Tuesday, June 18, 2024

What’s The Best River Cruise In Europe

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Nile River Cruises In Egypt

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Feel like Cleopatra on the Nile when you journey down the same river where they honeymooned on the Egyptian queens royal barge.

But they no doubt would be jealous of the vessels you can cruise on today.

Put a Nile River cruise on your bucket list!;The;tombs and temples of ancient Egypt;are eye-popping

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

Up to $1,500 off Europe cruises

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!

What Is The Best Time Of Year For A European River Cruise

This can be a very tricky question to answer.; And to be frank, even the most experienced travelers are going to be disappointed from time to time.

Sure, there are experts out there , but the truth of the matter is: specific weather patterns are very difficult to predict six to twelve months out.

Our Sad Story

Carol and I tend to like to travel to Europe in the shoulder seasons .; The weather is generally cooler, the massive summer crowds gone, and you can often get more bang for your buck.

A while back, Carol and I flew off to the south of France for a long-awaited river cruise with our friends at Viking River Cruises. As we landed in London to swap planes and head to Marseilles, we got an email from Viking telling us that our river cruise was going to be disrupted by high water levels.; You can read the whole story by .

When we got to our starting point in Avignon, Viking offered their clients the option of leaving the sailing with a refund of the unused portion of their cruise, or continue on with the hopes of lower water levels in the coming days.; We opted to stay, and as it turned out, we never got to sail and wound up using our cruise ship as a hotel with luxury coach excursions to and from our ship each day.; But, at the end of this experience, even though we did get to see nearly all of our desired locations, Viking still offered their guests a 50% discount off of a future sailing.; Very generous, indeed.; You can read about that by .

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What’s The Best River Cruise Line In Europe

We’ve shortlisted Scenic Cruises, APT and Avalon Waterways as some of the best river cruises in Europe based on features such as user ratings, variety and options and extras.

In 2020, Crystal Cruises was named as the best river cruise line at Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. It impressed with its high level of detail, customer service and luxury, which one guest stated was better than any five-star hotel they’ve stayed in.

U By Uniworld, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Tauck and Viking Cruises were also highly placed at the Travel+Leisure awards.

According to online tour booking agent TourRadar, AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, G Adventures, Leufner Cruises, Portugal Travel Centre, Scenic Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection are top of the list. All have average review ratings of 5 out of 5 stars on the site.

So What Is A Christmas Market

Viking River Cruises 2019

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

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Neva And Svir Rivers Russia

Russia may not be the first destination that springs to mind for the best river cruises in Europe. But a journey from the Baltic Sea to the magnificent capital city of Moscow will certainly be an experience you will never forget.

Starting in the vast grandeur of St Petersburg, with its huge Parliament Square, you can sail on the Neva River. Pass by the magnificent fortress at Shlisselburg and onto vast Lake Ladoga, the largest lake in Europe. Via the Svir River and Lake Onega, youll move on to the Volga River, past the riverside resort of Samara and on into Moscow with all it has to offer.

What do you think are the best river cruises in Europe? Leave a comment to let me know what youd add to this list!

Riviera Travel Review Which Recommended Provider

Riviera Travel is not only one of the best river cruise lines around, it’s also one of the cheapest. The on-board facilities aren’t quite in the same league as some pricier rivals, but Riviera is second-to-none when it comes to customer service, spaciousness and food and drink.

, or read our full Riviera Travel review for more information.

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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.

What To Wear On A River Cruise In Europe

Rhine Getaway with Viking River Cruises – at Christmas

Wondering what to pack for a river cruise?;Well show you exactly what to wear on a river cruise in Europe with some great ideas on practical River cruise outfits. Weve also included some clothing tips for Rhine river cruise travel across the seasons.

In addition to our guide on;how to dress for a river cruise weve included some tips on how to pack for a European river cruise. Assuming youre coming from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and will be traveling a long way to Europe, you may want to travel a bit before or after your river cruise. Our tips for;packing for river cruise trips will help you pack light for travel in the rest of Europe.

Weve used the Viking river cruise dress code as a guide on;what to wear on a Rhine river cruise but there are of course other companies that do European river cruises. For simplicity reasons were calling this our;Viking river cruise packing list but you can of course use is it as a guide on;what to wear on a river cruise in Europe on other cruise lines too.


  • 4 Questions on;what to pack for river cruise in Europe?
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    An Expert Guide To Cruising The Danube River

    Autumn can be a golden time to experience Europes famously blue river, when the fruits of the apricot harvest taste all the sweeter

    At the bottom of a stone path I reached several ochre-coloured buildings in the narrow, cobbled street, choosing to enter the first café. I was looking for somewhere to stop after a steep 30-minute walk up to the ruins of Dürnsteins 12th-century castle, balanced on a rocky outcrop, to gaze down on the shimmering Danube, where my ship looked like a toy on the water.

    Even in mid-September my sweatshirt was too hot for the mild day and, back down again, I needed refreshment. Through the window I fixed my eyes on the pastel blue and white church tower; my marker for finding our mooring spot. My plan simply to order a coffee was scuppered as the waitress twisted my arm with the house speciality, and out came a plate of four marillenknödel: Klosterneuburger apricots smothered in cream cheese dough, sprinkled with cinnamon and with a dollop of apricot jam on the side. After I finished I was persuaded to try a tot of apricot brandy before heading back to the ship with an unexpected spring in my step.

    Thankfully, entry and quarantine restrictions have been lifted on the other destinations lining its banks of utmost importance for a transnational waterway. Rising in Germanys Black Forest, the Danube winds through 10 countries, including four capitals Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade before reaching the Black Sea.;

    Lesser-known highlights

    River Cruises In Vietnam Cambodia

    See temples, water buffalo working in rice paddies, floating fish markets and local villages when you cruise on the Mekong River, which flows through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

    The newest Mekong River ship is Uniworlds gorgeous 68-passenger;Mekong Jewel, which launched in January, 2020. The all-suite ship has a pool plus two restaurants .

    Later in 2021, the new 80-guest Viking Saigon is slated to debut.

    From Viking River Cruises, she was purpose built for the Mekong River.

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    Danube River Passau Budapest

    Flowing from Germanys Black Forest region to the Black Sea in Romania, the Danube is one of the best and most popular river cruises in Europe. There are dozens of different route options to choose from, but one of the most common is a week-long cruise between Budapest in Hungary and Passau in Germany.;

    Pass through Austria and Slovakia to reach Hungary, through breathtaking landscapes and stunning cities. This is the river that inspired the famous Johann Strauss waltz, so it makes sense that one of the most enticing stops is in Vienna, the waltz capital of the world. Finish in Budapest, a bustling European city with many great landmarks along the side of the Danube.

    Beyond Budapest, the Danube flows on into Serbia, a truly stunning country which is too often left off the tourist radar. High above the Danube and Sava rivers, Belgrade has been called the new Berlin. This striking city, with its imposing Beogradska Tvrava fortress, is a rising star on the European tourism radar. So now could be the perfect opportunity to take a Danube river cruise through Belgrade!

    River Cruise Refunds And Cancellations

    Is now the time to visit Russia?

    All river cruises booked in the UK and lasting more than 24 hours are protected by the Package Travel Regulations. So, if your provider cancels your cruise, whether that’s due to coronavirus or for another reason altogether, you are entitled to a full cash refund within 14 days.

    However, not all river cruise operators have been meeting their legal obligations on refunds, so if you’re thinking of booking a river cruise, it pays to do your research. Thankfully, all our WRP river cruise providers are refunding promptly and also put on exceptional cruises, so that’s where you should start.

    But the Package Travel Regulations don’t protect you if you decide to cancel the cruise, so only book if you’re sure you’ll want to travel when the time comes. And always take out travel insurance as soon as making any travel booking.

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    American Queen Steamboat Company

    Typical starting price: $2,199 for 7 nights

    Where they sail: Mississippi, Ohio/Tennessee/Cumberland, Columbia/Snake Rivers

    Duration:;7 to 15 nights

    Specialty Cruises: Music festivals, music of the ’50s and ’60s, bourbon, Cajun/Creole, wine, Kentucky Derby

    Amenities : Wi-Fi, bicycles for shore, library, fitness center, smoothie and juice bar, pool, sun deck, spa, fitness, hiking sticks

    Inclusions: All meals, unlimited beverages , in-room dining, one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, hop on hop off buses onshore, ground transfers, Wi-Fi, daily entertainment

    Pro: You’ll save money as you won’t have to pay to fly overseas.

    Cons: Excursions cost extra, starting at around $79. The least expensive cabins are interior and have no windows.

    As the name implies, the American Queen Steamboat Company uses old-school-style riverboats for their journey. These state-of-the-art, authentic paddle wheelers can accommodate from 150 to 400 guests, depending on the ship.

    Choose from a wide variety of accommodations from well-appointed suites to small no-frills single staterooms that are a mere 80 square feet. Some sailings have Loft Suites, which are two stories with floor-to-ceiling windows and have two full bathrooms, a dining area, a lounge with a Queen sofa-bed, a balcony, and an upstairs bedroom.

    Notable Excursions :

    COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all guests and crew.;COVID-19 procedures are available here.;

    One Of The Best European River Cruises

    No, its not a Danube River cruise. Or a Rhine River cruise. Or even a Douro River cruise in Portugal.

    Its a Seine River cruise in Normandy, France.

    Lets travel back in time to France. The year is 1883.

    Claude Monet was clickety-clacking;on a train through the quaint village of Giverny when he spotted a charming two-storey house through the window. He instantly fell in love with its pink crushed-brick façade and jaunty green shutters and moved in.

    Here he gardened and painted, and in;time created his;celebrated water-garden. It served as the inspiration for his series of masterpiece Impressionist paintings on water lilies.

    For some 40 years , Monet continued to live and paint in this enchanting;little slice of Normandy.

    Monet picked well.

    We too were enchanted by Giverny when cruising the Seine River one of the best river cruises in the world for a destination-rich itinerary.

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    European River Cruises Highlights

    • Glide through countries filled with captivating history, impressive cities and spellbinding beauty.
    • Unpack once and wake up to a new city every day to the sights, sounds and flavours of Europe.
    • Relax without having to navigate roads, your cruise is an all-in-one travel experience.
    • Enjoy ultimate luxury from the second you step on board youll be spoilt for choice.
    • Danube: With a dozen languages spoken on its banks, the Danube is a haven for traditional delicacies and panoramic views.
    • Rhine: Explore fairytale castles and vineyards along the banks which highlight the value of the historical towns that line the waters.

    Which River Cruise Should You Pick

    CroisiEurope-Rhine River Cruise-Amsterdam to Basel

    The variety of Emerald Cruises river cruise itineraries means theres an adventure to suit everyone, whatever your tastes and interests may be. The wonderful cruises and tours we offer showcase the enigmatic, unique, and picturesque qualities of some of the worlds most iconic waters, so whatever river cruise you choose, their distinct personalities will inspire awe and wonder from start to finish.

    Here, well run through the highlights of each river, an example itinerary, and what type of holiday its best suited for…

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    Steamboat Cruise Columbia River

    Take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on a cruise down the Columbia and Snake Rivers with the American Queen Steamboat Company.

    American Queen Steamboat Company

    Danube River, Europe

    The Danube is Europes most popular cruising river. It flows through Germany, Austria, Hungary and other counties on its 2,000-mile route, and youll find itineraries that include Vienna, Munich, Prague, Budapest and other don’t-miss cities. Disembark in Vienna, the City of Music, to visit St. Stephens Cathedral and the Hofburg Imperial complex, home to the Vienna Boys Choir and the Lipizzaner stallions. Look for fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, the Black Forest, Heidelberg Castle and the infamous Nuremberg Rally Grounds in Germany.

    Five Of The Best River Cruises In Europe

    1. La Dolce Vita

    Venice is set to be the starting point for Uniworlds first sailing since spring 2020. The cruise is due to depart on June;20 and will be followed by a summer of sailings on the rivers of Italy, France and Portugal, taking in Bordeaux, Provence and the Douro.

    UK managing director Chris Townson says: Its hugely exciting that well be returning to the water on June 20, which also marks the inaugural sailing of our new Super Ship, La Venezia, in Italy. Were very hopeful Italy and France will be added to the governments green list.

    Book it:;Uniworlds Venice & the Gems of Northern Italy is an eight-day cruise, starting from £2,899 for a July 25 departure, including flights.uniworld.com

    2. Wine on the Rhine

    The much-anticipated launch of Tuis river cruises will add a new player to the European market this year, and a series of wine-focused winter sailings on the Rhine offers a chance for guests to experience the new line. Starting from October 31, Tui Maya will operate four, six and seven-night Rhine sailings, taking in Rüdesheim, Boppard, Koblenz, Speyer, Strasbourg, Breisach and Mainz.

    Expect wine tastings and expert speakers, plus excursions to wineries and vineyards to sample the best of Germanys vintages.

    Book it:;Prices start at £868 for a seven-night sailing based on two sharing a Deck 1 Superior Cabin.tui.co.uk

    3. Mosey along the Moselle

    4. Silk on shore

    5. Douro delights

    Read more

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