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#1
New York
58 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
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.
#3
California
166 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
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.
#5
Riverview, FL
2,061 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
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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#6
Bluffton,SC
3,951 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by sky#1
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.
Terri
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June 1986-MV Atlantic-Bermuda-7 Days
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September 2008-MS Zuiderdam- Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
January 2009-MS Noordam-Southern Caribbean-10 Days
January 2010-MS Maasdam-Panama Canal Transit-14 Days
January 2011-MS Maasdam-Southern Caribbean-11 Days
September 2011-MS Nieuw Amsterdam-Magic of the Mediterranean-24 Days
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December 2016-MS Rotterdam-Eastern Caribbean-10 Days

March 2017-Oceania Riviera-Caribbean Hideaways-10 Days
#7
Ontario
82 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
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.
#8
San Diego, CA
132 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.
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#9
Long Island, NY
6,242 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Also, there are certain wine theme cruises you might want to investigate, if wine is a top priority.
Originally posted by sjbj
The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.
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Planning the cruise is half the fun.
#10
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
11,210 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
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.
#11
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
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
#12
New York
58 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
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???
#13
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
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
#14
California
166 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
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.
#15
Ontario, Canada
2,729 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Originally posted by pacmom
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
#16
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
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
#17
Coastal NC
3,188 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
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.

Sharon
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Sharon

SAILED: Viking, Portraits of Southern France. 2006
SAILED: Uniworld, Castles Along the Rhine, 2007
SAILED: Gate 1, Thanksgiving Cruise, 2007
SAILED: AMA Waterways, Portugal on the Douro, 2008
SAILED: Grand Circle: Romance of the Rhine and Mosel, 2010
SAILED
: Viking Emerald, China's Cultural Delights. 3/28/2011
SAILED: Grand Circle: Old World Prague and the Blue Danube. September 7, 2011.
SAILED: Viking Spirit, Paris to Normandy. 12/11/11.
SAILED: Grand Circle's [i]Essence of the Elbe: 5/27/12/ to 6/11/12
SAILED: Grand Circle Russia Revealed with pretrip to Helsinki and Tallinn , 2012. .
SAILED: Viking Sun, Treasures of the Rhine. Nov 11, 2012.
SAILED:AMACerto, Istanbul to Budapest. May 30, 2013.
SAILED: Uniworld River Queen, Classic Christmas Markets, Nuremberg to Frankfurt. Dec 5, 2013.
SAILED:Vantage Travel, Croatian Odyssey & Venice with Lake Bled, Slovenia pretrip. M/Y Harmony G
SAILED:Grand Circle, Burma and the Irrawaddy, Thailand and Cambodia. Nov 25, 2014. RV Paukan 2012.
SAILED:
Grand Circle: Spain's Northern Coast & the Bay of Biscay. 4/30/2015 to 5/21/2015. Ship: Corinthian
SAILED:
AMAWaterways: Magnificent Europe. Aug 30 to Sept 14, 2015. AMACerto. Budapest to Amsterdam
SAILED:Vantage: The Peruvian Amazon and Machu Picchu. 3/12/2016. Post trip to Lake Titicaca. Ship: RV Amazon Discovery
Sailed:Grand Circle: Grand Baltic Sea Voyage. Stockholm to Copenhagen. 7/30/2016 to 8/15/2016. Ship: Corinthian
Sailed: Viking: Castles & Legends. Munich to Budapest. 12/5/16 to 12/16/16. Viking Ve.
Sailed:
Viking Sky: Mediterranean Getaway, Rome to Barcelona, 2/25/17 to 3/4/17.

Grand Circle: Maritime Jewels of the British Isles. 7/23/17 to 8/6/17. Ship: Corinthian

Avalon Affinity: Burgundy & Provence with London, 10/2/17 to 10/15/17
#18
2,451 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
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
#19
Phoenix
622 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
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
Ontario, Canada
2,729 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
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

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