River cruising is renowned for bringing huge amounts of new capacity online every year. So much so that it’s easy to lose track.
With that in mind, we round up all of the biggest river ship launches of 2014.
In April the American Steamboat Company christened its second ship, the American Empress. The vessel will be the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi, sailing on the Snake and Columbia Rivers in the Pacific northwest.
The 223-passenger ship offers seven-day voyages between Portland and Clarkston.
Fares start from £3,495.
For more information see americansteamboatcompany.com
Pandaw River Cruises
Kaladan, Kalaw, Kanee, Kha Byoo, Kindat and Laos Pandaw
Southeast Asian river operator Pandaw River Cruises has undergone a rapid expansion in the last year, bringing a number of new ships online.
The vessels, are built with an exceptionally shallow draft, are far more mobile than the average river ship and can also handle the quick rises and drops in water level that makes Asian rivers so tricky to traverse.
Expect more routes and more ships from Pandaw in the coming years as they capitalise on a surge in popularity for holidays to Asia.
See pandaw.com for more details
AmaSerena, AmaVista, AmaDura and AmaPura
AmaWaterways has bolstered its European fleet with sister ships AmaSerena and AmaVista, as well its presence in Asia with the AmaDara, which will be sailing along the Mekong in 2015. The AmaPura will ply its trade along Myanmar’s Irrawaddy from November this year.
Both European vessels will be capable of hosting 164-passengers at capacity while the Asia vessels will be hold 124 and 56 passengers respectively.
For more information see amawaterways.co.uk
Lafayette, Madeleine, Anne-Marie and Raymonde
French river operator CriosiEurope has continued its rapid expansion with four new river ships in 2014, adding to its growing fleet.
The Madeleine, Anne-Marie and Raymonde are 24-guest barges modelled on the line’s vessel Jeanine, which launched on the canals of Alsace last year. These ships include a Jacuzzi and bicycles onboard.
The Lafayette is a slightly bigger proposition at 84-guests and will be sailing through the Rhine Valley, Lake Constance, Cologne and Amsterdam.
For more information see croisieurope.co.uk
Buri, Delling, Heimdal, Hermod, Ingvi, Lif, Hemming, Torgil, Alsvin, Bestia, Eistla, Gullveig, Kvasir, Idi, Kara, Hlin
The biggest river operator in the world, Viking River Cruises, has another big year on the cards for 2014. The line will be introducing a huge 16 longships into fleet.
All 16 new arrivals were christened at a ceremony in Avignon, France, earlier in the year.
To read more see vikingrivercruises.co.uk
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Bellejour, Belvedere and Bellefleur
CMV began its river cruise programme with the launch of the CMV Signature River Cruises brand in 2014.
Following its success the company has 18 river cruises on sale for 2015 in association with sister company TransOcean Krezfahrten. Next year the expanded programme will take guests to the Rhine, Danube, Rhône and the Saône using three different vessels, the Bellejour, Belvedere and Bellefleur.
See cruiseandmaritime.com/cmv-signature for more details
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, which is sold exclusively in the UK through Titan Travel launched the newest addition to its fleet, the SS Catherine, in spring 2014.
The ship’s Godmother, French actress Catherine Deneuve, led the red-carpet launch event, cutting the blue ribbon that triggered the smashing of a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne against the vessel’s hull.
The ship will sail regions in the south of France on and eight and 15-day itineraries.
See titantravel.co.uk/uniworld for more details
And a mention for river cruises in 2015…
Not strictly a new launch but Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the opportunity to take one of six river cruises in 2015 on a ship within its traditional fleet. Departing from Dover, the itineraries on the 929-passenger Braemar, including cruises along rivers in France, Spain and Germany.
See fredolsencruises.com for more details