With River cruising, I’ve always had the vision of a load of retired Americans in new white trainers and long socks disembarking from river cruise ships. I’ve always seen it as a retired person choice of holiday and until recently this may well have been the case.
However, move over you American oldies as there’s a new river cruise passenger in town.
River cruising is not a new style holiday but with the cruise market growing it’s certainly an ever-changing area of travel. As more operators invest in this market the competition for passengers is high.
The bridges on most of the rivers dictate the height of the boats so the difference in brands tends to be on the length of the boats and how they are laid out. Although some have managed to fit extra levels with hydraulic systems that raise and lower the top canopy on the boats. With a growing market, the brands available have something for everyone. Watch out for changes to these boats as operators look for that different edge.
AmaWaterways are introducing a ship double the width of the now-standard River Cruising vessel. This double width will offer them the ability to add larger staterooms, more passengers and more focus on health and wellness. Changes to the ship include adding a Gym, walking the track and heated deck for Yoga and fitness classes. Look out for this new called the AmaMagnan
Think city breaks but rather than one city you visit multiple staying on a 4 star plus hotel. Exploring the cities by day or night and cruising between destinations. Soak up some rays during the day as the boat cruises along the river. Or relax over lunch or dinner watching the water scene drift by, it beats having to check-in at an airport.
Some River Cruising options are now starting to focus on Wellness and fitness so look out for Yoga on the river and electric bikes onboard to get around when docked. The wellness carries on into the food with low-calorie superfood menus, Vegan and Vegetarian menus as well as detox drinks galore. These facilities are often on the more luxurious ships on operators such as Scenic, AmaWaterways, Crystal and Uniworld
If your are curious about river cruising then read on to find out which cruises option might be for you.
Here are our top choices for river cruising and we explain why you would choose one river cruise company over another.
Croisi river cruises are a French-owned riverboat operator offering 4-star service and accommodation. Great value for money, with small hauled boats taking you into smaller ports that bigger boats can’t get to. This saves lengthy coach transfers and gives you the maximum time at the destination. It also offers itineraries that no other river cruises offer. Affordable river cruising with French cuisine and ambiance but all staff are multi-lingual.
Excursions are not included in their prices allowing you to pick and choose to your preference and budget. Nice sized cabins with the entry-level cabins offering a full-sized window at water level. Table service for all meals which serves a set menu for lunch and dinner. Vegans and food tolerances can be accommodated but advanced notice must be given. Not for picky eaters as the choice is limited.
All meals are included and an open bar with wines served with lunch and dinner. Wifi is also included and packages can be purchased in advance including excursions. However, disembarking and exploring on your own is an easy option at most stops.
Dress code is very much relaxed casual through the day with a little smarter in the evening. They do offer one formal evening per cruise but that does not require formal dress.
Similar operators to Croisi would be:
A-Rosa a German-owned company, their boats often have pools as well as saunas and or spas. Some also have bikes available on board to hire and cycle around the cities and towns you visit. They mainly operate on the German and Austrian Rivers, think Rhine, Mosel, and Danube.
River Cruise Options on a Budget
The River Cruise Line is very popular with the British, good value for money as one of cheapest but cabins are one of the smallest. A mix of buffets and fixed menus. Great value for those on a budget. Also, consider Riviera Travel for their great value river cruises.
River Cruise Options for Solo Travellers
Riviera Cruise Travel This cruise operator is perfect for the solo cruiser offering single cabins on most of there itineraries with no supplements. They also offer Solo cruises and solo dinners onboard the ship. Consider also Saga Cruises for Single travelers.
River Cruise No-Fly Options
Shearings are a great choice for those looking not to fly with their option of coach transfer from the UK. They offer their own fleet of River Cruise ships as well as with A-Rosa and Croisi Europe.
Door to Door River Cruise Service
As part of their river cruise package collection from home to the airport is included in the price with some operators. A great service which takes the hassle out of traveling. This services can be booked as part of a package with the following companies;
Scenic Cruises, Titan Holidays, Saga Cruises, Shearings and Avalon Cruises to name just a few.
Luxury River Cruising Options
If luxury is your taste and style then luxury river cruising will not disappoint you at all. These operators in the luxury market have some amazing ships to choose from, all offering the ultimate experience. Our favorites for different reasons are as follows:
Emerald Cruises These boats are very popular with first-time River cruisers with their swimming pool and a retractable roof. We love this for the swimming pool that turns into a swimming pool at night, a very ingenious idea.
Scenic Cruises – Whilst the ships are stunning and offer the same fabulous menus and complimentary drinks, boast some of the largest cabins and free Wifi! Scenic is all about excursions. Scenic Cruises are for those wanting to get off and explore. Think sunsets, Castles, Wine tours, Culture, Heritage and Folklore.
Crystal Cruises If you like a big cabin (their smallest is 188 square feet) and opulent surroundings then Crystal is the cruise for you. Add to this their reputation for excellent food and a fabulous selection of wines.
Uniworld – Think butlers, fine dining of the local areas you visit and luxurious surroundings. Each of the ships are uniquely fitted with wonderful art and sculptures.
U by Uniworld – These two ships named A and B are specifically for the younger cruiser offering different experiences such as silent discos, mixology lessons, and the ships schedule shared by Whatsapp. Add to this trendy decor with wellness menus and itineraries visiting the liveliest cities.
For help with your next river cruise give us a call at Go Easy Travel 01256 536020 or email us today.