Washington and Boston, January 14th, 2019 – Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and National Geographic Expeditions have announced their third season as river cruise partners – expanding the offerings to now include Russia, Egypt, France’s Rhône River and a Rhine Christmas cruise. The new offerings, along with the existing sailings on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers, and Portugal’s Douro Valley, will combine Scenic’s truly all-inclusive luxury river cruise experience with National Geographic’s 130-year legacy of science, conservation, and exploration to create an unforgettable experience for travelers. Every sailing offers guest the opportunity to learn from leading National Geographic experts and photographers, listen to fascinating presentations, participate in informal discussions, and hone photographic skills. Guests will have a menu of rich, experiential excursions to choose from, ranging from hikes and bike rides to in-depth learning experiences that focus on the natural world, culture and history. Highlights of the new itineraries include: Rhône River Cruise: In Southern France, the National Geographic expert and guests will explore the Pont-d’Arc Cavern, featuring reproductions of the prehistoric drawings found in the renowned Chauvet Cave. This sailing also includes an exclusive gala dinner and classical concert at the sumptuous Popes’ Palace in Avignon, the largest Gothic palace in the world; a visit to the exclusive culinary school of a Michelin-star chef, the late Paul Bocuse, for a master class in French cuisine; truffle hunting in Burgundy; exploration of the evocative towns and valleys that inspired van Gogh, and a tour of the monastery where he painted several celebrated works, including “Starry Night.” A two-day pre-trip extension adds a stay in Paris before riding the train through the Burgundy countryside to Chalon-Sur-Saône and the cruise. Rhine Christmas Cruise: An eight-day indulgence of glühwein (heavily spiced mulled wine) and roasted chestnuts is had by guests as they visit some of the world’s oldest Christmas markets. Where grand traditions abound: handcrafted toys displayed in wooden stalls, stately fir trees adorned with blown glass ornaments and fairytale castles and cathedrals decked with tinsel. An exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann and a visit to Grube Messel pit, the famed fossil site featured in National Geographic magazine where “Ida”—the world’s most complete primate fossil—was found, round out the sailing Russia: A voyage of discovery as a National Geographic expert joins guests on the Scenic Tsar, exploring grand cities and palaces, medieval monasteries, and timeless villages along the Volga River between Moscow and St. Petersburg. This cruise includes a guided tour of one of the world’s most famous museums – The Hermitage; a meeting with a real cosmonaut at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics; taking in the architectural masterpieces of St. Petersburg including the country estates of Catherine and Peter the Great; walking with a National Geographic photographer in the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure; and enjoying a private Russian ballet concert at the Palace of Prince Vladimir, which was the last Imperial palace to be built in St. Petersburg. Egypt: Glide past bustling villages, lush palm forests, and the striking remnants of Egypt’s multilayered history on the recently refurbished, luxury 36-guest Sanctuary Sun Boat III as it sails along the historic Nile between Luxor and Aswan. Learn from National Geographic experts as they accompany guests while visiting some of the greatest wonders of the ancient world — from the Pyramids at Giza to the elaborate tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Meet National Geographic grantees working to excavate the ancient stone quarries of Gebel el Silsila and enjoy dynamic performances of traditional Egyptian dance and music. A 10-day extension is available that offers an in-depth exploration of Jordan. Departures can be booked directly through National Geographic Expeditions, www.natgeoexpeditions.comor Scenic at www.scenicusa.com. National Geographic Expeditions offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts and guides to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents. Along with these new river cruises, travel opportunities include land and train expeditions, active adventures, family and student expeditions, value-priced journeys, expedition cruises, private jet trips, as well as a collection of 55 National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has grown over its 31-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations and since 2008, its 15 Space-Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in Europe, SE Asia, Russia and Egypt. In 2019, Scenic is introducing the world’s first Discovery Yacht, the 228-guest Scenic Eclipse, and a sister ship to launch in 2021. Additional information can be obtained via travel agents; or in the US: www.scenicusa.com; phone 844-788-7985; or email: [email protected] Brochures can also be downloaded directly from the website.