March 1, 2017
(11:25 p.m. EST) -- In 2018, Adventures by Disney will be offering 14 river cruises on the Rhine and Danube rivers, including special Beauty and the Beast theme cruises, two adults-only food cruises on the Rhine and a special adults-only cruise on the Danube during Oktoberfest.
The move follows the launch of the first ABD cruises on the Danube in 2016 and a significant expansion of itineraries to the Rhine this year.
On six Rhine departures, the itinerary will focus on villages and culture that inspired Beauty and the Beast. There will be a special themed dinner, as well as other culinary experiences inspired by the film. Live action and animated versions of the movie will be shown onboard, and the ship will stop at Riquewihr, a small French village that has the charm found in fictional Belle's hometown.
In addition to the family sailings, Adventures by Disney will hold two adults-only food and wine cruises on the Rhine. Activities will include wine tastings, gourmet demonstrations and workshops, culinary walking tours, a French patisserie class, local beer and wine pairings, craft cocktail blending seminars and more.
Five sailings on the Danube will be family focused, visiting locations in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary during the summer and also during Christmas Markets. New for the company will be an adults-only cruise during Oktoberfest in September 2018, which will feature theme parties and beer tastings.
"For 2018, we looked to find exciting new ways to make our incredibly popular river cruises even more enticing to every type of traveler," said Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Adventures by Disney, in a statement. "By increasing the number of special themed sailings along the Rhine and Danube rivers we now offer more choices than ever for our guests."
The addition of more adult-focused cruises from the company shows that Disney isn't entirely for kids; food and wine has become a big culinary component of the company's parks and resorts. In its release, Adventures by Disney noted that its cruises will be inspired by the foodie-centric festivals that Disney throws, such as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.
Read what a Cruise Critic editor and his son had to say about an Adventures by Disney river cruise from 2016.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor