An amazing way to experience the best
destinations from a new perspective.
Call 1 (800) 665-4981 and book with one of the following agent’s who’ve been on a River Cruise.
See More Agents or select an agent to browse their profile
River cruising is quite possibly, the best way to travel through many of the world’s most fascinating places. Comfortable and convenient, it offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way, and lets you get in-depth exposure to the culture and history of each region. Both experienced and first-time travellers have discovered the joys of river cruising, making it the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry.
Comfortable, convenient, slow paced and very inclusive river cruising is the growth travel category based on sensory experience. Gourmet meals prepared by the European chefs, local wines and beers included with dinners, enriching programs consists of sightseeing, demonstrations, workshops and lectures, opens Europe's historical heart to a comfort oriented traveller. River cruising is a very competitive segment with top-notch operators and frequent pricing promotions, therefore it is very important to deal with a knowledgeable travel agent who can select the best price and the itinerary. The most important waterways of Europe create the majority of the itineraries offered, and are the Rhine, the Moselle, the Danube, and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. One can sail on one continuous for 3,000 miles along the river network and visit 13 countries on a deluxe passenger ship. Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, crossing the Continental Divide with an elevation of 1,330 feet, by negotiating a complex system of river locks. Or start your vacation in Prague, then cruise from Nuremberg to Trier on the Main, Rhine and Moselle rivers and conclude your trip in magnificent Paris. You can venture out to Eastern Europe cruising through the narrow gorges of the Iron Gates, sail along the Romanian-Bulgarian border to Bucharest, then stay overnight in Bulgaria before ending your journey in what was known for centuries as the world’s greatest city, Istanbul. In addition to Central & South East Europe, some river cruise operators offer France (Seine, Rhone and Saone), Portugal (Douro), Belgium & Holland (Maas and inland canals) Russia (Volga), Egypt (Nile) and China (Yangtze). Brand new for the fall of 2009 is the Mekong River offering 7 night cruises from Vietnam to Cambodia.
All river cruise operators include pre & post accommodation; some offer pre and post tours and discounts on consecutive bookings. Scenic European river cruises have ships with balconies, provide butler service, and even include all tips for the crew, cruise director and local sightseeing guides. In the economy where Canadian dollar does not buy much in Europe, river cruising offers a pre-paid, nearly all-inclusive vacation, with minimal financial exposure while travelling. Almost all river cruise companies offer the Oberammergau Passion Play module in conjunction with their select 2010 itineraries.
Cruising season in Europe commences in early April with Tulip Time programs, and carries on until December with Christmas cruises. However, main cruising season is from June until the end of September, and those dates book early and are priced accordingly. For travellers on a budget, savings are available in the months of May, August, October and November. Some reverse itineraries (from South East to North West, tend to be priced lower). River cruise departures are guaranteed, and your vacation plan will go on uninterrupted, even if the water levels of European rivers are low: all river cruise operator have coaches available, and can negotiate any low water areas with minimal adjustment to the planned itinerary.
New river cruise prices and itineraries typically launch in June of the previous year, and desirable departures sell rather quickly and with early booking discount, meaning that it is imperative to book early. River cruise programs are not subject to heavy late season discounts, and booking early and utilizing early booking bonuses and offers of free airfare makes a lot of sense.
All river cruise operators have invested heavily into the fleets of modern, comfortable and efficient cruise vessels. Some have older, retrofitted ships in their portfolio (Viking and Uniworld), while some have ships only a year old (Scenic Tours, AMA Waterways, and Avalon Waterways). The layout of these vessels provides for all outside cabins, on typically 3 – 4 levels. Most new ships have over 80% of the cabins featuring sliding doors and French balconies, while Scenic European cruise vessels feature true balconies equipped with a table and 2 chairs. An average size stateroom is approximately 120sq. ft. Suites are as large as 274sq.ft. All cabins boast well-appointed bathrooms with shower stalls, while suites have a full-size bathtub, well supplied with plush towels and cotton bathrobes. Each stateroom has a sophisticated Infotainment System with English language TV stations, Internet, movies and music channels, satellite telephone, hair dryer, terry bathrobes, slippers, safe, and individually controlled A/C system.
Public areas onboard these modern vessels are true state-of-the-art! Elegantly appointed front desk areas with gorgeous contemporary artwork, with comfortable lounges, bar areas and spacious Sun Decks, create a feeling of welcome and luxury.
Pretty much all river cruise ships have spa and wellness areas including a fitness room, massage and beauty salons, and could accommodate several users at one time.
Many companies offer bicycles onboard, which can be used by passengers, free of charge, to explore small towns. Or enjoy well maintained bicycle paths along the rivers.
Your ship departs after midnight and cruises quietly through the night to the next destination. Early risers can watch the sunrise from the Sun Deck while savouring a cup of freshly brewed coffee or walk laps on the Sun Deck before heading to the restaurant for the delectable morning buffet. During breakfast, arrive in a charming town or a major city where local guides await to show you the highlights of their home town during the all-inclusive sighsteeing tours. Spend the morning exploring ashore before returning to your ship in the afternoon to enjoy lunch onboard while cruising to your next destination.
Refresh in your stateroom, sip local wine while relaxing on your balcony, and then join your friends and fellow travellers in the restaurant for a delicious lunch and magnificent scenery. Later, stretch out on a comfortable chaise lounge on the Sun Deck and let the world float by. Or read a book, sip your favourite drink at the bar or listen to an interesting lecture presented in the Main Lounge. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or take in the scenic views from the spa/fitness area, while doing your exercise. You may want to retire to your stateroom, open the sliding glass door of your French balcony and breathe in the refreshing country air. Your personal stateroom Infotainment System provides easy internet and e-mail access, world-wide English news stations, and a large selection of great movies and music programs. Indulge in the European tradition of afternoon tea time hosted in the Panorama Lounge for a selection of European cookies and light desserts accompanied by soft piano music.
Every evening the chef tries to surprise you with a gourmet meal selection and accompanying complimentary free-flowing red and white wine. After dinner, local entertainers perform onboard or you are taken into town for prearranged engagements. There is time to explore the nightlife ashore or dance to piano music in the Main Lounge – each moment is designed for your pleasure during your cruise.
Onboard culinary staff offers sophisticated menus comprised of wonderful soups, fresh produce, high quality choice cut meats, fresh fish and seafood. The day starts with a lavish gourmet breakfast. One can choose from a rich assortment of breads, croissants and pastries, variety of fresh fruit, yogurt, cereals, and smoked salmon. One can sample delicious cheeses, cold cuts and local sausages, as well as daily regional specials. Delicious lunches consist of mouth-watering cold and hot appetizers, homemade soups, selection of great entrees, and finished with delectable desserts and complimentary coffees and cappuccinos. Dinners are elegant and often traditionally themed with a feast of regional specialities. The delicious European cuisine is enjoyed with complimentary free-flowing wines from the local vinters, while beers and soft drinks are also available.
All river cruise operators offer enhanced shore excursion programs which give an in-depth and authentic view of the cultures and histories of the cities you visit. You will see city highlights and discover the places only the locals know about. River cruise itineraries are cultural adventures filled with discovery of fascinating history, local traditions, tranquil landscapes, alluring hamlets and magnificent hilltop castles. There will be opportunities to shake hands with small town Mayors or share a toast with the Wine Queen during the cruise through the picturesque Moselle Valley. Arrangements have been made throughout many cruises, to experience some of the most sightseeing available.