Six European River Cruise Lines you Need to Know About

River Cruises are a wonderful way to travel through Europe as so many of the major cities sit right there on the river’s edge. Whether you travel the Rhine River, Main River, Danube River, Rhode River, or Seine River, you are bound to find the perfect blend of exploration, stunning landscapes and cultural immersion. The ease of a ship taking you through the various countries allows you to relax as the menu, itinerates and accommodations are already planned out. The hard part is deciding which European river cruise line is best for you.

Europe has a number of wonderful river cruise lines including AmaWaterways, Avalon, Emerald, Scenic, Tauck and Viking but what are the differences between these cruise lines, what are the benefits of one over the other and how does a traveler decide which one to book? Lets go over six of the major river cruise lines and get a feel for the industry.


Voted Best for Active Cruisers

AmaWaterways has become internationally recognized for its exceptional service, attention to detail, and commitment to providing guests with the highest quality of travel experiences. They are proud to continuously innovate the river cruise experience by designing one-of-a-kind ships for more comfort and luxury. With locally sourced food and wine that changes daily, guests are are able to immerse themselves further into the culture the are visiting.

Fun note: AmaWatareways partners with Disney Experience


Avalon Waterways

Voted Best Cabins

Avalon believes that clients deserve more choices and seeing how they are owned by Globus Corporation, they have a plethora of tours available to their guests, not only on the river, but on land, too.

Their entire fleet has “Suite Ships” feature rooms with a floor-to-ceiling window wall with sliding glass doors that that open to turn the accommodations themselves into a balcony in good weather. Avalon also likes to position their beds to face the water, not the wall, in order to complement the view through their sliding glass doors.



Voted Best Value for Money

Emerald Cruise Lines is the little sister brand of Scenic Cruise Lines with the difference being friendlier on the budget. Just because it is the little sister, don’t underestimate her. Emerald takes great advantage of it’s limited space with advances like raising a floor in the pool to create a cinema room at night. The laid back, active vibe is bringing in a fun loving crowd, causing Emerald to be growing it’s fleet fast!

Something that has definitely peeked interest in their clients is EmperaldPLUS, the specially-selected tours designed to immerse you in local life.



Voted Best All-Inclusive European Cruise Line

Scenic is a 5 Star, All-Inclusive luxury river cruises with your very own butler. You might read that other cruise lines includes wine and beer or that the tours are included but when you read the fine print, you will find that the other cruise lines only offer wine and beer during dinning hours or that there is only a select number of tours included. Scenic prides themselves of absolutely everything being included in their price (other than spa, salon and souvenirs). Yes, that means free flowing drinks all day, tours, e-bikes, gratuity, transfers and port charges. For those that want to explore at leisure, Scenic even offers tailormade GPS devices for self guided tours. Very few people pull out there wallet during there Scenic cruise and the walletless experience is what is making headway for Scenic Cruise Lines.



Best Enrichment

Never settle for ordinary. Tauck is a family owned company whom attention to detail ranks high in the river cruise industry. Although their ships are the same size as other cruise lines, Tauck carries fewer passengers than its competitors making the lounges and restaurants feel less crowded and allows for smaller groups for shore excursions. Their rates are All-Inclusive with wine and beer served all day long and their four on-board Tauck tour staff is a great addition to personal attention the guest receive.

Fun note: Tauck Bridges is a family program aimed for all ages and generations to discover culture together.



Voted Best European river Cruise for First Timers

Viking has over 25% of all river cruise ships in Europe and being the most advertised river cruise company, we tend to think of Viking first. Viking is great, especially given that they have a lot itineraries and available dates for clients who are looking for a specific vacation. Not to mention, they have different staterooms to accommodate different price points. What makes Viking different is that Viking offers a more casual atmosphere with a relaxed dress code and fewer frills included for your experience.


Contact travel agent Jamie Lovejoy to help plan your European River Cruise.


Related Posts
Riu resorts travel agent, Jamie Lovejoy.Lovejoy travel agency at Xcaret in Mexico