Travel Tips: Best Time Of The Year For European River Cruises
I know that this wasnt a very definitive answer to my initial question. But the truth is, I dont have one of those goofy hats , and therefore, Im not a river cruise climatologist and dont have a definitive answer.
Your best course of action? Be certain to include water level probabilities in your discussions and be aware of the possible risks. No one can ever promise you absolute perfection with every travel experience. Airline strikes, volcanoes, floods, and stifling hot weather are just a few of the things that can pop up to make a mess of your vacation. Do your best to contemplate the things that can go wrong, and then be flexible. You cant predict all things, but you can decide to make lemonade out of lemons. Right?
What To Know Before You Book
If youre new to river cruising, there are a few things to note before you book. A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise in fact, its probably more similar to a city break, with lots more sightseeing, exploring and mingling with locals. Take a look at some of the need-to-knows about river cruising below.
Youll be on land almost every day
Theres plenty of opportunities to step onto dry land and explore new cultures as part of a river cruise perfect if youre keen to explore. For those excited about the opportunity to experience new destinations, its important to make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes and sufficient clothing for different weather conditions.
Many ports offer a variety of excursions
To get the very most out of every day on a river cruise, wed suggest researching the daily excursions available, as well as the highlights of the regions, cities and towns you are visiting. From immersive guided experiences and tours to solo exploration, Emerald Cruises gives you great freedom to explore new places at your own pace, on your own route.
Some itineraries feature mini city breaks
Dining experiences designed to take you there
Researching the rivers can help before you book
The Best River Cruises In Europe
European river cruises have skyrocketed in popularity since the start of the new millennium. With increased investment, innovation and improvement in the vessels, itineraries and service, river cruising provides a viable way to explore much of Europe in a leisurely fashion. Traveler testimonials praise the best river cruises in Europe for their relaxed pace, intimate scale, lovely scenery, easy access to smaller ports, fresh produce, attentive service and comfortable accommodations.
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Explore An International Horticultural Wonderland Abloom With Green Cities And Designed With Healthy Living In Mind
As a special Dutch treat included on this river cruise, visit Floriade 2022, the World’s Fair of horticultural shows. Explore an international horticultural wonderland that celebrates Green Cities of the Future on 148 acres of land repurposed and reclaimed from the sea for a future rich in sustainability, greenery, food, energy and healthy living. Featuring four themed districts connected by bridges, walkways, gondolas and trains, this once in a decade exposition will run from April to October as it showcases green-themed, flower-filled exhibitions from more than 40 countries, along with cultural entertainment, art and cuisine that make it fun for everyone. Truly an energizing experience!
Book Today… And Travel Dreams Begin
Getting To And From A River Cruise
A consistent pain point in customer reviews of river cruise lines involves travel to and from the ship, which for travelers can be a stressful aspect of a trip. Common complaints include air travel thats either difficult to book, inconvenient, poorly managed or not available around the travel dates. Manage your flights online. Pick your seats early and check in frequently before your travel date to make sure nothing has changed.
Depending on how close the airport is to your ships port, you might consider taking an Uber or a Lyft from the airport to your port location or hotel if youre staying in one the night before. This saves on not only car rental costs but parking costs while youre on your cruise.
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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Whilst you may not have heard of this much awarded company , you should certainly add it to yourroster of the best river cruise vessels in the world.
When you step on one of their vessels, you immediately start toappreciate the Uniworld difference. The concept is all aboutrecreating the feel of a small boutique hotel on board anall-inclusive river vessel, and every ship is different, personallydesigned by members of the Tollman family who own Uniworld’sparent, TravCorp.
If you’ve seen pictures of Uniworld’s ships then you’ll probablyhave been struck by the slightly garish interiors depicted in theofficial photography but in reality, the decor is a lot moresubtle than it appears in the oversaturated promo shots. Quirky,yes, but elegant and tasteful with it.
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.
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A World Of River Cruises Beyond Europe
But, of course, the world is larger than just Europe.
When you think river cruise, Europe probably springs to mind first. Europe is, in fact, the biggest destination for river cruising.
Yet its also possible to drift on inland waterways in many different countries, including in Egypt , China, the U.S., India, the Far East and South America.
You can sail on everything from a six-person luxury barge to a floating river hotel.
Weve been fortunate to enjoy several of the worlds best river cruises in China, Egypt , Namibia, Myanmar and our most recent, in France on the Seine River .
Indeed, ever since our first river cruise, weve been hooked on meandering slowly along rivers, soaking up some of the worlds most historic and cultural sights.
Were pretty sure that once you take your first river cruise, you too will be seduced by river cruising.
Dont miss! See our ultimate Cruise Guide youll find boatloads of cruise reviews
Will Anyone Tell Us When To Avoid River Cruises In Europe
Q Just discovered your site and am hopeful I can get an answer to a question that my engineers mind cant help asking, Were contemplating a Danube Riverboat cruise, company to be determined based on my spreadsheet results, but I really want to know how I can best minimize the high river flooding that has led to some past river cruise vacations becoming bus tours. My wife and I have no interest in bus touring. Is there any data on when one should avoid river boats on Europes rivers? Ive been through the various company brochures and they never mention the flooding issue.
A You have raised one of the river boat industrys best kept secrets. There is a season for flooding. That season is spring with April the month you definitely want to avoid, given your concerns. April and early May are the months when a combination of melting snow and predictable rains can cause a considerable rise in water levels. The issue is that river boats must be built within certain strict size parameters to be able to fit under low-hanging bridges along the major rivers. High waters mean the boat portion of the cruise must be cancelled.
The problem is that high water has occurred in May and even into early June. To minimize the risk of high water ruining your riverboat experience you might want to avoid sailing the Rhine or the Danube on the scenic stretch between Vienna and Cologne. As a rule, the Moselle is less likely to flood.
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Goddess Stream Gorges China
On a cruise down the Yangtze River with Victoria Cruises, you may go through the picturesque Goddess Stream gorges.
Take a land trip in Fengdu to visit the fabled Ghost City, where mystical attractions include the Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge and the Ghost Torturing Pass. As you pass pagodas on the riverbanks, youll encounter the infamous Three Gorges Dam, the worlds largest hydro-powered project .
European River Cruises Tips
- Choose from the delightful Danube for cultural immersion, the relaxing Rhine for an enchanting adventure or the stunning Seine for an intimate tour of Paris, there are many possibilities to ensure that you have the best river cruise experience.
- Get up at least once to watch the sunrise! Remember to wear warm clothes as it can be chilly as the mist rises up from the river and the sun peeks over the hills to wake up all the birds along the banks.
- It would be a crime not to sample the delicious flavours on your cruise ship! Indulge in a sweet stroopwafel in Amsterdam, a tasty trdelník in Prague, or a mouthwatering macaron in France.
- There is a wide range of cruises to choose from. Lueftner, Regina, or Nicko offer cheap and cheerful comfort cruises, or if you like living the life of luxury, AmaWaterways, Scenic and APT are for you!
- Make the most out of your river cruise by bringing some binoculars. They will help you zoom in on those fairytale castles scattered throughout the landscape. If you forget, the boat might have extras.
- Dont hesitate! European summer is prime-time for cruising so make sure you grab our last-minute 2019 deals so you can spend your days cruising on tranquil waters. Its pure bliss!
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Egypt River Cruise Tips
- Hop off your boat and take a sunrise balloon trip from Luxor! Theres something about floating silently above the temples that is such a magical experience.
- No matter what time of year you visit, Egypt gets hot, obviously, youre in the desert! Bring a hat, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen and make sure you stay hydrated with bottled water.
- You should definitely add the word baksheesh to your vocabulary, which means tip. Youll hear this one a lot and it will be expected for anything and everything. Tipping locals for their services is expected and a way of life in Egypt.
- Make the most of your cruise ship facilities. After spending your days exploring temples and tombs in the desert heat, theres nothing quite like enjoying a hot cup of tea watching the palm trees pass you by.
- Remember to pack clothes for both hot and cold weather, as the nights can get chilly. Also remember that Egypt is a muslim country, so men are required to wear trousers and women should also cover up. A wardrobe of loose capris and blouses should do nicely!
- Head to the top deck in the evening. Theres nothing quite like watching the sunset over the dusty desert sand from your river cruise while sipping Arabic coffee and watching your hair dance as the wind blows.
- There are many cruises that sail along the Nile with Uniworld, Scenic and Emerald Waterways offering a luxurious travel experience.
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.
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Viking River Cruises Review Which Recommended Provider
Viking River Cruises may be the largest river cruise line in the world, but don’t assume that means large ships packed full of people. In fact, the complete opposite is true, with the self-styled ‘small ship experts’ earning full marks for its on-board passenger to space ratio. Customer service, food and drink and port excursions are also rated highly by guests, making this a great way of visiting Europe, Egypt or Asia.
, or read our full Viking review for more information.
River Cruises Are Busy
Unlike ocean cruises that offer “sea days” with plenty of time to relax, voyages along European waterways include a stop each day with a busy — albeit completely optional — sightseeing program. So if you want to make the most of your trip, there isn’t always as much time to chill out onboard as you might think.
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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.
Frequently Asked Questions About River Cruises
What is river cruising?
Its a form of leisure boat travel along inland waterways most popularly along the worlds major rivers, including the Mississippi, Danube, Rhine, Volga and Yangtze. River cruise boats are smaller than ocean liners to maneuver smaller waterways and can carry up to 250 guests. This reduced capacity makes the whole experience of river cruising more intimate than typical ocean cruising.
Are river ships different from other cruise ships?
River ships are much smaller in size compared to giant ocean liners, so they cater to fewer guests. It is easier to get to know some of the other travelers on a river ship. Also, because rivers are shallow, river cruises tend to be smoother sailing than ocean liners.
How long does a typical river cruise last?
River cruises are typically just over a week in length and include several port stops during each passage. Instead of spending many days at sea, you will spend less time sailing on a river cruise and can expect to awaken each day in a new port.
What are some amenities found on river cruises?
Ocean liners often sail with amenities such as pools, fitness centers, casinos, entertainment venues and so on. River ships tend to have fewer onboard amenities and instead offer educational, cultural or culinary experiences to keep things lively on board.
What can I expect a river cruise to include?
Whats the best season for a river cruise?
What should I pack for a river cruise?
What type of person enjoys a river cruise?
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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.
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
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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
Hudson River With Usa River Cruises
No, were not just circling around Lady Liberty were boarding in NYC and heading north through the Catskill Mountains. Youll stop in historic towns like West Point, Kingston and Sleepy Hollow, taking in the sweeping views of the majestic Hudson River Valley . This cruise is perfect for anyone whos forgotten New York was more than the Manhattan skyline.
8 days fares from $4,415 sails September through October
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How To Get The Best European River Cruises
The purpose of this page is provide you a comprehensive guide of the available Europe River Cruise Routes, so you can decide on which route will be the best for your next Europe river cruise vacation.
Europe has the distinction of the continent with the largest number of navigable rivers compared to other regions of the world. They are often devoid of major obstacles such as waterfalls and rapids, and are usually wide and deep enough to allow a steady passage of people and material on all types of sailing vessels. Combine the easy navigation with captivating sights such as castles, vineyards, capital cities and small, quaint villages and it is clear to me why folks would want to sail these amazing rivers!
Europe Rivers Photo Map from AmaWaterways
We are often ask Which river should we sail on for my first Europe river cruise? My short answer is take multiple trips–I would sail on all of them! However, the problem is that most of us dont have unlimited time and money to sail them all.
So to solve this dilemma, here is our guide to the European River routes most available to you. I will describe the river, point out a couple of highlights and why you might consider sailing on this river. The routes may be very short or may cover larger distances. While there are some variations, many lines essentially cruise the same route on the most popular European rivers.
Ready?Lets cruise together!