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  #1  
Old April 12th, 2013, 01:04 PM
sky#1 sky#1 is offline
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Default We are new to river cruising!

so, we are looking for a river cruise line that is luxury! fine meals, wines and upgraded touring. Is there one line that stands out above the rest? we are planning on one of the European rivers.
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  #2  
Old April 12th, 2013, 01:23 PM
npphotog npphotog is offline
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We have been really pleased with Vantage World Travel. Check out their website.
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  #3  
Old April 12th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Default Other companies

Hi, we have been on Viking & had a nice time....also Avalon & had an even better time...I would say that Vantage, Avalon, Viking , Ama have a similar product..you probably wouldn't go wrong with any of them. River cruising is great ( we have given up on the ocean mega ships...wouldn't go on any of them unless it was free ( maybe)... for ocean sailing Windstar is our choice. ...As for river boat luxury..i am told ( by cruise critic members) that Tauck & Uniworld are at the top of the list. Pricier but some say worth it . Check out their web sites and compare.
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  #4  
Old April 12th, 2013, 01:57 PM
kdowneymd kdowneymd is offline
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You may want to check out French Country Waterways, very small, intimate best food and wine
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  #5  
Old April 12th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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Hello Sky!
We are new as well and after considerable research determined that they all are quite similar (more so than ocean cruises). I might suggest you read up on some reviews to get a better idea of what you are looking for.

We opted (as many others have) to create a spreadsheet noting the pros and cons of each line for the itineraries we were considering. In the end it was the itinerary that determined our line rather than the other way around.

As with ocean cruising, I think you'll find there is a variety of choices, but your fellow cruisers will more than likely determine if you have a good cruise or a great one. We like the more intimate feeling of the smaller ships and enjoy meeting people from all over.

You will find those on this board (and all the others on CC) to be eager to help, so read, research and ask away.

OH, and don't forget to come back and let us know what you decide upon and why!!!
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Old April 12th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky#1 View Post
so, we are looking for a river cruise line that is luxury! fine meals, wines and upgraded touring. Is there one line that stands out above the rest? we are planning on one of the European rivers.
I suggest you take a look at Tauck.
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  #7  
Old April 12th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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I would like to suggest Scenic as well. I found,when I was looking for our first river cruise last year, that although most river cruises read the same the reality is quite different, particularly when it comes to excursions. Everyone is different so I hope you find the right fit for you. Having said that I really don't think there is much danger of having a bad experience regardless of who you choose. Scenic worked better than I could have hoped for so we will stick to them.
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  #8  
Old April 13th, 2013, 12:09 AM
sjbj sjbj is offline
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The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.
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  #9  
Old April 13th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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Also, there are certain wine theme cruises you might want to investigate, if wine is a top priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjbj View Post
The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.
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  #10  
Old April 13th, 2013, 08:41 AM
4774Papa 4774Papa is offline
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We have done Vantage Russia and China and those were two of the best trips we have ever taken.

Also, we did AMA Burgundy and Provence, which was very good.

I would highly recommend both Vantage and AMA.

I always compare pricing and compute the per day price, add up the meals provided, tours included, as well as itinerary and air fare cost.

Vantage always comes out ahead of Tauck, Viking, and the others, except for bargain lines like Gate 1.
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  #11  
Old April 13th, 2013, 05:51 PM
pacmom pacmom is offline
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AMA has a wonderful wine themed cruise. It is also upscale with excellent food and the included wine is very good. Would also agree that Uniworld has excellent food. We have sailed on both more than once. We have sailed on Vantage and did not think that the food was was "anything to write home about". It wasn't bad, just not on a par with the other two. Tauck seems to be quite upscale but not for anyone who is truly an independent traveller. During the summer both Tauck and Uniworld have multigenerational trips, so check carefully. Be careful river cruising can be addictive, we are going our our16th in June and about to book 17th next week. Pat
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  #12  
Old April 14th, 2013, 09:09 AM
sky#1 sky#1 is offline
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it seems from all your responses that there is no real leader in the river cruises. it sounds like most of them have been a good experience for all of you.
I am tending to lean to Oceania cruise again, because I know we had a great time before. we cruised the european rivieras with Oceania and it was outstanding. We want either a penthouse or large veranda suite and the river cruises are pricing higher than the Oceania! still uncertain
then there is the itinerary......has anyone done the Douro in Portugal???
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  #13  
Old April 14th, 2013, 01:18 PM
pacmom pacmom is offline
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Sky, we are also Oceania cruisers--have done 5. For us AMA and Uniworld are the closest to O. We have sailed the Duoro with AMA--picked them because we liked their pre cruise better than Uniworld at that time. It is a wonderful itinerary--port is fantastic and fre flowing at dinner. The food was Portueguse (sp.?). Great international mix of pax. We stayed a few days extra and took the train back to Lisbon to fly home. Pat
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  #14  
Old April 14th, 2013, 04:05 PM
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It is really difficult to compare with Oceana. River cruises are quite different..a whole different atmosphere & experience....you are compareing apples to oranges. I don't think you would be dissapointed by any of the lines mentioned in this blog. Think of a river boat cruise as a new adventure...you could get hooked on them...but if your heart is set on an Oceana experience maybe it is not for you.
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  #15  
Old April 14th, 2013, 04:08 PM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacmom View Post
Be careful river cruising can be addictive, we are going our our16th in June and about to book 17th next week. Pat
Pat -

Where are you going for #17?

Fran
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  #16  
Old April 14th, 2013, 04:24 PM
pacmom pacmom is offline
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Fran, we are going on Avalon's Mekong. It is the only line that does not include Hanoi---too many bad memories. DH is a retired US Navy pilot--left friends for many years in the notorious Hanoi Hilton--some never returned. We are hoping to tie the trip with GCT's Irriwaddy--will let you lnow how we fare. Pat
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  #17  
Old April 14th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacmom View Post
Fran, we are going on Avalon's Mekong. It is the only line that does not include Hanoi---too many bad memories. DH is a retired US Navy pilot--left friends for many years in the notorious Hanoi Hilton--some never returned. We are hoping to tie the trip with GCT's Irriwaddy--will let you lnow how we fare. Pat

Pat, we are taking the GCT Irriwaddy trip.

Sharon
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  #18  
Old April 14th, 2013, 05:41 PM
pacmom pacmom is offline
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You can compare food and level of service between ocean and river trips. People who have travelled on Oceania would be prone to like AMA and Uniworld and probably Tauck or Scenic. Some of the other lines are more like mass market ocean lines. Of course they are like apples nd oranges, but even they share a few similarities.

Sharon, we originally looked at Vantage for our Burma trip, but they won't have their new boat ready til the fall of 14. Viking is already sold out for the whole season next year. Will be looking for your thoughts about the trip. Pat
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  #19  
Old April 15th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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Default Don't want to hijack this thread......

Originally Posted by pacmom
"Fran, we are going on Avalon's Mekong. It is the only line that does not include Hanoi---too many bad memories. DH is a retired US Navy pilot--left friends for many years in the notorious Hanoi Hilton--some never returned. We are hoping to tie the trip with GCT's Irriwaddy--will let you lnow how we fare. Pat"

"Pat, we are taking the GCT Irriwaddy trip."


I am taking the GCT Irrawady Cruise with pre-trip to Ankor Watt in Dec. of 2013. I will post a review for those who might be interested.
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  #20  
Old April 15th, 2013, 08:11 PM
franski franski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacmom View Post
Fran, we are going on Avalon's Mekong. It is the only line that does not include Hanoi---too many bad memories. DH is a retired US Navy pilot--left friends for many years in the notorious Hanoi Hilton--some never returned. We are hoping to tie the trip with GCT's Irriwaddy--will let you lnow how we fare. Pat

I totally understand about looking for a way to bypass Hanoi....

I will be interested in hearing about your experiences.... both on the cruise, and trying to sync up two with different companies.

Fran

Last edited by franski; April 15th, 2013 at 08:13 PM.
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