(3:42 p.m. EDT) -- River cruise line AmaWaterways has unveiled its new ‘Soulful Epicurean Experience on the River' program, which pairs a weeklong Colors of Provence river cruise with a three-night post-cruise stay in Paris designed to showcase and commemorate the French capital’s Black history, heritage and culture.
This special river cruise program --the first of its kind in the industry -- sets sail on August 24, 2023, along the Rhone river from Arles to Lyon onboard the 156-passenger AmaKristina. Along with the traditional highlights of Rhone, the sailing includes experiences relevant to the celebration of Black history in France, including evening jazz performances in Avignon and Vienne.
During the three-night stay in Paris, AmaWaterways has curated a ‘Black History of Paris’ city tour. Highlights include visits to Montmartre, where famous jazz musicians made their mark; the African District, renowned for its African food and street vendors; Little Africa, a gallery space and cultural initiative in La Goutte d’Or district; and a panoramic tour of the left bank of Paris, the Latin Quarter and Pantheon Square, where renowned US-born Black entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker became the first Black woman inducted into France's Pantheon mausoleum.
Jazzmine Douse, director of national accounts at AmaWaterways and member of Northstar Travel Group’s Black Advisory Board, mentioned that the cruise line has identified significant demand for curated experiences that connect travelers to international destinations rich with Black history. "We believe our Soulful Epicurean Experience on the River cruise is the perfect way to celebrate the heritage, traditions and cultures of our global family," added Douse.
"With so much positive attention around cultural awareness in light of Juneteenth, this was the ideal time to launch our Soulful Epicurean Experience on the Rivercruise, and we look forward to shining a light on the incredible Black history that exists along the beautiful rivers we sail through around the world," said Kristin Karst, executive vice president and co-founder of AmaWaterways.
The river cruise line’s new program is one of many efforts cruise lines are making to diversity at sea, from rethinking marketing efforts to onboard programming, to ensure all cruisers feel welcomed onboard.