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Emerald Waterways has launched the UK’s first LGBT river cruise, in a move to broaden its customer base and cater for an ever-growing sector of the travel market.

Guests will experience architecture and historical sights on-board the LGBT Danube Explorer from Budapest. They will explore the Royal Palaces, in the Czech Republic take in a Gothic 13th century castle, and in Passau admire the ornate architecture of St Stephen’s Cathedral.

David Winterton, Emerald Waterways UK brand manager, said: “We are extremely proud and excited to announce this new cruise, which is not only a first for the brand but also in the UK. For a long time, there have been few options that truly cater for the LGBT community, and we hope that this venture will not only be a success but provide an amazing experience for our guests.

“The cruise is fully bookable by all travel agents and offers something new to their customers. With our unique heated indoor pool which turns into a cinema by night, one avenue we’d recommend is marketing to LGBT groups such as sports teams and community groups, and we are able to offer great group discounts in turn.”

The voyage departs on 29 July 2017 and features the breakfast show hosts of radio station Gaydio, who will broadcast live onboard the ship for three days during the sailing.

In celebration of the first cruise, all guests will receive a Free Premium Drinks Package worth up to £378 per couple, entitling them to unlimited free drinks throughout their cruise.

The company will tailor the journey to include areas and places of interest that appeal to the LGBT community, and efforts are being made to provide activities and entertainment on-board suited to guests’ particular preferences.

A diverse itinerary includes: Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Dürnstein-Melk, Passau (with an optional excursion available to Salzburg, the home of Sound of Music), Regensburg-Kelheim and Nuremberg.

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