River cruising is more and more in style with as we speak’s vacationers, and it’s simple to know why. River cruises are a memorable and stress-free approach to discover the world in consolation and elegance. These unforgettable journeys supply magnificent surroundings, fabulous delicacies, immersive excursions of enchanting locations, energetic adventures, and a wide selection of enriching experiences.
River cruise ships are like small floating boutique inns crusing on the world’s most lovely waterways. This highly-inclusive sort of crusing focuses on the locations, with loads of time at every port of name. Unpack as soon as and calm down as spectacular new views, storybook villages, cities, and cities arrive every day.
Listed below are our readers’ six favourite river cruise strains to think about when planning your subsequent trip. All of those award-winning firms are identified for providing unimaginable river cruise experiences.
Viking operates the world’s largest river cruise fleet, and it’s our readers’ favourite river cruise line as properly. Viking is marking its twenty fifth anniversary this yr in grand fashion. New additions to the cruise line’s fleet embody eight new river cruise ships in Europe and Viking Mississippi, which begins crusing on the Mississippi River this summer time.
With 80 river cruise ships crusing worldwide, Viking presents all kinds of fastidiously curated itineraries and departures alongside waterways in Europe, Asia, Egypt, and the US. The road at present options 26 totally different river cruise itineraries in Europe, and particular themed sailings are additionally accessible. Viking has a robust grownup focus, with all visitors required to be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Viking’s river cruise ships have an interesting Scandinavian design and have comfy staterooms, loads of space for storing, bogs with heated flooring, and an expansive out of doors solar deck. Most Viking river cruise ships are their basic longships carrying 190 visitors, however some are smaller.
Vacation spot-focused delicacies is likely one of the many highlights of Viking River Cruises. I sailed with Viking a number of years in the past and have fantastic recollections of the informal indoor/out of doors eating on the Aquavit Terrace and distinctive meals at native eating places really useful by our ship’s wonderful workers. Eating was additionally a excessive level for our TravelAwaits contributors on their Viking voyages.
Viking’s river cruise fares embody meals and lodging, one shore tour in every port, free Wi-Fi, complimentary beer, wine, and tender drinks with on-board lunches and dinners, leisure and enrichment packages, and extra. The Silver Spirits beverage package deal can also be accessible for buy.
Scenic Luxurious Cruises & Excursions has 15 luxurious river cruise ships working on 10 main rivers in Europe and Southeast Asia. The Scenic river cruise expertise is customized and intimate, with simply 44–163 visitors on-board. Ship staterooms and public areas are spacious and well-appointed, significantly on Scenic House-Ships, which sail alongside Europe’s waterways.
Are you craving a five-star pampered cruise expertise? Complimentary butler service is offered for visitors in all Scenic staterooms, and 87 p.c of Scenic’s lodging have revolutionary personal balconies referred to as Solar Lounges. Scenic’s ships additionally function gyms, spas, solar decks, and strolling tracks — and most supply soaking swimming pools and complimentary e-bikes. Friends can select from 5 on-board eating choices starting from informal to elegant venues, together with 24-hour room service.
Scenic river cruises are exceptionally all-inclusive, with charges protecting every thing besides spa companies, hair appointments, and private gadgets. Scenic fares embody lodging, eating, limitless premium drinks and spirits, shore tour selections in ports of name, leisure, transfers, gratuities, Wi-Fi, additional actions, and different particular touches. Such inclusiveness is a plus for vacationers preferring comfort since they solely must funds funds for spending ashore.
The big selection of included shore excursions on Scenic river cruises is notable, providing loads of flexibility. Scenic Freechoice small-group excursions are designed for quite a lot of paces. Distinctive Scenic Enrich experiences unique to Scenic are additionally included, equivalent to a non-public night live performance for visitors at Palais Liechtenstein in Vienna. The Scenic Tailormade app is a superb tour information choice for individuals who desire to discover independently.
3. American Cruise Traces
In search of a implausible river cruise expertise nearer to residence? American Cruise Traces presents memorable voyages on the mighty Mississippi River, the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, Florida’s St. Johns and Tolomato Rivers, the Hudson River, and the Northwest’s Columbia and Snake Rivers. With quite a few handy U.S. embarkation ports, visitors can typically drive to their ship’s departure location. There aren’t any overseas ports of name, so passports aren’t needed.
American Cruise Traces’ refined fleet of U.S.-built and totally U.S.-flagged ships allows the corporate to function in an in depth array of American ports. The fleet consists of 4 basic paddlewheelers and 6 modern-style riverboats, accommodating 100–190 visitors. Practically all staterooms have personal balconies, and all supply home windows with lovely water views. Friends additionally take pleasure in a number of indoor and out of doors lounges, grand eating rooms, informal cafes, train rooms, and spacious high decks. All American Cruise Line’s ships function handicap-accessible staterooms, in addition to suites and single cabins.
Friends benefit from the relaxed, all-inclusive nature of the American Cruise Line expertise. Fares embody lodging, fantastic eating that includes regionally-inspired cuisines, complimentary cocktails each night, complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner, on-board leisure, Wi-Fi, and a minimum of one included shore tour or extra at every port. Many cruises additionally embody complimentary pre-cruise resort lodging.
American Cruise Traces caters to mature, refined vacationers in search of customized service and culturally enriching immersive experiences alongside America’s legendary rivers. Historical past comes alive on these voyages. Guided small-group shore excursions discover the tradition, historical past, nature, music, and native cuisines in America’s vibrant cities and cities. Particular curiosity cruises are additionally accessible.
4. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises presents all-inclusive cruise itineraries in Europe, Vietnam and Cambodia, India, Peru, and Egypt — crusing on a complete of 17 rivers in 26 international locations. Uniworld is part of The Journey Company, a household of journey manufacturers that features main tour operators and the five-star Crimson Carnation Resort Assortment. The affect reveals as Uniworld’s luxurious ships really feel like stylish floating boutique inns with no two vessels having the identical décor.
Uniworld’s river cruise ships carry 120 visitors on common and have as much as 4 eating venues, relying on measurement and itinerary. Ships supply on-board health facilities, spas, complimentary bikes, and Nordic strolling poles. Some even have cinemas, visitor laundry services, and swimming swimming pools. Friends respect Uniworld’s excessive staff-to-guest ratio, which offers an attentive and customized trip expertise.
I sailed with Uniworld a lot of years in the past, and a number of the options I liked most have been the extremely all-inclusive expertise, distinctive service, and the big range of complimentary shore excursions. Uniworld’s fares embody lodging, scrumptious meals, limitless premium wines and spirits, a alternative of shore excursions at every port of name, wellness courses, leisure and enrichment packages, gratuities, airport transfers, complimentary bicycles, and high-speed Wi-Fi. In-suite butler service can also be offered on many itineraries.
Uniworld can also be identified for its themed river cruises, together with Jewish Heritage voyages, culinary-focused Connoisseur Assortment journeys in France, hosted LGBTQ+ sailings, and Technology Assortment cruises designed for households and multigenerational teams. Uniworld additionally presents revolutionary Cruise & Rail itineraries in Europe, offering vacationers with extra alternatives to discover.
Based in 2002, family-owned-and-operated AmaWaterways presents extremely immersive river cruise experiences on its 26 custom-designed ships. AmaWaterways’ visitors take pleasure in enriching itineraries on over 10 of Europe’s most spectacular waterways and distinctive voyages on Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, Africa’s Chobe River, Egypt’s Nile River, plus Colombia’s Magdelena River in 2024. An intensive array of particular curiosity sailings and land packages are additionally accessible.
The cruise line’s ships function up to date décor and facilities equivalent to health facilities, complimentary bicycles, therapeutic massage and hair companies, wellness actions, and solar decks with strolling tracks. There’s a heated swimming pool or whirlpool on choose ships. Practically all staterooms have French balconies or AmaWaterways’ view-enhancing twin-balconies. Twin-balcony ships carry a mean of 156 visitors. Eight ships additionally function connecting cabins well-suited for the road’s rising demand from multigenerational households. Triple and quad lodging can be found on AmaWaterways’ latest ships, and a few supply single staterooms.
AmaWaterways’ inclusive fares cowl lodging, on-board meals, limitless wine, beer, and tender drinks at lunch and dinner, a complimentary pre-dinner cocktail hour, leisure and enrichment packages, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a variety of small-group shore excursions. Since light walkers, common, and energetic excursions can be found, visitors can select their very own tempo.
On my AmaWaterways cruise a number of years in the past, I used to be significantly impressed with the ship’s distinctive crew, memorable delicacies, immersive shore excursions, and the way visitors have been welcomed like household.
Eating is a key component of the AmaWaterways cruise expertise. Friends can select from the Important Restaurant or The Chef’s Desk, an beautiful specialty restaurant. 4 distinctive eating choices can be found on-board AmaWaterways’ revolutionary AmaMagna.
Tauck has been a family-owned journey firm for over 97 years, providing highly-acclaimed excursions and cruises. Tauck operates 9 river cruise ships alongside Europe’s scenic rivers, together with the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Important, Important-Danube Canal, Rhône, Saône, Seine, Douro, and the waterways of the Netherlands and Brussels.
The corporate offers a soothing, upscale river cruise expertise — offering extra inclusions and carrying fewer passengers than another strains. Tauck options all kinds of itineraries, together with themed river cruises and the Tauck Bridges sailings designed for households and multigenerational teams. Spacious ships carry between 84 and 130 visitors, and because the single complement is waived on choose cabins, it’s a sensible choice for solo vacationers.
Tauck’s all-inclusive fares cowl just about every thing, together with lodging, all shore excursions, on-board eating and particular dinners ashore in memorable locations (like castles and palaces), on-board drinks of all types, gratuities, leisure and enrichment packages, airport transfers, and extra. Many river cruises embody pre- and/or post-cruise resort stays. All Tauck ships function two eating venues, a fleet of bicycles, and both a plunge pool or scorching tub. Most supply a boutique, health heart, hair salon, and therapeutic massage companies.
Each Tauck riverboat is staffed with a cruise director for each 35 visitors, offering a excessive stage of customized service. Tauck’s European river cruises supply enriching small-group shore excursions with a number of guides in every port of name. As well as, Tauck visitors typically take pleasure in unique entry to distinctive areas, cultural connections, and particular occasions ashore — making the cruise expertise much more memorable.
See what different cruise strains have been featured within the 2022 Better of Journey Awards:
It’s crucial to really feel comfy and secure whereas touring. Medjet offers premier air medical transport, journey safety, and disaster response memberships, offering peace of thoughts for an reasonably priced value.