Back on board, have an elegant dinner inspired by the region you are sailing through, complete with complimentary, local wines, all while cruising past awe-inspiring scenery.
Click each section below for an in-depth look at river cruising.
Rivers of the World
In search of cultural engagement, culinary exploration and authentic moments, travelers are turning more and more to river cruising, the fastest-growing segment in travel today. And with good reason — the allure of river cruising appeals to both experienced travelers and first-time cruisers alike.
River cruises dock at the center of quaint villages and cosmopolitan cities, allowing you to step off of the boat and into history. The day is yours to explore, either on your own or through a wide range of included excursions.
DISCOVER WHY RIVER CRUISING IS RIGHT FOR YOU >>
WHY YOU'll Love river cruising
RIVER CRUISE LINES
If you like to explore multiple destinations in one stress-free journey, immerse yourself deeply in the local cultures and relax and mingle in stylish comfort, a river cruise is the ideal way to see the world. Here are the five main reasons you’ll love river cruising.
Love River Cruising
Closer to Culture
Excursions are Included
The pace onboard a river cruise is slower, as you weave through intimate waterways shaped carefully by nature’s steady hands. But slow is what you want, for it affords you the time to gaze upon breathtaking vistas that seemingly show up around every bend. It also gives you time to relax onboard, enjoy a massage in the spa, learn about the vineyards you’re cruising past and make life-long friends with like-minded travelers. And when you cruise at night to awaken at a new destination in the morning, the sounds of the river provide the ideal ambiance for relaxation.
More Time to Enjoy
During the voyage, the ship will dock at the very center of quaint villages and cosmopolitan cities. Within moments you’ll find yourself fully immersed in your new destinations, surrounded by baroque churches and gothic cathedrals, street vendors selling fresh pastries, locals sipping coffee in outdoor cafés and flowers blooming in the city square.
Each night, you are delighted with an elegant dinner inspired by the region you are sailing through. While you were on shore, the ship’s chef and his team sought inspiration from local markets and small farms, procuring fresh, local ingredients that will dictate the night’s gourmet cuisine. Some ships host special dining options with the chef, so you can personally learn more about the cuisine you’re enjoying.
River cruises take you past an abundance of interesting landmarks, vineyard-clad valleys, forests with striking foliage and historic structures. You’ll be sailing right along the banks of small towns and large cities, giving you a non-stop show that is always enchanting. This breathtaking scenery can be enjoyed from just about anywhere on the ship, where panoramic views can be found in the restaurants, on the sun deck or from the privacy of your stateroom.
Most river cruise lines include free tours at each port. Given by local guides who share insider facts and tidbits you would not find in guidebooks, these tours allow you to visit the city’s highlights before venturing off on your own. You often have a choice of tours — such as a traditional walking tour, a hiking tour or a bicycling tour — letting you choose how active you wish to be.
Excursions Are Included
Visiting Mt. Hood in Portland, American Queen Steamboat Company
Taking selfies in Tuscany
River Cruise Ship Docked in Porto
Ankor Wat in Cambodia
Avalon Illumination in Hungary
Service aboard AmaWaterways
Mussels from Prince Edward Island, American Queen Steamboat Company
Local Wine Tasting, Avalon Waterways
Sundeck cocktails, AmaWaterways
Front Porch, American Queen Steamboat Company
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Ocean vs River Cruising
Most travelers know and love what ocean cruising provides: large ships with a wide variety of options, itineraries covering more miles, island hopping across paradise and spacious suites. Click below to see how the unique benefits of river cruising compare.
OCEAN River Cruising
While the allure of the islands is strong to some, the serene and historic beauty of a centuries-old riverside village is just as appealing
to others. River cruises visit both bustling cities and scenic villages during the same voyage, letting you easily disembark right into the heart
of the destination.
SMALLER, BOUTIQUE PORTS
On a river cruise, you can awaken with the vessel already docked at the day’s port of call and don’t set sail again until midnight. This gives you all day to explore the destination and culture in
depth, using your ship as a home base
to jump on and off as needed. Ocean cruises typically spend longer times at sea and shorter times in port.
Full Days in Port
On a river cruise filled with no more than 300 guests, you will see the same people day in and day out, giving you a prime opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers and form long-lasting friendships. You'll also enjoy conversing with the international crew who love to share stories about their home countries with you.
River cruising itineraries are sometimes based around a single theme, giving passengers the opportunity to not only explore new destinations, but also dive deep into their passions. The themes are incredibly diverse and can include Jewish heritage, bourbon, jazz, Christmas markets, beer, wine, cuisine, cycling, World War history…even knitting!
Because river ships are smaller, there are fewer guests. And you won't find large water slides, ziplines or go-cart tracks aboard these vessels. Instead, river cruise ships offer entertainment and excursions that are more culturally enlightening, like performances by local musicians and folk dancers or talks about the culture and the history of the areas that you’ll be visiting.
Why You'll Love
Wherever you wish to explore, there’s a river that will take you to the very heart of your destination. Click on each region to see what rivers you can journey down.
Embark on a modern paddlewheeler deep into the heart of America. The lower and upper Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Cumberland, Columbia and Snake rivers are
filled with natural beauty, Civil War battlefields, vineyards and more.
Top destinations: Portland, Memphis,
New Orleans, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati
On the Rhine, Moselle, Seine, Douro, Danube, Main and Rhone rivers, you will glide through the continent’s most compelling destinations, passing by medieval castles, lush riverbank vineyards, ancient towns and storybook villages.
Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam, Strasburg, Cologne
The vast jungles, Inca history and unique wildlife of South America is best seen up close. River cruises here, which often include side trips
to landmarks, can be found on the Amazon, Colombia’s Magdalena River and the Galapagos Islands.
Top destinations: Machu Picchu,
Sacred Valley, Iquitos, San Cristobal
A journey in Asia will reward you with exotic landscapes and ancient temples. Sailing down the Ganges or Mekong rivers, you’ll have a
front-row seat to the jewels of India, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Siem Reap, Ha Long Bay, Kolkata
Journey down the backbone of Egyptian civilization, the ancient Nile River, to experience incredible sights that include ancient temples, tombs and local villages.
Top destinations: Luxor, Aswan,
Valley of the Kings
Sunset along the Rhine, AmaWaterways
The Danube, Avalon Waterways
Sightseeing in Paris
Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan
The Nile in Luxor
Mekong River Excursion
Victoria Memorial in Kolkata
Mekong River Cruise, Avalon
Amazon River Cruise Departing at Sunset
Sea lion in San Cristobal
Hiking in Peru's Sacred Valley
Memphis in the Fall, American Queen Steamboat Company
American Queen Steamboat Company
Featured River Cruise Lines
We trust these river cruise companies to show our clients the world in style and comfort. Each line is unique and offers a wide range of itineraries, but they all excel in providing exceptional service, engaging activities and tantalizing cuisine. Click below to learn more about each cruise line.
RIVER Cruise Lines
Allow AmaWaterways to indulge your every whim aboard the newest, most innovative and award-winning ships. AmaWaterways staff will prioritize your safety while treating you to locally-sourced cuisine and culturally-immersive excursions. Join them for exclusive experiences that bring you closer to the world – and the people you’ve missed.
RECONNECT, REJOICE AND RETURN TO EUROPE
The Luxury of Space – Spacious staterooms with innovative twin balconies invite fresh air in and open-air Sun Decks offer walking tracks and pools on ships accommodating approximately 150 guests.
Open-Air Experiences – Venture off the beaten path on a variety of included, small-group excursions. Or join their onboard Wellness Hosts for a number of complimentary fitness classes.
Palate-Pleasing Journeys – Delight at every meal with your choice of exquisite regionally inspired dishes, as well as Western favorites, prepared using the freshest locally sourced ingredients.
Peace of Mind – Having sailed the Rhine River in 2020, AmaWaterways played an industry-leading role in the early adaptation of health and safety protocols within the river cruise sector and is uniquely prepared to welcome you safely to Europe with open arms – this year and beyond.
The mighty rivers of the United States once served as the great highways of early exploration and inspired dreams of discovery. Today, American Queen Steamboat Company re-creates the same sense of wonder, excitement and inspiration with all the convenience and comfort of modern luxury aboard the most elegant, authentic paddlewheel riverboats in the world.
the Rivers Are Calling
For the first time in the company’s history, three paddlewheelers will operate a full season in the Midwest, with 30 dedicated Ohio River sailings currently scheduled for 2022. With the addition of the American Countess in 2021, more itineraries are available than ever before, including routes that showcase the Ohio River in particular, as guests continue to seek out more accessible, close-to-home cruising options. From major urban centers like Louisville, Ky. and Pittsburgh, Pa. to charming port towns like Madison, In. and Brandenburg, Ky., American Queen Steamboat Company will introduce our guests to these compelling destinations along the Ohio River.
American Queen Steamboat Company became the first 100% vaccinated U.S. river cruise fleet
in July 2021. SafeCruise health and safety procedures will continue throughout the entire cruise experience and feature pre-boarding, boarding and onboard processes to enhance health and safety.
Of all the affairs to remember, our romance with travel often leaves the most lasting impression. While cruising the world’s romantic rivers, you are invited to sail through storybook settings; wander the cobblestones of culture-rich villages; stroll over centuries-old bridges and walk in the footsteps of legends, enjoying the scintillating stories of history along the way.
Avalon Active & Discovery river cruises offer activities for your varying interests and for all energy and fitness levels. From action-packed experiences and interactive discoveries, to traditional sightseeing, you can tailor a vacation to suit your interests and pace. Every port gives you a world of possibilities as you interact with the locals and choose the dynamic, interactive activities that appeal to you most.
Featuring the widest-opening, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows in river cruising, your Avalon Panorama Suite is actually river cruising’s only Open–Air Balcony — with living space that’s 30% larger than the industry standard. And you’ll never have to choose between lying in bed or seeing the view because, unlike other river cruise cabin designs which put their beds against the wall. Avalon’s Comfort Collection Beds actually face the view — so you can stretch out and watch the world go by.
Rekindle Your Love For Travel
River Cruise Lines