River CruisesRiver cruising allows travellers the opportunity to intimately experience new and familiar destinations with luxury and class. If you’re looking for that up-close and personal experience without sacrificing any of the usual comforts, river cruising is the perfect option for you. Travellers can expect to enjoy:
- Luxury ships that hold a modest average of 150 passengers to allow for more personalized and exceptional service
- Ships that arrive in less crowded ports which are more accessible to city centres than larger cruiseliners
- Accommodations that exude luxury and comfort, with panoramic views right outside your window
- An all-inclusive experience is offered on most cruise lines. Once you board, you keep your wallet in your pocket!
Latin America's Rivers
North America's Rivers
Popular River Cruise Companies
Questions & Answers
Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions.
Tell me more about the different rooms a boat has to offer in terms of size, price, bathroom, bed, television, service,....?
Unlike ocean cruise ships, no matter which stateroom you select, you will never be that far from the common areas and you will always enjoy an outside or as we say, a river view stateroom. Elevators are now common on many of the newer builds, so if you are situated on the lower or middle deck you can bypass the stairs to get to the main deck and lobby area. Generally speaking, all non-suite staterooms on a vessel will have the same square footage and same in-room amenities such as a hair-dryer, safe, flat screen TV, deluxe bath products and more. Suites, of course, are significantly larger and will usually have extra amenities a separate sitting area and of course a full or French balcony — ah, breakfast with a view. Staterooms on the lowest deck usually have 2 smaller square windows or 1 small rectangular window that does not open. Europe: Each stateroom is equipped with a hair dryer, plush terry bathrobes, slippers and a safe. Your bathroom offers a magnifying mirror and spa-quality toiletries including soaps, body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.
Is the food on board high quality, served in a variety and also fitting for people having allergies?
Time and time again our guests comment on the exceptional quality of the meals served on board our cruises. All of our ships offer full board (every meal is included), with delicious cuisine served in one of our beautiful restaurants. We include the times of each meal on your daily program, so you will always be informed of the day’s menu. Breakfast is buffet style, providing you with a choice of cereal, fruit, yogurt, cold meats, cheeses, or a traditional cooked breakfast. Lunch and dinner are either a set menu with waiter service, or a buffet with a fine selection of hot dishes. Yes, we do cook fitting menus for people with allergies. Please state your specific needs at the time you make your reservation; we will be happy to assist you with a menu that will meet your needs.
Are there proper accommodations for people with a physical disability?
Yes, we can provide many accommodations for those with disabilities. However, our accommodations vary from ship to ship, and cruise to cruise. We offer cabins equipped for people with mobility issues. Our three-deck ships have elevators for accessibility between decks, as well as dining, lounging and restroom accommodations that meet code for those with disabilities. Please talk to one of our agents about your specific needs, so that we can assign you to an appropriate vessel and cabin.
Are there any health risks I should be aware of on a river cruise?
Viral gastroenteritis is a very common virus that can be found almost anywhere, but its opportunity to spread is greater in contained environments. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It may also include fever, stomach issues and headache. The symptoms usually start 12 to 48 hours after viral infection and can last from 1 to 10 days. Most people who become sick with viral gastroenteritis recover quickly with no further problems. However if the illness is more severe, further medical care may be required to treat dehydration. The most effective protection from personal contamination is ensuring strict attention to personal hygiene and in particular, frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water and refraining from hand-to-mouth contact. Colds and other viruses can spread quickly in an enclosed area such as a ship. Continue to practice common-sense hygiene and respiratory courtesy. Wash your hands often and cover your coughs and sneeze. It is recommended that passengers carry an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, which does not require rinsing with water. Use a sanitizer frequently i.e. after shore excursions, prior to meals and throughout the day. If you have any questions regarding your health or safety while on tour, please do not hesitate to ask your Tour Director. Motion sickness can be a problem for some people when cruising, flying or travelling on coaches and trains and it is a good idea to take precautionary measures. Drugs for treating motion sickness can be purchased at most pharmacies in Australia, however a side effect can by drowsiness. Alternatives such as ginger tablets and acupressure wristbands are also available and work well for some people.
What currency should I use and which language is spoken by the personal?
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal: Euro | Bulgaria: Bulgarian leu Czech Republic: Czech Koruna England: British pound Hungary: Hungarian forint Poland: Polish zloty Romania: Romanian leu Russia: Russian ruble (Please note: It can be difficult to exchange British pounds for rubles in Russia, so it is advisable to take US dollars or euros to exchange when you get there. You can order rubles in the UK before your trip, but the exchange rate may be unfavorable.) Serbia: Serbian dinar Slovakia: Slovakian koruna Switzerland: Swiss franc (some tourist areas of Switzerland accept euros) The official language on board is English on all ships. Most crew members speak fluent English. All announcements and lectures will be presented in English. All locals guides are fluent in English.
Tell me more about excursions, is there a tour guide that shows you famous sights and for how long does such a tour go?
Europe: A sightseeing tour is included in each city or town you visit, along with free time to explore the city according to your own interests. The sightseeing tours can take place on foot, via motor coach, or a combination of the two. Each tour is led by a qualified, licensed English-speaking local guide or your Cruise Manager. In addition to our Gentle and Active Walkers groups noted in our Health and Well-Being section, for some excursions, we have a “Late Starter” option for guests who wish to sleep in but do not want to miss key tour highlights. For those guests interested in exploring Europe from an exciting new perspective, we offer guided bicycle tours in select cities (capacity controlled). In the event of water level problems on certain stretches of the river, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motor coach or to alter the daily program as determined by the ship’s Captain. Vietnam & Cambodia: A sightseeing tour is included at each location on the itinerary. The sightseeing tours can involve walking on uneven ground and steps, travel by motor coach, local boat or a combination thereof. Each tour is led by a qualified English-speaking local guide. In the rare event of water level problems, it may be necessary to operate part of the itinerary by motor coach or to alter the daily program whenever conditions render it necessary, by determination of the ship's captain.
In case of emergency, is there medication or a doctor on board if I feel sick or have allergies?
In the case of an emergency, the purser will immediately contact a doctor or nurse on land, and the ship will stop at the nearest possible landing point to facilitate emergency medical attention. Every ship has a defibrillator on board and at least two people on the boat are trained to use it. If you have any health conditions that are of concern to you, please visit your physician to be thoroughly checked and cleared before embarking on a cruise. We are always at your service in the case of any emergency, but we’d much rather that you enjoy your trip without fear of interruption by a medical crisis!
What is absolutely forbidden to do and bring on board of a cruise?
All river cruise ships are non-smoking in all interior public areas and in all staterooms. Smoking is allowed in certain, specific outdoor areas only. Please ask your cruise manager where the smoking area can be found on your ship.
What entertainment can such a boat offer, also for children, if they are even allowed on a river cruise?
We offer various pre-dinner games, dinner-dances and other lively evenings in our lounge, which is advantageously placed at the bow of the ship with a panoramic view. Events will vary from cruise to cruise; your cruise host or hostess will be happy to give you more information about the entertainment once you are on board. Your private cabin will also provide satellite TV and radio. WiFi connections are available on some ships for a fee. Feel free to contact an agent for more information about the WiFi services on your boat. Some river cruise companies have family-friendly sailings for people traveling with children. Otherwise there is not much for younger children to do on board, in terms of games or activities. In our experience, most young children—especially those under 4—are simply not yet old enough to enjoy river cruising. We make no special arrangements for little ones and offer few kid-friendly activities on board or onshore.
What should I pack and know in advance to be prepared for a river cruise?
Pack as light as possible due to storage limitations in the cabins. Pack for variable weather, meaning layers, taking into consideration that even during warmer months river cruising can be windy during sailings. Pack comfortable shoes for walking. And pack for nicer occasions like concerts or performances on shore, or more formal dinners on board. When traveling outside the United States, a passport is required for U.S. citizens. Some countries also require a visa. We suggest bringing comfortable, casual clothing. Ties and jackets are not required; there are no formal nights although some guests choose dressier clothing for the Captain’s Dinner. Consider dressing respectfully when visiting places of worship and other religious sites where you may be denied entry if wearing clothing considered to be inappropriate or too revealing. Your Tour Escort can assist you with any questions. Also, please consider baggage weight restrictions on the intra-China flights when packing. NOTE: Most hotels and Reception on board have hair dryers available for guest use. Also, laundry service (no dry cleaning) is available on board for a fee.