LGBTQ+ trade tour operator Chillimix has launched its first weekend LGBTQ+ cruise – DRAGged to Amsterdam.
The cruise will depart from Newcastle on October 7 and return on October 9, 2022.
Sandy Beach, Chillimix’s host Drag Queen, will welcome everyone with a complimentary drink before the first evening’s dinner. Each evening will include drag-packed entertainment and a DJ until the early hours.
Priced from £249pp, passengers will spend the Saturday exploring Amsterdam with coaches to and from the ship fully included in the price.
David McDonald, MD of Chillimix, commented: “We are really excited for our first exclusive DRAGged cruise. We have chosen Amsterdam as our first destination as it is a fun and vibrant city and everything Chillimix is about.
“We wanted to offer an exclusive weekend cruise for the LGBTQ+ community and our allies, filled with drag, fun and an experience like no other. Our Chillimix team have been busy developing exclusive products and this is our first cruise, so it is an exciting time.
“We only have the capacity for 400 passengers and we are delighted to say we have already seen fantastic interest and sales. This is bound to be a sell-out cruise and this will inevitably be the first of many that Chillimix will be offering.”
Nicky Yates, Trade Partnership Manager for Chillimix, said: “DRAGged to Amsterdam is already proving to be a hit and we are here to 100% support the trade with marketing materials and sales enquiries. This is a unique product filled with fun.”
VIVA Christmas on the rivers of Europe
VIVA Cruises is to run seven Christmas cruises this winter on some of Europe’s most in-demand rivers.
The river cruise specialist has cruises in Germany on the Rhine, Main and Moselle; Austria on the Danube; or France on the Rhône on VIVA ONE, VIVA TIARA, VIVA MOMENTS and VIVA VOYAGE.
Prices start from £550pp.
VIVA Cruises’ first new build ship VIVA ONE (launched in April 2022), will be running two four-night itineraries on the Moselle and Rhine rivers.
The ‘Moselle Advent Magic cruise will operate in Germany, visiting the cities of Koblenz, Bernkastel-Kues, Trier and Cochem (priced from £650pp), while the ‘Rhine Christmas Cruise’ ‘will make stops in Koblenz, Boppard, Rüdesheim am Rhein, Mainz and Frankfurt (from £695pp). On the banks of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, Koblenz has one of the most atmospheric Christmas markets in Germany.
VIVA TIARA, with capacity for 152 passengers, will run a variety of itineraries departing from Frankfurt. From here, the ‘Rhine Short Trip’ itinerary will cruise along the Rhine towards Mainz, Mannheim and Strasbourg, in France (priced from £550pp); while the ‘Main Short Trip” will visit Wertheim, Würzburg and Miltenberg (from £550pp).
Both itineraries offer a variety of festive excursions, including visits to Christmas markets and to the idyllic half-timbered houses.
Carrying up to 176 passengers, VIVA MOMENTS will operate two six-night cruises from Düsseldorf, one crossing the Rhine towards Strasbourg – the ‘Rhine Advent Magic Upstream’ costs from £695pp – and another returning back to Düsseldorf and visiting Frankfurt, Koblenz, Bonn and Cologne.
VIVA VOYAGE, which can carry 153 passengers, will be offer six cruises along the Rhône in France.
The ‘Rhone Magical Advent’ itinerary will start and finish in Lyon, calling at Tain-l’Hermitage, Arles, Avignon and Viviers. It is priced from £550pp.
CroisiEurope’s five-day Beaujolis cruise
French river cruise operator CroisiEurope has introduced a five-day river cruise that has been designed for wine lovers.
The wine-themed cruise through Burgundy includes visits to the city of Beaune, one of the key wine centres in France; the partial ruins of the Cluny Abbey; the Beaujolais Route; and Le Parc du Hameau Duboeuf, a theme park dedicated to vineyards and vine.
But perhaps the highlight of the cruise is the visit to medieval Beaujeau where guests will learn about the 12 appellations of Beaujolais, enjoy time in the town centre with cabaret entertainment and food, a torch-lit stroll to welcome Beaujolais Nouveau Day and a fireworks display.
The cruise, which is round-trip from Lyon onboard the MS Rhone Princess, departs November 13, 2022 and calls in Chalon-Sur-Saône, Mâcon and Belleville.
Cruise-only prices start from £664pp for the five-day cruise with all meals and drinks, excursions, port fees and repatriation insurance.
The 2023 departure of this itinerary is also now on sale. The cruise departs November 12, 2023, with cruise-only prices from £926pp.
St. Lawrence cruises into 2023
St. Lawrence Cruise Lines is now booking passengers for 2023 due to an increasing demand for North American river cruising.
Having sold out for 2022, the Canadian-based small ship operator has extended its 2023 season and added an additional cruise to accommodate travellers.
The new Seaway Discovery Cruise is a seven-night round trip cruise that will run from August 19-26, 2023 from Kingston to Montreal. The cruise will focus on the historic ports and locks of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The cruise line attributes the rise in demand to a growing recognition of the benefits of small ship cruising, and the ability of smaller cruise vessels to offer a more private, intimate experience “with a focus on safety, comfort and relaxation.”
“We are hearing from many of our passengers that they are taking a fresh look at small ship cruising to avoid large crowds and they appreciate our ability and willingness to maintain health and safety measures during the most recent stages of the pandemic,” said Jason Clark, President of St. Lawrence Cruise Lines.
During the 2022 season, all passengers and crew are required to be vaccinated and receive an antigen rapid test prior to boarding the vessel. Additional COVID-19 safety measures continue to be in effect for most aspects of the cruise vacation experience, including physical distancing and a ship-wide disinfectant regime.
The cruise line operates a single vessel, the CANADIAN EMPRESS, which features 32 staterooms with twin fixed beds, private bathrooms and a view of the river.