550-square-foot Loft Suites -- these have dining and lounging areas, a bathroom and private balcony downstairs, and a bedroom and second bath on the upper level.

Cabins aboard the Space-Ships of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours can be transformed into weatherproof "sun lounges." If the weather is chilly, just press a button and a glass pane will rise to create an enclosed space. The Scenic Diamond and Scenic Sapphire offer Scenic Culinaire, outfitted with cooking stations for classes, and the Salt Lounge in the spa, constructed of handcrafted salt bricks and said to provide therapeutic benefits.

Emerald Waterways has a fleet of young ships; the earliest were built in 2014 and three more were released last year. Among the attractive features are heated swimming pools with retractable roofs (this space converts to a movie theater on some evenings), as well as balcony suites that open to the outdoors with the push of a button.

The MS Monarch Empress is the first riverboat to be built and operated solely by Gate 1 Travel. Common areas and cabins (most with French balconies) have been designed to capitalize on unobstructed views.

The ships of Riviera River Cruises display an understated elegance, with marble floors, hardwood furniture, polished brass and copper, leather and Italian fabrics. More than half the fleet was constructed in 2017 or later. The MS Douro Splendour, launching next month, is designed to sail through the locks of the Douro River in Portugal; its upper-deck balcony cabins come with windows that slide down halfway to create a small balcony-like area within your stateroom.

CroisiEurope strives to make its ships as eco-friendly as possible. Last December, the line debuted its smallest river ship: The 16-passenger African Dream, sailing in southern Africa, has balcony cabins and a rooftop patio with a pool. The new MS Elbe Princesse II was built to cruise the shallow waters of the Elbe River; it's a modern two-deck ship with two paddle wheels at its stern.

The MS Grace, Inspire, Joy and Savor from Tauck come with eight uniquely designed loft cabins on their lower decks. Each has a raised seating area with a high ceiling above, which permits the use of a tall window and allows natural light to stream into the cabin. Part of the window can be raised electronically to let in fresh air.

When Luther Blount, founder of Blount Small Ship Adventures, was told that cruise ships could not navigate the Erie Canal because the bridges were too low, he headed to his workshop. There, he designed a vessel with a retractable pilot house that could slip under the lowest bridges, with inches to spare. Both the Grande Caribe and the Grande Mariner have this unique feature, as well as shallow drafts that allow them to sail in less than 7 feet of water.

Here are this week's Top 20 River Cruises. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.

1) Riches of the Mekong, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Preak Kdam and ends in Ho Chi Minh City. Save $500 to $2,000 per couple. Starting at $2,299. Departures from August 13, 2018 through December 30, 2019.

2) Bruges, Medieval Flanders, Amsterdam & the Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise, 8 days with Riviera River Cruises. Begins and ends in Amsterdam. Receive a free drinks package. Starting at $1,819. Departures from April 2 through April 22, 2019.

3) Andalucia: Tradition, Gastronomy and Flamenco, 8 days with CroisiEurope. Begins and ends in Seville. Save up to 10%. Starting at $1,858. Departures from February 14 through November 14, 2019.

4) 12 Day Danube River Cruise with Prague, 12 days with Gate 1 Travel. Travels between Budapest and Prague. Save $900 per couple. Starting at $1,999. Departures from July 28, 2018 through November 23, 2019.

5) Columbia & Snake Rivers, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins and ends in Vancouver. Save $600 per couple. Starting at $2,099. Departures from March 3 through November 17, 2019.

6) Egyptian Voyager, 9 days with Trafalgar. Begins and ends in Cairo. Starting at $2,150. Departures from August 18, 2018 through October 26, 2019.

7) Quintessential Burgundy (National Geographic Journey), 10 days with G Adventures. Begins in Dijon and ends in Paris. Save 30%. Starting at $2,259. Departs August 24, September 21 and October 19, 2018.

8) Civil War, 9 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Chattanooga and Memphis. Save $600 per couple. Starting at $2,299. Departs October 27 and November 3, 2019.

9) Medieval Treasures, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Basel and ends in Nuremberg. Save $500 to $2,000 per couple. Starting at $2,799. Departures from August 2, 2018 through November 7, 2019.

10) Lisbon & Secrets of the Douro, 11 days with Emerald Waterways. Begins in Lisbon and ends in Porto. Fly for free or save $2,000 per couple. Starting at $3,245. Departures from April 17 through October 30, 2019.

11) Authentic Danube & Prague, 10 days with Uniworld. Travels between Prague and Vienna. Save 10%. Starting at $3,299. Departures from May 12 through November 1, 2019.

12) Budapest to the Black Sea - Gems of Eastern Europe River Cruise, 15 days with Riviera River Cruises. Begins and ends in Budapest. Receive a free drinks package. Starting at $3,649. Departures from April 22 through September 30, 2019.

13) Cruise on the Vltava and Elbe Rivers, 9 days with CroisiEurope. Travels between Prague and Berlin. Save 5%. Starting at $3,675. Departures from September 27 through October 29, 2018.

14) Gems of the Danube, 8 days with Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. Travels between Budapest and Nuremberg. Fly for free in economy or save $2,000 per couple. Upgrade to Premium Economy from $595 per person. Starting at $3,995. Departures from April 25 through October 17, 2019.

15) Paris & the Heart of Normandy, 8 days with Viking River Cruises. Begins and ends in Paris. Fly from $499 to $649 per person, plus companion cruises for free. Starting at $3,998. Departures from March 26 through December 24, 2019.

16) Legendary Rhine & Moselle, 13 days with Uniworld. Travels between Amsterdam and Basel. Save $2,000 per couple. Starting at $4,999. Departs September 27, October 9 & 21 and November 2, 2018.

17) Colorful India & the Ganges River, 13 days with Avalon Waterways. Begins in Delhi and ends in Kolkata. Save $1,000 per couple. Starting at $6,059. Departures from February 3 through November 27, 2019.

18) Treasures of the Danube, 11 days with Crystal River Cruises. Begins and ends in Vienna. Save $2,190 to $7,540 per couple. Starting at $7,290. Departures from July 31, 2018 through December 23, 2019.

19) Enchanting Moselle, 11 days with Crystal River Cruises. Begins and ends in Amsterdam. Save $3,350 to $8,370 per couple. Starting at $8,375. Departures from May 28 through December 24, 2019.

20) Waterways of the Tsars, 13 days with Viking River Cruises. Travels between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Fly for free, plus companion cruises for free. Starting at $10,998. Departures from May 4 through October 11, 2019.

Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-510-4002. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click here.
To save up to 40% with escorted and independent tours, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at and I will respond the same day.

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Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go

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