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River Cruises

Blue Water Holidays has been a leading river cruise specialist since 2002. Our knowledgeable independent experts have first hand experience of ships and destinations, and can advise on the right choice for your holiday. With exclusive offers and superb discounts, we can offer you the best value for money.

Scenic Jewel

Best Europe Rivers to Cruise


Best World Rivers to Cruise

Why Choose a River Cruise

  1. A new experience every day

    On a river cruise there are no sea days. Every day brings new sights and different views to admire, exciting destinations to explore, and no chance of seasickness!

  2. Fewer passengers, more space

    River ships are smaller and more intimate than ocean ones. In Europe there are around 100 to 180 passengers. In Asia the ships are often smaller. Lounges and public areas offer plenty of space to relax, with a sun deck offering 360 degree views over the river.

  3. Fine dining

    Dining rooms are large enough for all passengers to eat in one sitting, but most cruise lines offer flexible dining times so you can eat when you want, with whom you want. Breakfast is usually a buffet, with lunch a buffet or waiter service. Dinner is often a 4 or 5 course fine dining experience. Alternative dining venues are available on many ships at no extra cost. Some cruise lines also include in-cabin dining and room service.

  4. All cabins with view

    River ship cabins have outside windows with views over the waterside scenery. Many ships have French balconies, with large sliding doors or a drop-down upper section to create an open-air experience. Some ships have full sit-on balconies. Others offer a twin balcony, with both a sit-on and a French balcony.

  5. Watch the riverside scenery float by

    On a river cruise much of the travelling through the best scenic areas is done during the day. Watch the passing sights from the lounge areas with their panoramic views, or from a shaded or sunny spot on the sun deck.

  6. Moor in the heart of the destination

    River cruise ships are usually able to moor close to the centre of waterside towns or cities, so you can often walk from the ship to explore the sights and sounds at your own pace.

  7. Guided excursions with local experts

    Most cruise lines include guided excursions to local highlights and major sights, with multi-lingual expert local guides. Some cruise lines offer a choice of excursions to suit different interests, with walking or cycling tours for active cruisers, or cookery demonstrations and wine tastings for food lovers. Enjoy unique experiences with some cruise lines, for example, dine with a princess at her castle, enjoy a private Mozart recital, or take afternoon tea with a local family.

  8. Large choice of rivers and countries

    Every year new river cruise destinations become available. In Europe the traditional Rhine and Danube cruises have been joined by many other rivers, including the Seine and Rhone in France, Portugal’s Douro and the Elbe through Germany. In Asia, the Yangtze and Mekong are very popular, and more recently the Irrawaddy in Burma and the Ganges in India. In the USA, the very distinctive steamboats travel the Mississippi river. More distant destinations are usually visited on a cruise-tour combining the river trip with a land tour of major sights. In Europe there are often pre- or post-cruise hotel stays in interesting cities.

  9. New ships with new features

    New ships with enhanced features arrive each year. Many ships now offer a gym, spa, library, cinema or swimming pool.

  10. So much included!

    As well as full board dining, most cruise lines now offer complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, with some including beverages at all times. Complimentary wifi and in-cabin entertainment is usually included. Tips and gratuities are often included on river cruises, both on and off the ship. You can fly from a wide range of regional airports, or even travel by train, and some cruise lines also include private transfers from your home to the airport!

With such a wide range of ship and route choices available there will be a river cruise to suit your requirements - call our experts for independent advice on the best options.

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The Best Europe River Cruises

The Best World River Cruises