River cruising has long had the stigma of catering to an older crowd, but that all changed last year when Adventures by Disney teamed up with AmaWaterways to offer a family cruise down the Danube.
Now, the tour operator has announced even more kid-friendly sailings along the Danube and the Rhine for 2018, including six eight-day "Beauty and the Beast"-themed cruises along the Rhine. Families will tour towns in France, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands that will bring the movie to life, including a French village — Riquewihr — that is reminiscent Belle’s hometown. After a day of tobogganing in the Black Forest or visiting Heidelberg Castle, families can come back to a special feast inspired by the movie and watch both the live-action and animated film together.
If you’re worried about the lack of space on river ships for families, don’t be. The AmaWaterways ship being chartered by the company, AmaViola, was custom-built especially with families in mind. That means, unlike most river ships, there are connecting staterooms for three and four-person families.
In addition to the Rhine cruises, there will also be six eight-day Danube sailings that tour Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, where families can ride bikes, take a "Sound of Music" tour in Salzburg, and explore Devin Castle in Bratislava.
Not traveling with kids? There will also be new adult-exclusive sailings along the Rhine in fall, including two food and wine themed sailings. Sommeliers will lead wine tastings and pairings and chefs will lead workshops (French patisserie class, anyone?) as well as culinary walking tours in port.
Adults can also choose a new eight-day Oktoberfest themed cruise along the Danube, stopping in Germany during the iconic celebration with themed parties and culinary adventures on and off the ship, proving you definitely don’t have to be a kid to feel the magic of Disney.