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Eastern Europe River Cruising

My husband and I are planning a 15 night eastern Europe Danube river cruise (7nights cruising) in late May/June 2020 with a few extra days on the front end and back end. Can anyone offer suggestions, experiences; positive and negative re: best cruise lines for the experience? Monarch Express/Monarch Governess through Gate 1 Travel offers the perfect itinerary but reviews are mixed. Thank you!

Posted by
368 posts

we've been on a dozen river cruises. Our favorite BY FAR for guides, tours, food, etc is TAUCK. It is pricy, but they are the BEST. Just be sure you compare apples to apples. Many nickel and dime you during the week with extras like taxes, port fees, guide tips, drinks. Tauck is ALL INCLUSIVE - even top shelf alcohol is included (unlimited). No hidden fees. We also LOVED Uniworld almost as much and they are also ALL INCLUSIVE. Both of these lines also have authentic food and wines from the region you visit each day. The tours and surprises each day are amazing. We have been served 'American food' and wine from a box from other lines. We've done Gate1, Viking, AMA, Avalon, Uniworld, Tauck

Posted by
3536 posts

We have traveled with gate one on many wonderful land and 1 river cruise. We were delighted and very comfortable on the cruise everything was very clean also. The cabins were very well appointed with all the conveniences and a view balcony. As we are 4 persons with only drinker the alcohol was not an interest. Tours were included with some free time allowed on most.
The food was very good for every meal. We are in fact taking a Danube River cruise in May with Gate one. I recommend the company and feel the price is spot on.
If u have more questions private email me.

Posted by
5622 posts

We found our river cruise with AMAWaterways was a much better experience than ones we had taken with Viking.

Posted by
4120 posts

We have done four river cruises, 3 with Vantage World Travel and one with AMA Waterways.

The one AMA was great, a Rhone/Saone River cruise in SW France. Unfortunately, AMA's prices have gone up quite a bit since then and we generally find them too expensive.

Vantage has been great, they always seem to be the best value, considering price and quality. They give a significant discount for paying early, not like Viking, demanding payment a year ahead of time. Vantage has beat Viking on the price and quality point for all three of the cruises we did with Vantage.

Viking is still more of the more affordable cruise lines. Uniworld, Scenic and Tauck have great reviews, but their prices are always significantly above lines like Vantage or Viking.

We know people that have had great cruises on Gate 1 and their prices are always a bargain. They are a budget line, but based on what we have heard, perhaps we should consider them. My sense is that Gate 1 is a Holiday Inn Express, while Viking and Vantage are Sheraton or Marriott. Tauck is Hilton or higher.

Posted by
25 posts

Thank you all so much, I really appreciate your comments and welcome additional suggestions!