Cruise Tips / 7 New Exotic River Cruise Ships Ready to Make a Splash in 2020

Here is ShipsAhoy's look at the Top 7 New River Cruise Ships Sailing to Exotic Destinations

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By: Ilona Kauremszky

Happy Wave Season!

It’s time to check out a crop of new riverboats prepping to make their jaw dropping debuts in some exotic locales this year.

Here is ShipsAhoy’s look at the Top 7 New River Cruise Ships Sailing to Exotic Destinations.

1. Uniworld S.S. Sphinx


The Golden Age of River Cruising along the legendary Nile River is back. From all accounts, 2020 is shaping up to be a blockbuster year especially for the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Watch for the S.S. Sphinx which promises to enchant all who enter the luxurious river ship as it sails the majestic Nile River in Egypt. Interiors mirror the surrounds with exquisite Egyptian artwork and hand-carved furnishings. At press time the ship’s launch date has been delayed due to a shipyard fire. The S.S. Tosca will be cruising until repairs have been completed.

Itineraries: Nile River
Room inventory: 42 suites with French balconies
Maiden voyage: September 26, 2020

2. Viking Osiris


Viking is expanding its Egypt program with the launch of this new ship only one year after the company launched Viking Ra, a completely renovated vessel and Viking’s first owned and operated ship on the Nile. Inspired by the design of the Viking Longships and built specifically for the Nile River, Egypt cruisers on this line will have pre-cruise extension booking choices in Cairo fuelling more choices for this hot destination that’s seen an uptick in consumer demand.

Itineraries: Nile River
Cabin inventory: 41 staterooms
82 PAX
Maiden voyage: September 2020

3. Uniworld S.S. Mekong Jewel


Sailing in Vietnam and Cambodia, this Super Ship is set to replace the chartered Mekong Navigator. Considered the newest and most luxurious ship on the Mekong River guests on board will experience a sustainable eco-friendly design. Amenities include a swimming pool, spa, sauna and steam room, two lounges and a library.

Itineraries: Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong
Room inventory: 4 room categories with the largest being the Royal Suites.
Maiden voyage: January 3, 2020

4. Croisieurope – Zimbabwean Dream

Talk about intimate, casual and bespoke, this new elegant river ship from the French-owned CroisiEurope is launching the Zimbabwean Dream, thanks in part to the successful bookings of its sister ship, the African Dream which launched in 2017.

Itineraries: Nine to 13-day cruises throughout the Chobe River travelling to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Room inventory: 8 cabins
16 PAX
Maiden voyage: 2020

5. Aqua Expeditions – Aqua Nera


Does this new expedition vessel evoke a classic Old World ambiance, the one that feels like you’ll be on an exotic river cruise somewhere? Designed for cruise itineraries on the Amazon River, guests of Aqua Nera will enjoy intimate bespoke experiences on this premium river boat. Owners declare Aqua Nera will set a new standard for luxury river cruising on the Amazon.

Itineraries: The Amazon
Room inventory: 20 Suites
Maiden Voyage: August 1, 2020

6. Victoria Sabrina


Look no further than China to watch the highly anticipated launch of the World’s largest river cruise ship. Owner Victoria Cruise Lines, a NY-based company, has revealed that this ship will be the first generation of ships to include energy efficient and electricity-lite technology optimized to be environmentally friendly. Overall nine research and design firms collaborated together to create this innovative cruising pioneer.

Room inventory: 286 staterooms
Itineraries: Yangtze River
600 PAX
Maiden voyage: Spring 2020

7. American Queen Steamboat Company – American Countess


This paddlewheeler river ship, previously known as the Kanesville Queen, has been purchased and completely refurbished by the American Queen Steamboat Company. Expect a total update to meet 21st century river boat cruising expectations without losing the timeless charm in paddlewheel sailing.

Itineraries: 2020 Sailing on the Lower Mississippi.
Room inventory: A return to classical décor, nostalgic themes with smaller lounges.
248 PAX
Maiden voyage: April 2020

Ilona Kauremszky
Travel Writer
Ilona Kauremszky is an award-winning travel writer and former syndicated weekly travel columnist who regularly pens stories for trade, consumer and digital platforms. For, the bonafide cruise enthusiast interviews cruise influencers, reports trends and spotlights the latest in cruise news.

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