A river cruise combines the best parts of being on a cruise ship with the experiential wonder and diversity of a guided tour. River cruises can provide a wide variety of experiences, from adventures through Old Europe and the small local villages in the mountains and hills rich in cultural history, to a trip through the Mekong Delta and its wide diversity of wildlife and nature.
AffordableTours.com has high standards for its travel partners in river cruises. We partner with companies that provide everything from luxury, all-inclusive experiences with fine onboard dining and five-star-quality accommodations, to value tours that focus on the cultural experiences at hand. Here are our most highly regarded partners in river cruising.
Avalon Waterways, part of the Globus Family of Brands, has been a pioneer in the emergence of the river cruising travel market. Their ships and programs consistently win awards year after year, and they offer a wide variety of excursions and experiences. Avalon Waterways prides itself on offering all-inclusive packages that cater to traveler’s individual needs: whether you keep early or late hours, whether you want to take excursions to land or would rather just stay on your ship, Avalon Waterways has a wide range of high-quality river cruises to meet a wide range of traveler needs.
Viking River Cruises
Operating since 2000, Viking River Cruises rapidly grew into the largest river cruise line in the world, thanks to their consistent quality. Viking cruises are highlighted by unique local experiences at the shore excursions and the Viking Culture Curriculum, an educational series onboard its ships that allow for travelers to learn about the local history and culture and experience it hand-on. Viking is Cruise Critic Editors’ Best River Cruise Line for 2014.
Uniworld specializes in boutique, luxury cruises. Their award-winning service includes keeping the highest staff-to-guest ratio in cruising, fine art and antiques onboard, and luxury staterooms. For the gourmet, their all-inclusive cruises provide gourmet meals cooked with local ingredients by a classically-trained culinary team, a wide variety of options for those who prefer certain kinds of cuisine or who have dietary restrictions, and exclusive shore excursions to experience means in the local tradition. Their commitment to the luxury experience is why Travel + Leisure readers named Uniworld #1 in the World for Best Service on River Cruises.
Tauck River Cruises
Tauck River Cruises is unique among cruise providers in that the company is family-owned and run, part of a long lineage. The company can trace its roots back to Arthur Tauck and Tauck Motor Tours, who gave his first tour through New England in 1925. The company has passed through multiple generations of Taucks and now provides vacations of all kinds.
Tauck offers a number of European river cruises and, as you might expect from a family-run company, promises a personal, intimate experience. That personal touch, in part, is why Travel + Leisure readers named Tauck “World’s Best River Cruise Line” in 2014– for the third time in four years.
AmaWaterways was an early pioneer of providing river cruises, founded in 2002 explicitly for that purpose, and as such is one of the most experienced providers: All three co-founders remain with the company and are vitally involved, lending their many years of experience in the field to the company.
Whereas most river cruises take place in Europe, AmaWaterways offers river cruises around the world. While they have a healthy selection of European itineraries, AmaWaterways also offers river cruises through Africa and Southeast Asia.
AmaWaterways offers a wide range of personal, intimate, award-winning cruises.
Scenic Cruises takes pride in having every detail of a journey covered. Their all-inclusive travel packages will have everything from meals to sightseeing to tipping planned out for you. Scenic uses their local connections to provide you with the must-see and little-known sights and experiences on shore excursions.
Scenic offers a wide range of cruises to a wide range of locations, more so than most river cruise lines. You can plan a Russian River or Mekong Delta cruise if you’d like to see those parts of the world, in addition to a lineup of European river cruises.
Among Scenic Cruises’ awards are two consecutive “Best River Cruise Line” awards from Cruise Passenger magazine, in 2012 and 2013.
Like the name suggests, Value World River Cruises specializes in providing the best value possible in their river cruises, allowing you to go places and experience things that may not normally be in your budget. Value World’s founders, Samo Topiak and James Pierce, brought decades’ of experience in the travel industry and a great passion for the work to their new company, launching their first cruise in 1993.
Value World offers river cruises throughout the world, including Egypt, China, Russia, India, and Thailand. The passion and dedication the founders bring to their work shows, as their cruises are always highly rated and well reviewed.
You can book a trip with any of these river cruise lines through AffordableTours.com or by calling one of our river cruise professionals at 1-800-342-0019.