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Our Top 6 River Cruise Companies & Why You Should Choose Them

Best River Cruise Companies

Over the past few years, river cruising has become more popular among holiday makers, young and old, due to the cruise companies showcasing a more diverse offering, enhancing their already very luxurious ships and providing a very tailored customer service.

Without a doubt, river cruising still is the most convenient way to explore not only one but several countries in one holiday. And we all know how time constraint we all are…All river cruise holidays take care of your transportation at the start and end of your holiday as well as provide you with interesting tours while exploring the various destinations that you’ll get to see on your river cruise route. Something that is not mentioned enough, your fellow passengers are great company who tend to be very like-minded and enjoy a slower pace of life, too.

If you asked us how to describe a river cruise in one sentence, we would say: It’s a luxury hotel on the river from which you can explore some of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Now that you’ve decided that a river cruise is just what you need, there is still the task of choosing the right cruise for you. Here are a few pointers that should make that decision of finding the perfect cruise for you easier:

Decide on the rivers that offer you features such as cultural or natural sights that you’re interested in the most.

Decide early on what you’d like to do and see when on a river cruise.

Decide on a budget.

Decide on the season.

What’s left now? You still have to decide with what river cruise company you’d like to travel.

To make this a bit easier, we’ve outlined the best river cruise companies below:

1. Uniworld

Uniworld also known as Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection was established in 1976 and has its headquarters in Los Angeles, California. Uniworld core strength is their customer service and their tailored approach to the design and interior of their ships. This is highlighted by their small boutique hotel approach when it comes to their vessels as each ship is different. This is quite unique in the river cruise world.

Uniworld embodies the American way of customer service. Their attention to detail is second to none. This starts with their well-trained staff and finishes with their fine dining experience and exclusive excursions.

2. AmaWaterways

In comparison to the other river cruise companies, AmaWaterways is still the new kid on the block. Established in 2002, the company has won over the industry and more importantly holiday makers in a storm.

AmaWaterways is run by three well experienced travel entrepreneurs who decided to change it up a bit by focusing more on creating a warm welcoming environment but also on exceeding customers expectations. But how have they done it? First of all, in comparison to other river cruise companies, there are fewer guests on the ships. Secondly, cabins are slightly bigger and offer one or sometimes even two balconies which was a first in the river cruise sector. And last but not least, their focus on outstanding cuisine has had a huge impact on their global success story. It also helps that wine is included with lunch and dinner.

3. Scenic

Unlike the previous four cruise companies, Scenic has its origin in Australia and not America. They are one of the biggest river cruise companies in Australia. You should therefore not be surprised to meet quite a few holidaymakers from Down Under when booking a river cruise with Scenic.

It is also one of the main reasons why Scenic offers one of the largest suites in comparison to other companies as their long-haul customers wouldn’t and shouldn’t accept anything less. The rooms are technologically well equipped and are very modern.

Scenic encourages a freer flow approach with free choice excursions that you can do at your own pace…aussie style.

4. APT Luxury River Cruise

APT Luxury River Cruise is also an Australian company founded in the late 1960’s. The APT stands for Australian Pacific Cruising. The company first offer bus tours but in 2005 decided to invest in the building of luxury river boats in Europe.

ATP Luxury River Cruises are known for their full-size French balconies and the all-weather twin balcony. They’ve also started to make a name for themselves when it comes to river cruising in Russia.

Due to their close relationship with AmaWaterways, guests can expect the same service and luxurious interior as they have experienced on an AmaWaterways river cruise.

5. Crystal River Cruise

When booking a river cruise with Crystal River Cruise you know that you will get a once in a lifetime experience. It’s the cruise company that has won the top honours in the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards for a record 25 years; and voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for 20 years.

They started out as a ocean cruise company which meant that they could use their expertise of running award-winning ocean ships to set up a new style of river cruises. The main difference is their staff to guest ratio which is 1 : 1.6. All of their personal are trained by Crystal Cruises and therefore match the standards of their ocean cruisers.

It’s worth knowing that Crystal River Cruise are fully embracing the slower pace of travelling by creating itineraries that are slightly longer than their competitors so that you have time to unwind, relax and enjoy the various ports and cities that you’d like to explore.

6. Tauck

In 2025, Tauck will be celebrating their 100th anniversary and is therefore the most experienced river cruise company worldwide. It’s still a family run business and has seen many generations of the Tauck family getting involved. Their whole ethos of how its run and will be run can be seen throughout your river cruise experience with them. It’s all about respect, integrity and innovation.

Many of the Tauck customers have been travelling with Tauck before. One of the main reasons is that Tauck gets you into places that others can’t. It does help to have been around for over 90 years. So, when you see ‘Uncommon Access’ in your itinerary, it means that you really get access to privately owned places, venues, collections and so forth that others won’t be able to offer you.

If you have any questions regarding the river cruise companies, rivers they operate on and their itineraries, please do get in touch with Global River Cruising. We’re can save you time by answering all of your questions and take out the hassle of vacation planning.

We’ll also be able to recommend to you when is the best time to go, where to go and what to do. And most of all, we can help you with the unexpected.

About Christine Foulds

I’m originally from Germany and traveling has always been a part of my family’s DNA. Over the past 20 years, I’ve lived and worked in 5 different countries (USA, Austria, Russia, Peru and the UK) and learnt to speak 3 foreign languages (Russian and Spanish are getting a bit rusty though). I thoroughly enjoy working with travel enthusiasts who like to explore and visit new parts of the world as much as I do.

View all posts by Christine Foulds

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