Top Luxury German and European Riverboat Cruise Tour Operators
Peter Deilmann Cruises, Tauck, Viking, and Amadeus Waterways are amongst the top luxury European riverboat cruise line companies. German Arosa is a new addition to the Rhine River in 2009.
Many different cruise lines have luxury cruises on the Rhine (Rhein) and other German and European rivers. Some of the top riverboat cruise lines marketing in the USA and other non-European markets include Tauck World Discovery, Peter Deilmann Cruises, Amadeus Waterways, and Viking River Cruises. Arosa, a German shipping company, added the Rhine in 2009 to its cruise itineraries on the Danube and Rhone Rivers.
- It is worth comparing prices online and through different reservation services. However, always read the fine print when comparing cheap prices. Some cruises include more excursions, more meals, free wine, tips, and services in the base fare when the tour is sold in international markets. Cancellation conditions and refund policies also vary widely.
Cruise the Rhine on Tauck World Discovery
Tauck World Discovery is expensive but one of the best companies offering cruises on the Rhine River. Almost all possible expenses are included in the advertised cruise price allowing for easy budgeting and a generally relaxed vacation – on Tauck all gratuities are included and no further tipping is needed.
On Tauck World Discovery cruises, three meals per day are included – mostly taken onboard the riverboat. Wine and soft drink are free with dinner and many onshore excursions, especially guided town walks, are included in the cruise price.
Tauck’s boats are relatively small with less than 120 passengers but with a larger number of suites (up to 300 square feet) available than on most other boats. Facilities are very good with Tauck boats having up to two whirlpools, saunas, and gymnasiums.
Peter Deilmann Riverboat Cruises on the Rhine
Note: Peter Deilmann will suspend riverboat cruises from the 2010 season.
The German luxury riverboat operator Peter Deilmann Cruises is a byword for luxury river cruising. Peter Deilmann and their regular passengers consider excellent service as very important – the average passenger to staff ration of one staff member for every 2.5 passengers is the best in the business and almost double the industry standard.
Peter Deilmann cruises are known for the excellent quality of the multi-course meals. Bouillon is usually served mid-morning with the traditional coffee and cake available in the afternoon. Rather uniquely, breakfast on Peter Deilmann boats can be taken from the buffet or served at table as a five-course meal. Excellent wines are on offer at dinner but not free.
- Peter Deilmann riverboat cruises always have a medical doctor on board.
Amadeus Amawaterways Cruise on European Rivers
Amadeus Amawaterways is a new riverboat cruise line but with very experienced management. Amawaterways have amongst the newest and most luxurious boats cruising on European rivers – the oldest boat dates from 2006. All Amawaterways boats have whirlpools and gymnasiums as well as spa treatments and massages.
Amawaterways are commonly all-inclusive vacations with many excursions included. Amawaterways have bicycles on board for onshore exploration. On Amawaterway cruises, three meals are served on board most days with unlimited free wine during meals.
Viking River Cruises on the Rhine
Viking River Cruises is one of the world’s better-known river cruise companies. On the Rhine, Viking often uses larger boats – up to 200 passengers – although some are as small as 120 passengers. Available services such as whirlpools and swimming pools vary across the Viking fleet.
Three meals are generally served onboard and drinks packages can be bought prior to cruising. For cruises booked from North America and other non-European markets, many excursions often are included in the cruise price. Vikings cancellation policies are relatively generous with good special offers available to especially early bookers.
Arosa Riverboats on the Rhine
Arosa is a German riverboat cruise line that is famous for its service, good food, and luxury but without a formal atmosphere. The dress code on Arosa boats is always casual.
Arosa has grand new boats with many facilities such as spas and pools. Arosa cruises mostly on the Danube and Rhone but from 2009 will also have cruises on the Rhine River.
The various luxury riverboat cruise lines use different routings on the Rhine riverboat cruise itineraries. Special deals are available on most lines and it is worth considering other practical details before making reservations. Always compare different offers available online and read the fine print before booking a cheap cruise where many additions may have to be added to the fare.