GREAT RIVER ESCAPES
Zoom the Zambezi: Bench International is offering savings of up to $420 a couple on a three-night voyage on the Chobe River between Botswana and Namibia aboard the luxurious cruiser Zambezi Queen; game-viewing excursions are included and the voyage now starts at $1865 a person twin-share for departures from March to June; reduced rates for singles from $2295. More: (02) 9290 2877; benchinternational.com.au. Waltz the Danube: Sea Cloud Cruises has a seven-night music-themed cruise on the Danube over Easter aboard River Cloud II; departs Vilshofen, Germany, on April 17 for Budapest, calling at riverside towns in Austria and Slovakia. Highlights include two nights in Vienna during the OsterKlang music festival and an on-board concert by students of Hamburg University of Music. More: 1300 583 572; seacloud.com. French bred: Uniworld has announced the launch of ‘‘super ship’’ SS Catherine; the river cruiser will run seven-night itineraries through Burgundy and Provence from Avignon to Lyon, with fares from $3695 a person twin-share, covering port charges, taxes, gratuities, alcoholic beverages and guided excursions; departures from March 30 to November 9. More: (02) 9028 5199; uniworldcruises.com.au. Fit for an empress: April 2 is lift-off date for a 17-day fly-cruise holiday featuring a centrepiece seven-night cruise aboard American Empress, billed as the most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest; this Frontiers, Pioneers and Vineyards jaunt includes return flights from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to the US; two nights in Beverly Hills; overnight train trip from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, aboard the Amtrak Coast Starlight train; a night’s stay in Portland; and three nights in Las Vegas. From $5989 a person twin-share. More: worldwidecruisecentres.com.au. Seeing green: Evergreen Tours’ 2015 European river cruise deals include free flights and a guarantee of 2014 prices; Emerald Sky and Emerald Star will launch this April. More: evergreentours.com.