Sister ship of River Discovery II, the 176-passenger River Splendor, launching in March 2013, is designed to appeal to the American traveler. River Splendor will cruise the Rhine, Main, Moselle and Danube rivers, as well as Black Sea and holiday market itineraries.
Here's what you'll find on a River Splendor cruise:
River Splendor will have standard cabins that are 165 square feet and solo cabins that are 125 square feet, all offering river views. Cabins on Navigator and Explorer Decks will have French balconies that provide an open-air feel if not true outdoor space. All cabins are equipped with entertainment-on-demand systems, iPod/iPhone docking stations and real-time GPS tracking of the ship’s journey, as well as a U.S.-style electrical outlet. Deluxe Suites measure 250 square feet and come with upgraded amenities, mini-bar and French balcony. Twin beds can be converted to a double. One Owner’s Suite measures 330 square feet, and the twin beds can be converted to a queen.
Meals onboard will be one sitting with open seating. In addition to the main dining room, a 40-person alternative restaurant will serve up casual fare. A hydraulic sliding roof over the back of the ship can be opened fully in three minutes, exposing the bar and conservatory to fresh air while providing plenty of outdoor space even when the top deck may be unusable due to low bridges. Passengers will have access to free Wi-Fi from anywhere onboard.
Sightseeing tours are included in Vantage cruise fares, and all cruises have program directors with local expertise that accompany each cruise. The Cultural Connections programs promises in-depth experiences in each country visited through lectures, special meals, home visits, receptions, performances and participation in local activities. Passengers are given free headphones for each excursion to ensure they can hear the guide clearly.
The ship emphasizes "green" cruising with LED lighting to save energy, a special hull shape to minimize resistance -- fewer vibrations and less noise, too -- and low-emissions propulsion.