National Geographic and Scenic Announce River Cruise Partnership

(4 p.m. EDT) -- National Geographic has teamed up with Scenic to offer cruises on a variety of rivers throughout Europe and Asia in 2018 and 2019.

The new cruises, called National Geographic River Cruises, bring two well-regarded brands together. Based in Australia, Scenic is known as one of the most inclusive river cruise lines, while National Geographic Expeditions has a well-documented focus on enrichment.

The sailings will take place on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle rivers; the waterways of Holland and Belgium; the Bordeaux region in France, Portugal's Douro Valley and the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

Each cruise will have a National Geographic expert onboard for enrichment, conducting educational presentations and informal discussions. The European cruises will also have a National Geographic photographer onboard to help passengers hone their photography skills.

Excursions on the National Geographic River Cruise trips will be "experiential," ranging from hikes and bike rides to in-depth learning trips. (For example, a Rhine itinerary gives passengers the opportunity to visit Grube Messel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the fossil "Ida" was found.)

Onboard, passengers will have the same access to the services that Scenic normally provides, such as inclusive drinks, Wi-Fi and butler service.

"We are excited and proud to align ourselves with a brand as historic and well respected as National Geographic," said Glen Moroney, chairman of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. "We believe Scenic's dedication to providing guests with the most exceptional five-star, all-inclusive river cruise experience available is a perfect complement to the enriching and authentic experiences for which National Geographic Expeditions is known."

National Geographic has long been a force in expedition cruising through a partnership with Lindblad. This partnership with Scenic marks the company's first foray into the ever-growing river cruise market.

"Bringing river cruises into our portfolio allows our travelers to reach spectacular parts of the world in a unique way," said Nancy Schumacher, head of Travel and Tour Operations for National Geographic. "We are pleased to partner with Scenic, as they share our commitment to delivering outstanding experiences to guests."

The river cruises can be booked through Scenic or National Geographic Expeditions.

--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor