Explore the Rivers of Europe
River cruising is a relaxing, immersive and thoroughly enjoyable form of travel where you can enjoy ever-changing scenery along the banks of waterways such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Douro Rivers. It is unique in that the journey itself is just as important as the destination. You can watch incredible castles, valleys, vineyards or tulip fields pass you by from the comfort of your floating hotel.
What is a River Cruise?
- A form of leisure travel that takes guests along inland waterways
- There are several port stops over the course of each passage
- Normally lasts longer than 1 week
- They can carry anywhere from 100-250 guests
- Are now beginning to cater to many age groups, not just the baby-boomers
- Travel to more of the “Bucket List” Destinations
What is a Barge?
- A barge will generally carry between 4-20 guests
- Barges will offer extremely personalized service
- Price point is can be much higher.
- Barges will travel down smaller rivers and channels.
- Barges can cater more to an individual’s dietary needs.
- Barges are ideal for weddings, families and multigenerational groups or parties.
ACCOMMODATIONS ~ River cruises are brimming with onboard amenities. Stateroom are most often river-facing where you can wake up each more to a different view, and come equipped with hotel-style beds, private bathrooms, individual climate control, refrigerators, safes and TVs. Higher stateroom categories may have French balconies, verandas, and separate sleeping and sitting quarters. Rooms range from 150 to 600 square feet. Guests receive excellent and personalized service from on board staff. Additionally, ships include restaurants, lounges and bars, as well as free Wi-Fi. Some ships even come equipped with libraries, boutiques, pools and/or sun decks.
CUISINE ~ Guests are given a choice of dining options, including where and what to eat. Breakfasts can either be enjoyed al fresco or at the morning buffet, while lunches and dinners can be eaten while viewing passing sights or with friends in a common eating area. Open seating is offered, allowing guests to meet new people or enjoy the presence of the same people each day. Cruises offer regional cuisine and use locally sourced ingredients to help with their authenticity. Also common are wine pairings, selected from local tastes to help guests get a closer understanding of a region's culture.
THINGS TO DO ~ River cruisers spend more time in the cities, towns and ports along the way. Included shore excursions consist of guided tours that help guests become well-acquainted with the culture, art and history of their destinations. In addition to guided tours, guests can roam freely around local stops or arrange optional shore excursions. There's always ample opportunity to find something to do in every port, whether it's visiting an ancient castle, attending a classical concert or enjoying a famous museum.
Best Times to Go
Whether you choose to travel in the on-season or the off-season, you’ll be able to gain a deep cultural experience in each of your destinations. In the spring and summer, you may witness local outdoor events and lively activities that only occur during the warmer months of the year. Cooler weather in the fall may mean you’ll run into fewer people in the streets of cities and ports you visit, which will allow you to take your time and get a closer look at sites that interest you without feeling rushed or crowded. And in the winter season, you’ll be delighted by festive Christmas markets and enchanted by the holiday traditions and celebrations of the locals.
River cruises are great for everyone, especially those desiring a more relaxed and intimate form of travel. Individuals who've never stepped foot on a ship before will enjoy the relative ease of a river-bound trip with little chance of seasickness. Furthermore, with a focus on cultural exploration of locations, river cruises are perfect for those with a curiosity about art and history, or a general interest in travel. Every river is unique and each tells a different story—not only of the countries through which it flows, but also of its locks, canals, scenery and bridges. Ready to set sail
Types of River Cruises