Thanks so much!
Thanks so much!
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Yes, the matter is rather open-ended, I know. But at this early point in planning, I really am looking for general help. I've cruised a number of times before, but never river cruising. I've visited a number of spots in Europe, but never from the river. I purposely didn't ask specific questions, like "which river cruise is best?" or "where should I go?". because I think that I can probably find answers later on to those, or ask them later.Welcome to the River Cruise side of the house....
Right now, I have absolutely no idea which type of cruise, or which river, because at this point, I have no preference at all yet. I'm looking for general comparison info like "Viking River cruises are known more for _______, while AMA concentrates heavily on ________". Or general info like what makes a Rhine itinerary more/less interesting than for example a Danube. I just thought maybe there had been some previous posts for that type of thing that someone would remember & be able to lead me too. In the meantime, I've started searching through this category on Cruise Critic to see if such a thing exists.
"Got2Cruise" thank you for the link. That, at least gives some ideas on when (what weather conditions) one might consider to take certain cruises.
I'm very interested in a European River cruise, but not sure where to start. I'd love to have some help, perhaps point me to the right place (threads?) that might compare the various riverboat cruise companies & how one is different from the other, pros/cons, etc. Is there a specific place to find such things, or am I there?Hi can'tcatchup,
Thanks so much!
I'm very interested in a European River cruise, but not sure where to start. I'd love to have some help, perhaps point me to the right place (threads?) that might compare the various riverboat cruise companies & how one is different from the other, pros/cons, etc. Is there a specific place to find such things, or am I there?we did our research kinda backwards,,,,we have always done Ocean Cruises,,,but when a River cruise was offered by our TA as a feature trip,,,especially a Christmas Market cruise we jumped on it. We even had an Antiques and Christmas Shop here in Western New York at one time due to my love of the Season. Anyways, once we signed up, we camehere searching for info. We have read and read and read and have picked up such good info. We just selected a weekend and sat down and started reading anything that related to 2012 and 2013 River cruises. While we have found little about our Cruise line, Luftner, yet, there is a wealth of info on here by very generous people that have taken the time to explain things. We will be on the Luftner Brilliant for a Danube Christmas Market Cruise/Tour,December 4th,from Wurzburg to Vienna. A trip I read about 12 years ago and only thought we'd dream about....Keep reading,,,write down other's thoughts. I have an Empty Book that I write down general info and info on every port and city others have been to. That way I have it handy to reread and learn from. Takes a little time, but well worth the effort. We cant wait to go on this cruise and report back on this little known cruise company.
Thanks so much!
I'm going to play "javelin catcher" here and offer some commonly-voiced comments based on my research about some of the river cruise lines. Please feel free to criticize my remarks, as the criticism should also prove to be informative.Mac did a good job of discussing the various lines.
Tauck - pampers their passengers and provides unparalleled academic-quality information about the different debarkation spots - for a price that exceeds pretty much everyone else's, though it's all-inclusive, which may make the price differences a bit illusory
Uniworld - also pampers their passengers, though perhaps in more crowded ("cozy?") space and with very baroque-style decor and furnishings - also for a relatively high price; perhaps the best cuisine of the major lines; one of the major river cruise lines for USA customers and also my wife's selection for our cruises (full disclosure here)
Vantage and AMA - also pamper their passengers (see a trend here?) but have some little differences from the above that aren't easily quantified until and unless you cruise with them
Viking - has the largest market share, has a very businesslike approach to the business of river cruising; largely the market maker, as their marketing has also built business for their competitors; takes flak from fans of other lines who perceive Viking as "the low-cost spread" or the "Wal-Mart of river cruising," neither of which is particularly accurate
Scenic - Great line to choose if you're an Aussie or Kiwi, but apparently more difficult to deal with for USA cruisers
GCT - the most economical and Spartan of the major river-cruise lines, but a great idea if you're a bit strapped for cash but still want to cruise the rivers of Europe
There are other suppliers also, but these gross and largely inaccurate characterizations should provide everyone the chance to post their reactions ...
At the end of the day, you should look at the cruise lines' itineraries of the specific cruise region you want to visit. You might then pick the most interesting, unless you have other priorities (like an academic approach - Tauck; or perhaps catering to a kosher diet) that dictate another choice.