Seine River Cruises How It Works
Many boat companies are working on the River Seine, and they all cover the same itinerary, more or less. The difference between them remains in the starting point, the options, and of course, the experience onboard.
All the boats are adapted to disabled visitors .
A river Seine cruise usually lasts from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, and they are available every day of the week. Some of these cruises offer a glass of champagne and snacks as an option.
A Seine River dinner cruise usually lasts from 1,15 hours to 3 hours, and it comes with or without music. Most of these cruises offer vegetarian and vegan dishes, and this is something that you need to mention during the booking process.
Seine River cruises might be canceled if the water level is too high to operate. In this case, you will be given a couple of options, including a full refund.
The Seine River Cruise is one of the top attractions in Paris. We recommend doing a Seine River Cruise in the following Paris itineraries:
Best River Cruise Companies Overview
With the average price of a European cruise coming in just shy of £280 per night, river cruising might not look like a budget holiday. But factor in food, drinks and daily excursions, which are all typically included as standard, and the figures start to sound more reasonable.
Take Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, top of our annual river cruise survey. It promises an all-inclusive experience, so you wont face any on-board surprises. Plus, youll get free beer and wine with lunch and dinner, as you do with Emerald Waterways, APT Luxury River Cruises and Viking River Cruises, three of our other Which? Recommended Providers this year.
Of course, you wont find the range of on-board facilities of the vast ocean liners, but then you wont be spending whole days at sea either. River cruises get you straight to city centres so theres more time for sightseeing and excursions. That said, with nearly all meals taken on board and usually only one dining option youll want to be sure the food and drink pass muster.
In the table below, we show the results from our annual river cruise survey. Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours remained top of our table for the second year running with impressive customer service scores. Its sister company Emerald Waterways came joint second with APT Luxury River Cruises, Viking River Cruises was rated fourth, while Riviera Travel came fifth. All five brands received our Which? Recommended Provider Rating.
Irrawaddy: Myanmar By Water
Temples of Bagan, Burma
Timing: Year-round dry season sees cooler temperatures
The river: Like South-East Asias other alpha rivers, the Irrawaddys Himalayan source offers stark contrast to the hot plains of Burma that most cruisers experience. Here, luxurious colonial-style riverboats regularly skim the waters between Yangon and Mandalay , dipping in at Inle Lake and Bagan.
The sights: Two-day cruises from Mandalay to the temple complex of Bagan are a fine way to quickly soak up the region. The city is still flecked with remnants of its colonial heyday, especially around its old docks, while the golden monastery speaks of another era entirely. Both cities feature on the round-trip to Bhamo , before peaking in the stark gorges and remote villages, such as Katha, of the distant north, near the Chinese border, where fewer visitors tread.
Detours: To escape the crowds further, the Chindwin tributary branches of Burmas Upper Irrawaddy and brushes steep-sided cliffs, lush jungle, and en route to Homalin, with potential land trips across the border to the Indian state of Nagaland offering a different world entirely.
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Best Time For A River Cruise In Europe For:
- Rhine River: Despite the risk of high water levels during spring , a river cruise at this time of year can be a rewarding experience due to blossoming tulip gardens along the river. If you want to play it safe, avoid the rainy months from April to June.
- Danube River: River cruises on the Danube are increasingly popular in December thanks to vibrant celebrations and cities dressed up beautifully for Christmas.
- Amsterdam to Budapest cruise: If you want to view Dutch tulip gardens, April and May are the best months to take a cruise. If you prefer Christmas markets, December is the right time for your trip. Take the cruise in September for pleasant weather and reliable water levels.
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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Private Seine Boat Tour
Craft your own Seine River experience and book this private Seine boat tour for 4 people maximum with a personal skipper. Enjoy the beauty of Paris main sights and the River Seine while sipping a glass of wine.
You can bring your own food and wine for a picnic or a French apéritif, or you can purchase them as an add-on during the booking process.
The itinerary of this Seine boat cruise is longer as it starts in the west of Paris. This allows you to view Ile-Saint-Germain and Ile-aux-Cygnes with the Statue of Liberty. If you are looking for a Paris river tour with the maximum of privacy, this is it.
- Duration: 2 hrs 30 min
- Departure /arrival point: 100 Quai du Président Roosevelt, Issy-les-Moulineaux
- Options: a bottle of champagne, extra wine.
Emerald Waterways Review Which Recommended Provider
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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How Do I Get The Best Deal On A Viking River Cruise
Here are nine tips to help you get the best value out of your river cruise:
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Whilst you may not have heard of this much awarded company , you should certainly add it to yourroster of the best river cruise vessels in the world.
When you step on one of their vessels, you immediately start toappreciate the Uniworld difference. The concept is all aboutrecreating the feel of a small boutique hotel on board anall-inclusive river vessel, and every ship is different, personallydesigned by members of the Tollman family who own Uniworld’sparent, TravCorp.
If you’ve seen pictures of Uniworld’s ships then you’ll probablyhave been struck by the slightly garish interiors depicted in theofficial photography but in reality, the decor is a lot moresubtle than it appears in the oversaturated promo shots. Quirky,yes, but elegant and tasteful with it.
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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.
Southeast Alaska Cruise From American Cruise Lines
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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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.
Glide By The Famous Sights Of Paris On A Seine River Cruise
The Seine River winds its way through the heart of Paris, bisecting the city from east to west. The Seine River is the origin of Paris, and its development is uniquely tied to the river.
If you visit Paris for the first time, we recommend booking a Seine River cruise to experience the city from a different perspective and spot some of Paris top attractions along the waterway. This is especially beautiful at night when the historical monuments are lit up: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée dOrsay, the Conciergerie, Notre Dame, and more.
There are many river Seine cruises so you will be spoilt for choice. Some of these Seine River cruises are only for sightseeing, while others come with dinner and music for an all-included magical experience.
With such a big offer and several companies providing similar tours, what is the best Seine River cruise Paris has to offer? Heres a quick guide to the best Seine River cruises in Paris with our best tips to help you decide.
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Mississippi: Birth Of A Nation
Boat in the Mississippi River
Timing: Riverboats plunge the lower reaches of the river during winter and summer .
The river: The Mississippi occupies a powerful place in the American imagination, with a crowded history that takes in everything from the American Civil War to the creation of rock n roll as it swerves ten states, its waters still ploughed by giant paddle ships.
The sights: Its the lower New Orleans-to- Memphis stretch of this vast river that truly feels like the Mississippi of Mark Twain and the history books. Eight-day cruises typically begin in the Big Easy, with stops narrating the birth of modern America, from the harrowing plantations of Oak Alley, which explore the antebellum homesteads that witnessed the heyday of slavery in the US, to the battlefield of Vicksburg, where the Civil War turned in favour of the Yankees. In between lie ageing river towns, wild swamps and rock n roll legends.
Detours: Longer cruises along the lower, middle and upper parts of the river are a veritable three-week PhD in Americana.
Douro: Port Parks And Portugal
Porto cityscape on the Douro River
Timing: Year-round go May or for barefooted grape-stomping September.
The river: From the medieval dockyards of coastal Porto, the Douro winds sun-dappled vineyards, plunging locks, valleys and Portuguese villages to the Spanish border. Its headwaters, however, lie further on in central Spain, with week-long cruises usually culminating amid the grandiose walls of Salamanca.
The sights: Wander the Romanesque streets of Porto before cruising into the Douro Valley for port tastings and visits to traditional Iberian villages such as Pinhão. Upriver, rocky gorges hide nesting griffon vultures, with trips to the Douro Natural Park a must. But the highlight is the UNESCO-listed Salamanca, a bustling university town speckled with cathedrals and golden sandstone.
Detours: Further south, the Guadiana and Guadalquivir also offer similar under-the-radar escapes on the Portuguese border and Spains Andalusia region. Cruises thread between Seville and Cádiz, and even splash into the Atlantic to switch rivers as you explore vineyards, national parks and Moorish architecture along the way.
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Viking River Cruises Review
Great Destinations and Itineraries |
Getting its start in 1997, Viking River Cruises was among the first lines to set the standard for river cruising. The company has since built a strong reputation along with a large fleet of river-sailing longships, serving plenty of dates and destinations along the rivers of Europe, Russia, China, Egypt and Southeast Asia. The longships are made to be space-efficient and modern in design, accommodating 190 guests without feeling cramped.
Viking River Cruises start off at around $1,800 for 2019 and serve so many destinations throughout the year that new river cruise customers favor this company. If you are looking for an excursion with cultural and historical experiences, Viking has a proprietary Culture Curriculum featuring showcases for musicians and dancers, lectures and intellectual talks, or cooking lessons in the cuisine of the region, and other added onboard enrichment sessions. Onshore walking tours, lectures and experiences are also offered, although may come with an additional fee.
Viking River Cruises rate a 4.8 on a five-star scale. We found some complaints about spotty Wi-Fi access, small rooms and the crew being very busy. However, the overall opinion is that Viking offers quality excursions and the staff is very accommodating.
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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Why Is A River Cruise Great Value
With amazing extras and unrivalled luxury, an Emerald Cruises river cruise guarantees exceptional value.
With Emerald Cruises there is so much included in the price of your river cruise, offering you great value for money with tips, selected drinks, food, excursions and transportation, all in the price of the journey.
Given the wealth of inclusions youll receive as part of an Emerald Cruises river cruise, youll soon appreciate just what excellent value our river cruises are. With very little need to bring additional spending money, and all excursions and activities included in the total price, you can relax and enjoy your time without worrying about overspending.
French River Cruises Tips
- Choose from the luxurious Loire for a cultural immersion, the relaxing Rhône 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.
- Choose your style! CroisiEurope offer a great value for money, or if you like living the life of luxury, Avalon cruises are for you!
- It would be a crime to travel to France and not sample their world-renowned wine! Make sure you grab a glass and savour their sparkling flavours as they tantalise your tastebuds.
- 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!
- Theres no better way to explore Europe than on a barge cruise. Weave through canals with an intimate experience of authentic French cuisine and accommodations that make you feel at home.
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Best Holiday Cruise: Azamara Club Cruises
Courtesy of Azamara Club Cruises
- Duration: 15 nights
- Ship Name: Azamara Pursuit
- Itinerary: Montevideo, Uruguay Santos, Brazil Ilhabela, Brazil Paraty, Brazil Buzios, Brazil Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Copacabana Beach Brazil, Punta Del Este, Uruguay Buenos Aires, Argentina
Azamara Club Cruises operates smaller, upscale vessels that travel one-off itineraries around the globe calling in smaller, less-visited ports that others don’t stop at. The company puts an emphasis on destination immersion, and appeal to adults who want to go deeper into the local culture with shore excursions. Azamara is one of the few companies that stays in port overnight, and in doing so they bundle evening excursions in the price . The newest ship, Azamara Pursuit, debuts this year and is offering a winter holiday cruise that spends New Years Eve at Copacabana Beach in Brazil.
Volga: Russia Made Easy
White church along the Volga River in Russia
Timing: The bulk of the river is navigable between March and December.
The river: Stretching from the hills north of Moscow down to the Caspian Sea, the Volga is Russia: impossibly vast and wrinkled with an operatic and turbulent history narrated in the folktales, buildings and cities that line its banks.
The sights: The route between Moscow and St Petersburg is a popular one, following the Volga for part of the way, fording rural villages and some of Europes largest lakes. But the true Volga experience is found on its lower reaches, strung between Moscow and caviar capital Astrakhan . This covers 3,000km in a blur of onion-domed cathedrals and Red history, pit-stopping at the UNESCO-listed city of Yaroslavl and drifting through the Republic of Tartarstan before pitching into a vast, wild delta speckled with lotus flowers and flamingos.
Detours: The Neva River makes up the final stretch of the Moscow-St Petersburg route, seeping from Lake Ladoga through the delta that St Petersburg sits on. Its a quick way to get a taste of Russia and see some fine architecture.
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