European River Cruise Operators

Old Nov 7th, 2013, 10:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
European River Cruise Operators

We are planning a River Cruise Amsterdam to the Black Sea (or vice versa) next Sept/Oct and need any help I can get to select the right Cruise Operator. I have looked at AMA, Avalon, Grand Circle, Viking, Uniworld to name a few - my head is spinning. Our room is very important and we want either a balcony or a terrace. Also which side of the ship is better for viewing the sights from your room? Of course great food and sightseeing is also important. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Yellowbird55 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 39,441
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
You can read the reviews on

We have taken one river cruise and that was on the Rhine this past July for one week Basel to Amsterdam. We traveled on Viking on a brand new ship.

We did not have problems with low water levels so we didn't have to endure any bus trip diversions or less than appreciated hotel stays.

We thought the food was fine; we enjoyed the open seating and conversing with many different folks. We've done a lot of ocean cruises and we've been along the Rhine several times but never extensively by boat.

This trip was relaxing for us.

As to which side of the the ship...well, that might change from day to day because those rivers are not all jam packed with sights every few miles.

I have read reviews of other Viking cruises and boats which were troubling. We have friends who have sailed with them twice both in Western Europe and in Russia who have raved about them.

I know the feeling...eventually you have to make a decision and hope for the best.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7,197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is not one good side and one bad side for the whole itinerary. For certain legs it's the one and for other legs the other. At spectacular places (like Iron Gate) it's better to go to the sun deck anyway.
Many legs (Rhine between Amsterdam and Cologne, Main river, Danube between Vienna and Esztergom, Danube between Budapest and Serbia, etc.) aren't particularly scenic. is a good address for comparisons of the different offers.

I suppose you know that late September/October mornings along the Rhine river can (but must not) be foggy with temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
neckervd is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 10:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 39,441
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts does not have reviews of ships from passengers that I am aware of. It is a division of vacationstogo which is a major cruise discounter
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 23,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is a Cruise forum right here on this site.

I took a Grand Circle Danube cruise a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed myself. One drawback, which might be confined to the older sips, is that there are no "real" beds, just ones that drop down from the wall. They are fairly comfortable at night, but it you want to sit in your room during the day there isn't really enough room on the bed-turned-into-a-sofa. The lounge, though, had great chairs.
Underhill is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,769
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
We have always had a real bed, queen or king sized, on all four of the river cruises we've taken.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Nov 7th, 2013, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have taken several river cruises on Uniworld and we loved them. We always have had a King sized bed also.
Cali is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2013, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,959
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Viking is spending a fortune on TV advertising in the UK, so I assume you pay extra for those ads. I would look at Saga in the uk
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 78
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
HappyTrvlr - which cruise lines did you use?
KellyGreta is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,536
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
At the time we cruised - Danube - Grand Circle was significanlty less money - for $2000 I can sleep in a converted twin for 2 nights. I don't doubt the other lines possibly have better food as well. One afternoon our ship was docked next to, I think, a Uniworld and we had to walk across their deck to get back onboard. The folks were enjoying a lovely tea! The one thing I did wish we would have had was bicyles on board to use when docked. But again for the price differential we were fine with Grand Cirlce and have done another river cruise with them. I do think there may be some reviews on CC. I think GC is the low end, then Viking then upscale some more to the others. Lately I have seen a new entry - Emerald Waterways - that seems lower priced maybe because they are new.
suec1 is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 10:47 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 176
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We recently returned from a Danube River cruise with AMA and could not have been more pleased. Food was great, staff outstanding, rooms very comfortable (with regular king beds), included shore excursions wonderful, and the choices of shore excursions was quite extensive. I highly recommend AMA to anyone wanting a delightful experience!! We are NOT cruise people, usually preferring independent travel, but this has given us a new perspective. We may even consider another river cruise at some time!!
dodi66 is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,769
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
We have been on Viking twice, Russia and Danube, and AMA Waterways once, fhe Mekong which was our favorite river cruise. I would give tne edge to AMAWaterways but Ciking was fine.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Aug 13th, 2014, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We also were on an AMA Danube cruise in July. It was wonderful. The rooms were clean and a nice size and the bathroom was very up to date with a large shower. This was our first river cruise and especially liked the French balcony and other open balcony. Music every evening either in the lounge or on an excursion. We stayed 3 extra nights in Budapest and hired the guide who was with us on our tour of Budapest on the final day of our cruise. Our cruise manager recommended him and even contacted him for us. address: [email protected] You will not be disappointed in either AMA or this guide.
Fancyh is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Feb 21st, 2018 05:24 PM
Dec 23rd, 2017 11:25 AM
Jun 2nd, 2011 04:11 PM
May 19th, 2011 06:33 PM
Sep 13th, 2010 01:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:56 AM.