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Holidays

European River cruise

35 replies

Vargas · 14/02/2022 12:06

We've never been on a cruise before but I was thinking it might be nice to try a river cruise on the Danube or Rhine. It would be me, DH and 15yo dd who is very keen. I'm thinking 5-8 days in the summer holidays.

Has anyone been on one they can recommend? I would love to see Vienna and Budapest but that's not essential.

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Funf · 14/02/2022 18:04

Sorry only done Sea Cruises, Having seen one docked in Cologne they are small so I do wonder what the Teen will do?
The sea going ones cater for kids of all ages. But you will find its a great way to see some of Europes cities.

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Kilimanjaro97 · 14/02/2022 18:06

I have seen them docked in Frankfurt. Average passenger age is pretty high. Would your 15 year old be OK with that?

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Georgyporky · 14/02/2022 18:40

We've done quite a few river cruises, & love them.
Prefer them to sea cruises as you're off of the boat every day & no long, boring days at sea.
Every cruise we've done (sea included) has been term-time or specifically adults only, so can't comment about the age of passengers.
We went from Amsterdam to Budapest with Avalon Waterways, & it was probably my European favourite. 14 days, but there might be a shorter trip available from them or another company.
I can recommend Avalon, Emerald, & Riviera, & NOT recommend Saga & Croisi Europe. These are the companies I've travelled with, can't comment on any others.

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Vargas · 15/02/2022 17:25

Thanks all. My dd is keen to see a bit more of Europe and I thought a boat might be the way to do it. I'll ask her about the age range and tell her she might be the youngest by a long way! She is our youngest and mature for her age and quite used to being the only child around, so hopefully that would be ok.

Thanks @Georgyporky, I will look at the companies you mention, sounds like a great place for me to start researching.

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tanstaafl · 15/02/2022 20:07

YouTube channel Tips for Travellers is all about cruises.
He covers a European river cruises too.

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MMAMPWGHAP · 15/02/2022 20:30

I agree with passengers being too old. Can I suggest cycling instead. Lots of supported trips available where they carry your luggage. E-bikes too but route is v flat as it is on the river bank.

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Vargas · 19/02/2022 20:25

Thanks @tanstaafl - really useful videos!

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BirdOnTheWire · 20/02/2022 14:19

I think for teens a proper cruise would be better.
I took my teens on a couple of cruises - Adriatic and Mediterranean.
Lots to do on board and days out at lots of fabulous cities - Barcelona, Venice, Dubrovnik, Split, Monaco etc.
They loved the idea of a different city every day along with the comfort of a luxury cruise.

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Roystonv · 20/02/2022 14:48

Viking are wonderful, been twice with them on river cruises. I would live onboard permanently if I could! However river cruises whilst not stuffy are a more formal older customer. No on-board activities/areas except lounge/bar and small library. Lovely views and mostly included excursions but all more educational than fun. Some have bikes you can borrow. Maybe look for a smaller ship say Adriatic area where more happens/younger age range.

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CrimbleCrumble1 · 20/02/2022 14:50

We use Scenic River Cruises and they are fabulous. A choice of excursions are included or you can do your own thing.

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Heathofhares · 20/02/2022 14:53

Be prepared for the other passengers to be much older. My in laws complained about how old the other passengers where and they are in their 80s! I am not sure what a teen would find to do?

Also, although you do stop places everyday the boat always moves on at 4-5 pm so you have to leave just as many European cities are getting interesting. A common complaint is that you are completely cut off from going out in the evenings.

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Carpediem15 · 20/02/2022 15:14

We have done 5 river cruises and as others have said they are aimed at older customers, only been on 1 where there was anyone under 30. One complaint is how bad wifi is and no TV and not much entertainment but we find that relaxing.
We have, however, spent evenings in Cities along the way, Budapest, Koblenz, Rudesheim and Vienna

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SalsaLove · 20/02/2022 15:20

I can recommend the Danube cruise from Linz to Budapest. We went in August 2019. Lovely stops along the way and put me to mind that Central Europe is a great place for a summer holiday. Definitely spend a couple of days in Budapest before returning home.

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xumaix · 20/02/2022 15:21

I haven't been on a river cruise, but one thing that appealed was the lower possibility of sea sickness! The idea of cruising is just not for me anyway, I much prefer to do my own thing and not be tied to either the same people or a timetable.

Have you thought about taking a train trip around say Italy and into the Swiss Alps, or around France, or Spain, or across Eastern Europe taking in Budapest etc. All doable, bookable in advance and not as expensive as you may think. The man in Seat 61 is the expert on train journeys.

Best of luck OP. Think it through!

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Vargas · 20/02/2022 17:01

Thanks everyone, sounds like I might need to rethink. DD is quite happy hanging out with us, but might feel a bit out of it if we are sitting with much older people every night for dinner.

I might save the river cruise for when it is just me and DH, it really appeals to me!

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CrimbleCrumble1 · 20/02/2022 17:11

How about doing a couple of different city breaks joined up with a rail journey in between?

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Carpediem15 · 20/02/2022 17:40

@SalsaLove

I can recommend the Danube cruise from Linz to Budapest. We went in August 2019. Lovely stops along the way and put me to mind that Central Europe is a great place for a summer holiday. Definitely spend a couple of days in Budapest before returning home.

After we had had a taste of Budapest we went back a few weeks later Mon - Frid. Same with Krakow.
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MissAmbrosia · 21/02/2022 11:16

Budapest is great for a holiday in it's own right. You could easily do a trip to incorporate there and Vienna - with the train as mention by pp above. Bratislava is also surprisingly lovely - and has lots of history.

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Vargas · 21/02/2022 17:31

You are very successfully selling me on Budapest / Vienna combo. Off to Google trains and hotels!

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MissAmbrosia · 21/02/2022 21:40

The trains were quite cheap - I think with Austrian railways you can book 6 month in advance. I checked everything via seat61.com website. A couple of years ago we flew to Prague with my teenage dd and then did Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna by train over 2 weeks. Booking in advance it was much cheaper than using an interrail ticket. www.7seasonsapartments.com/ I can really recommend these apartments in Budapest. The location was excellent. Can find the links to the Vienna/Bratislava ones too if you are interested.

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GeneLovesJezebel · 21/02/2022 21:42

Relative did one and she said it was full of old people, and she’s in her 6o’s !!!
She said they just wanted to sit in the lounge and drink tea.

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MissAmbrosia · 21/02/2022 21:43

I wasn't mad on Vienna though lots of people love it. I did like the Prater with the famous big wheel though. It was cheaper than I thought it would be.

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Vargas · 23/02/2022 12:46

Thanks @MissAmbrosia! Sounds like a great trip.

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Vargas · 23/02/2022 12:49

@MissAmbrosia and yes please to links for where you stayed in the other cities, if it is not too much trouble, thanks!

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MallampatiCatty · 23/02/2022 18:03

We're doing Ljubljana to Nuremberg via train in the summer, with 3 nights in Ljubljana, 3 nights in Salzburg, 2 in Munich and 2 in Nuremberg. Seat61 is a fabulous website for train journeys + advice! Would definitely recommend Budapest to Vienna but there are many options for you to explore!

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