Bik­ing and river cruis­ing the hot new va­ca­tion combo

The Daily Courier - - TRAVEL -

To­mor­row, Nor­we­gian Cruise Line re­turns to New Or­leans in­tro­duc­ing Nor­we­gian Break­away to the Big Easy with five to 11-day cruises to the Caribbean.

At 1,068 feet and 145,655 gross regis­ter tons, the re­cently ren­o­vated Nor­we­gian Break­away is the largest cruise ship to home­port in New Or­leans, as well as the youngest in port this sea­son.

The name­sake ship of the Break­away class of­fers guests flex­i­bil­ity with no as­signed din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment times, 25 din­ing op­tions, 22 bars and lounges, a com­pre­hen­sive wa­ter park fea­tur­ing the fastest wa­ter­slide at sea.

Fol­low­ing ren­o­va­tion in May, Nor­we­gian Break­away de­buted re­freshed state­rooms and pub­lic ar­eas and in­tro­duced a new bar and lounge con­cept to the fleet with Syd Norman’s Pour House.

— Con­trib­uted

Bike-and-boat hol­i­days are be­com­ing more and more pop­u­lar with cou­ples, fam­i­lies and groups of friends look­ing for an ac­tive and unique Euro­pean ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ac­tive boat-based hol­i­days in Europe al­low trav­ellers to cover more ground and see more of Europe than they would other­wise be able to.

Cycling through in­cred­i­ble land­scapes and sights, the barge or sail boat pro­vides com­fort­able ac­com­mo­da­tion, friendly and knowl­edge­able staff and ex­cel­lent food.

Imag­ine un­pack­ing just once but cycling some­where dif­fer­ent each day through small vil­lages and his­tor­i­cal cities ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stun­ning, ev­er­chang­ing views. Add wak­ing up to a dif­fer­ent sun­rise every morn­ing, and it’s easy to see why this style of travel is so pop­u­lar. Water­ways of Europe The water­ways of Europe have played an in­te­gral part in the con­ti­nent’s his­tory. Used for set­ting up bound­aries, draw­ing com­mu­ni­ties to­gether, find­ing sus­te­nance and nour­ish­ment and even con­quer­ing lands, th­ese wa­ters have been trav­elled since the time of the Ro­man Empire. The Rhine was one of the most im­por­tant trans­port routes and the Danube was once the north­ern­most bor­der of the Ro­man Empire.

To­day, you can still see rem­nants of th­ese civ­i­liza­tions on the river­banks. The abil­ity to ex­pe­ri­ence coun­tries on both land and wa­ter cre­ates a more pro­found ex­pe­ri­ence. Ex­plore When the boat docks, hop onto your bike and ex­plore the cas­tles of the Loire Val­ley or Bur­gundy’s vine­yards in France. Ex­pe­ri­ence the start of Hol­land’s tulip fes­ti­val, or cy­cle from Am­s­ter­dam to Bruges. Ex­plore four coun­tries cycling along the Danube and ex­pe­ri­ence the cities of Bel­grade, Vi­enna and Bu­dapest or cy­cle through Croatian is­land chains and UNESCO’s World Her­itage listed sites.

Your holiday can be guided, self guided or both. While all op­tions have an on­board guide to pro­vide lo­cal knowl­edge, the choice of whether you want to cy­cle in a group with a guide or nav­i­gate your­self and cy­cle at your own pace.

Bike and boat hol­i­days are per­fect for all lev­els of cy­clists.

Choose how ac­tive you want your holiday to be by de­cid­ing be­tween a con­ven­tional or elec­tric bi­cy­cle (e-bike).

E-bikes give rid­ers the con­fi­dence to ‘jump on board’, with the touch of a but­ton it pro­vides that ex­tra boost needed for ob­sta­cles like hills and head­wind. Those who don’t want to cy­cle ev­ery­day can spend time on the boat while it sails to the next port. Join to­day UTracks of­fers more than 50 bike and boat hol­i­days across Europe.

Due to the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of this style of travel and the lim­ited num­ber of cab­ins, th­ese ac­tive hol­i­days sell out quickly.

Photo con­trib­uted

Ride past scenic sun­flower fields in Hun­gary when you take a bike-and-cruise va­ca­tion along Europe’s most fa­mous rivers.

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