Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Which River Cruise Line Is The Best

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Find The Best Danube River Cruise Lines With The Help Of Cruiseexpertscom

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

Whether you are new to river cruising or are a longtime fan, Danube River cruises are a top choice for a variety of reasons. When you select from the best Danube River cruise lines, you know you are in for an unforgettable vacation that will transport you to breathtaking landscapes and fairy-tale towns and villages.

The second longest river in all of Eastern and Central Europe, the Danube River goes on for almost 2,000 miles. It travels from Germany to the Ukraine and offers visitors the opportunity to see Passau, Germany, Belgrade, Serbia, Bucharest, Romania, Vienna and more. While traveling with European river cruise companies, you will have the chance to experience bicycle and walking tours through historic cities and wineries, evening concerts, and be able to witness UNESCO World Heritage Sites up close.

Gloria and Melvin

Depending on your availability, you are sure to find that some of the best Danube River cruise lines offer a variety of trip length options. For short cruise vacations, consider a seven or eight day option. If you have more time to spare, consider a longer sailing that include multiple rivers and can last up to several weeks time.

Viking is known to have the largest fleet in the river cruising industry. Considered one of the best luxury river cruise lines, Viking ships are built with eco-friendly designs, full balconies, unique excursions and top-notch service.

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 worlds most revered wine growing regions. Youre certain to find Rhone River Cruises that will inspire you to raise a glass.

Travel + Leisure Worlds Best

  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 10 among River Cruises in Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards 2021 readers survey
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 10 among River Cruises in Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards 2019 readers survey
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 10 among River Cruises in Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards 2013 readers survey
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 5 among River Cruises in Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards 2011 readers survey
  • Top River Cruising for Families
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 5 among River Cruises in Travel + Leisures Worlds Best Awards 2011 readers survey
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 10 Small-Ship Cruise Line
  • Avalon Waterways ranked in the top 10 Small-Ship Cruise Line

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Complimentary Drinks With Lunch And Dinner

Below are a list of those cruise lines who offer complimentary drinks with lunch an/or dinner:

Award winning for the best river cruise fleet in Europe you cant go wrong on an AmaWaterways river cruise! Although drinks are not unlimited throughout the cruise – wine, beer and soft drinks are free flowing throughout lunch and dinner every day! And of course, there are tea and coffee facilities available at all times. Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account and charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise. Like most river cruise operators, AmaWaterways include all of your meals, daily shore excursions, port charges, Wi-Fi and more in your cruise fare.

APT provide excellent value for money and although drinks are not free-flowing throughout the cruise, regional wines, local beers and soft drinks are complimentary with lunch and dinner on board! Any drinks that you purchase throughout your cruise will be added to your onboard account and charged to your debit or credit card at the end of your cruise. And as you’d expect, all of your meals, daily shore excursions, port charges and more is included in your cruise fare.

Which is the best river cruise line? Find out what we think here!

What Makes A Which Recommended Provider

2017 Editors

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.

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Best Douro River Cruises

Sharing the water with traditional, flat-bottomed Rabelo boats, youll peacefully glide along aboard the ms Andorinha, Taucks newest riverboat purpose-built for the Douro. Explore the historic villages towering above the rivers banks from coastal Porto to the Spanish border and drink in the quintas that produce the regions venerable Port wine on the Douro River Cruise that speaks to you.

American Queen Steamboat Company:

If youd like to cruise closer to home, the American Queen Steamboat Company is one of a handful of river cruise companies operating in the United States.

Their newest ship is the 245-guest American Countess, which debuted in March, 2021.

A former gambling boat, she was almost totally rebuilt.

The main dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can enjoy panoramic riverside scenes while noshing on USDA prime beef and Southern favorites like Louisana shrimp creole. And while still a paddlewheeler, the cabins are more modern than those in the lines other ships .

With the companys trademark red paddlewheel at the stern, the American Countess offers Mississippi River cruises between New Orleans and Memphis, where bourbon tasting, Mark Twain river tales and Ragtime piano performances are all part of the onboard experience.

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Best Danube River Cruises

Waltzing its way from Germany’s storied Black Forest and through ten countries in Europe before spilling into the Black Sea, the Danube River has inspired countless artists, writers and composers with its stunning power and beauty. Discover the best Danube River Cruises for you from the always-popular Blue Danube to the ever-sophisticated Royal Danube, Berlin & Krakow.

Main Embarkation And Debarkation With A River Vs Ocean Cruise

The Best Things on AmaWaterways AmaMagna

There’s more pomp and circumstance when it comes to boarding an ocean cruise ship. From leaving your luggage with appropriate cabin number tags on them, curbside, before you even get to the terminal. To scanning documents within the terminal. To waiting until your boarding group number is calledthere are a lot of procedures and paperwork to get through to get onboard the ship. They are moving thousands of guests, after all .

A river cruise ship seems like a piece of cake when it comes to boarding! We literally just walk onto the ship and check-in at the front desk. Of course, we have already sent paperwork in at this point with information like our passport numbers and have to give that information to the staff once we board the ship.

But it’s a lot less cumbersome than on an ocean cruise. And boarding the ship is much more immediate with only about 200 or so guests who have to check-in.

Here are two photos of what we saw when we walked onto a cruise ship versus a river cruise, aboard the Emerald Cruises ship, Emerald Sky. A vast difference!

When you have to leave your river cruise, as you can expect, it’s a piece of cake on a river cruise. You simply let them know you’re leaving and you walk off with your luggage.

An ocean cruise is much more involved, of course.

here was no Global Entry back into the country at the terminal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like airports or we would have potentially breezed through much quicker.

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River Cruise Company Reviews

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, Crystal 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

How Does A River Cruise Work

A river cruise is an all-inclusive journey where you unpack once but visit many destinations. They are smaller than traditional cruise ships and boast more tailored offerings, such as carefully curated cuisine that is reflective of the areas being visited. On all these journeys from the Ganges to the Rhône dining is a big part of the adventure.

River cruise ships dock near city centers, enabling visitors to explore on their own or take advantage of the array of excursions organized by the cruise line, from going on a strenuous hike to touring a castle, or sipping wine at a vineyard. There are a fair amount of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the itineraries, which are almost always awe-inspiring.

These excursions are all included in the price of the cruise and are considered part of the river experience, although they aren’t included for the sole domestic option on our list, the American Queen Steamboat Company.

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Oberoi Hotels & Resorts:

Some of the most luxurious Nile cruises are offered by Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.

The Oberoi Zahra river ship has glass showers with full-length view windows and a misting system to keep you cool on the sundeck and outdoor restaurant.

And get this. A fleet of air-conditioned black Mercedes vans shadows the ship onshore. When the ship docks, theyre waiting and ready to whisk you away to see the tombs, temples and 5,000 years of Egyptian history.

Cabins And Staterooms On River Vs Ocean Cruises

2017 Editors

Stateroom designs vary so much from ship to ship no matter if it’s a river or ocean cruise. So we’ll simply say that it’s very common to have more space on a stateroom on an ocean cruise ship.

Additionally, you can pay for an upgrade on an ocean cruise to have a balcony or save money by having an interior stateroom without a window. Yet on river cruises, all rooms face outward and commonly have a balcony. Because the ship is small and narrow there are no interior staterooms or cabins on river cruise ships.

The top two photos above are aboard the Disney Dream, with Disney Cruise Line. The bottom two are from river cruise ships, the Emerald Sky with Emerald Cruises and Viking Alta, with Viking, respectively.

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Book A Cruise On Scenic

Typical starting price: $2,195 for 7 nights

Where do they sail: Danube, Main , Rhine, Moselle, Rhône, Douro , Seine, Bordeaux, Volga , Mekong , Irrawaddy

Duration: 7 to 21 nights

Specialty cruises: National Geographic, Christmas markets

Onboard amenities : Laundry, wellness area, gym, massage services, hair salon, Wi-Fi, e-bikes, L’Occitane products, pillow menu, shoeshine

Inclusive: Meals, butler service, gratuities, transfers, excursions, beverages , minibar fully restocked daily, chef-prepared picnics, 24-hour in-room dining, entertainment

Pros: Having a butler on call is a big perk. They will tend to your needs throughout the journey including nightly turndown service and laundry concierge. Scenic also has the Tailormade App, which works as an audio guide and offers independent city tours, and an offline navigation system.

Cons: There are different levels of service depending on the cabin category you book. For example, guests staying in suites enjoy exclusive dining, priority reservations, and a private Captain’s cocktail party, while those staying in standard rooms will lack many special perks.

Scenic operates custom-made vessels and a variety of cabins types. Standard suites are sparse, small and lack balconies. A good mid-tier option is the Royal Balcony suite, which comes with a great view and perks like daily fruit skewers, canapes, and petit fours. All upgraded suites come with butler service, nightly turndown, and a laundry concierge.

River Cruise Vs Ocean Cruise: Whats The Difference

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Going river cruising and ocean cruising are similar in that youre on a boat, which is on a body of water. Of course. Yet the similarities are far less than compared to their greater differences. It’s more common people have been on ocean cruises, or use that as a gateway to start cruising but people very often ask us about our river cruise experiences because they’re less common.

Yet we’re often asked to compare river cruise vs ocean cruise experiences, as river cruise fleets grow and curiosities are piqued. Here we list several important things to consider when thinking about whats right for you.

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Best Rhine River Cruises

Noted for dramatic folklore, a renowned wine growing region and UNESCO World Heritage sites dotting its banks, Rhine River Cruises flow through six European nations. Once thought by Ancient Romans to be the outermost border of civilization, the Rhine is now home to working windmills, medieval towns, storybook forests and a river cruise thats just right for you.

Our Search For The Best River Cruises

9 Best River Cruises In The World

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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    Vantage Deluxe World Travel

    The Solo Perk: Single Specials, Traveler Matching Service, Single Occupancy Staterooms

    What You Should Know:Vantage prides itself on its solo traveler prowess, and not undeservedly so: Vantage offers a wide range of incentives and options for the single traveler across its river and land tour packages.

    Some of the Vantage river cruise fleet offer Single Occupancy Staterooms that are expanding for the 2020 season. In 2020, Vantage will offer 14 supplement-free solo cabins aboard the River Splendor , eight solo cabins aboard the River Voyager, seven solo cabins aboard the red-hulled River Venture and four dedicated solo cabins aboard the Egypt-based ms Nebu.

    Vantage also offers a “Traveler Matching Service,” which allows passengers traveling solo to request to be matched with a roommate of the same sex upon reservation of their trip. If Vantage finds a roommate, only the double-occupancy rate is charged. If a match is unable to be found, travelers pay only 50 percent of the single supplement.

    Nile River Cruises In Egypt

    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

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    Best Christmas Markets River Cruises

    If you look forward to the holiday season all year long, December is the best month to board a Tauck Christmas Markets River Cruise on the Danube or Rhine Rivers. Delivering equal parts old-world charm and a festive holiday mood, these itineraries include guided visits to Europes traditional Christmas markets as well as on board celebrations to make your spirits bright.

    Best River Cruises For Single Travelers

    2018 Editors

    Solo travel is taking off in a big way — and not just on the mega-ships. River cruises are quickly becoming a popular destination for those who travel by themselves. River cruises are a great choice for solo travelers, thanks to their convivial atmosphere and relatively small number of passengers. As a single traveler, it is easier to get to know a few hundred people rather than a few thousand.

    If you’re traveling as a single on a river cruise, the atmosphere is generally gracious and welcoming. Expect fellow passengers to go out of their way to be inclusive when it comes to dinners — perhaps the only awkward moment on a river cruise as a single traveler, due to the open-seating nature of most onboard dinners. For those who are shy, try grabbing a seat at a large table and let your fellow cruisers make the introductions.

    Traveling solo by river has never been easier. Many river cruise lines now offer solo traveler discounts on selected sailings throughout the year that can reduce or even eliminate the dreaded “single supplement” that a normal booking would entail.

    And while there is no “wrong” itinerary for solo travelers, it might be a good idea to stay away from barge cruises through the canals of France, unless you are incredibly social and outgoing. Most barges only hold between six and 12 people per vessel, and a few families traveling together can make a solo passenger feel like a bit of an outsider.

    The Solo Perk: Solo Savings, Single Occupancy Staterooms

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