A river cruise is a very different experience than one on an ocean liner, the boats are much smaller with a more intimately sized passenger group, the closeness to shore allows for a lot of stops, and many of the boats themselves are the epitome of first class. At the top end of luxury travel are European river cruises, these ships offer the most amazing perks from Michelin-starred chefs on board to on-shore excursions like private museum tours. If you are looking for a truly luxurious vacation, these three river cruise lines can definitely deliver. From Crystal River Cruise’s Mozart cruise on the Danube, Uniworld’s’ brand new Joie de Vivre which cruises the Seine, to the classic Viking, these river cruise lines are sure to please.
Known for their luxury ocean cruises, Crystal River Cruises is the company’s recent foray into the European River Cruise market. By all accounts, the line’s first tour, the Mozart itinerary on the Danube, is a home run. The ship has all the luxury appointments that you could desire with top-rated chefs in each of the four on board restaurants. The high-tech staterooms come with an iPad Mini and with only 154 passengers on board you will enjoy a high level of pampering! The crew to passenger ratio is an astonishing 1:1.75 so you will never want for anything!
If you are looking to travel the Seine is absolute style, book a river cruise on Uniworld’s Joie de Vivre. The day starts with sunrise yoga and ends with cocktails at the supper club. In between are on shore excursions and relaxing by the pool. One of the best aspects of this river cruise is that almost everything is included in the price of the cruise. This includes food, all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and most all of the on shore excursions. Optional activities such as spa treatments and a small selection of tours do come at an additional charge.
The Grand European Tour on the Viking Skirnir is a trip that will surely be unforgettable. This 14-night excursion departs Budapest with stops in Austria and Germany before finishing in Amsterdam. Viking is known for its high-quality experiences from on board entertainment to exquisite activities on land. These two-week itineraries allow stops at both the originating city and the final stop if you would like to extend your time away from it all. Viking offers many different itineraries throughout Europe, and there is sure to be one that perfectly fits your vacation desires!
A European river cruise is a fantastic way to see more of this beautiful continent while traveling in luxury and style. If you are interested in a stress-free way to explore various cities in Europe, check out one of these exciting options. With the close proximity to shore, excursions are plentiful and you will likely discover some hidden gems along your travels. River cruises are the height of luxury travel and these top three cruise lines are sure to please.