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What Is The Best River Cruise Line In The Us

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  • Best Overall: P& O Cruise See Rates“Ideal for cruisers who enjoy ocean cruising on a mid-sized ship, with an array of dining options and several cabin choices.”
  • Best Music Festival Cruise: Norwegian Pearl See Rates at Expedia“Offers music festivals at sea a great way to meet like-minded adults.”
  • Best for Over 50: Saga See Rates“Entertainment onboard the vessel is more traditional and a hybrid between the river ship model and ocean cruises.”
  • Best Cruise Experience: Holland America See Rates at Expedia“Offers a musically-themed cruise voyage that appeals to an older demographic.”
  • Best Traditional Cruise: Tauck See Rates “Tauck’s more traditional themed cruises have excursions that are aimed at adults.”
  • Best Holiday Cruise: Azamara Club Cruises See Rates at Expedia“Spends New Years Eve at Copacabana Beach in Brazil.”
  • Best Modern Cruise: U River Cruises See Rates“Takes hip approach to river cruising, with modern, stylish ships featuring chic rooftop lounges.”
  • Best Historical Cruise: Viking Ocean Cruises See Rates“Has excursions geared toward older travelers interested in art, history, and culture.”

Medium Ship Line #: Viking Ocean Cruises

Originally a river cruise line, Viking has launched six ocean-going vessels since 2015, the most recent being the brand-new Viking Jupiter, whose maiden voyage took place in February 2019. The ships are nearly identical, carrying 930 passengers each, housed in balcony staterooms. Though not all-inclusive, Viking Ocean guests do receive one free excursion in each port , beer and wine with lunch and dinner, and an unlimited Wi-Fi connection.

The Best Luxury River Cruises

| June 19 2019

For those who think ocean cruises are the only option, there are plenty of luxury river cruises that allow you to explore smaller cities along rivers such as the Nile, Danube and Rhine. Oftentimes, the ships are far smaller meaning that there are less people onboard and more intimate experiences to be had. Read on for the best luxury cruises in the world.

Read Also: Best Time For A Mediterranean Cruise

Best Modern Cruise: U River Cruises

Courtesy of U by Uniworld

  • Ship Name: The A
  • Itinerary: Haarlem, Netherlands Düsseldorf, Germany Cologne, Germany Koblenz, Germany Rüdesheim Germany Frankfurt Germany

Geared towards millennials, U River Cruises takes a hip approach to river cruising, with modern, stylish ships featuring chic rooftop lounges with ice bars and fabulous, trend-setting dining venues. Theres also yoga, paint and wine classes, and themed cruises that bring special guests onboard, ranging from celebrity drag queens to famous tattoo artists. On the 120-pasenger A ship, cabins include adjustable mood lighting, USB ports, built-in Bluetooth speakers, and luxurious baths with heated mirrors and plush bathrobes. Plus, theres dedicated rooms for solo travelers or groups of three. On the Rolling on the Rhine cruise, the ship stays late in port, with night excursions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and others included in the fare.

Our Search For The Best River Cruises

Which Luxury River Cruise Lines Offer the Best Value ...

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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    Usa River Cruises Offers Travelers A Direct Line To Local History Culture And Cuisine

    And by local we mean the world.

    Thats because USA River Cruises takes our guests to some of the most scenic and exciting destinations around the globe.

    Tired of the same vacation trips? Looking for something a lot more inclusive and flexible, so that you can relax when you want to relax and partake in invigorating excursions when the spirit moves you?

    When youre onboard a USA River Cruise, everything is taken care of. You wont have to worry about car rentals or driving from unfamiliar city to unfamiliar city. No more stressing out about securing overnight accommodations. And forget all about trying to decide where to eat!

    New Orleans To Memphis With American Queen Steamboat Company

    If youve been dying to eat grits, drink iced tea and say yall as much as you possibly can, a voyage through the Mississippi Delta on an actual steamboat probably sounds just right. Youll depart from NoLa and from there, explore the romantic antebellum South, visiting historic mansions and towns as you head up to Memphis .

    9 days fares from $2,999

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    Small Ship Line #: Ecoventura

    As Ecoventura operates a fleet of three expedition yachts with a capacity of only 20 passengers, you know youre getting a personalized experience on board. The ships sail two week-long itineraries in the Galápagosyou can combine them both if you want more time with the islands incredible wildlife. The luxurious ships each have 10 well-appointed cabins, a lounge where naturalists provide lectures and briefings before excursions, a dining room and bar, a library filled with scholarly tomes on the Galápagos, and a sundeck for relaxation.

    Mega Ship Line #: Norwegian Cruise Line

    9 Best River Cruises In The World

    Known for its colorful ships, Norwegian Cruise Line first broke into the mega-ship category in 2010 with the launch of Norwegian Epic, which can carry just over 5,000 passengers at full occupancy, and have since introduced five others in the Breakaway and Breakaway-Plus classes. The crowd aboard these vessels, which primarily sail in North America, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean, often consists of families who take advantage of amenities like waterparks, virtual-reality gaming, and go-kart racing, though the cruise lines newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, has a decidedly more mature atmosphere. In November 2019, Norwegian launched the newest member of its fleet, Norwegian Encore, which is the most luxurious of its mega-ships.

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    Best Adventure Cruise Line: Adventure Canada

    This is the third straight win for Adventure Canada

    While Adventure Canada does indeed lead small ship adventures through the rivers, icy fjords and secluded waterways of Canada, this expedition cruise company also takes travelers to experience landscapes and cultures further afield: places like Scotland, Iceland, Ireland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

    The company shines with an always stellar lineup of onboard experts and guides.

    There’s something for everyone aboard this winning ship

    Dining options abound aboard Carnival Horizon feast on barbecue at the worlds first Guys Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse, sink your teeth into a juicy burger at popular Guys Burger Joint, enjoy some culinary theater at Bonsai Teppanyaki or tuck into seafood with ocean views at the Seafood Shack.

    Both included and specialty dining shine, with something for everyone.

    Medium Ship Line #: Seabourn Cruise Lines

    Dont think of Seabourn as a typical cruiseit ships are much more akin to mega-yachts, with ultra-luxurious decor, service, and dining. The fleet currently has five vessels, the largest of which carry 600 passengers. Their small size allows the vessels to dock in small ports all around the world . Many of the cruise lines guests are lifelong learners, and they flock to the nightly Seabourn Conversation program, which brings all sorts of intriguing figures, from Steve Wozniak to Elaine Paige, on board for lectures and casual chats. In 2015, Seabourn announced a partnership with celebrity chef Thomas Keller, who crafted new menus for the three existing ships and spearheaded new restaurants on the two newest ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.

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    Admire The Wonders Of Alaska

    Cruise to Mendenhall Glacier, learn about the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Skagway from a local guide, before heading to Haines for Nature and Wildlife Expedition on the 11 day Alaskan Explorer Cruise. You can enjoy the most comprehensive Glacier Bay experience and admire the wonders of Alaska from your private balcony.

    There will be a park ranger on board the American Cruise Lines who will provide expert commentary while you enjoy exclusive access to this incredible biosphere. The scenic cruise starts and ends in Juneau, travels through Skagway, Glacier Bay, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Tracy Arm Fjord. Bring your binoculars and keep your eyes peeled for an up-close look of the majestic glaciers and abundant wildlife. On my wishlist of River Cruises in America!

    River Cruise Tours & Trips In Egypt Reviews

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      10 Day Egypt Experience Tour

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      Nile Cruise 7 Nights, Luxor/Aswan/Luxor

    • “Very very happy with your service and prompt resolution to our minor problem – We…”

      5 Star 8-Day Nile Jewel, Cairo & Nile Cruise

    • “This trip was a life long desire. I went with my wife at end of October 2018. The…”

      Egyptian Legacy

    • “A trip of a lifetime! Hands down one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. Egypt is…”

      Egypt and the Nile

    • “An excellent tour with an extremely knowledgeable tour guide who really brought Ancient…”

      Egypt Luxury Tour Package 8 Days, 7 Nights

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    Best Us River Cruises

    In the US, river cruising can involve a voyage down the Mississippi River on a historic paddleboat, meandering alongside glaciers in Alaska or heading down the Hudson River on ships that carry fewer than 150 passengers and move at a relaxed pace. Fewer fellow passengers mean shorter lines, while on-board historians and naturalists put travelers in touch with the surroundings with daily lectures on many river cruises. Shore excursions are included in the price as well. Another advantage: these smaller ships can reach places and ports that mega-ships can’t. Below are several ships and itineraries worth considering.

    Civil War and history buffs gravitate to this 7-night river cruise aboard the 4-year-old, 52-stateroom American Star. The cruise includes a stop at Daufuskie Island, accessible only by boat, where a small, native population has little contact with the outside world.

    Ports/Destinations: Beaufort, SC Daufuskie Island/Hilton Head, SC Savannah, GA St. Simons Island, GA Jekyll and Amelia Islands, GA Jacksonville, FL

    While you’re in South Carolina, check out their Best Beaches.

    Ports/Destinations: Dawes Glacier Fords Terror Juneau Chatham Strait Tenakee Springs Sitka

    Ports/Destinations: Portland, OR Astoria, OR Rainier, WA Stevenson, WA Pendleton, OR Clarkston, WA

    French River Cruises Highlights

    • Paris: Indulge in pastel macarons, climb the iconic Eiffel Tower or splurge on the Champs-Élysées.
    • Bordeaux: Home to fine wine and awe-inspiring buildings, this intimate city has hidden treasures around every corner.
    • Lyon: With a glorious Roman amphitheater and Renaissance architecture, this charming city offers rich, enticing experiences.
    • Côte Fleurie: With pristine beaches, gourmet cuisine, and an artistic history this hidden gem is not to be missed.
    • Normandy: With a wealth of rich history, impressive cuisine, and postcard-perfect landscapes this region of France is a natural wonder.
    • Burgundy & Provence: Scattered with quaint villages and fine wineries, journey through forests and vineyards for a glimpse of pastoral pleasure.

    Also Check: Amsterdam Cruise Terminal Map

    Envision Paradise Adventure And Relaxation With Usa River Cruises

    Imagine exploring the ins and outs of the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth and then hop aboard our Great Lakes River Cruises.

    Perhaps youve always wondered what it would be like to explore the Deep South in comfort and style. Our Mississippi River Cruises are the place to be.

    Or maybe youve always wanted to experience Europe from a ships-eye view. Well USA River Cruises has those, too, with our sweet suite of European Cruises.

    Theres so much for you to see and do. From the Great Lakes and the mighty Mississippi to the Columbia River and our Alaskan Cruises ports of call all the way to our cruises throughout Europe and the Caribbean.

    USA River Cruises has been making travel dreams come true since 1999. Were experts at matching people with the experiences they seek. Theres something for everyone. Theres something for you.

    This Columbia River Cruise experience was a total delight, very informative, educational, entertaining, and just a fantastic experience overall. Every port offered opportunities for exploration and learning. The on-board Riverlorian brought history to life, as did the local entertainment brought onboard. The cuisine selections and quality were top-shelf all the way.

    Small Ship Line #: Regent Seven Seas Cruises


    Sailing with only 490 guests, the Seven Seas Navigator takes its all-inclusive promise seriously, offering unlimited shore excursions, open bars with premium wines , unlimited Wi-Fi, and dining in specialty restaurants. The ship sails all over the world, spending time in Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe on week-long to three-month-long sailings.

    Read Also: When Is The Best Time To Cruise The Mediterranean

    Small Ship Line #: Lindblad Expeditions

    This fleet of 15 vesselswith passenger capacities ranging from just 28 to 148sails to rugged, far-flung destinations including Arctic Svalbard, Antarctica, Indonesia, and the Galápagos. A Lindblad cruise typically prioritizes adventure over luxury so on most ships, expect small, simple cabins, but plenty of memorable excursions, like snorkeling in Borneo or hiking an ice field in Patagonia. But some of its recent fleet additions are truly luxe, from its two polar-sailing expedition ships, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution, to the elegant Oberoi Philae, which sails the Nile. Each sailing has an expedition team made up of experts in fields like marine biology and photography.

    River Ship Line #: Amawaterways

    AmaWaterways cruises the waters of Europe, Africa, Vietnam, and Cambodia, with a handful of new ships debuting in the past few years. In 2019, the line launched AmaMagna, a double-wide river cruise on the Danube that features massive 710-square-foot suitesa size unheard of on a river-going vessel. Despite the ship being so much larger than its sisters, the passenger count only increased by 20 percent to 196 guests, ensuring an intimate experience.

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    Large Ship Line #: Holland America Line

    As its name indicates, Holland America is a cruise line that was established in 1873 to primarily ferry passengers, many of whom were emigrants, between the Netherlands and the United States. Of course, these days, the cruise line sails more broadly to more than 470 ports around the world on its 11 shipsand its highly regarded for its Alaska itineraries. While passengers can enjoy classic cruise activities like swimming, sports, and gambling, Holland America is particularly noted for its culinary and musical programs: it has a partnership with the TV show Americas Test Kitchen for cooking demonstrations, cooking classes, and a number of live music venues , and stage productions dedicated to the history of music on many of its ships. It also partners with O, The Oprah Magazine, on lifestyle programming, like daily meditation classes. The next addition to Holland Americas fleet will be the Rotterdam, which is due to set sail in 2021, with a capacity of 2,650 passengers.

    Emerald Waterways Review Which Recommended Provider

    Construction Has Begun on the 2nd Modern Riverboat in the ...

    If you like the sound of Scenic’s river cruises but are put-off by the cost, you’ll want to consider it’s more cost-conscious sister, Emerald Waterways. All its ships have been built within the last 10 years, so it’s no wonder they were highly rated for spaciousness and facilities. The food is top-quality, too, making Emerald Waterways a great option for a slightly more wallet-friendly European river cruise.

    , or read our full Emerald Waterways review for more information.

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    River Ship Line #: Delfin Amazon Cruises

    Sailing the Amazon River in Peru isnt quite like other river journeysits a blissful escape into the wilderness, where you might be surrounded by pink dolphins or piranhas at any given moment. Delfin, the first Relais & Chateaux cruise line, makes the journey incredibly comfortable, offering boutique hotellike accommodations aboard its three rustic-luxe ships. And, as part of the Relais & Chateaux family, the cuisine is spectacular, incorporating regional dishes made with local ingredients.

    Americas River Cruise Brands

    To sail the rivers of the United States, cruise ships must be American-owned, American-built, American-flagged, and American-staffed.

    While there are very small players that meet this criterion, for purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the best of the best.

    Here is the list in alphabetical order:

  • American Cruise Lines: ACL offers its guests paddlewheelers, modern riverboats, and coastal cruise ships. They have 7 river cruise ships and 5 coastal cruise ships with quite a few more on the way. American Cruise Lines is Americas largest home-grown cruise line.
  • American Queen Steamboat Company: AQSC is uniquely a steamboat company. They currently have 4 paddlewheelers in their fleet and will soon be launching Coastal and Great Lakes cruises with their recent purchase of Victory Cruise Lines.
  • Lindblad/National Geographic: While Lindblad is not traditionally defined as a river cruise brand, they do sail the Columbia River in the Northwest, and offer coastal cruises all over the world.
  • Uncruise: While more geared toward expeditions and adventure, Uncruise sails the Columbia River as well as a host of coastal cruises in Alaska, the Galapagos, Hawaii, and Mexicos Sea of Cortez.
  • Viking River Cruises: launching in the fall of 2022, this cruising behemoth is certain to bring significant attention to the U.S. river cruising scene. Further, also in 2022, Viking Expeditions will begin sailing the Great Lakes and Canada.
  • How to Book a U.S. River Cruise

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