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And now for something different on a river cruise: nighttime excursions

And now for something different on a river cruise: nighttime excursions
A rendering of what Crystal River Cruises' ships will look like when they launch in March 2017. (Crystal Cruises)

The fun doesn't stop just because the sun has set. That's the idea behind Crystal Cruises' itineraries that will pass by some cities during the day and overnight in key ports, where passengers might take in local entertainment or dine in a top restaurant.

"Crystal's itineraries will also intentionally deviate from traditional river cruise routes to avoid congestion of other vessels in port," a company statement said about its itineraries, which will start in March 2017.

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Crystal also plans to add more active excursions for passengers who want to explore cities by bicycle or Segway. Passengers also will have access to a tender to seek out more private destinations, an unusual feature for a river ship.

But, then, the luxury line's newest ships are different.  The ships, which it refers to as "luxury river yachts," are under construction now in Germany at the Lloyd Werft shipyard.

The company says its cabins -- just 70 on each ship -- will be the largest among river cruise ships. Each cabin measures 250 square feet and will feature king-sized beds and bathrooms with two vanities.

The vessels also will have two penthouse suites that are double the regular cabin size and will also boast a dance floor, glass-domed roof, fitness center and spa.

Crystal will sail on rivers in France, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria.

Specific itineraries and fares as well as bookings will be available starting Dec. 1. (You can sign up for updates here.)

Info: Crystal River Cruises, (888) 799-4625 or contact a travel agent

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