My River Cruise Reviews (2019 Update)
I’ve been on more than 50 river cruises during the past decade, and on each of those cruises, I’ve written some sort of review. The review may have taken the form of a video, or it may have been presented as an article with photos here on River Cruise Advisor. To quickly find the review that you’re looking for, click on either the cruise company or the river you’d like to research in the table below.
River Cruise ReviewsNote that we do not include reviews for all river cruise companies. Why? We work primarily with cruise lines that sponsor River Cruise Advisor, and those, for the most part, are the major players in the industry.
|Popular River Cruise Operators||Popular European Rivers|
|AmaWaterways||Danube & Main-Danube Canal|
|Crystal River Cruises||Elbe|
|Gate One (not reviewed)||Loire River|
|Grand Circle||Main River|
|Riviera River Cruises||Moselle River|
|Teeming River Cruises||Rhone River|
|Tourrador (not reviewed)||Saone River|
|Viking River Cruises|
The intent of our reviews is to help you make informed vacation decisions. I have tried to cut to the chase and show you what the experience is like on board certain ships on certain rivers. But there are a dozen ways to skin a cat. You’ll have success finding the review you want if you answer one of the following three questions.
You’ll get much better results by answering one of these three questions.
- Already have an idea which river cruise line you want to cruise with? Click Reviews by Cruise Operator
- Pretty sure about which river you want to cruise? Click Reviews by River
- Confused about which company and/or which river to cruise? Take the easy way out and Get My Help
One question that we are frequently asked is about water levels. If water levels are a concern to you, please see our detailed page and user discussions about Water Levels.
It’s important you have realistic expectations about what river cruising is going to cost you. Increasingly, we are finding that river cruising in Europe will cost you, on average, $400 per day, per person. Take the Rhone river, for example 2020 peak season prices on the Rhone river range from a low of $309 per person a day (Viking’s June 16, 2020 sailing) to a high of $691 per person per day on Tauck. The average per diem of a 2020 Rhone river cruise for the dates we researched is $504 per person. See Rhone River Cruise Price Comparisons 2020 and How To Save On A 2020 Rhone River Cruise. You may also want to look at How Much Does River Cruising Cost?
Aside from the published rates, you’ll want to consider what’s included on your cruise, the size of the stateroom that you get for what you pay and other aspects of the cruise, such as number of restaurants, quality of excursions and much more. For help figuring all of that out, see our resource Compare River Cruise Companies to review my chart featuring what’s included on the particular river cruise that you’re considering.
My job, my passion, in fact, is to inform you as best as I can through my river cruise reviews. I know that you can become confused – dizzy may be the better word – by the various itineraries, stateroom categories, French balconies vs. step-out balconies, the differences in river ships and between the cruise companies.
Making a decision on which river cruise company to work with and which river to choose can certainly be daunting.
Help is here. I’ve have been fortunate to cruise on ships operated by all of the major companies, and in fact, I’m constantly cruising on the rivers. So I feel qualified to provide some guidance in helping you decide where you want to river cruise and which river cruise company may work best for you. Also useful is help in deciding Which River To River Cruise?
If you need inspiration, check out my book, available in print and digital editions. See the Ultimate River Cruising Handbook.
Want My Personal Recommendations About A River Cruise Best Suited For You? Simply click on the link and complete the form. I’ll do my best to help you.
New To River Cruising?
I realize that many of you have yet to experience a river cruise. River Cruise Advisor strives to showcase river cruising in all its forms, around the world, from the canals of Burgundy to the might of the Mekong. I cover the latest-and-greatest and the tried-and-tested with the same enthusiasm.
If you are new to river cruising and/or want to learn more about the various river cruise companies and their vessels, you will find a broad selection of river cruise reviews by clicking the links below. If you are coming from ocean cruising, you’ll be surprised at how much the two forms of travel differ.
All-Inclusive River Cruise Companies
These companies include prepaid gratuities and complimentary beverages 24/7. Expect to pay $500 or more per person per day. Crystal and Uniworld, however, do not include port charges.
‘Premium’ River Cruise Companies
These companies normally price out less than the all-inclusive companies but do not include prepaid gratuities. CroisiEurope includes complimentary beverages 24/7 but lacks bicycles on its river cruisers (the company also operates barges). Viking River Cruises does not feature gyms or complimentary bicycles on its ships. Expect to pay $400 or more per person per day.
Budget Cruise Companies
A budget of up to $200 per person per day often, but not always, limits you to either older or international ships. Excursions may not be included (but can be purchased as a package). Wine and beer with lunch and dinner, which nearly all cruise companies include at no additional cost, may not be included on the low-cost river cruise operators.
Operating On U.S. Rivers Only
Other River Cruise Operators
Past River Cruise Voyage Reports
|Barging Burgundy||April 2012||On Horizon II||French Country Waterways|
|A-ROSA Silva||December 3-10, 2013||German Christmas Markets||A-ROSA|
|AmaLotus||September 22 - 30, 2013||Riches of the Mekong: Cambodia and Vietnam||AmaWaterways|
|AmaVida||July 22 - 29, 2014||Cruising the Douro River with St. Francis Winery & AmaWaterways co-founder Kristin Karst||AmaWaterways|
|Botticelli||June 20 - 27, 2014||The Seine Valley roundtrip Paris with CroisiEurope||CroisiEurope|
|Emerald Star||July 12 -19, 2014||Danube Delights - Budapest to Nuremberg||Emerald Waterways|
|ms Inspire||April 7 - 16, 2014||Maiden Voyage of Tauck's MS Inspire - Amsterdam to Brussels||Tauck|
|S.S. Catherine||March 26-March 30, 2014||Christening Ceremonies in Lyon, France||Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection|
|Viking Baldur||December 10-17, 2013||Rhine Christmas||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Baldur||November 30 - December 7, 2014||Danube Christmas Markets - Budapest to Passau||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Forseti||November 22 - 29, 2014||Chateaux, Rivers and Wine - Roundtrip Bordeaux, France||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Longships||March 17-23, 2014||Christening Ceremonies in Avignon & Bordeaux, France||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Longships||March 22 - 25, 2015||2015 Christening Ceremonies in Amsterdam||Viking River Cruises|
|Loire Princess||April 9 - 14, 2015||Sailing the Loire River roundtrip Nantes.||CroisiEurope|
|Scenic Jasper||April 15 - 22, 2015||Budapest to Vienna with Christening||Scenic|
|S.S. Maria Theresa||May 3 - 17, 2015||European Jewels - Amsterdam to Budapest||Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection|
|S.S. Legacy||June 6 - 13, 2015||Columbia & Snake Rivers Roundtrip Portland, Oregon||Un-Cruise Adventures|
|Anne-Marie||June 17 - 26, 2015||Barging Arles to Sete||CroisiEurope|
|Viking Vidar||July 13 - 27, 2015||Grand European Tour: Amsterdam to Budapest||Viking River Cruises|
|ms Savor||July 15 - 26, 2015||Danube Reflections: Prague to Vienna||Tauck|
|Viking Torgil||September 28 - October 8, 2015||Portugal's River of Gold||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Mandalay||November 19 - December 3, 2015||Myanmar Explorer||Viking River Cruises|
|Viking Longships Inaugural||February 29, 2016||Amsterdam||Viking River Cruises|
|River Voyager||March 18 - 22, 2016||Christening Preview Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam||Vantage Deluxe World Travel|
|AmaDolce||March 25, 2016||Taste of Bordeaux||AmaWaterways|
|Emerald Star||April 5, 2016||Enchantments of Eastern Europe||Emerald Waterways|
|Elbe Princesse||April 14, 2016||Christening Preview in Berlin||CroisiEurope|
|Crystal Mozart||July 10, 2016||Vienna Christening||Crystal River Cruises|
|Viking Embla||July 6, 2016||Passage to Eastern Europe: Bucharest to Budapest||Viking River Cruises|
|AmaSonata||August 8, 2016||Backroads Bicycling Program from Prague to Budapest||AmaWaterways|
|AmaSonata||September 12, 2016||Magnificent Europe: Amsterdam to Budapest||AmaWaterways|
|Cyrano de Bergerac||October 17, 2016||Bordeaux||CroisiEurope|
|AmaLegro||October 28, 2016||Paris & Normandy||AmaWaterways|
|American Empress||November 19, 2016||Columbia & Snake Rivers||American Queen Steamboat Company|
|Mistral||December 28, 2016||Provence||CroisiEurope|
|Crystal Mozart||March 22-27, 2018||Danube, Vienna roundtrip||Crystal River Cruises|
|Viking Hild||April 8-19, 2017||Paris to the Swiss Alps||Viking River Cruises|
|Avalon Visionary||April 11-18, 2017||Amsterdam to Paris||Avalon Waterways|
|AmaCello||April 20-27, 2017||Lyon to Arles||AmaWaterways|
|Viking Hlin||May 7-14, 2017||Amsterdam to Basel||Viking River Cruises|
|Scenic Diamond||June 9-16, 2017||Bordeaux Affair||Scenic|
|AmaLyra||August 3-17, 2017||Paris & Normandy||AmaWaterways|
|MS Sapphire||October 9 - 18, 2017||Rendezvous on the Seine||Tauck|
|Avalon Expression||September 12 - 19, 2017||Amsterdam to Nuremberg||Avalon Waterways|
|Raymonde Barge||September 12-18, 2017||Paris to Joigny||CroisiEurope|
|Emerald Radiance||November 4-11, 2017||Porto & the Douro River||Emerald Waterways|