Planning your expensive river cruise vacation by yourself is a risky business. You don’t know river cruising industry, destination, customs. – Why don’t take advantage of knowledge and firsthand experience of Nadia Jastrjembskaia, CLIA-certified cruise advisor in the rank of Elite Cruise Counselor.

River Cruising

Currently one of the hottest segments of travel, river cruising is in high demand and growing fast.

More destinations are being offered than ever before, giving guests a glimpse of a staggering number of rivers around the world.

As the interest in river cruises increases, so do the amenities offered aboard the ships.

An average American based River Cruise ship can accommodate anywhere from 24 to 450 guests.

The average European based river cruise ship is designed to accommodate somewhere between 118 and 190 passengers.

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about River Cruising

“Discover how to see Europe. Without packing and unpacking. Without jumping from train to bus. From bus to train. Just enjoy medieval cities and villages. Vistas and food …”

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River cruising Europe guide

River Cruising Brands

There are currently more River Cruise companies based out of the U.S. than anywhere else, some of the long-term established brands are

In the last two years, a few foreign brands have migrated to the U. S. market. These newer brands include:

  • A-Rosa
  • Amadeus by Luftner (represented by Amaras River Cruises in U. S.)
  • CroisiEurope
  • Scenic Cruises

River Cruise Collection

River Collection is a set of river cruise brochures from the different cruise companies.

In Nadia’s River Collection, you’ll discover:

  • 46 brochures
  • 12 river cruise companies

New ideas about river cruising all over the world that you even didn’t think about.

To get INSTANT access to all 46 brochures – simply click the button, enter your email address and I’ll send you your link right away!

River Cruising Destinations


Europe currently has the largest number of rivers explored by the River Cruising industry. Some of the more desired European River Destinations include:

  • Rhine River
  • Maine River
  • Elba River
  • Danube River
  • Moselle River
  • Phone River
  • Seine River
  • Saone River
  • Douro River
  • Po River
  • Russian waterways (between Moscow and St Petersburg)

Explore Beyond

For those of you looking to explore beyond the borders of Europe, River Cruises offers some of the more exotic, non-European River Destinations. A few of the most popular are listed below:

  • Amazon River
  • Mekong River
  • Nile River
  • Yangtze River
  • Choba River (in Africa)
  • Irrawdy River (Myanmar)


Aboard a River cruise, you’ll also have the choice to explore a number of U. S. locations; some of the more popular U. S. River Cruise Destinations include:

  • Upper and lower Mississippi River
  • Ohio River
  • Tennessee River
  • Columbia and Snake Rivers
  • Puget Sound River
  • Hudson River
  • Florida waterways

River Cruises vs Ocean Cruises: The Truth about their Differences


 All-Inclusive Nature

River Cruises are more inclusive, offering guests with more accommodations and meals (including wine and beer for both dinner and lunch for most tours and excursions). For some cruises, all drinks, gratuities, tours, and pre- and post- hotel stays are free.
There are a few River Cruising companies that offer a-la-carte service.

Bigger Staterooms

The staterooms on a River Cruise ship are more spacious than those on an Ocean Cruise ship, increasing from about 150 sq. ft. to 300 sq. ft. River Cruise Staterooms often include Hotel-style beds, bigger bathrooms, and floor-to-ceiling French balconies (fully opened). Unlike an Ocean Cruise, there are no table reservations required for dining on a River Cruise ship. River Cruise passengers are provided with gourmet quality food aboard each ship; some cruising companies opt to also provide on-shore dining, which is included in their pricing.

Focus on Destination

The main focus during a River Cruise is the destination; each cruise ship acts as a floating hotel, taking the hassle out of travel. Knowing their guests are traveling to particular locations so they can experience cultural immersion into the local culture, River Cruise ships provide tours at almost every port. These tours usually accommodate up to 40 people and include individual headsets for each guest so that the guides can be heard easily at all times.


Different Demographics

The most common demographic breakdown for River Cruise guests tends to be individuals 50 years or older; allowing for a perfectly quiet kid-free getaway. There has been an increase in the abundance of teenage passengers traveling with their parents and/or grandparents, however, as companies try and transform the experience into a more inclusive one. Specific companies even offer bicycle tours, hiking, and fast paced excursions in hopes of appealing to a higher number of younger individuals, encouraging the upcoming generations to take part in these culturally enriching experiences.


Country Club Environment

River Cruises, in general, are great for small groups, and will often provide welcoming accommodations for single passengers. For groups of a slightly larger capacity, it is sometimes possible to enjoy a little extra – in a lot of cases guests can receive a free cruise when they book at least 5 staterooms, often allowing guests to share the experience with another friend or family member.

River Cruise Lines


The hotel that travels with you, AmaWaterways lets you cruise through the heart of some of Europe’s historical cities. Providing guests with an intimate onboard setting, AmaWaterways’ custom-designed ships offer state-of-the-art public spaces and a friendly atmosphere.

Each night, you’ll get to relax, listen to music, and enjoy the complimentary onboard entertainment offered.

AmaWaterways offers a generous selection of amenities, including in-room Internet access, free onboard meals, unlimited fine wine, beer, and sodas with both lunch and dinner.

For select AmaWaterways ships, guests can choose to stay in exclusive twin balcony staterooms, which consist of a French balcony plus a separate, private outside balcony.

Modern bathroom amenities aboard an AmaWaterways ship include multi-jet shower heads, a spa bath and body toiletries, as well as a magnifying mirror.

Aboard an AmaWaterways river cruise, you’ll also have the option of visiting their Massage, Beauty and Hair Salon, Fitness Studio, Sun Deck, sauna, or their heated whirlpool or swimming pool for a bit of relaxation.

But the fun doesn’t stop there; at each port, you can experience enriching shore excursions and bicycle tours where you’re sure to be treated with personalized attention.

AmaWaterways’ complimentary small group excursions allow you and your experienced guide to explore at your own designed pace, heightening the enjoyment for both active and leisurely walkers.

These daily shore excursions even accommodate for those who prefer to sleep in by offering a “Late Starter” group. If you’re less interested in a guided tour, AmaWaterways carries more than two dozen bicycles that’ll give you the freedom to separate yourself from the group and explore on your own.

Avalon Waterways

Known for their radically different approach to designing staterooms, Avalon Waterways designed their Suite Ships® with great attention to details.

By staying in their one-of-a-kind Panorama SuitesSM, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable and relaxing vacation on the river.

The wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to control when you bring the beauty of the outside into your room. This unique Open-Air-Balcony® allows you to enjoy the amazing views with the feeling of being outside without leaving the comfort of your own room, enhancing your experience rain or shine.

Going above and beyond to maximize your comfort, Avalon has reconfigured the concept of a ship bathroom; Avalon bathrooms are not only bigger in size, they’re also upgraded with enlarged showers, marble countertops, premium fixtures, floor-to-ceiling granite tiles, and L’Occitane® bath products. With these upgrades and unique designs, Avalon Waterways allows you to enjoy the comforts of home with the sights you’ll never forget.

Understanding that sightseeing isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience, Avalon Waterways provide guests with three different sightseeing pace options, including:

  • Leisurely Sightseeing
  • Traditional Sightseeing
  • Independent Sightseeing

With Avalon, you’ll have your choice between bicycle and on-foot excursions with some of the best local guides around.

Some European ports will also offer you a more unique experience with an alternative, off-the-beaten-path excursion, appealing to the more adventurous side of you.

No matter your choice in pace or destination, Avalon is there to help you personalize your cruise to best suit your style.

Viking Cruises

Considered the world’s leading river cruise company, Viking Cruises is the home to the world’s largest fleet of river cruise ships.

Exploring the great rivers of Europe, Viking Longships have received praise for their cutting edge design, state-of-the-art engineering, and overall outstanding quality. All Viking ships are designed with comfort in mind, spoiling guests with the most spacious staterooms, French balconies, and hotel-style beds throughout.

Aboard a Viking ship, you can bask in the beautiful, ever-changing landscapes from the ship’s lounge, dining areas, sun deck, or, most importantly, from the privacy of your own room.

With all the comforts of a hotel, Viking offers passengers with a superb choice of accommodations and is guaranteed to have something special for every guest. Ensuring you can make the most out of each and every moment, Viking offers tailor-made tours as well as a concierge service that can help you personalize your schedule to best fit your interests.

These shore excursions are for your enjoyment and thus are designed at a pace that best suits you.

Tauck River Cruises

Tauck River Cruises hope you’ll enjoy a personalized cruising experience on one of their spacious and comfortable riverboats. Designed to accommodate a smaller capacity of guests than other companies,

Tauck cruise ships are built to offer passengers an intimate, club-like atmosphere. Each room aboard a Tauck ship faces the outside, allowing you to take in the beautiful scenery with either a French balcony or wide, sliding glass doors. So you can keep up with the ever-changing landscapes.

Tauck ships also include panoramic windows throughout, as well as a casual dining area with a 180º glass wall. For your enjoyment, Tauck ships also include a cocktail lounge, piano bar, and dining room.

If you’re looking to travel alone, you’re in luck; Tauck features special savings for solo travelers.

For those traveling in a large group, Tauck also offers special group travel discounts and is the only river cruise line that has a dedicated multigenerational family cruise with activities specifically design to bring the family together.

During your trip,you and other Tauck passengers will enjoy exclusive access to behind-the-scene cultural experiences that go beyond the ordinary, allowing you to get the most out of your experience.


Uniworld prides itself as being the world’s only all-inclusive truly authentic boutique river cruise lines in Europe.

Uniworld’s ships hold an average capacity of 130 guests and have the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry – allowing for a more personalized feel. Excluding cruises in Russia, all gratuities onboard and onshore and included in the cruise fare.

As a Uniworld river cruise guest, you’ll enjoy an unlimited number of beverages tailored to your taste buds.

Beverage choices include an extensive selection of wines, craft and regional beers, spirits, cocktails, juices, cappuccinos, soft drinks, lattes, French press coffee, espresso, fine teas, and mineral water; the only exception to the ship’s unlimited policy is the selection of premium wine and premium spirits.

When you’re not busy exploring the carefully crafted shore excursions, you can treat yourself to impeccably prepared meals with the finest and freshest ingredients from local farmers’ markets and suppliers.

You’ll also be able to stay truly connected with the Internet and Wi-Fi access offered aboard a Uniworld ship.