Put simply, a river cruise is a fantastic experience for everyone! If you’re a seasoned river cruiser, there are endless opportunities to keep sampling new and exciting voyages – why not switch up your usual cruise line with something a bit different, head to a brand-new destination, or try a themed river cruise?
Alternatively, if you’re a first time cruiser there are lots of fantastic river cruises to give you a taste of what it’s like.
At Panache Cruises, we are passionate about creating luxurious and adventurous holidays so we choose to partner with only a select number of cruise lines across our different cruise types. River cruises are no different and we have chosen the best operators offering river cruises which we are confident match our luxury cruising proposition.
We are currently partnered with a number of fantastic luxury river cruise lines:
There are some incredibly impressive waterways in the world for you to explore on luxury river cruises, perhaps more than you realised! Our most popular selection includes the many waterways of Europe, such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Douro, and Dutch Waterways, among others.
For more adventurous travellers, you might want to look at a river cruise along the iconic Mekong River, or perhaps even the longest river in the world, the Nile.
River cruises don’t tend to be overly formal, so don’t worry about packing your glad rags, even for a luxury river cruise. The overall on board experience is much more laidback than an ocean cruise, so while you may want to pack one or two nice outfits for evening meals – there may even be a captain’s reception or gala dinner one evening – you can generally pack smart, casual, and comfortable clothes.
Make sure to pack a decent pair of shoes too, as walking and cycling tours are popular excursions on a river cruise. For a river cruise during the summer months, don’t forget sun protection too for when you’re out exploring cities and vineyards or lounging on the ship’s sun deck.
Due to the nature of river cruises travelling through a country and not just to a country, there is a vast selection of excursions which enhance a river cruise and provide guests with true destination immersion – you are certain to find something for everyone.
River cruises are great opportunities to really explore a destination and immerse yourself in the culture, whether you’re a fan of active excursions such as hiking and biking, a history and architecture fan, more of a culinary connoisseur, or fancy yourself a wine expert.
River cruises are very personal and intimate cruise experiences as the ships are small enough to fit through narrow waterways and locks and under bridges.
As a result, there are usually no more than 200 guests on board, creating a very quiet, relaxed, and comfortable environment.
Standard cabins tend to be small than ocean cruise ships but are extremely comfortable. Some cabins have French balconies while others have floor to ceiling windows which provide incredible views from your bed.
You will find all river cruise cabins have standard amenities and ample storage space – some larger suites on a luxury river cruise may even have a butler in attendance.
You will find most of the same facilities on a river cruise ship that you would find on a larger ocean vessel, but on a smaller scale.
There will be a main restaurant, plus maybe another specialty dining venue, lounge and bar area, and possibly a small pool and fitness centre – Emerald Cruises even feature an outdoor games area on the sun deck of their river fleet!
All meals are included on a luxury river cruise, usually with complimentary drinks too. There will be one main dining room, so those used to ocean cruise ships with multiple dining venues may be surprised.
This is due to the small size of river vessels, but fear not, the quality of cuisine will not be impacted at all. Many river cruises change up their menus on a daily basis to include local cuisines – on some river cruises, there may even be an excursion to the local food markets with the chef to source fresh produce for the evening’s meal.
Entertainment is very low-key on a river cruise, as the main attraction is the passing scenery and the excursions and activities involved in each port of call.
You might find on some river cruises that the cruise line will invite local performers on board to provide an evening of entertainment for guests in the main lounge or bar.