Best River cruise company for Europe?

Old Apr 6th, 2012, 05:31 PM
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Best River cruise company for Europe?

Dear Fodorties,

My husband and I want to take a river cruise to Bucharest or further down to the Black Sea.

We have cruised several times with Silversea and loved it. We lovee the All Inclusive and charming service, small size of the ship and the intelligent fellow cruisers. Also don't mind the formal nights unlike some folks.

Can we find a similar experience on a River Cruise?

All suggestions and opinions would be greatly received.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old Apr 6th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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My husband and I took an Avalon River cruise on the Rhine in October, 2010. We absolutely loved it. The ship is small, and we enjoyed everyone we met on the trip. I would recommend that you look into Avalon Waterways.
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Old Apr 6th, 2012, 06:25 PM
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Uniworld is also excellent. I have used them twice.
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Old Apr 6th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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We also used Uniworld twice and thought it was a wonderful river cruise line.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Thanks Momeck, Leanna, Cali for your speedy responses.

Are these cruise lines " All Inclusive" ? we are Interested in comparing like minded formats.

Do all River Cruises dock at the same place? Or do some lines have preferred docking?

Where is the best room location? For ocean cruises we like Mid ship Verandah. It seeems to quite difficult to find this kind of information on the various blogs.

Much appreciate your further comments.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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The River Cruising section of the message boards at www.cruisecritic.com seems quite active. That might be another good place to post your question.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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I took Uniworld last year from Bucharest Romania to Vienna and it was absolutley perfect.
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Old Apr 8th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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I think the regular cabins are better as the dinner line forms on the suite level and on a River cruise that can mean a long line infront of your door...but in only lasts for a short while and the suites are nice for couples.

I always book a large window for myself and have had them open on some ships which was perfect. I sat on a nice window seat and leaned out in China, had a balcony in Egypt and just reg windows on the other cruises.

I have no idea about where and how they dock....you often tie up to other boats and then have to cross over and thru to get to the dock...but that can be fun and it can be a hassle...just part of the experience.

Sometimes your view is cut off by the ship next to you....and in China I had trouble w/ the smell of gas from the ship next to me. So I shut the window and opened my cabin door and slept the nite away .....that aired out my cabin. I was perfectly safe!

I do think they were all inclusive....meals, tours etc. I really can't remember but it seems so!

I have done 5 River Cruises and loved them all.
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Old Apr 12th, 2012, 07:27 AM
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River cruises aren't typically "all-inclusive". All meals and shore tours are included (and normally such things as bottled water on trips), and in most cases companies pour free wine with meals. But you still have to pay your bar tab and tips, unlike on Silversea. Different lines have different policies on extras. Viking (at least on its newest "long ships") now offers Wi-Fi and Internet service for free; that used to cost extra. I'm not sure about Uniworld, Avalon, AMA, etcetera.

And the ships do differ. Some are more luxurious than others. So you really do have to do your homework to make sure you're getting the kind of experience you want.

Most river ships dock near each other but are usually moored in the heart of the city they stop in. So sights are more likely to be a walk away. I was recently in Rotterdam on Viking, and we docked within a 20-minute walk of the heart of the city, though Rotterdam is sprawling and the streets really busy, making walking somewhat less pleasant, if still possible. And ships do often dock alongside each other. You might open your window in the morning to find yourself starting at another cabin not 10 feet away.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 10:51 AM
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AMAWaterways and Uniworld get rave reviews from high-end clients, retired teachers and university professors, retired professionals in my office. Another option is Tauck. Doug is correct, river cruises are not entirely all-inclusive, but the prices include options that are not included in the cost of a traditional moderate or premium cruise line. The river cruising industry has exploded in recent years and the ships are quite luxurious, though only have 150-200 guests onboard. You will be pampered, much like Silversea, but it will be a different experience.

Best Regards,
Julia
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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 05:37 AM
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We mostly sail on Regent, but we've been on Silversea, and I think the experience is similar. That said, I think the river cruise experience is somewhat different. Our agent, who always investigates anything she sells thoroughly, examined all the high-end European river cruise companies and decided to escort a cruise on AMA; here's the link to her AMA discussion, and you can see other companies discussed on the Web site. http://cruises.bksignaturetravel.com...D=3026&CID=262.

We sailed from Prague to Budapest. It was fine, but it wasn't Regent or Silversea. The food was not nearly as good, nor were the wines. Dining is much more crowded and less leisurely. By their very nature, the cabins cannot be as large as on Regent or Silversea unless you get a double, and the bathrooms are especially small. Internet was free. Frankly, a week-long river cruise with pre- and post-land portions is just right for us. Whereas, we could stay on a Regent ship for months! We would do a river cruise again, but we would have more realistic expectations. In fact, our agent is presently in China investigating Yangtze River cruises, and we hope to do one in 2014.

One thing that surprised us on our Prague-Budapest cruise was that almost all the cruising was done overnight. We had envisioned spending some of the time on deck watching the scenery go by; that only happened for a few hours here and there on this particular cruise over the seven-day period.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:20 AM
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My husband and I took two river cruises with Uniworld--Portugal and Spain on the Douro River, and Provence and Burgandy. We loved both. But, now we are looking for one that is longer than 8 days but shorter than 15, probably on the Danube River. Has anyone tried Vantage or Viking for these routes?
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Old Oct 5th, 2012, 08:31 PM
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Ttt
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Old May 5th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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We took an Avalon River cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland in October, 2010 and loved it! I would highly recommned Avalon River cruises.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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We really disliked Avalon Cruises. Food was so boring. Prepared package desserts, canned peas, horrible coffee.....plus on our ship, Vienna to the Black sea, the dining room only had windows on each side of the ship, no panorama or possiblity of seeing what was coming or where we had been. I'd never cruise with them again. This trip was in mid summer. So fresh veggies and fruit should have been available. Coffee should have been better than instant..out of a machine to make it look like it was brewed.
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