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We are new to river cruising!

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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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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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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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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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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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The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.

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Also, there are certain wine theme cruises you might want to investigate, if wine is a top priority.

The top luxury river cruise lines are probably Tauck, Scenic and Uniworld, in that order.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Originally Posted by pacmom viewpost.gif

"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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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

Edited by franski

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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

I talked to people that were on a tour that stopped in Hanoi and there was a tour of the Hanoi Hilton where the US POWs were kept.

They were told that the POWs were well taken care of and not abused.

 

I am glad we have good relations with Viet Nam, but would prefer not to listen to such nonsense.

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So, we are new to river cruising too. I am interested in a line that offers lots of options in terms of tours. Is there a specific line(s) that caters more to a younger age demographic? We are in our late 40's, but I've heard that river cruisers tent to be significantly older, which may determine the type of tours/ extra curricular activities that are offered.

Any suggestions?

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So, we are new to river cruising too. I am interested in a line that offers lots of options in terms of tours. Is there a specific line(s) that caters more to a younger age demographic? We are in our late 40's, but I've heard that river cruisers tent to be significantly older, which may determine the type of tours/ extra curricular activities that are offered.

Any suggestions?

 

My husband has had the same concerns, though on our first 2 ocean cruises, the "older crowd" was just as lively, if not livelier, than those our age. I am in my mid 40's and my husband is in the early 50's. We are going on Uniworld's Venice and Po River cruise the 1st week of September (I won the cruise in a Uniworld sponsored contest on Facebook), so if you want to be guaranteed at least one other party on board your same age, come join in the fun:)

 

As far as tours offered, Uniworld has those listed on their website under a section labeled "cruise companion".

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So, we are new to river cruising too. I am interested in a line that offers lots of options in terms of tours. Is there a specific line(s) that caters more to a younger age demographic? We are in our late 40's, but I've heard that river cruisers tent to be significantly older, which may determine the type of tours/ extra curricular activities that are offered.

Any suggestions?

 

Greetings from a fellow Ontarian... just down the road in Whitby!!!

 

DH and I are mid-50's. We tend to be on the younger end of the spectrum - but that is changing as river cruising becomes more popular. For the most part, river cruisers are mature and well-travelled.... Many in their late 70's and early 80's are very active. We have had some trouble at times keeping up with the "older folks" !!!

 

Most lines offer an included tour - usually a walking tour, led by a local guide. Not always the fastest, or the most strenuous of tours - but we have found that the insight offered is what we enjoy.

 

If you want something more active, look for a boat that has bikes. You can get out and do some riding if the weather co-operates.

 

Scenic has introduced a GPS system that would allow you to do your own thing in town --> with a pre-taped commentary on the area you are visiting. Scenic is also all-inclusive this year... so although they are a bit pricier up front, there are no extras at the end (unless you buy something from the gift shop).

 

Fran

Edited by franski

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