Find out about the top luxury river cruise lines and their ships. You'll find information on their cabins and suites, onboard facilities, dining and entertainment options, enrichment programmes and river routes.
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Amawaterways are one of Europe's leading river cruise operators. Founded in 2002, the cruise line boasts an expansive fleet of river-cruise ships that sail on some of the continent's most famous rivers.
APT offers an array of river-cruise tours using vessels from the award winning river-cruise line AmaWaterways. Each vessel has been custom-designed to offer the foremost modern river cruising experience with elegant interiors that boast a wealth of culinary and recreational options.
Operating one of the youngest fleets in river and small ship cruising, Avalon Waterways have more than eighty years of experience in organising travel itineraries and holidays around the world.
European Waterways provides cruises along European inland waterways in nine countries aboard luxury hotel barges. The all-inclusive voyages along canals, rivers, lakes and lochs are the perfect way to unwind.
Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, internationally recognised for all-round excellence and fantastic service, offers luxury cruise journeys on the Nile and the Kerala backwaters.
Sea Cloud Cruises, formed in 1979, cruises to exotic destinations in Europe and the Caribbean with two impressive tall ships, as well as providing luxurious river cruises along European waterways.
The Sonesta Collection comprises upscale hotels, resorts and cruise ships, each emphasising the local culture in their surroundings.
Uniworld’s European fleet of 11 riverboats sail the Danube, the Duoro, the Main, the Moselle, the Rhine, the Rhône, the Saône and the Seine, with optional flight excursions to Istanbul to reach Europe’s eastern edge.
Viking River Cruises sail the great rivers and waterways of Europe, Russia and China, visiting bustling cities, tranquil villages, historic sites and natural wonders.
The Baltic really is best seen on a cruise. The communities here reach back to Viking times and beyond, when the waterways were the only way to navigate the region - and today they still make the most sense. Travelling through the night to allow the maximum amount of time in the day to explore the towns, cities and countryside of this enthralling region....
Explore Old Europe on a Danube cruise, passing by medieval towns and verdant vineyards as you travel through countries such as Germany, Austria and Hungary. You'll likely begin your Danube cruise holiday by spending a couple of days exploring the vibrant Hungarian capital, Budapest, which is split in two, literally as Buda and Pest, by the wide Danube....
The Mekong River connects the countries of Indochina - Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - and so is unsurprisingly one of the most important waterways and trade routes in the region. Cruising along the Mekong unveils a way of life dating back centuries and provides an insight into a number of interesting cultures, rural villages and lively cities....
For more than 5,000 years the River Nile has been the lifeblood of Egypt, and today there remains no better way to explore the wealth of history, culture and architecture than along the same waterway that gave rise to it originally....
The Rhine is Germany‘s longest river, which starts high up in the Alps in Switzerland and flows though France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands into the North Sea. Luxury Rhine cruises start from a number of historical cities along its banks, including Basel, Trier, Cologne, Amsterdam, and Düsseldorf....
A cruise along China's formidable Yangtze will often begin with a few days hopping between various cultural highlights in the rest of the country, from the shiny metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai to the terracotta warriors of Xian and the Tibetan monks of Lhasa....
River cruising is growing in popularity. Gone are the days of old 3-star boats plying the Danube, Rhine or Moselle. Modern ships offer 5-star accommodation, wonderful amenities and high quality food. Many also include shore excursions and port tours, adding to the great value, and you will often be served wine with your evening meal – all very civilised.
Luxury river cruises range in duration from seven days right up to 21 days for a grand voyage from the North Sea to the Black Sea – an amazing trip encompassing 12 countries and a myriad of delightful villages, towns and cities. The benefit of a luxury river cruise is that river boats are able to dock in the heart of a destination – allowing you quick and easy access to wonderful sightseeing. Ever-changing scenery glides past your balcony the whole time and, unlike on ocean cruises, there is no risk of sea sickness to worry about.
The Rhine Gorge is a fashionable destination for river cruising. The fantastic castles perched on top of hills overlooking vineyards are a photographer’s dream. Local wines from the grapes of the same vineyards are served on board: delicious full-bodied reds and crisp whites just right to enhance an evening meal. Stopping at small villages is another delight of a river cruise, and with just a few other passengers on board (from 60 to about 150), no area feels swamped when you disembark 7ndash; it’s all very relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable.
China offers wonderful scenery too. Most popular is cruising the legendary Yangtze between Wuhan and Chongqing through the scenic Three Gorges and beautiful Lesser Gorges. You will also be invited to tour the Three Gorges Dam and visit Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors. In Beijing, you may explore historic imperial treasures like The Forbidden City, Great Wall and famed Summer Palace, and enjoy a walk through Tiananmen Square. There may even be time to discover Shanghai too.
The Nile is rising in status with seven-night cruises operating between Luxor and Aswan – often combined with a few days in Cairo to enjoy the Pyramids, Sphinx and city museums. You’ll see the best monuments, tombs and statues that Egypt has to offer in 5-star comfort with an Egyptologist explaining everything along the way. If you can’t commit to a seven-day itinerary, there are four and six-night options too.
Meanwhile, the Mekong in Indochina and the Russian waterways are fast emerging as new river destinations and provide a fabulous opportunity to discover long-hidden cultures in elegant comfort.