Once upon a time, setting out on the waterways of the world meant compromising on space. Many river cruise ship staterooms offered little more than a small table, a window, and two Pullman-style bunks. In many respects it was train travel, on a river.
Today, river cruise ship accommodations couldn’t be more different — or more spacious. Here’s a look at a few of our favorite lavish suites upon the river.
Viking River Cruises – Viking Longships – Explorer Suite – 445 Square Feet
Suites don’t get much bigger than the two Explorer Suites found aboard each of Viking’s brand new Longship river cruise vessels. Suites 340 and 341 are located all the way aft on Upper Deck, and each features views from the stern and side of the vessel. What’s more, a full wraparound balcony complements a French balcony located in the sleeping area of these spacious suites, remaining separate from the oversize living area. There are even two flat-panel televisions to enjoy.
Uniworld – S.S. Antoinette – Royal Suite – 390 Square Feet
Space isn’t an issue inside the Royal Suite aboard Uniworld’s S.S. Antoinette. Spanning some 390 square feet, the Royal Suite — also known as Suite 400 — boasts a king size bed situated next to a French balcony. A separate living area featuring couches and a table gives way to a full Open Air Balcony, and a dual-vanity bathroom featuring a separate shower and bathtub is located adjacent. It’s so inviting, you may not want to leave.
AmaWaterways – Violin Deck Suites – AmaCerto – 350 Square Feet
One of AmaWaterways’ latest-and-greatest, the three Suites aboard AmaCerto (numbers 301,303 and 304) are designed to please. Featuring both a full step-out balcony in addition to a French Balcony off the sleeping area, these suites feature a full-sized desk and spacious sitting area complemented by two chairs, a coffee table, and large sofa. There’s also an oversized wardrobe, and a dual-vanity bathroom featuring a separate shower and bath tub.
Avalon Waterways – Royal Suites – 300 Square Feet
Featured aboard Avalon Expression, Avalon Vista, Avalon Panorama, Avalon Artistry II and Avalon Visionary, Avalon’s Royal Suites are no slouch in the amenities department. Each features a wall-to-wall panoramic window that completely opens to transform the entire room into an enormous open-air balcony. The line states you can sit six adults on the balcony, and while we admittedly haven’t had the opportunity to test that out ourselves, we’ll say this: It is very spacious. If you enjoy using Apple’s iPad, you don’t have to lug it along with you: iPads are provided for complimentary use in all Royal Suites.
Of course, those are just a few of the fantastic suites available on the rivers of Europe, but by no means all of them. Many river cruise ships feature a sort of sliding scale of accommodations, with one designed to suit every taste, style and budget.
Do you have a favorite river cruise suite or stateroom? Share it with us using the comment form below.