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What Is The Best River Cruise Line

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The Best Luxury River Cruises

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

| 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.

Columbia And Snake Rivers Cruise With American Cruise Lines

Lewis and Clark did it 200 years ago, and now its your turn to see what the explorers saw on this epic routewell, we doubt they had a pit stop at a local winery. Youll take off from Portland, and visit places like Astoria, Oregon Mount St. Helens in Washington and the incredible Columbia River Gorge, ultimately ending your voyage along the pristine Snake River. Still, our favorite part of the trip might be the onboard musicians performing maritime songs and sea shantiesya know, to get you in the Lewis and Clark mind-set.

8 days fares from $3,725

Best Overall: P& o Cruise

Courtesy of P& O Cruise

  • Ship Name: Aurora
  • Itinerary: Andalsnes, Norway Romsdalsfjord, Norway Tromso, Norway Alta, Norway Stavanger, Norway Southampton, UK

After undergoing a refurbishment in early 2019, the 1,874-passenger Aurora is now one of three adults-only vessels that sail under P& O cruises . Aurora is ideal for cruisers who enjoy ocean cruising on a mid-sized ship, with an array of dining options and several cabin choices ranging from interior to spacious suites. Dance classes, a full-service spa, a theater, movie cinema, casino, and a number of bars and lounges including the bustling, four-story central atrium are all available onboard the vessel. For a chance to see the northern lights, Aurora sails round-trip on a breathtaking voyage through Norwegian fjords and dramatic scenery.

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So What Is A Christmas Market

The fabled Christmas Markets are the real pull on these cruises. Many North American travelers may be unaware of these, as Christmas Markets are not a North American tradition. They are essentially street markets. Usually set up outdoors, Europes Christmas Markets can offer an incredible variety of local crafts and wares and perhaps best of all delicious local Christmas delicacies. Mulled wine and cider are popular wintertime beverages, and are typically sold in these markets as well. For culture mavens, theres no better time to truly embrace local customs than at Christmas.

Unlike the North American full-body contact sport that is Christmas shopping, Europeans have the option of shopping in the Christmas Markets, as opposed to shopping malls. But Christmas Markets are also social experiences: People will gather here after work to enjoy a nice meal and some delicious mulled wine or hot chocolate. Its fun to enjoy the pleasant, convivial atmosphere. Theres no fighting for parking. No battling checkout lines. Just people enjoying the company of others.

Of course, the opportunity to experience some of Europes grandest cities in their snow-covered glory is another reason to take a Christmas Markets river cruise, although, of course, there is no guarantee that youll experience snow. Weve done more than half a dozen Christmas Markets cruises, and wed assign a 50/50 chance of seeing snow on any given cruise.

Day 1 Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany

Day 4 Bamberg

Apt Luxury River Cruises Review Which Recommended Provider

2017 Editors

Like Scenic, APT is another Australian river cruise company offering luxury river cruises in Europe and Asia. But in addition to the luxury cruises, APT also has an essential cruising tier for those wanting to see the sites for a little less expense. It didn’t rate poorly in a single part of our survey, but customer service and the quality of food on offer are really where it really stands out.

, or read our full APT Luxury River Cruises review for more information.

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What Makes A Which Recommended Provider

Which? Recommended Providers are the cream of the crop and the accolade is only given to river cruise lines with the highest customer scores.

Thats not all. We know that pricing transparency is important, so we only offer it to the companies that provide clear information about gratuities, excursions and drinks at the booking stage. After all, it’s hard for customers to compare prices if they can’t find these details before parting with their cash. If the companies fall down in more than one area, theyre not eligible to be Which? Recommended Providers, whatever score they receive in the survey.

Similarly, a company can only be considered for WRP status if it has committed to promptly refunding customers for any cruises it is forced to cancel, such as if coronavirus travel restrictions prevent the cruise from going ahead.

And because Which? is independent, you can be sure that our recommendations are influenced only by our survey results. We’re not influenced by third parties and we don’t accept freebies from product manufacturers, retailers. or providers.

Small Ship Line #1: American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines has the unique distinction of operating not only old-school paddlewheelers in the United States, but also contemporary river ships. And they dont just sail on the Mississippiyou can also explore the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, too. Beyond that, the 13-strong fleet also has oceangoing vessels that explore the coasts surrounding the entire country, from New England to Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Which River Cruise Company Is The Best

topriver cruise linesRiver CruisesriversRead on for the full list.

  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.
  • Tauck River Cruising.
  • Viking River Cruises.
  • Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours.
  • Are river cruises boring? River cruises are boring: When cruising aboard an ocean going ship between ports, more often than not, the only scenery is the rolling ocean and some wildlife, so for many, activities are essential. On river cruises there is generally varied scenery all along the river’s banks to watch as you cruise.

    Southeast Alaska Cruise From American Cruise Lines

    9 Best River Cruises In The World

    Bald eagles, blue glaciers, humpback whalesthis is the ideal eight-day vacation for wildlife lovers. That is, wildlife lovers who want to see it all from their own private balcony. Of course, if you choose to leave your luxe quarters, the American Constellation has naturalists and historians on hand to answer all the questions you possibly could have on salmon .

    8 days fares from $5,135 sails June through September

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    Best Cruise Experience: Holland America

    Courtesy of Holland America

    • Ship Name: MS Koningsdam
    • Itinerary: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta

    Holland Americas mid-sized fleet offers a more sophisticated cruise experience than most mainstream vessels, and although not adults-only, the MS Koningsdam offers a musically-themed cruise voyage that appeals to an older demographic. In the evening, there are instrumental concerts at Lincoln Center Stage, the BB King Blues Club, the two-story World Stage to Music Walk, Rolling Stone Rock Room, and Billboard Onboard an interactive setting for rock music. The ship also focuses on food and drink with live cooking demonstrations in Americas Test Kitchen and at Blend, a hands-on cocktail class. The 2,650-passenger Koningsdam sails to several destinations from the U.S., including sun-filled itineraries to the Mexican Riviera.

    Medium Ship Line #: Silversea Cruises

    Silverseas fleet has five ships, of which just two are technically medium-sized, with passenger counts around 600 peoplebut thats considered quite a large number for the luxurious cruise line, which specializes in smaller vessels, including five ships in its expedition fleet. Silversea Muse is the newest and largest ship, making her maiden voyage in 2017. Despite her relatively small size, Muse has eight restaurants for her passengers, all of whom are accommodated in spacious suites. As a cruise line, Silversea sails to more than 900 destinations around the world.

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    Concluding Thoughts On River Cruises

    Bottom Line:River cruising is a great option for culture-hungry travelers. Pay attention to the travel package details to get the best value for your money.

    River cruise lines make researching their adventures fun, with video tours and details to suit the needs of many different types of travelers. Our three river cruise lines, for example, have well over 100 river ships between them and offer destinations around the globe. Consumers who dive into this research and understand the details of the packages they consider will get the most out of the experience. It also helps to get input from friends, family and acquaintances who have taken part in a river cruise experience. Look for feedback on travel websites and customer review forums. Finally, working with a travel agent can help you understand your options, and get you started on the voyage thats right for you.

    Which River Cruise Lines Are Truly All

    Family River Cruises: Which River Cruise Lines Are Best ...

    River Cruising River Cruising Tips

    Although most river cruise lines promote themselves as all-inclusive – the meaning of all-inclusive tends to vary by operator by that, I mean some river cruise lines are in fact more inclusive than others! How? Some river cruise operators include wine, beer and soft drinks only with lunch and dinner while others include unlimited drinks, served at your discretion throughout the cruise!

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    Small Ship Line #: Australis

    Some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world can be found in Patagonias Tierra del Fuego, and Australis takes its passengers right into the heart of them aboard the all-inclusive Ventus Australis or the Stella Australis. Each day, passengers disembark their ship and navigate the icy waters in zodiacs, getting up close and personal with glaciers and penguins along the way. It doesnt get more off-the-beaten-path than this.

    The Best Of The Rhine

    Avalon Felicity on the Rhine River in Lorelei Rock, Germany.

    The 870-mile stretch of the Rhine is very diverse in its scenery. Its an important river in Europe that continues to be important in the modern era. The banks of the Rhine are not filled with only castles and sleepy medieval European towns. There is also the glimpse of a factory or power plant, bustling modern cities, and sprawling countryside.

    Because of this diversity, the river has a little something for everyone. If you are hoping to see a bit of European history and immerse yourself in what once was, the Rapunzels Castle area may be your ideal cruise itinerary. There are many castles along the Rhine River, but you may want to look for ships that are traveling through the Rhine Gorge.

    As you cruise down the river, depending on which area of the river you choose, youll see a lot of what Europe has to offer. You can choose an itinerary that hops from the main cities on The Rhine: Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Basel, Mainz, Cologne and Rudesheim. This will allow you to see a lot of what Europe has to offer without getting too rural.

    If you want to stretch your European experience, look into cruise itinerary that includes the Moselle River. You will be dazzled by not only beautiful scenery but also castles and vineyards along the smaller river.

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    Great American Waterways With Blount Small Ship Adventures

    Youve heard about the Erie Canal one billion times, but youve never actually seen it with your own eyes. Well, Blounts boats are small enough that you finally can. This scenic, and under-appreciated, route stretches across the Great Lakes to the Erie Canal over a 16-day adventure starting in Chicago and ending in New York. Keep an eye out for the lighthouses dotting the shorelines.

    16 days fares from $4,999 limited dates in June and August

    Explore An International Horticultural Wonderland Abloom With Green Cities And Designed With Healthy Living In Mind

    The Best Things on AmaWaterways AmaMagna

    As a special Dutch treat included on this river cruise, visit Floriade 2022, the World’s Fair of horticultural shows. Explore an international horticultural wonderland that celebrates Green Cities of the Future on 148 acres of land repurposed and reclaimed from the sea for a future rich in sustainability, greenery, food, energy and healthy living. Featuring four themed districts connected by bridges, walkways, gondolas and trains, this once in a decade exposition will run from April to October as it showcases green-themed, flower-filled exhibitions from more than 40 countries, along with cultural entertainment, art and cuisine that make it fun for everyone. Truly an energizing experience!

    Book Today… And Travel Dreams Begin

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    European River Cruise Deals And Sales

    Up to $1,500 off 2022 Europe river cruises w/flexibilty

    Up to $1,000 off per couple on 15-day Europe cruise + flights

    Up to $1,500 off 2023 cruises

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    Up to 50% off river cruises

    Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited 55 countries .

    • Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas in these delectable destinations!

    Getting To And From A River Cruise

    A consistent pain point in customer reviews of river cruise lines involves travel to and from the ship, which for travelers can be a stressful aspect of a trip. Common complaints include air travel thats either difficult to book, inconvenient, poorly managed or not available around the travel dates. Manage your flights online. Pick your seats early and check in frequently before your travel date to make sure nothing has changed.

    Depending on how close the airport is to your ships port, you might consider taking an Uber or a Lyft from the airport to your port location or hotel if youre staying in one the night before. This saves on not only car rental costs but parking costs while youre on your cruise.

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    Best Cruise Deals And Discounts Sorted By Your Dream Destination

    Sometimes it’s all about the destination and that is certainly true of cruise destinations. The cruise port you depart from and the amazing cruise ports you visit define your experience as much as what cruise line or cruise ship you sail on. At we understand that and have sorted these cruises by the places you’ll visit on your cruise vacation. So whether it’s a cruise to Alaska, a Caribbean cruise, cruises to Hawaii, a cruise to the Bahamas or Bermuda or a cruise to Mexico you’ll find it easily with the help of our destination wizard. Maybe you’re looking for a cruise vacation that’s just a little different like a Panama Canal cruise, a Transatlantic cruise, cruises to Europe, a Tahiti cruise with a tour of the South Pacific, a down under adventure with an Australia / New Zealand cruise or even a fall foliage cruise through Canada and New England. Whatever floats your boat get started by selecting your dream destination on our cruise search page.

    What Is The Most Luxurious River Cruise Line

    Best River Cruise Line Winners (2017)

    In our opinion, the following companies are the very best luxury river cruise lines in Europe:

    Which is better Viking or Tauck? Viking has more weeklong cruises than Tauck and sails in more places and on more dates. If you want flexibility, the line is hard to beat. Choose Tauck if you like a more intimate ship. Having fewer people on the same size ship does make a difference in terms of seating, service and overall vibe.

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    Mega Ship Line #: Royal Caribbean International

    If you truly want to feel like youre living in a floating city, Royal Caribbean is the cruise line for you, given that it has the four largest cruise ships in the world. Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Oasis of the Seas top the lists in terms of passenger count , length , and gross tonnage . Given their size, these ships provide every amenity you can think ofand plenty you cant even imaginefrom waterparks to world-class musical productions to autonomous bars staffed by robots to double-decker suites with slides for the kids. Youll find these behemoths sailing the Caribbean and Mediterranean throughout the year, but with so many activities on board, you might not even want to leave the ship.

    Small Ship Line #1: Hapag

    German company Hapag-Lloyd is not just in the shipping business: its building a luxury expedition cruise empire, too. Though it currently only has two ships in its fleet, the MS Europa and MS Europa 2, the line has impressed its customers with suite-style cabins, impressive itineraries across all seven continents, and extremely polished service thats anything but stuffy. Hapag-Lloyds budding empire will expand with three new expedition ships scheduled to launch in 2021.

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    River Ship Line #: Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours

    Scenics 15 luxurious river ships sail waters across Europe and Asia, from the Danube in Germany to the Irrawaddy in Myanmar to the Volga in Russia. Each voyage is completely all-inclusivetransfers, excursions, all food and beverage , and gratuities are covered in the ratemaking for a truly relaxing and stress-free experience. And did we mention theres butler service for every cabin?

    Which Viking River Cruise Is The Best

    The Best Cruise You Can Take // Nile River Dahabiya

    Viking River Cruises

    Which is better Viking vs AmaWaterways? AmaWaterways is a wonderful pick for passengers who want to be active or travel with children as well as those who want more amenities onboard. Viking is a good choice for passengers who desire adults-only vacations that include immersive port experiences.

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