River cruising is one of the most popular ways to travel. And because each cruise line has its own personality, there really is something for everyone! Not only do river cruises offer a much more intimate setting for travelers, but the ships are designed to access more remote and off-the-beaten-path destinations. This means that when you get off your ship, you are immediately immersed within the culture of your surroundings. Here, Reid Travel shares their top three luxury river cruising recommendations.
Tauck River Cruises along the Rhine
Tauck River Cruises have been at the top of the river cruising market for over 10 years. The cruise line sets itself apart with its all-inclusive “uncommon access” events on shore and by staffing every ship with one cruise director and three Tauck directors to provide exceptional cultural information and service throughout each journey. During a cruise along the Rhine through Austria, Switzerland and Germany, you will glide past fairy-tale-like castles and villages you would normally only see in a picture book. Once docked, enjoy sampling brews and sausages in a biergarten, cycling along the riverbank, and wine tasting at local vineyards. With so much to see and do, a Rhine itinerary should be on everyone’s bucket list.
AmaWaterways Cruises through the French Countryside
AmaWaterways has been a pioneer in the river cruise market since it launched in 2002. It has led the way in the innovation of riverboats by being the first to introduce twin-balcony staterooms and the first to carry a fleet of bicycles for onshore tours. Local entertainment is also brought directly onto the ships for guests to fully immerse in the culture of their destinations. The French countryside is just one of the many itineraries AmaWaterways sails, with the delectable food and wine culture of France as the focus. You not only get to spoil your taste buds on land, but onboard as well, with local foods and wines featured throughout your journey. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Avignon, as well as Arles, the city where Vincent van Gogh spent much of his life. And if you want to complete this already magical experience, add on the romantic Barcelona extension.
Crystal River Cruises on the Danube
Crystal Cruises, the “world’s most awarded luxury cruise line” on the ocean, is the newest all-inclusive cruise line to sail the rivers of Europe thanks to the introduction of Crystal Mozart, the first of five intimate, all-suite, butler-serviced river yachts. Crystal Mozart is the most luxurious ship on the Danube (and the only all-inclusive riverboat to offer a round-trip Vienna itinerary). It also boasts the most spacious suites and the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any other riverboat. The sheer size of this vessel allows for extra amenities, including multiple dining options and Michelin-star-level cuisine, the finest of linens and plush pillows, and an indoor pool and spa. Crystal offers all the luxuries of a cruise vacation, plus immersion opportunities equivalent of a land tour as you sail through towns along the river.