There’s an old Irish ballad which proffers that only the rivers run free.
Not getting into that just now, but the gentle rippling of rivers do make us feel free.
Life has stopped me from taking up the many invites to go on a river cruise but I shared my invitations by commissioning others.
And it didn’t help that they returned raving about their trips… and Uinworld.
Uniworld is doing the work for us by flagging up five for 2020… and I’m flagging up Portugal for starters.
While most of us look towards the Algarve, and there’s no harm in that, I was introduced to the Portugal between Lisbon and Porto.
Uniworld offers 11 days from Lisbon to Porto on the new ship SS SAO Gabriel as part of its Portugal, Spain & The Douro River Valley.
From €3,999pps. Visit http://www.uniworld.com.
Let’s do this one bite at a time, so I’ll tell you about the charms of other featured properties Germany, France, Vietnam and Egypt soon.
And let me share my love for Portugal and the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro, in https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/secret-portugal/ And http://www.visitportugal.com.
Your own Venice boat trip
So your large cruise ships aren’t going up into the historic centre of Venice (and for good reasons).
Go with Le Boat instead, self-drive cruising on craft that can sleep between four and ten people.
You’ll be able to visit Venice and its hinterland at your leisure.
And also head towards Trieste, beloved of James Joyce, and south of the Venetian lagoon to nature reserve of the Po Delta.
The seven-night self-catered cruise starts and finishes at Le Boat’s base art Casale on the Caprice.
It sleeps p to six. Arrive September 21. From £783 per boat/£131pp (was £967 per boat, saving 19%).
Transport to and from base not included. Visit www.leboat.co.uk.
Cruising Down Under
The farter-in-law took his brood out to Australia in the Seventies.
And being the adventurous type he went off to see the Murray River… the traditional way.
These days he could have gone in luxury with Captain Cook Cruises.
They are offering a seven-night New Year’s Eve cruse on the Murray Princess, departing Mannum on December 27.
And it will follow in the footsteps of the 19th Century pioneers.
You’ll explore 420kms of the Murray River and learn all about Aboriginal history.
You will enjoy a New Year’s Eve a la carte dinner, festivities and dancing.
Early booking saver fares for the Mannum to Renmark New Year’s Ever cruise starts from A$2352pp twin share.
The cruise departs Mannum on December 27 at 4.30pm and arrives at Renmark on January 3 at 9.30am.
Your entry point to Australia is Adelaide. Check out your global airlines. And http://www.murrayprincess.com.au.
I like to share… and so do Princess Cruises.
Having enjoyed the luxuries of that ship recently on a day’s docking in Dublin Port and its new all-purpose MedallionNet WiFI I bring further good news.
The MedallionNet is currently available on eight ships including Crown Princess and Island Princess which will both be baed in the UK next year.
And now Princess tell us that it will be available on all of its ships by the end of 2020.
And now for the deal offer:
Princess Cruises has a seven-day Mediterranean and Aegean voyage on Enchanted Princess, departing September.
Sail from Rome (Civitaveccha) to Athens, calling at Naples, Kotor, Corfu, Charia and Mykonos. From €1,231pp,
With up to $250 on board spending money per person. http://www.princess.com.