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River Cruising w/German Companies

My mom and I did a Viking River cruise in 2018 on the Elbe and enjoyed it. Since we both are of German heritage and speak the language, we'd like to try a cruise with Germans or other Europeans on board. In searching for cruise lines I found only a couple and noticed their prices are cheaper than Viking, Tauck, Uniworld. Can anyone recommend a line?

Posted by
7576 posts

This comment is 25 years old. But we met a couple that had acted on a similar impulse. They found that Germans (of course, meaning mature couples and small groups on cruises) were less interested in meeting and conversing with new people than are Americans.

Before you accuse me of baseless stereotyping, I want to recall a Croatian cruise ship employee who said he'd been given the general guideline, "Chat up the Americans, speak to Europeans only if you're spoken to." Although we've had many pleasant chats with Germans, they have always been slightly startled at our familiarity, and invitations to join us.

Posted by
7030 posts

I wonder, Tim, if that might be a bit different given that the OP and her mother speak German. I found that Germans were more likely to open up to me when I spoke to them in their language, rather than English.

That said, I do agree that Americans are more gregarious and open as opposed to Europeans, who tend to be more reserved.

Posted by
7030 posts

Allie, if you don't get any responses here to your question (and sorry, I don't know of any), you might try posting on Trip Advisor's forum, which a lot of Germans frequent.

Posted by
14580 posts

Good choice. I think this will help in what you are looking for. It's from the brochure I got in the Tourist Office in Kiel. That TO is located ca 2 mins. down (literally) from the Kiel Hbf. ....www.adler-schiffe.de. The tel. number is: ( 0) 4651 / 987/ 0888

Among the various river cruises available is that going through the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee Kanal). I took the harbour cruise in Kiel offered by this company, very enlightening, only given in German, very satisfactory, very scenic.

If you're in Kiel, I would suggest going to the Tourist Office to check out the numerous literature pertaining to these sort of activities.

Posted by
2485 posts

Morgan of the youtube channel ‘very unofficial travel guides’ is an American living in Hamburg. Last July he took such a cruise and put out several videos on it.

Posted by
14580 posts

In the past in many of the larger train stations in Germany, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, etc I saw a TUI office.

You can arrange something through them where the cruise can be expected to be mainly /exclusively of German speaking passengers....TUI/Ikreuzfahrten.de

Posted by
6671 posts

We did a very enjoyable Danube cruise with this Austrian company ten years ago. Everyone on our ship was American because it was an alumni tour, but I expect you could book individually for most of their cruises, and meet more non-US passengers. I'd have liked to be able to do that.

A lot of people seem to think "river cruise" and "Viking cruise" are synonymous. In fact many other companies run these cruises, and presumably most do it well. But Viking advertises on "Rick Steves Europe" on PBS, so we may not look beyond them when we should.

Posted by
485 posts

Thank you for the responses. Lueftner Cruises is one I discovered so thanks for the recommendation.