AVALON HAVE expanded their celebrity-hosted Storyteller cruise series.

The latest addition is the eight-day ‘Kiltn’ It: Facts, Fiction & Fairytale Settings on the Rhine with Graham McTavish’ in 2024.

The cruise will transport travellers through cliffs, medieval castles, cobblestoned villages and through the landscapes of Switzerland, France, Germany and Holland on the Rhine River.

Graham McTavish is not only known for his roles in Outlander, The Witcher, House of the Dragon and Men in Kilts: A Road Trip with Sam and Graham, he is also the best-selling author of Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other.

“A river tells a story, not just through its history – one of my passions – but through sharing in its flow,” said McTavish.

“Joining this Avalon Active and Discovery Cruise will allow us all to share in that flowing story that we will help to write together.”

The cruise with McTavish is the second to be announced for 2024. Avalon previously unveiled its third sailing with Diana Gabaldon, best-selling author of the Outlander series.

“From special meet-and-greets to intimate lectures and performances, our Storyteller Series cruises are beyond words,” said Pam Hoffee, President of Avalon Waterways.

“Hosted by celebrity authors, actors, artists and musicians, Avalon’s Storyteller cruises deliver scenic ports and riveting plots from history in legendary settings with insider stories from the artistic legends of today.”


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EUROPEAN WATERWAYS is offering guests the chance to enjoy a memorable cruise with a visit to the annual Bordeaux Wine Festival.

The festival features more than 80 different wines from around the region, fireworks, gastronomic offerings, music and an impressive display of Tall Ships.

Staged at Place des Quinconces on the banks of the Garonne River over four days (June 22 – 25), it is just over an hour’s drive to the route on the Canal de Garonne where European Waterways’ luxury hotel barge Rosa offers a six-night, all-inclusive cruise.

“The Bordeaux Wine Festival offers an opportunity for visitors to sample many of the world-class wines of the region and meet the fascinating people who create them,” said Derek Banks, European Waterways’ Managing Director.

“There are plenty of excellent hotels nearby from which to attend the festival and explore the area. For guests who also wish to charter the barge with us, we offer free transfer to and from the festival from the hotel barge.”

The eight-passenger Rosa is a state-of-the-art luxury hotel barge, with air-conditioned ensuite cabins, attractive wood panelling and a sun deck for alfresco dining.


Chefs Benjamin Cross and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino


AQUA EXPEDITIONS has announced a series of exclusive departures hosted by its acclaimed consulting Chefs Benjamin Cross and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino.

The expeditions around the Indonesian archipelago and on the Amazon provide unique opportunities to discover first-hand the creative vision of these experts.

Guests are invited to further engage with local culinary cultures through market visits, tastings and master cooking classes.

Australia-born Benjamin Cross has crafted more than 160 recipes for Aqua Blu, incorporating a variety of Indonesia’s spices and flavours, and allowing diners to go on an immersive culinary journey of the region.

On his hosted sailing, Chef Cross will present his 48-hour beef short rib rendang, Balinese suckling pig with bumbu Bali (Balinese spices), organic Javanese prawns marinated in fragrant oil and lime, and his personal favourite, freshly handline-caught fish grilled with Balinese sambal.

The seven-night journey onboard Aqua Blu from September 9 to 16 will go from Flores to Bali. 

The expedition will include discovering Moyo Island’s secret waterfall, diving among manta rays in the world-famous Gili Lawah, hiking Padar Island’s rugged landscape for iconic views over Flores and observing the legendary Komodo dragon in its natural habitat at Horseshoe Bay.

Aboard Aqua Nera, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino creates Peruvian Japanese cuisine combining native Amazonian ingredients with traditional cooking techniques.

Highlights include Galapagueña lobster lettuce wraps with Acevichado dressing, delicate potato llapingachos, tuna crudo, barbecued plantains and shrimp ceviche.

Schiaffino will host two departures on Aqua Nera: one sailing from May 23 to 27 and a second from October 10 to 14.



PONANT HAS unveiled its Japanese luxury expedition program for 2024 featuring three itineraries never offered before.

Beginning in March, the company has the added sailings in Kyushu’s islands between Kagoshima and Fukuoka, and in the Seto Inland Sea from Kagoshima to Kobe.

Travellers sailing onboard Le Jacques-Cartier and Le Soleal will not only be among the first to explore some of Japan’s south islands on a luxury expedition but can also expect to discover the unexpected Christian heritage off the coast of Nagasaki – a religion which survived being banned for three centuries during the Edo period.

At the intersection of Western and Japanese traditions, guests will access various UNESCO sites and hidden Christian sites, including Sakitsu and Kamigoto on Yakushima Island.

The new itineraries add to PONANT’s existing routes across Japan’s subtropical islands, taking travellers from Kobe, Fukuoka and Onomichi to the exotic and remote provinces of Iheyajima, Kerama and Ishigaki.

On select itineraries guests will have the chance to embark on a wider Asian exploration stopping by some of South Korea’s most famous southern ports of Busan, Yeosu or Jeju, Keelung in Taiwan, or Ha Long in Vietnam.



IF DINING in historic castles and private palaces is your thing then you are going to love these new tours.

Tauck has unveiled its 2024 portfolio of European river cruises, adding six new itineraries to its collection for next year – the most the company has ever added to its portfolio in a single year.

Several of the trips include pre- or post-cruise hotel stays in new-to-Tauck cities including Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Montreux and Geneva.

Each of the new river cruises will be highlighted by an included dinner ashore in a lavish setting.

Venues range from an elegant Viennese palace to a Dutch castle on its own private island to an Italian Renaissance-style mansion in a small commune in northern France.

Other food and drink-related experiences include lunch at the summit of the Zugspitze (Germany’s highest peak at nearly 10,000 feet), at historic Weltenberg Abbey near Regensburg and at a private ranch in the Camargue region in Provence.

Tasting tours are also on tap in a number of cities and towns, including Frankfurt, Strasbourg and Chalon-Sur-Saône.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be expanding our river cruise offerings in such an unprecedented way, with exciting new itineraries that will appeal to our loyal past guests and new travellers alike,” said Dan Mahar, Tauck CEO.

Palais Pallavicini in Vienna and Schlosshotel Kronberg outside of Frankfurt are featured in the “Danube Kingdoms: Bavaria, Austria & Hungary” itinerary. The 12-day tour is priced from $10,130 per person excluding airfares.



AZAMARA IS launching an enhanced, multi-layered program of experiences that bring cultural immersion onboard and on land by night and day.

AzAmazing Celebrations will include the return of the company’s popular AzAmazing Evenings, which mark their 10th anniversary this year.

These evenings give guests the chance to enjoy a destination by night with immersive programming in historic venues that provide access to art, music and dance.

New for 2023 are AzAmazing Days, shoreside events where guests can uncover the hidden gems each unique port has to offer by day through local musicians, food and wine, and entertainment.

Also new is Destination Celebrations, events that bring the traditions and heritage of the destination to life onboard through live cultural performances and local cuisine.

“As we continue to grow and expand, we are pleased to share more intimate experiences for our guests through our expanded and expertly curated AzAmazing programming that makes our voyages truly unforgettable,” said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara.

Complimentary on most sailings of seven nights or longer, AzAmazing Celebrations are unique to each location and feature local, authentic talent and performances, which are often hosted in historic venues, including Ephesus in Kusadasi and St. George’s Hall in Liverpool.