Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Best European River Cruises 2021

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Beautiful Baroque Passau The City Of Three Rivers

6 Best European River Cruise Lines. Which One Is Right For You?

The charming Bavarian riverside city of Passau situated at the confluence of the Inn, Ilz and Danube rivers is the kind of town in which you’ll set off on a walking tour with a local guide and your guide’s passion for his or her hometown makes your visit that much more special. Must-sees in this “City of Three Rivers” include the 17th-century Baroque Dom St. Stephan , with its magnificent pipe organ the largest in Europe and the 14th-century Town Hall. Enjoy time on your own exploring Passau’s pedestrian walkways through tunnels and archways and along ancient cobblestone streets, to find its wealth of Baroque architecture and beautiful churches, many of which are known for their exquisite stained glass.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

This global operator of 19 ships sails rivers across Europe, plus waterways in Cambodia, Egypt, India, Peru, and Vietnam. Among the newest in the fleet are the Bon Voyage, based in France, and the La Venezia, recently relaunched in Italy. And while readers certainly raved about the line’s ships, they saved their highest praise for the ask-and-you-shall-receive mentality of the Uniworld crews. “My experience exceeded all expectations,” said one traveler, who toured Europe on the Antoinette. “Staff consistently went above and beyond to ensure a pampered vacation. When one of our party asked if there was a guitar on board so we could sing in the parlor one evening, a staffer said he would arrange it and proceeded to purchase a guitar at our stop the next day!” Other respondents made note of Uniworld’s overall attention to detail, with excursions, meals, entertainment, and logistics expertly handled in just the right way. “It was among our most favorite vacations ever everything was perfect,” said one voter, who traveled on the Beatrice. “The best experience I have ever had on any ship,” said another. A third reader summed it up like this: “This was my first experience with Uniworld, and I cried when I had to leave. Everything wowed me.”

Find The Treasures Of The Douro

Best for food and drinkWine tasting, gourmet cuisine, beautiful landscapes the treasures of the Douro River are yours to discover on a luxurious river cruise from Porto to Salamanca. Enjoy the medieval architecture and bountiful local tastes of Portos wine regions, before heading west, into the peaceful Mediterranean countryside.

Shore inclusions allow you to discover the most beautiful towns and monasteries in Portugal along the way, including the ceramic-laden Lamego and the 12th-century walled village of Castelo Rodrigo. After crossing the border into Spain, youll try a flamenco show and tour of Salamanca a historic beauty with a fascinating past.

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European River Cruises Tips

  • Choose from the delightful Danube for cultural immersion, the relaxing Rhine for an enchanting adventure or the stunning Seine for an intimate tour of Paris, there are many possibilities to ensure that you have the best river cruise experience.
  • Get up at least once to watch the sunrise! Remember to wear warm clothes as it can be chilly as the mist rises up from the river and the sun peeks over the hills to wake up all the birds along the banks.
  • It would be a crime not to sample the delicious flavours on your cruise ship! Indulge in a sweet stroopwafel in Amsterdam, a tasty trdelník in Prague, or a mouthwatering macaron in France.
  • There is a wide range of cruises to choose from. Lueftner, Regina, or Nicko offer cheap and cheerful comfort cruises, or if you like living the life of luxury, AmaWaterways, Scenic and APT are for you!
  • Make the most out of your river cruise by bringing some binoculars. They will help you zoom in on those fairytale castles scattered throughout the landscape. If you forget, the boat might have extras.
  • Dont hesitate! European summer is prime-time for cruising so make sure you grab our last-minute 2019 deals so you can spend your days cruising on tranquil waters. Its pure bliss!

Aqua Expeditions River Cruise Line

The 5 best European river cruises for families

Aqua Expeditions is one of the premier river cruise lines in the world, catering to passengers who are looking for an intimate, luxurious experience on some of the most scenic waterways around the globe. Whether you are traveling along historic rivers like the Mekong or Amazon River Cruise or exploring island-dotted coastlines like those of Croatia and Greece, Aqua Expeditions has a cruise that is perfect for you.

And, with their exclusive fleet of custom-designed vessels and expert crew, you can be assured that every detail of your trip from your accommodation and onboard experiences to land excursions will be exceptional. Whether you are looking to explore off the beaten path or soak up local culture in style, its clear that Aqua Expeditions is truly one of the best river cruise lines out there.

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Rhine And Moselle River Cruises

Another Rhine experience that offers luxury and affordability is the Rhine and Moselle River Cruises. The cruise is among the most unforgettable cruises in the heart of Europe.

It offers expansive activities from sightseeing to shopping or just relaxing on board.

The river cruise has been around for many years, and it remains one of the best ways to see Germanys beautiful landscapes.

The Rhine and Moselles are two rivers that flow through Germany, and they meet at Mainz.

They have their unique characteristics. For instance, the Rhine flows north-south while the Moselle runs east-west.

Which River Cruise Ships Are Child

There are about 20 river cruise lines, but only five of them are really kid-friendly so these are the ones you should consider.

The family-friendly river cruise lines are:

  • A-ROSA
  • Tauck
  • Uniworld

Each family-friendly river cruise line has its own merits, and which to choose depends very much on what kind of family you are.

Lets take a closer look at each of the river cruise lines so you can decide which is the best for your family

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Best Family River Cruises

The best part about experiencing Europe’s sophisticated cities, rich history and iconic sites is the pure joy of sharing every moment of it together. That’s why we’ve custom-crafted several itineraries specifically for families to highlight hands-on adventures, on board fun and all-ages accessibility. Now everyone can find the best European Family River Cruises for their family!

Staterooms Size/views On The Amamagna

River Cruising Wasn’t What I Expected. Heres Why

Since this ship is so unique, here is the size and number of 96 staterooms by category for comparison purposes:

1 Owners Suite 710 sq feet with balcony

6 Grand Suites 474 sq feet with balconies

46 Suites Category SA & SB 355 sq feet with balconies

34 Category AA & AB 252 sq feet with balconies

11 Category D & E 205 sq feet with fixed windows

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The Gardens Of Holland And Belgium With Floriade

The most beautiful gardens of Holland are accessible through a river cruise.

The Dutch have been growing flowers for centuries. As such, it is part of the tourist attractions while cruising.

The first flower show was held in 1875 to celebrate Queen Victorias Golden Jubilee.

Today there is an annual event called Floriade every year from May 1st until September 30th.

The event is huge and attracts over one million visitors each year.

The gardens of Holland and Belgium cruise is an excellent river cruise experience. On this cruise, you enjoy all the wonderful sights along the Rhine River.

Here, youll see many famous landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral and the Lorelei rock. All these remind you of great European history.

The itinerary is six nights / 7 days and includes:

  • 2-night stay in Amsterdam
  • 5-day visit to Antwerp & Bruges
  • 2-night stay in Paris
  • Return flight home

We liked this cruise because it includes the most important things in the cruise fare. Still, you can choose to visit different cities through the itinerary.

Why Is River Ship Length Important

  • One of the real subtle differences in river cruising is what the cruise line has on board their ships.

  • For accommodations, this includes # of passenger cabins, what is in the cabin & views from the cabin.

  • Unlike Ocean Cruising, there are no inside cabins, but there is a significant difference in window size & balconies.

  • On board facilities & equipment is another factor that should be considered.

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A World Of River Cruises Beyond Europe

But, of course, the world is larger than just Europe.

When you think river cruise, Europe probably springs to mind first. Europe is, in fact, the biggest destination for river cruising.

Yet its also possible to drift on inland waterways in many different countries, including in Egypt , China, the U.S., India, the Far East and South America.

You can sail on everything from a six-person luxury barge to a floating river hotel.

Weve been fortunate to enjoy several of the worlds best river cruises in China, Egypt , Namibia, Myanmar and our most recent, in France on the Seine River .

Indeed, ever since our first river cruise, weve been hooked on meandering slowly along rivers, soaking up some of the worlds most historic and cultural sights.

Were pretty sure that once you take your first river cruise, you too will be seduced by river cruising.

Dont miss! See our ultimate Cruise Guide youll find boatloads of cruise reviews

River Cruise Company Reviews

European River Cruises: All Inclusive 2021/2022

Part of the fastest growing segment in the cruising, river cruise lines have been popping up all over the place these days. There are more than 20 river cruise providers around the globe, and a little less than half of those could be considered premium or luxury standouts. From there, we did the hard work for you, with an in-depth look at some of the most popular river cruises available.

After our evaluation, we chose the three best river cruise lines: Viking River Cruises and Uniworld. With multiple ships, destination countries and themed adventures, these four lines stood out for their enrichment, culinary expertise and high-touch service.

  • Great Destinations and Itineraries

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Where Can You Sail

There’s a huge choice of destinations to explore across Europe, Asia and Africa’s popular rivers. Many sailings occur on the waterways of Europe, including rivers such as the Rhine, Douro and the Danube.

If you’re looking to head further afield, Asia offers the Mekong, Irrawaddy and the Yangtze for a chance to experience local life and captivating cultures up close.

One of the key times to enjoy a river cruise is during the festive season, with Christmas market river cruises exploring seasonal delights along the river banks.

Discover Must Do Experiences And Highlights On A Europe River Cruise

Ballet in St Petersburg

Enjoy a private Russian ballet concert at the Palace of Prince Vladimir after your tour of the stunning white and gold Catherines Palace in St Petersburg.

The Reds of Bordeaux

Take a cycling trip to explore the picturesque Medoc region, stopping to taste the local reds from the finest French region for red wine.

Experience a Quinta

Take the chance to spend a relaxing day at a traditional vineyard in Portugal tasting the Port wine for which the region is famous.

Castles by the Rhine Gorge

Head to the sundeck as you leave Rudesheim and enters the narrows of the World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. Spot the 40 castles and fortresses atop the high cliffs as you glide toward Koblenz.

The Lights of Budapest

Feel romance on the Danube as you set sail from Budapest en route to Amsterdam, farewelled by the golden lights that lace the Parliament Building on the riverbank. A magical moment on your European river cruise.

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The Blue Danube Ms Thomas Hardy

Another exceptional cruise is the Blue Danube cruise.

You tour different places along the Danube River and then take a boat ride on it to see more of the city from another perspective.

Some cities and historical sites that are visited include Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague.

The ship also visits other European countries such as Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

A typical ship for this cruise is MS Thomas Hardy. It is a luxurious ship with everything included in your package price. You can choose between 2 or 3 nights stay at each port.

Best French River Cruises


Traveling aboard a riverboat provides a fresh new perspective on France. Whether you cruise the Seine to immerse yourself in Parisian culture and World War II history or ride the Rhône to explore the French Riviera or Provençal countryside, you’ll find the right fit with one of Tauck’s thoughtfully curated French River Cruises, receiving rave reviews, sailing-after-sailing.

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The Mighty Rhine To Switzerland

The Mighty Rhine to Switzerland is another popular cruise.

It takes you through the beautiful scenery of Germany and Austria. The ship sails from Cologne, Germany, to Basel and Speyer, among other cities.

You get to see Rhinelands spectacular sites from Rüdesheim to Bingen. Besides, you visit some of the most important castles along the way, such as the Neuschwanstein Castle.

The 7-night cruise begins from Cologne and ends in the UK port city of Southampton.

MS Arena offers modern facilities like an indoor pool, sauna, and gymnasium. Besides, you get a lot of activities to take part in.

On this river cruise, you can choose between an all-suite stateroom with or without a balcony. The prices are different.

There are many dining options available, including specialty restaurants. They serve those who want to enjoy fine cuisine while cruising down the mighty Rhine River.

Finally, this is one of the best European river cruises because it offers excellent value for money. Its not only affordable but also provides excellent service at every level.

Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Cruise

If you want to cruise in Europe, try the Enchanting Rhine and Yuletide Cruise. This is a great way to see some of Germanys most beautiful towns and cities during this particular time of year.

Youll enjoy an enchanting river cruise along the romantic River Main. Besides, you go through charming medieval villages with quaint shops lined by ancient buildings.

It is luxurious accommodation aboard. The elegant ship that will take you on your journey from Frankfurt, Main to Koblenz. The cruise begins at 7:00 pm and ends around 10:30 am the next day.

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Best Rhne River Cruises

From high in the Swiss Alps, the Rhône carves a scenic path to Lake Geneva and through France on its more than 500-mile journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Over the centuries, cathedral towns have sprouted up along its banks. And today, the Rhône is one of the world’s most revered wine growing regions. You’re certain to find Rhone River Cruises that will inspire you to raise a glass.

Greece: A Crusie With Seabourn Silversea Ponant Windstar Or Variety Cruises

Best river cruises for boutique European cruising in 2021

With its historic sites, whitewashed towns, the popular beaches of Mykonos, and views galore in the cliffside towns of Santorini, Greece opened its doors to international travelers in May. Nearly a dozen cruise lines are returning to the Aegean this summer and fall so there are ample options for those seeking to sail the Greek isles.

Ultraluxury lines such as Seabourn and Silversea are in the mix for summer 2021, along with boutique lines such as France-based Ponant and Windstar, with its 148-passenger, four-masted Wind Star sailing ship.

Or explore for a week on Greek-owned Variety Cruises 157-foot, 49-passenger sailing yacht Galileo, going beyond the norm to lesser-known Cycladic and Dodecanese islands such as Levitha, where a summertime restaurant for sailors is run by the one family who lives on the island.

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Some Of The Highlights That Passengers Can Expect To See On A European River Cruise

Including the Palace of Versailles in France, the city of Prague in the Czech Republic, and the ancient city of Rome in Italy. River cruises are not only a relaxing way to explore Europe, but also offer easy access to the rivers many historic sites.

Most ships have panoramic windows that allow passengers to take in all of the beautiful sights without leaving their seats. Although prices typically vary depending on the number of nights and type of accommodations selected, river cruises generally cost less than cruises on the open seas.

River cruises are also much smaller, leading to a more intimate environment that allows passengers to take part in onboard activities and spend quality time with other people on board. Cruising Europes rivers is truly an unforgettable experience that every traveler should have at least once in their lifetime.

Which European River Cruise Is The Most Scenic

River Cruises in Holland and Belgium offer the most scenic cruises on Europes rivers.

It has over 2,000 km of navigable waterways. The waterways are good for leisure, boating, and commercial shipping.

Besides its many lakes, the Netherlands has some of the worlds largest inland rivers. There are also many smaller water bodies such as polders, dunes, and marshes.

While cruising, guests have a fantastic view of the landscape. In addition, they enjoy the fresh air from the open windows.

Onboard you have comfortable cabins, spacious lounges, and dining rooms with friendly staff. You may choose between traditional Dutch cuisine or international dishes.

A wide range of drinks is available at all times including soft drinks, and water.

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Our Search For The Best River Cruises

1.We searched for the top river cruises from an extensive list of more than 20 luxury river cruise lines.

2. We evaluated more than eight premium river cruise lines based on our expert-guided buying criteria: destinations and itineraries, service, food and accommodations, and more.

3. We provided you the best three river cruises for first-timers.

The approach we took to narrow down the top river cruises was as follows:

  • We considered multiple River Cruise companies

    We began our search with 20 river cruise companies. These companies offer river cruise packages around the world and each package offers different features, amenities and entertainment.

  • We checked with experts

    We analyzed river cruise companies based on well-known travel review sites.

  • We listened to consumers

    We found and removed companies with an excessive amount of negative reviews. For example, river cruise companies that chartered ships rather than use their own fleet were cut.

  • We put the best companies on your radar

    We delivered the best river cruise companies so you can start planning your trip.

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