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River Cruise Vacations

Today’s river cruise experience is nothing like the historic tales of paddlewheel steamboats on the Mississippi, though you can now do an updated version of that! 

Modern river cruise ships traverse major waterways across the globe creating a boutique luxury cruise experience, a relaxed pace of travel, and access to authentic local culture. Unlike a large ocean cruise ship, most river cruises offer all exterior cabins, featuring large floor to ceiling windows or balconies.

But it’s not just your room that’s different, river cruises include daily guided shore excursions as well as wine, beer, and other drink options at lunch and dinner, and spend most of their time in port docking in the heart of historic cities and small villages along the river.

Selecting the right river cruise for your style comes down to four primary choices: the season, the river, the cruise line, and the cruise ship.  That’s where it can get more complicated since there are hundreds of river cruise ships and dozens of itineraries to choose from that change each year. Which is where our experienced and well-traveled team can help.

Why Choose a River Cruise?

  • Smaller ships with fewer passengers provide a more intimate and relaxing cruising experience.

  • Stunning scenery 24-7.

  • Boutique hotel-style accommodations and amenities.

  • More inclusions for one price, such as shore excursions and specialty dining.

  • Dock in exciting port cities and historic charming villages.

  • Explore beyond coastlines and get closer to the heart of your destination’s attractions and local culture.

  • Rich itineraries covering the most popular destinations worldwide.

  • Theme cruises—Such as culinary, wine, holiday markets, wildlife, and active adventures.

River Cruise Lines

Although there are about a dozen river cruise line choices, Travel Leaders recommends these award-winning river cruise companies:

  • AmaWaterways: A luxury river cruise line with an award-winning fleet, critically acclaimed dining, and unique tour options. 

  • Avalon River Cruises: Redefining the river cruise experience with the most spacious staterooms in the river cruise industry and the best culturally immersive land programs available.

  • Crystal River Cruises: An award-winning luxury river cruise line featuring curated shore excursions steeped in culture on European rivers.

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River Cruise Vacations

  • France: Burgundy & Provence: Journey through Paris, the “City of Light”, sip and dine in the Burgundy wine region along the Rhone River.

  • Germany: Sail past castles, fortresses, and picturesque German villages along the romantic Rhine River.

  • Central Europe: Visit Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Prague to witness grand architecture, and fascinating historic sites of the delightful Danube River.

  • Asia: See cosmopolitan Shanghai, and Beijing’s imperial treasures like the Great Wall, along with China’s legendary Yangtze River.

  • Russia: Cruise to Moscow and St. Petersburg along the Volga and Svir Rivers taking in the fascinating sights of the Kremlin, St. Petersburg, opulent palaces, and churches.

  • Egypt: Explore the ancient world and uncover the mysteries of Egypt along the legendary Nile River.

  • South America: Venture into the Amazon jungle to meet native communities, swim with dolphins, and relax on amazing beaches on a journey through the Amazon River.

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