Luxury cruise lines are plentiful, and all offer varying degrees of pampering, experiences and exotic voyages to the most unique and glorious destinations. Here are our picks for the brands, one new ( RITZ CARLTON) small and big, but mostly for being consistent across all areas including price, value, food, on board / off board activities and delivering on an unforgettable LUXURY experience.
RITZ CARLTON YACHT – The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers an unprecedented opportunity to be untethered. Here, freedom and flexibility allow immersion in life’s exceptional experiences; exploration of earth’s exquisite and unexpected hideaways; and stirring of passions and curiosities that create new and deepened connections. All of this delivered in an intimate setting with a heightened level of care and attention
Viking Ocean Cruises, With 250 awards to its name, “Luxury” should be its middle name. Currently operating a fleet of state-of-the-art ships that have received numerous accolades, including the second year in a row, Viking was voted the #1 River Line and Ocean Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2023 Readers’ Choice .
Regent Seven Seas Cruises®consistently delivers unmatched luxury cruises with the very best value for over thirty years. Unrivaled onboard space. Unforgettable shoreside excursions. Incomparable culinary experiences. Exceptional personalized service. Every lavish amenity is included when cruising aboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™
Seabourn, Cruising on a Seabourn ship is unlike any other form of travel. The experience is luxurious, yet relaxed — elegant, yet casual — sumptuous, yet understated. Our intimate ships visit the most desirable destinations worldwide, sailing to the heart of landmark cities, as well as to hidden gems where larger vessels cannot follow.
The Riverside Mozart is an exceptional phenomenon. As one of the largest river cruise ships on the Danube, and certainly the most well-appointed, she knows – just like her famous namesake – how to captivate and constantly surprise her guests. A river cruise aboard the Riverside Mozart means luxury, local culture and loving life. No sense is left untouched. Dine in one of the first-class restaurants. Decompress in the spa with sauna and massage. Discover another world on an excursion. Or simply delight in an Earl Grey or a Taittinger on the Vista Deck as you sail serenely through the landscape of the Wachau Valley. It’s one big treat for the senses.
Time ticks differently on the Riverside Mozart, as does the ship itself. It sets the standard for true luxury on the river. Enjoy suites instead of staterooms, the smallest alone measuring 215 square feet, while the Owner Suites deliver an expansive 883 square feet. No other river cruise ship on the Danube offers so much space combined, with a suite to crew ratio of 1:1. The service on board is exceptional, catering to standards enjoyed in luxury hotels the world over. When it comes to styling, different tastes can certainly divide opinion – but this ship is without a doubt uncompromisingly beautiful.
No day on the Riverside Mozart is like the other. But each one is unforgettable. Every route has its charm and every city is special. You enjoy the finest cuisine and sleep in exclusive suites.
OWNER’S SUITE, With the Owner’s Suite you can treat yourself to the greatest luxury in the truest sense of the word. It offers space for two to four guests and is a place of possibilities: a chat in front of the fireplace – and always the view through the French balcony windows, which bring the light and the landscape inside. Private dinners or a casual evening in front of the television are also possible. Those who reside here enjoy limousine transfers (e.g. from the airport to the ship) on the days of embarkation and departure.
MOZART SUITE, The great composer was space consuming. You too can be as a guest in this suite of the same name. And there’s a good chance you’ll look more wrinkled here than Mozart himself without effort: as for the guests of the Owner’s Suite, the butler will collect your clothes and bring them back washed and ironed. You can write down your wonderful experiences in your diary at your own desk. And this suite also offers French balconies and limousine service.
PENTHOUSE SUITE, Seahorses enjoy the peace and quiet and like to withdraw. And that’s exactly what you can do in our penthouse suites on the Seahorse Deck. All with a view of the landscape passing by through the French balcony windows. Perfect comfort in 30 square meters. With a walk-in closet, a sofa bed for the child and two sinks in the bathroom. And if someone has dreams that are too expansive – no problem. These suites also offer twin beds as an option. And the luxury of limousine transfers.
RIVERSIDE SUITE WITH FRENCH BALCONY, Nomen est omen: Everything is in flux here in two senses. And it is always in sight from the French balcony. Enjoy style and comfort, perfectly formed, a king-size bed or alternatively twin beds and for a short nap in the afternoon there are also cozy sofas in the riverside suites. A great pleasure far away from everyday life – for romance in togetherness. But also for solo travellers.
THE DANUBE ROUTES
VIENNA – BUDAPEST – BRATISLAVA – VIENNA
VIENNA – BRATISLAVA – BUDAPEST
The Habsburg monarchy – westward – On this tour you will collect impressions that you will talk about for a long time. It is rich and full of interplay. The peace and intimacy on board, the almost contemplative gliding of the ship and its culinary highlights, and then back to nature and the most beautiful cultural cities in Europe.
BE AMAZED OR TAKE OFF – EXCLUSIVE EXCURSIONS ON LAND OR IN THE AIR
Taste wine, marvel at the sculptures in the garden or just take off in a helicopter? Wherever the Riverside Mozart docks, we offer our guests special excursions in exclusive small groups. You can book as many as you like, but you can also explore the cities on your own.
ULRIKE NEHLS Director Land Operations
SALAS (TYPICAL SERBIAN FARMHOUSE)Novi Sad is a small Serbian dream. Pastel-colored houses in narrow streets. Museums and the Petrovaradin Fortress. And then there is the beautiful Matic family farm. The Matic have been farmers for generations. They offer guests of the Riverside Mozart a Vojvodin breakfast with homemade delicacies such as donuts – and Serbian music.
Even the ancient Romans referred to Ilok as “delicium mundi”. That means as much as deliciousness of the world. Wine growing in the Croatian town of Ilok and its localities Bapska, Šarengrad, Radoš and Mohovo goes back to a 2000 year old tradition. The drive there is like in a picture book and the famous and award-winning wines are pure pleasure
Join Tom Sawyer in his ballooning adventure and enjoy the world from above. What an adventure to fly silently over Budapest – in a traditional hot air balloon at a height of 150 meters. And then stroll through the city and discover unusual shops and marvel at architectural jewels.
SPA & FITNESS
Anyone who now thinks that he or she will leave the Riverside Mozart like an apricot dumpling after the trip is mistaken. Because in addition to the numerous excursions, there are opportunities for sports on board and of course for relaxation afterwards.
BEAUTIFUL INSIGHTS FOR GOOD PROSPECTS, It’s not just the head that decides to go on a cruise, but also the heart. Be inspired by our pictures. And then nothing stands in the way of your trip.
There’s always something exciting going on in the cruise industry. Scenic Cruises recently announced some incredible European journeys for 2023. These European 2023 River Cruises are a great way to explore some of the best and most beautiful destinations on the globe and can include free airfare.
The 2023 Europe River Cruise Collection is now available for booking with Scenic Cruises. These all-inclusive journeys offer luxury, style, and comfort. The price you pay includes everything you need to have an enjoyable experience. Something that makes traveling with Scenic Cruises even better is that every guest has access to a butler. They’re truly not kidding about all-inclusive luxury.
Several journeys are available throughout Europe. By booking ahead, you can take advantage of free roundtrip airfare. When booking an 8-11 day adventure, free economy airfare is included. When booking an 11+ day cruise, free premium economy air is included. This promo is an excellent way to make your trip planning easier while also getting a great rate.
Whether you’re in search of an impromptu getaway or just want to sample a river cruise without committing all of your vacation days to long itineraries, you’re in luck. In 2020, for the first time ever, Avalon Waterways will be offering a choice of 4, 5 or 6-day river cruises. Because let’s face it, while lengthy vacations are enticing, they’re not always realistic. With Avalon Waterways’ short and “suite” itineraties, you’ll be able to choose from three new and exciting itineraries: A Taste of the Rhine, Heart of Germany, and A Taste of the Danube. Here’s what to expect.
A Taste of the Rhine
Spend five immersive days exploring the highlights along the Rhine River. Take a culinary walk through Amsterdam, enjoy a guided tour of Cologne, and savor a sampling of regional wines in Boppard. The itinerary even lends itself to free time in Rudesheim where you can enjoy a wine tasting and live music in Drosselgasse. If you are looking for the highlights of the river’s charming cities and the beautiful castle-dotted coast, A Taste of the Rhine is for you.
Heart of Germany
The former featured Christmas cruise is making an appearance year-round in 2020. Sailing along the Main River and Main-Danube Canal, the exciting itinerary features a guided hike through a picturesque Bavarian village and a visit to Würzburg, where towering fortresses and the Baroque Bishop’s residence await. Sample Bavarian wines in Itzingen or onboard beer tastings in Volkach and take in the sites of Bamberg, a Bavarian oasis built on seven hills. The six day adventure ends in the Northern Bavarian city of Nuremberg.
A Taste of the Danube
Explore bespoke towns of the Danube with stops in Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, and Dürnstein before your final stop in Vienna.
Signature Suite Ships
Regardless of how many days you spend cruising along European rivers, all itineraries sail on Avalon Waterways’ stunning Signature Suite Ships. Expect to be impressed; these suite ships provide luxe accommodations. That includes two full decks of 200-square-foot, one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites featuring the industry’s only Open-Air Balconies and beds facing the incredible views for which river cruising is famous. So, hop on board and book a 2020 cruise soon to take advantage of The Suite Life Sales Event which gets you $299 air and a savings of $1,000 per couple on select sailings.
Emerald Waterways, winner of Cruise Critics Editor’s Pick for “Best River Line for Value” for the third year running, is now accepting bookings for their 2019 river cruise season. Guests booking any 2019 sailing before April 30 will pay 2018 fares and receive an additional discount of $1,000 US per couple on sailings of 15-days or longer, and $500 US per couple on sailings of 8-14 days. Emerald Waterways 2019 preview brochures are available for order now.
Emerald Waterways’ 2019 season will bring two new ways to explore one of Europe’s most popular rivers for cruising. On the new 8-day Classic Danube river cruise, guests will sail from Nuremberg to Vienna with more time to learn about the fascinating military history of Nuremberg and take in some Austrian culture in Passau and Melk. The 8-day Lower Danube Waltz itinerary, which takes guests from Vienna to Belgrade, pays a visit to the vibrant Eastern European city of Budapest before taking guests to Osijek, Croatia to enjoy lunch in the home of a local family and onto culturally rich Serbian towns of Novi Sad and Belgrade.
Emerald Waterways is a four-star river cruise line boasting contemporary, deluxe ships, outstanding service and an incredibly inclusive pricing plan. Cruise fares include all transfers; all port charges; all onboard (and some on-shore) meals; unlimited specialty tea and coffee, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; bottled water in the cabins replenished daily; continental breakfast, pre-dinner canapés and after-dinner sweet treats served in the top suites; complimentary Wi-Fi onboard the ship; most shore excursions as well as all onboard and excursion gratuities.
Part of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Emerald Waterways’ seven Star-Ships offer sailings in Europe and an exclusive charter on the RV Mekong Navigator for sailings in South East Asia. Scenic’s 15 Space-Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in the same destinations as well as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar and the Volga River in Russia. In 2018, Scenic is introducing the world’s first Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse, that will take 228 guests on polar adventures as well as the Mediterranean, Caribbean, the Americas and Europe.
National Geographic Expeditions and Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours have teamed up to launch a new line of National Geographic River Cruises. These new offerings will combine Scenic’s truly all-inclusive luxury river cruise experience with National Geographic’s 129-year legacy of science, conservation and exploration.
Each sailing will be accompanied by a National Geographic expert who will enrich the experience through educational presentations and informal discussions throughout the trip. European cruises will also have a National Geographic photographer on board to share professional techniques and help guests hone their photography skills. On National Geographic River Cruises, guests will have a menu of rich, experiential excursions to choose from, ranging from hikes and bike rides to in-depth learning experiences that focus on the natural world, culture and history.
“We are excited and proud to align ourselves with a brand as historic and well respected as National Geographic,” said Glen Moroney, chairman of Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours. “We believe Scenic’s dedication to providing guests with the most exceptional five-star, all-inclusive river cruise experience available is a perfect complement to the enriching and authentic experiences for which National Geographic Expeditions is known.”
“Our trips are designed to celebrate remarkable destinations, to foster genuine interactions with local cultures, and to promote a deeper understanding of the natural world,” said Nancy Schumacher, head of Travel and Tour Operations for National Geographic. “Bringing river cruises into our portfolio allows our travelers to reach spectacular parts of the world in a unique way. We are pleased to partner with Scenic, as they share our commitment to delivering outstanding experiences to guests.”
This partnership between Scenic and National Geographic River Cruises will offer numerous sailings in Europe: on the Rhine, Danube, Main and Moselle Rivers; in Holland and Belgium; through France’s Bordeaux region and Portugal’s Douro Valley—as well as on the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar (Burma). Departures begin in 2018.
Explore Europe by riverboat this summer and enjoy savings of $1,500 per stateroom. When you explore Europe with AmaWaterways, you’ll enjoy the luxury of more – more ways to discover, more ways to indulge and more onboard amenities. Enjoy an award-winning fleet, staterooms with two balconies, and critically acclaimed dining and unique tours.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection brings the reality of its luxury ship, S.S. Maria Theresa, to life with the launch of its very first virtual reality app. Uniworld’s flagship, is now showcased in 360-degree views through evolutionary app technology. The footage on board was shot using state-of-the-art spherical camera technology, ensuring every detail of the ship was captured.
Uniworld is one of the only river and ocean cruise lines to offer this type of virtual reality technology to agents and
prospective guests. Viewers can completely immerse themselves in the beauty and luxury of the S.S. Maria Theresa,
including the striking lobby with an original 10-foot high painting of the Archduchess Maria Theresa herself; the Royal Suite, featuring in-suite butler service from butlers trained to the same level of expertise found in Buckingham Palace; the Baroque Restaurant, highlighting farm-to-table cuisine; the Lipizzan Cinema–the only movie theater on the rivers; and the stunning Bar du Leopard and its indoor heated swimming pool. This innovative technology provides agents with the tools to showcase Uniworld’s unique offerings to prospective clients.
“We are very proud to be at the forefront of marketing technology with the launch our first virtual reality app,” said
Uniworld’s President Guy Young. “This brilliant new platform will allow agents to really showcase the levels of luxury
available on our ships. By affording a more immersive and tangible element of the fabulous on board experiences of the S.S. Maria Theresa, we aim to harness this powerful new tool to engage prospective clients and educate them about our product on a far deeper level.”
The app has been developed to function with Oculus Rift, a virtual reality head-mounted display that can be worn by the user and completely immerses you inside the virtual world. The Rift will be released to the public early in 2016. To download the complimentary app, visit either Google Play or Apple store.
Thinking about visiting Europe in 2016? Luxury Cruise News brings you the latest from award winning Avalon Waterways. Check out their Panorama Suites featuring large floor to ceiling windows and large staterooms and $1,500 in savings per couple PLUS a $400 air credit.