They may all look the same from the outside looking in but each river cruise company has incorporated something special and unique to differentiate them from all the rest.
The similarities (and I am just writing about single wide river ships this week) are the general length and width of the ships. The ships all have a maximum length and maximum width to fit through the locks of the rivers. Some river locks are more generous than others.
Something we hear often is, “I thought Viking was the only river cruise company”. Surprise, there is more than 1 river cruise company and that is why it is so important to reach out to a river cruise expert who is specializes in this vacation style. This is exactly the reason I created Everything River Cruise. I want to educate, inspire, and create experiences that blend perfectly with your personality and travel style.
The major players who market to North Americans (Europe): AmaWaterways, Emerald, Scenic, Amadeus, Uniworld, Viking, Tauck, Avalon, CroisiEurope, Crystal, & Riviera.
In our personal portfolio of river cruises, we have sailed AmaWaterways, Avalon, CroisiEurope, Viking, Uniworld, Tauck, Scenic and Emerald. We try to sail every brand we talk about.
If you have been researching information about river cruising, perhaps you have come across the different names that the river cruise companies call their ships. That can make a person nervous because the more a person reads, the less confident one can become by worrying if they are picking the wrong ‘type’ of ship. For example, Viking calls some of its fleet Long Ships, Avalon calls their fleet Suite Ships, Emerald calls their ships Star Ships. They are all about the same length, they are all the same width, and they all offer amazing journeys along the riverbanks.
River cruise companies name their ships by theme. That is how they identify. Viking chooses Nordic names & famous Viking characters. Uniworld names their ships after people in history. AmaWaterways prefixes their ships names by the Latin word Ama. Ama means love. Scenic names their ships after precious gemstones.
When you river cruise or when you are about to take your first river cruise, your experience should be better than you even imagined and the way to ensure that will happen is to sail on the ship that matches your personality and your travel style.
Each river cruise company listed above offers their customers different experiences. Not every amenity is included. Some offer included gratuities, unlimited wine and beer, one tour, choice of multiple tours, airline flights, included airport transfers, bikes on board, no flights, tours for purchase only, airport transfers for purchase. This is why it is so important to speak to a professional.
There are common denominators for all the companies listed above. When you select to travel with any of the above, your cruise does include the following:
A La Carte – The common denominator things, you sail with only what you need and want with options to pay for add on items like airport transfers, prepackage tour program or purchase a tour while on ship. Super affordable luxury is what I call this cruise line.
Semi Inclusive- The common denominator things, one tour with the option to pay for other tours, wine, beer with lunch and dinner. Options to book cruise line air fare and cruise line transfers.
Inclusive – The common denominator things, always choices of included tours, wine, beer with lunch and dinner, bicycles on board, included 1 hour cocktail party. Options to book cruise line air fare and cruise line transfers.
Super Inclusive – The common denominator things, always a choice of free tours, open bar 24/7, gratuities, airfare, airport transfers. Literally no bills, no surprises.
How you want to experience your journey depends on what you need and how you want to travel.
Next time on The Glide, I will talk about the different interior design of the ships. The ships may all look similar from the outside but inside can be a whole different fabulous story. Nordic simplicity, traditional, designer, boutique, uber luxury to very modern.
It’s important to talk about the interior offerings. Some ships only have cabins and a lounge, some ships have heated indoor steam pools, theatres, gymnasiums, sauna, Spa, hair salons, and several choices of restaurant venues, fitness coaches, and wellness programs. Until next time, Enjoy the Journey, Lisa
Want to chat more about river cruising? We’d love to meet you. Contact us here.
Would you like to learn more about River Cruising? We have an entire website dedicated to the river cruise lifestyle! You can even take a quiz to find out which river is best for you.
Visit Everything River Cruise. Here is the link. https://www.everythingrivercruise.com/
I am a lucky lady to have the honor to work side by side with Lisa Collins. Ocean Cruise phenom and lover of all things Ocean Cruising. Together we are the Lisas.
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