Discover what stylish, state-of-the-art river ships will be hitting the water this year.

Whether you’ve always dreamt of exploring the elegant waterways of Europe or wish to venture further to navigate the Nile, these top new river cruise ships coming in 2020 promise destination immersion aplenty.

Viking Osiris

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Egypt is one of the hottest cruise destinations of the moment and Viking is launching a new river ship at the end of 2020 designed for the Nile. Viking Osiris will host 82 guests, and feature the clean, elegant Scandinavian design the line is renowned for. 

In true Viking Longship fashion, the sumptuous ship will boast a Pool & Sun Deck with 360-degree views and a shaded seating area. This is as well as a Viking Lounge and Bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and an Aquavit Terrace – the revolutionary indoor-outdoor viewing area built for al fresco dining. 

All these social areas place prime importance on panoramic vistas, and this continues into the 41 luxurious staterooms. All have their very own balcony, with the two explorer suites equipped with highlights such as a veranda and bathtub in the bathroom.

Joining Viking Ra, which launched on the Nile in 2018, Osiris will sail the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids voyage. This itinerary takes guests between Luxor and Aswan with Viking’s expert Egyptologists on hand to provide insights into one of history’s greatest civilisations.

The journey also includes a stop at the fascinating city of Cairo for a visit to the world-famous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.  

For more information, visit vikingrivercruises.co.uk. 

TUI Isla, TUI Maya and TUI Skyla

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Three brand new river cruise ships from TUI will launch in March, marking the start of a new venture for the tour operator: TUI River Cruises. Exclusively for adults only, the sister ships will bring the rivers of Europe to life, with TUI Skyla sailing the Douro as TUI Maya and TUI Isla explore the Main, Moselle, Daube, Rhine and Dutch and Belgian waterways.  

Each ship will have two dining options: elegant à la carte affair Verdastro and the laid-back Bistro. With a bar to suit every mood, and an observatory at the heart of the ship which will transform from a sumptuous daytime retreat into the evening’s entertainment hub, there’s also a Club Lounge for coffee, cocktails and a slice of sophistication. 

Every ship will have a top deck dedicated to sun-bathing, wellbeing classes and a herb garden, as well as a variety of chic accommodation, from spacious suites with French balconies to cabins designed for solo travellers. 

For more information, visit tui.co.uk/river-cruises. 

Avalon View

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There’s a reason why the newest addition to Avalon Waterways’ fleet goes by the name Avalon View – the entire river ship has been designed to create an unrivalled visual experience.  Boasting an expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows, guests on board after the ship’s christening in April will be treated to uninterrupted vistas of Europe’s waterways at every turn.

Standing out in particular are the award-winning Panorama Suites with their sumptuous window-facing beds and spacious balconies that seamlessly blur the boundaries between inside and out, without compromising room space. There’s an expansive sundeck on board, too, offering relaxation against an idyllic backdrop. 

But it’s not all about sitting back and watching the spectacular scenery pass by; Avalon View is also big on exploration, with an onboard Adventure Centre stocked with bikes, Nordic walking poles and maps. Plus, dining takes centre stage with versatile FlexDining venues, including casual Panorama Bistro, al fresco Sky Grill and the glass-walled Dining Room. 

For more information, visit avaloncruises.co.uk.

AmaSiena 

New-river-cruise-ships-2020-amasienaNew ship AmaSiena will be welcomed into AmaWaterways’ fleet along the Rhine this July. A sister ship to AmaMora, AmaLea and AmaKristina, the vessel will have a number of the cruise line’s signature features, including its distinctive twin balconies. Available in the majority of the ship’s 78 staterooms, these al fresco enclaves offer sweeping views from both a French and outside balcony. There will be connecting cabins, too, ideal for multi-generational families. 

AmaWaterways’ usual line-up of contemporary eateries will also be on board, including the Main Restaurant and intimate speciality eatery The Chef’s Table while Tapas can be enjoyed between meals in the elegant Main Lounge. 

Up on the sundeck a heated pool with a swim-up bar will provide the perfect antidote to undertaking one of the onboard group fitness offerings or making use of the complimentary bicycles on shore. The massage and salon services will ensure even more ways to unwind on board.   

For more information, visit amawaterways.co.uk.

S.S. São Gabriel 

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When S.S. São Gabriel arrives on the Douro in April it will be the second of four Uniworld ships launching this year, following Mekong Jewel and paving the way for S.S. La Venezia and S.S. Sphinx.

Each new vessel will feature design inspired by its cruising grounds and for S.S. São Gabriel this means décor that evokes the majestic landscapes of Portugal’s Douro Valley. Also bringing the destination to life will be beautiful azulejos tiles as well as locally sourced Portuguese food and wine served in the elegant restaurant.

The top Azores deck will be devoted to lavishly appointed suites, with full-length windows and butler service, while the Cap Verde deck below will be home to French balcony accommodation, and deluxe and classic cabins will be offered on the Madeira deck. Another highlight of the new ship is the chance for guests to dine at any time they like while on board for the utmost flexibility. 

 For more information, visittitantravel.co.uk. 

Zimbabwean Dream

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A chance to get up close and personal with some of the most epic wildlife and landscapes in the world awaits on board Zimbabwean Dream, the newest ship in CroisiEurope’s ‘distant fleet’. Based on Lake Kariba, which stretches for 220km along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the ship will accommodate just 16 guests in eight luxurious suites, decorated in soothing greys and creams, which let the views through the floor-to-ceiling windows do all the talking. 

Wonderful panoramas will be on offer in the restaurant too, alongside freshly caught bream and tilapia, and a luxe lounge bar and the wraparound sundeck complete with a hot tub and other areas in which to lounge has also been designed for guests to make the most of the surrounding scenery.

Adventures galore are to be had on the ship following its launch in April. As well as a four-night stay on board, with a range of on-land and on-water safaris, the itinerary also includes a four-day stay in one of CroisiEurope’s luxury lodges overlooking Zambezi River, and overnights in both Victoria Falls and Johannesburg. 

For more information, visitcroisieurope.co.uk.  

Get more travel inspiration for the year ahead with our round-up of the best new ocean cruise ships in 2020 and the best places to cruise to in 2020.