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Why consider river cruising?

You love luxury, soaking up the culture of a country while being taken care of in every way. If that’s how you want to see the world – and who wouldn’t? –  river cruising is for you. We’ve created The River Cruise Collective, some of the the best lines in the world, each with its own distinct and exciting way of making your inland waterway holiday authentic, adventurous ad unforgettable. Our partners are AmaWaterways, one of the world’s biggest lines; Avalon Waterways, famous for its Panorama Suites, ultra luxe line Uniworld and Tauck, which boasts exclusive access and personal service. Find out more about our partners below.

Explore our River Cruise Collective

Avalon Waterways
uniworld 1

Why river cruise?

It’s the best way to soak up the culture of a country. It’s certainly the most relaxing.  The world is literally at your feet as you glide through the countryside, stopping at towns and cities for stunning exclusive experiences like seeing Vienna’s famed White Dancing Horses in practice or enjoying lunch with a countess in her castle. There’s adventure too – chasing tigers in India or on safari with elephants on the Chobe River.  Dull?  Never! Enchanting: always!

The Ultimate Guide to Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Explore the world in ultra-luxury with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, the world’s most awarded river cruise line. With a fleet of 19 elegant vessels, they sail legendary rivers across Europe, Egypt, Southeast Asia, India and South America.

WORDS BY Lucy Jones . Apr 23 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Tauck

Established almost 100 years ago, Tauck is a pioneer of the travel industry and is still proudly a family-owned company. Since launching their first European river cruise in 1992, they have become known for their luxurious ships, expert guides, exclusive access and all-inclusive fares.

WORDS BY Lucy Jones . Apr 23 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Avalon Waterways

Cruise the rivers of the world in relaxed luxury with Avalon Waterways. With a signature blend of style, space and personalisation, their modern fleet of Suite Ships promise a cruise like no other.

WORDS BY Lucy Jones . Apr 23 2024

The Ultimate Guide to AmaWaterways

Set sail for upscale cruising in contemporary style with AmaWaterways. Family-owned and operated, AmaWaterways has a fleet of 23 ships sailing in Europe and an additional six vessels across Southeast Asia, Egypt, Africa and Latin America.

WORDS BY Lucy Jones . Apr 23 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you pack for a river cruise?

Packing for a river cruise depends on factors like the destination, time of year, and planned activities. Essentials may include comfortable clothing, layers for varying weather conditions, sunscreen, and a water bottle. On a European river cruise, if you’re travelling during summer, it will get hot so you need to bring a wide-brimmed hat, good walking shoes, and swimwear. But in winter for Christmas market river cruises, you need to pack wet weather gear, warm clothes, as well as closed in shoes like flat boots for walking.

Which region offers the most affordable river cruise?

The affordability of river cruises can vary depending on factors such as the destination, time of year, and available promotions. It's essential to research different regions and compare prices to find the best value for your money.

Are river cruises more affordable than ocean cruises?

River Cruises vs. Ocean Cruises: Price Tag or Packed Itinerary?

While both river and ocean cruises offer unforgettable travel experiences, the price tag can be a major deciding factor. On the surface, ocean cruises often appear cheaper. But when you dig deeper into what's included, the true value proposition of river cruises can emerge.

The All-Inclusive Advantage of River Cruises

While some ocean cruises offer "all-inclusive" packages, these often come at a premium and may not be truly comprehensive. River cruises, on the other hand, frequently include many extras in their base price. Here's a breakdown of some key cost factors:

  • Meals: Both river and ocean cruises typically provide multiple meals a day. However, river cruises tend to feature high-quality dining experiences, with regionally-inspired cuisine and attentive service.

  • Beverages: Many river cruises include beer, wine, and soft drinks with meals, while ocean cruises may only offer water or charge extra for beverages. This can add up significantly over the course of your trip, potentially costing hundreds of dollars extra.

  • Shore Excursions: River cruises often include guided tours in each port of call, allowing you to delve deeper into the history and culture of each destination. Ocean cruises may offer shore excursions, but they typically come at an additional cost, which can range from $50 to $200 per excursion. For example, a typical Rhine River cruise might include walking tours through charming towns like Heidelberg and Cologne, while a Caribbean ocean cruise might require an extra fee for a guided excursion to Mayan ruins.

No Days at Sea? Pack Your Bags!

Unlike ocean cruises with long stretches at sea, river cruises spend most nights docked right in the heart of towns and cities. This allows you to maximize your exploration time and eliminates those sea days that some travelers find monotonous. Imagine waking up in Budapest and strolling through the Buda Castle district, or enjoying a scenic evening cruise along the Danube after a day of exploration in Vienna.

Example: The Danube Beckons

Let's take a hypothetical week-long cruise on the Danube River. A quick price comparison might show an ocean cruise to the South Pacific for $3,000 per person, while a Danube river cruise appears more expensive at $4,000. However, when you consider that the river cruise likely includes gratuities, meals with drinks, and several shore excursions, the gap narrows considerably. Factor in the unique experiences of exploring historic European cities without sea days, and the river cruise may well represent better value for money.

The Choice is Yours: Price or Immersion?

Ultimately, the decision between a river cruise and an ocean cruise depends on your travel priorities. If you crave a relaxing escape with plenty of onboard entertainment and activities, an ocean cruise might be ideal. But if you're passionate about cultural immersion and maximizing your exploration time in fascinating destinations, a river cruise may offer a richer, all-inclusive experience that justifies the initial price tag.

Generally, river cruises tend to be more expensive than ocean cruises due to their smaller size and more inclusive nature. However, the cost can vary depending on the destination and cruise line.

What is the average cost of a river cruise?

The average cost of a river cruise can vary depending on factors like your chosen itinerary, travel dates, and the amenities offered by different cruise lines. It's best to research various options and compare prices to find the most suitable one for your budget.