Europe travel photos and information at Travel Signposts A non-exclusive list of major USA, Australian and UK travel companies who market European river cruises
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European River Cruise Operators and Agents

There are cruises all over rivers and waterways of Europe … France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Romania … nearly every region has rivers and a choice of riverboats. In fact, you can combine a series of rivers and cruise all the way from Amsterdam to the Black Sea.

European river cruise companies offer a broad range of exciting itineraries, including popular trips like Danube River cruises, Seine River cruises, Rhine River cruises and many more.

As with other tours, European river cruises are usually classified according to their standard of accommodation, facilities and dining. Roughly, we can say

  • Luxury river cruises: $400 - $600 per person per day
  • Deluxe river cruises: $100 - $400 per person per day
  • First Class river cruises: $80 - $275 per person per day
  • Budget river cruises: $45 - $130 per person per day

Of course, air fares are extra. Below is a non-exclusive list of major USA, Australian and UK travel companies who market European river cruises. As a service we've quoted some of their promotional information and a link to their website, but as you'll see on our other pages, many of them in effect offer the same core cruises using the same boats with various additions, so the devil is in the details - check what is offered carefully!

Note: if you're an operator not on this list and want to be, please contact us

Luxury
Abercrombie & Kent

De Luxe
Collette
Insight
Tauck

First Class

APT
AMA
Avalon
Brendan
Brennan
CIE
Gate 1
General Tours
Globus
Gutsy Women Travel
Peter Deilmann (no longer operates after 2009)
Scenic Tours
Trafalgar
Uniworld
Viking River Cruises

Budget
Cosmos

 

Luxury

Abercrombie & Kent European river cruises

"For 40 years, Abercrombie & Kent has been internationally recognized as the first name in luxury escorted travel. Founded in 1962 as a safari company in Nairobi, Kenya, A&K's unparalleled travel and tour operations now extend to more than 100 countries on all seven continents and include European river cruises (22 canal and river cruisers throughout Europe). Itineraries include safari and wildlife viewing, active adventures, family holidays, canal and river cruising, train travel, and luxury and expedition cruising. Knowledgeable local guides, luxurious accommodations, comfortable transportation and a choice of activities and amenities are standard on every A&K tour. Trips combine a commitment to conservation with a mission to provide memories of a lifetime, while giving guests privileged access and special insight."

$400 to $600 per person per day.

 

De Luxe

Collette European river cruises

(Rhine river to Switzerland)

"In business since 1918, Collette Vacations knows what it takes to deliver a memorable Europe experience. They choose features that bring out the flavor of an area: centrally-located hotels that mirror the architectural style and ambiance of the city; cultural entertainment that's fun and educational; unique dining experiences that turn into memorable events. With Collette Vacations, not only can you travel to more than 50 countries on all seven continents, you can also choose from escorted and independent travel packages - or a combination of both."

$100 to $350 per person, per day.

 

Insight European river cruises

Insight does great land tours (we have extensive experience of these), but its river cruise options are limited. In 2009 it offered a Ukraine, the Black Sea and Istanbul tour which was very attractive, but apart from that its main option was a combination of its European Rhapsody tour with a Budapest-Passau river cruise.

 

Tauck European river cruises

"All Tauck riverboat cruises feature a well-paced mix of active sightseeing with leisurely travel.  Some days we explore two or three different towns along our route.  Other days begin with a guided walking tour of the historic town where your ship is docked, followed by time to explore on your own.  Or we may spend an entire morning or afternoon cruising to our next port of call, a great time to discover your shipboard amenities."

"Tauck’s riverboat cruises offer the opportunity to see stunning art and architecture, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites, explore culturally rich cities, and view landscapes splashed with a rainbow of colors. Enjoy carriage rides and canal boat trips, performances of folkloric dancing and horsemanship, special palace dinners and Vienna concerts on a Tauck Europe river cruise."

$200 to $400 per person per day.

 

First Class

AMA Waterways European river cruises

AMA WATERWAYS was founded in 2002, and caters primarily to English-speaking passengers with its multinational crew. "The AMA Waterways lineup for 2010 includes popular itineraries on the historic Danube, Main, Rhine and Mosel rivers, as well as the Douro River in Portugal, the Rhône in France and the Volga-Baltic waterways in Russia. New land programs will bring AMAWATERWAYS passengers to some of Europe’s most legendary, historic and scenic locations."

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Avalon European river cruises

Avalon Waterways, a member of the Globus family of travel companies, operates river and small ship cruises to Austria, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and France in Europe. In 2010, Avalon Waterways is featuring nearly 100 departure dates from the English Channel to Mediterranean Sea and is now cruising Normandy and Côte d’Azur. They claim new levels of smooth, quiet sailing with their state-of-the-art engineering.

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

APT (Australia) European river cruises

APT conduct tours throughout six continents, with offices all over Australia, in New Zealand, the UK, the US, Canada and Germany. APT river cruises give you a hassle-free all inclusive European holiday without the inconvenience of packing and unpacking, checking in and out of hotels, or travelling on congested highways. 

"Whether touring by road, rail, river or sea, you can be assured of enjoying the most luxurious touring vehicles and vessels available. Our state-of-the-art touring coaches are fitted with reclining seats, seat belts, rest room facilities, audiovisual equipment and the latest in advanced safety features. Our rail tours take you through some of the world's most spectacular scenery in comfort and style, and our river cruising and small ship sea cruises feature luxurious modern vessels with service and facilities to meet your every need."

 

Brendan European river cruises

"We have been sharing the World of Brendan with our travelers for 36 years. In 2005, your choices for European river travel range wider than ever, including the brand new ms Poetry and the beautiful ms Symphony and ms Artistry. Whatever the destination you select, you can count on Brendan to make your exploration of the rivers of Europe unforgettable.

Our proudest claim in all of our destinations is that Brendan has “been there." Our travel specialists, Ship Captains and Cruise Managers have personally experienced the rivers, castles and villages, and absorbed all the history and culture that makes European travel so rewarding. We are eager to share our insights and knowledge with you. We look forward to welcoming you on board as you cruise these extraordinary rivers."

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Brennan European river cruises (Globus)

"Leisurely cruising along the great rivers of the world - Europe's Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main, and the great Yangtze River in China - is an idyllic way to experience each destination's history, landscape and cultures. With Brennan Vacations, you'll pull into port in your deluxe river cruise ship, then explore a Gothic cathedral - a medieval abbey - or a centuries-old Chinese pagoda. In Europe we partner with Avalon Waterways' luxurious ships Artistry®, Imagery®, Poetry®, Scenery, Tapestry®, and Tranquility. In Egypt you'll sail aboard the Royal Lotus. In China you'll sail aboard the premier river cruiser Victoria Anna. Cruise the Galapagos Islands aboard the La Pinta or the M/V Santa Cruz."

$100 to $350 per person per day.

 

CIE Tours European river cruises

CIE Tours International has specialized in high-quality escorted and independent tours of the British Isles since 1932 with the emphasis on coach touring. They have now expanded into river cruising with over a half-dozen different cruise itineraries exploring the waters of the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, and Main rivers.

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Gate 1 European river cruises

"Founded in 1981, Gate 1 Travel has become a leading international European river cruise company. Take a European River Cruise with Gate 1 Travel. We offer vacation packages to suit your time and budget. Tour Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and France."

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

General Tours European river cruises

"Founded in 1947, General Tours is one of the oldest tour companies based in America. Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Magazine has named General Tours as “One of America’s Top Travel packagers.” Today, General Tours' combination of experience, value and expertise creates opportunities for you to enjoy European river cruises at great prices. The company believes small ship (river) cruises are one of the most popular, economical and convenient ways to travel.

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Globus European river cruises

"Experienced travelers agree that a European river cruise is one of the most enjoyable and hassle-free ways to explore Europe's castles, cathedrals, and picturesque villages. And now, Globus offers its inaugural year of river cruising in China and Russia — two new exotic alternatives! Regardless of the continent you choose to explore, your opportunities to discover the very best these destinations have to offer are endless with Globus river cruises.

Travel along the famous rivers of Europe, China and Russia, and discover fascinating history and authentic experiences with comprehensive sightseeing — plus your own exploration. It's a simple way to travel, and you're in the middle of the action. Plus, there's plenty of time to unwind. Think of river cruising as your own personal journey of discovery."

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Gutsy Women Travel European river cruises

Gutsy Women Travel is a division of Gate 1 Travel specializing in escorted tours and cruises designed uniquely for women. The company's river cruises were offered in Europe and China, but I couldn't find any on their website for 2009 or 2010.

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Scenic Tours (Australia) European river cruises

Scenic now owns four of the latest riverboats with unique outside balconies.

"River cruising allows you to experience the very best of Old Europe’s famous sights, as you cruise from city to town along ancient trade waterways. And gives you the freedom to stroll around deck, or relax with a cocktail, as your luxury 5-star cruise ship meanders between ports. And the best part is you won’t have to pack and unpack everyday!

Moor right in the heart of cities and towns, with plenty of time to explore rarely visited medieval villages, magnificent castles and grand palaces. And with all shore excursions and meals included as part of your cruise, river cruising represents outstanding value for money!

With the largest range of European River cruising programs available in Australia, Scenic Tours lets you travel the length and breadth of Europe. Whether you prefer to discover the delights of the Netherlands, the rich wine growing areas of Burgundy in France, the legendary Rhine and Danube regions in Germany, or exotic Russia and the Ukraine, you’ll find a European River cruising itinerary just perfect for you!"

 

Trafalgar European river cruises

Founded in 1947, this company operates escorted tours on six continents and now operates river cruises in partnership with Uniworld (see below). They also cover Russia and Egypt.

"On a Trafalgar River Cruise, you'll embrace the real magic of Europe. We'll take you to extraordinary destinations and show you unforgettable sights.

"Enjoy the best of both worlds. An all-inclusive luxury river cruise combined with exciting onshore excursions...

"And when you step off your floating hotel, you're in the very heart of Europe's breathtaking attractions, with plenty of time for precious moments ashore, either on our included excursions or when exploring on your own.

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Uniworld European river cruises

Uniworld is now partnering with Trafalgar to offer river cruises.

"Uniworld River Cruises, Inc., is a leading river cruise and tour company offering premium level vacations in Europe, Russia, China and South America. The company provides an all-inclusive experience to discerning, experienced travelers in an all-English speaking, non-smoking environment.

Uniworld offers 20 itineraries; 7 to 21 night Grand River Cruises on all major rivers in Europe: Dutch and Belgian Waterways, cruises on the Rhine and Danube, cruises from Vienna and Budapest to the Black Sea; Grand Cruises from Amsterdam to Vienna, Budapest or Constanta; cruises through France, Northern Italy and the Douro River through Portugal and Spain.

$80 to $275 per person, per day.

 

Viking River Cruises European river cruises

"Viking River Cruises itineraries journey along the rivers of Europe, Russia, and China allowing you to explore fascinating destinations up close and in comfort. All-inclusive vacation packages include roundtrip air, cruises, shore tours with English-speaking guides, deluxe river view cabins and gourmet meals.

"Viking River Cruises visit at least one port a day on virtually every itinerary and you can explore small villages off the beaten path that are inaccessible via an ocean cruise. Docking in the heart of town, you'll have more time to see the cities, not just travel to the cities. You'll experience ever-changing riverside scenery as well as local nightlife when your ship overnights in port."

$80 to $275 per person per day.

 

Budget

Cosmos European (Russian) river cruises (Globus)

"For more than 45 years, Cosmos has been the travel style of choice for the savvy, practical traveller. With affordable travel packages to the world's most engaging destinations, Cosmos is the smart way to go. We provide air, accommodations, transportation and the services of a knowledgeable Tour Director for much less than if you booked them individually on your own."

$60 to $115 per person per day.

 

OUR ADVICE: concentrate on the ship you want to travel on and the route you want to travel, rather than the tour aggregator (of course, there's also price!). Be sure to check out our "Things to watch for" page too!

Back to European River Cruise Routes

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