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Exciting new exotic river cruises in Colombia, Peru and the USA

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The huge growth of river cruising over the last few years has been interesting, as new companies with slightly different ships have piled in, and one of our challenges has been to understand and explain to our clients the difference between the products. Further afield and away from Europe, the choice is more limited, with some very special new options.

First up, exciting news from a trusted partner, AmaWaterways, who have built a reputation for quality on the European rivers. We love this family owned company for offering reliable and friendly service in great comfort, so we were very excited at their news about a totally new addition to their programme.

In partnership with Metropolitan Touring, South America's leading tour operator, AmaWaterways is finalising the details of a new river cruise experience in Colombia, where they will be the first luxury river cruise line to sail the Magdalena River, known as the 'River of a Thousand Rhythms'.

Magdalena river, Colombia

Race to your atlas and search out Colombia in the top left hand corner of South America, with an extensive stretch of Pacific coast to the west, and Caribbean to the north. The Magdalena flows northwards to meet the Caribbean close to the lovely city of Cartagena. The programme will start in December 2023, and will combine unique experiences on shore with time on board the new custom-built, all-suite, ecofriendly river cruise ship.

The rich biodiversity and culture of Colombia, joined with great wildlife and welcoming people, will create a very special holiday experience. Two seven-night itineraries will combine with fascinating pre- and post-cruise land programmes for active, exciting and authentic experiences.

Balconies in Cartagena, Colombia

Further south, another of our favourite river cruise companies, Aqua Expeditions, has introduced a new vessel on the upper Amazon, the lovely Aqua Nera. Founder Francesco Galli Zugaro has built a ship very similar to his little gem on the Mekong (Aqua Mekong) and in fact she comes from the same yard in Ho Chi Minh City, which she left earlier in the year to make the 12,350-nautical mile journey to the Amazon.

With 20 stylish suites, she will operate three-, four- and seven-night journeys out of Iquitos exploring the mythical Amazon rainforest and local Peruvian culture. The décor reflects the region, with beautiful dark woods mirroring the black water lagoons of the Peruvian Amazon, alongside vibrant flashes of colour using indigenous textile patterns and locally sourced fabrics and dyes. Whizz ashore or up intriguing tributaries in speedy skiffs, explore backwaters by kayak and swim where safe in the silent waters.

Aqua Expeditions - Aqua Nera - Indoor Lounge

If North America is more your style, Viking's new ship, the appropriately named Viking Mississippi, will cruise 2,350 miles down the United States, from Minnesota's Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. A series of different cruise itineraries will immerse you in American history and culture. Highlights to choose from include the French Quarter in New Orleans, Cajun heritage in Baton Rouge, Civil War history at Vicksburg National Military Park, Memphis and Graceland, Mark Twain's boyhood home, the Norwegian cultural experience at Vesterheim and the intricate locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi.

Viking River Cruises - Viking Mississippi

Adventurous travellers choose river cruises to enable them to explore further afield without spending hours on the road, packing, unpacking, and relying on a tourist infrastructure that doesn't always meet your standards, so speak with your expert cruise consultants at Mundy Cruising about these and other far flung river cruise experiences including the Nile, the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, and the Mekong.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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