River Cruises


A River cruise is a voyage along inland waterways, often stopping at multiple ports along the way. Since cities and towns often grew up around rivers, river cruise ships frequently dock in the center of cities and towns.

A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost constant sight of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas ocean-going ships tend to be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up to 4,000 people from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply walk up the gangway and into the town or city. In many cases the dock is located right at the heart of things. Despite these differences, however, most people who enjoy ocean cruising and the relaxing rhythm of life afloat are attracted to river cruises as well.

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River cruise ships are smaller than ocean-going cruise ships, typically holding 90 - 240 passengers. Due to their smaller size and low draft, river cruise ships can go where ocean cruise ships cannot, and sometimes to where no other transport is practical. Rivers are an excellent way to reach some attractions, for example in Russia, China and the Peruvian Amazon.

During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, so they are especially relaxing and interesting to those who prefer land nearby. River cruises usually last from 7 to 15 days, although some can last 3 weeks or longer.

Most river ships resemble 5-star hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms where you will dine on sumptuous first-class cuisine in outstanding on-board restaurants. lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment.

As well most River Cruises offer an all-inclusive experience not found on large cruise ships. All-inclusive luxury with all of your meals, drinks, shore excursions, tipping and gratuities included in your booking price. Imagine sipping fine wines from your mini-bar (which is replenished daily) as you sit in your fully appointed cabin or on your deck or enjoying a nightcap in a beautiful Panorama Lounge, reflecting on the day's experiences and sharing tales of your adventures with new-found friends.

Most cruises have a variety of onboard and onshore activities. The latter include guided tours to historic and cultural sites, visiting local attractions, museums and galleries, and other points of interest. Guides give a running commentary while sailing.

A river cruise provides travelers a unique way to travel. A river cruise represents life in the slow lane, sailing along at a gentle pace, soaking up the scenery, with plentiful opportunities to explore riverside towns and cities en route. It is a supremely calming experience, an antidote to the pressures of life in a fast-paced world, in surroundings that are comfortable without being fussy or pretentious, with good food and enjoyable company.

Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississppi, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Danube, the Loboc River, the Rhine, the Seine, the Volga, the Duoro or the Po River in Italy. There are several dozen river cruise companies ranging from single-ship businesses to large shipping companies operating dozens of river cruise ships.

AMA Logo

With eighteen years of experience on the world’s rivers, this family-owned and operated company has remained focused on what they do best: providing guests with innovative and unforgettable travel experiences. Their visionary leaders were the pioneers of modern luxury river cruising and have received numerous prestigious awards and accolades. However, we are most fulfilled by the positive feedback we receive from our guests, whom we have always considered a part of our family. Join them – one river at a time. “Ama” means love – and love is at the heart of everything they do, from the way they design their ships to the development of river cruise itineraries to the high levels of service delivered to guests. It is a philosophy that drives attention to detail, constant innovation and culture of always making guests top priority. Whether you choose to sail  through Europe, Asia or Africa, you will always find yourself in a place where luxury means love. And since you can never have too much love, you’ll experience the luxury of more – more ways to discover, more ways to indulge and more onboard amenities. With an award-winning fleet, critically acclaimed dining and a variety of authentic included excursions, every mile of your journey will turn into a cherished memory.
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AMA Waterways offers exciting River Cruises to:
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Africa - Chobe River
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Europe - Christmas Markets
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Europe - Danube River
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Europe - Dutch Waterways
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Europe - France
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Europe - Portugal
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Europe - Rhine, Main & Moselle Rivers
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Vietnam/Cambodia - Mekong River
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Egypt - Nile River (click on image to see more details)

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American River Boat Company

Experience the historic authenticity of the Mississippi River aboard the American Queen®! Cruise along the lower Mississippi River and you will encounter centuries-old shaded oak trees, elegant Antebellum plantations, cotton fields, and Civil War memorials. It's like taking a step back in time. On our upper Mississippi river cruises, you will experience the inspiration behind Mark Twain's most famous characters while visiting storybook American towns and energetic cities. A Mississippi river cruise is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and history buffs alike.

THE AMERICAN QUEENamerican queen 2The largest steamboat ever built, the grand American Queen is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. Although filled with today’s modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian era. Glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. Outside, lacy filigree evokes memories of the many stately riverboats that preceded her and so inspired her designers. While on board, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat’s library. Or enjoy a sing-along in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river. Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made River Cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries. One voyage and you’ll see why.Distinctions
The largest, most opulent riverboat in the world, Included shore excursions in every port of call, Included deluxe hotel stay before your voyage, including breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the American Queen, Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage, Complimentary wine and beer with dinner, Gracious service and warm hospitality from a friendly, all-American staff, Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, our onboard history and culture expert, Acclaimed entertainment worthy of Broadway - spectacular revues, cabaret, jazz and blues, six-piece orchestra and our own dedicated fleet of deluxe motorcoaches

Upper Mississippi River
Early explorers and native tribes left their legacy behind in town names here: Joliet. Red Wing. Dubuque. Rolling farmland stretches out to the horizon; barges are measured in acres; man-made lakes and locks channel the river’s flow. What to do on a river day? Grab your binoculars and study a pair of American bald eagles. Wave to the motorboat captains locking through the dam beside you. Study red in ten different shades of fall foliage. Tap into the sense of wonder that caused early pioneers to call the heartland home. River cruise destinations handpicked to pique the interest of nature lovers, history buffs and culture enthusiasts let you delve into beauty and adventure on an epic scale. After all, this is America’s Heartland, envisioned by Washington and Jefferson, celebrated by Mark Twain and stitched into the very fabric of a nation. From Chippewa country in the north to the confluence of the Missouri near St. Louis and Ohio Rivers at Cairo, the Upper Mississippi flows through the pages of U.S. history.

Lower Mississippi River
Memory flows deep and sentiment eddies and swirls along the Lower Mississippi River on these river cruises. Once divided by these very waters, when cotton was king and the plantation lifestyle was at its zenith, the North and South were at war, each armed with conflicting visions of what was worth dying for. Look back as each battlefield and grave marker has a story to tell. Then celebrate the living, breathing places where southern culture continues to enjoy a modern-day renaissance.

Ohio & Tennessee Rivers
By any measure, the Ohio River is no mere tributary to the Mississippi, but a mighty river itself. Coursing nearly 1,000 miles with a watershed encompassing 14 states, the Ohio opened up America’s movement West. Here too are the great Wilderness Rivers coursing through Bluegrass country, conjuring up tales of Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and raids by Cherokee and Chickamauga tribes. From small towns crowned by church steeples to big city thrills like the Grand Ole Opry® and Churchill Downs, on these river cruises, adventure awaits by the mile.

Columbia and Snake Rivers
Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than here in the pristine Pacific Northwest, a captivating corner of America which displays an abundance of awe-inspiring, natural beauty that will leave you breathless. Our voyages on the Columbia and Snake Rivers are specifically tailored to maximize daytime river cruising for optimal viewing of spectacular scenery and iconic highlights such as the Columbia River Gorge. As you cruise past the fertile fields, impressive mountains and vertical canyons, you will bear witness to the precious land just as it appeared to Lewis and Clark in 1805 – majestic, unspoiled and unimaginably glorious. Sacajawea, Lewis and Clark’s faithful Native American guide, knew how to read these lands and soon you will also, thanks to the legacy of the expedition that opened the West to settlement. As you relive the daring exploits of frontiersmen and adventurers, you are treated to the very same natural wonders. Columbia Gorge cuts through the Cascade Mountains thanks to the Missoula Floods of the last Ice Age. At Multnomah Falls, snowmelt streams plunge over 600 feet in two tiered cascades down a sheer cliff face. Deeper than the Grand Canyon, Idaho’s Hell’s Canyon is a dramatic crack in the earth with raging waters best explored on an exciting jet boat ride. Near Portland, understand the raw power of nature in the collapsed volcanic crater of Mount St. Helens. Along the Columbia River, fish ladders help salmon swim upstream while bison, deer and elk graze freely. With the American Empress serving as a floating boutique hotel for your journey, travel into the heart of Washington’s wine country where many acclaimed wineries of the Pacific Northwest have made their mark among wine connoisseurs. Take time to explore the Red Mountain region and sample some of the finest vintages in the midst of breathtaking scenery. Whether you choose to take in the scenery from Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge nestled among the pines or climb the Astoria Column to view the  expansive Pacific, a voyage on the Columbia and Snake Rivers will show you the world from a new perspective.

To find out more of what each Cruise Line has to offer, just click on the logos or text below.

AMA LogoAmaWaterways features upscale cuisine, enriching ports of call, and an international feel. With unique amenities such as bicycles free for use by passengers, to allow them to venture out on their own in each port of call, AmaWaterways is committed to providing a river cruising experience that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

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uniworldUniworld River Cruises offers many voyages so that you'll have the chance to sail when and where you please, aboard one of their comfortable and intimate ships. You'll enjoy extra-spacious cabins with picture windows, attentive service by English-speaking staff, and superb dining with panoramic views. With staff to attend to your every need and whim, you're sure to have a relaxing and enriching vacation.

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VikingViking River Cruises provides a superior travel experience, from one end of your trip to the other. With the intimate atmosphere aboard all Viking ships, it's easy to make new friends, while the spaciousness enables you to enjoy some quiet time as well. Guests enjoy all the amenities they might expect in a fine hotel, plus expansive, panoramic views throughout.

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Avalon Waterways Logo 300x144Avalon Waterways, like the very rivers they travel, is continually moving forward, making improvements and embracing the world beyond. And it's this approach - our drive to continue to exceed traveler expectations by pushing the boundaries of the river cruise experience - that has inspired us to create a new class of ship set to debut in 2011. With the introduction of this new vessel, as well as countless service and amenity enhancements fleet-wide, Avalon Waterways is destined to once again revolutionize river cruising.

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scenic tours imageScenic Tours. Experience Europe in unrivalled all-inclusive luxury. Scenic Tours have always set the benchmark for luxury river cruisng and in 2013 they have raised the bar. They are redefining the term "all-inclusive luxury" with the addition of unlimited complimentary beverages available at tany time throughout the ship and daily replenishment of the complementary in-suite minibars. And the relaxing new River Cafe's are open for all day grazing. So now there is nothing more to pay except personal expenses. All Scenic Tours River Cruises Include: All on board meals and beverages, On board entertainment, All on shore excursions adn activities (including motorized bicycles), all Tips and Gratuties, On board private Butler service, personalized airport transfers and more. Scenic;s Ruby, Diamond, Pearl and Sapphire Ships have all been refurbished with all new features including "Sun Lounge" Balconies.

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