Please sign in to post.

Tours/ River Cruise

Will be in Montreux , Switzerland May 16-21

We want to extend our trip and see other parts of Europe, we were just in Florence and Cinque Terre in
September. So maybe not Italy

Is a River cruise worth , we would do a suite and one with great food.

We will have 7 extra days, I normally plan everything for us, but I am tired and dont want to do the work.
I want to have it all planned out , I am 58 and my husband is 65.
We like to travel , but is so much work in planning .

Thank you for the suggestions

Posted by
8489 posts

These “worth it” questions are very difficult to answer. Many people enjoy river cruises and find them to meet their travel needs. It is “worth it” to them. Others find that mode of travel falls short for their particular travel interests. It isn’t “worth it” to them.

You will probably get many opinions, both pro and con, but it only matters what you think. Will a river cruise provide value for you?

If you think you might be interested, and have the necessary resources, I would encourage you to try it. The only way you will know for sure that a travel mode works for you is to actually try it and see.

Posted by
23411 posts

Carol makes some good points. We are big fans of most cruising both ocean and river. River cruises are far more relaxed simply because of space limitations and lower number of participants. Ocean cruises tend to be a bit more formal with more activity and larger number of passengers. We stay with the smaller ocean cruise ships. BUT -- what determines you success with the cruise is you attitude. We think of the cruises as basically a floating hotel with built in transportation. Often we use a cruise in the middle of one of our trips as our vacation within a vacation. Try a 7 day river cruise and see what you think. It will not be the worst seven days of your life.

Posted by
959 posts

We love River Cruises - esp in December for the German Xmas Markets - we have been on several - Viking, AMA, Avalon, Uniworld, and Tauck - Tauck is, by far, our favorite - plus it is ALL INCLUSIVE meaning all tours, tips, meals, and 24/7 top shelf alcohol is included. Uniworld would be our next pick. The food and service is also our favorite on Tauck. For May, you may be out of luck as most rooms book 10-12 months in advance. We always book the cheapest rooms as we are never in our room.

Posted by
280 posts

I've done one, on Uniworld, and other than COVID concerns, wouldn't hesitate to do another. Good to hear such good thoughts about Tauck. Unfortunately for me, the one I'd most like to do is on the Rhine, and my hubby isn't interested! The one I did was originally supposed to be on the Rhine in fall 2019, but we changed it because of many reports of low water levels, and the idea of being bussed from place to place wasn't appealing. We went to Bordeaux instead. It was a lovely trip, although I'm sure not as scenic as the Rhine. But the cruising experience was quite nice. We didn't have a suite and didn't feel that we missed anything, since relatively little time was spent in the room. There are many places to sit, both inside and on the deck, and it's nice to be able to talk with fellow passengers. As was mentioned, it's only a week--you can try it and even if you decide river cruises aren't for you, you won't have a bad time.

Posted by
2456 posts

If you think you would enjoy a river cruise and can afford it, go for it My sister and her husband took one last summer and had a great time. The fact that it cost more than my last 4 European trips combined makes it a no-go for me !

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you for all the help .

I would not also mind going to see other countries but I am beating cervical cancer and do not have the energy
to plan it all. I will have energy to do fun things.
I am just tired of planning the family vacations , lol

Posted by
7058 posts

I've never done a river cruise but I'd love to try one sometime. Look at Rhine cruises from Basel (Switzerland) to Amsterdam (Netherlands), although they are mostly 8 days, they might work for you and that's a beautiful itinerary.

Posted by
504 posts

With a river cruise you can do as little or as much planning as you are up for. Your food and room will be covered; you will likely also have an included tour in each port. That might be enough for you. If you are feeling adventurous, you can get lunch or some "street food" on your own while on shore. Maybe skip an included tour and just explore on your own. Or splurge on an "extra" tour offered by the cruise company for an experience you would enjoy but don't have the energy to put into planning. If this sounds like what you are looking for, the river cruise would definitely be "worth it" to you!

Posted by
63 posts

My wife and I did a Danube River cruise on Viking pre-Covid as the end of our bucket list trip to Norway and Germany. As stephen pointed out, it was expensive, at least from our perspective, but it was worth it for the experience. We saw cities were would not have seen otherwise (Vienna and Salzburg which are now part of a future trip plan) but the time in these places is limited to a day at most. Usually, there's a guided tour in the morning, lunch back on the ship and sometimes an afternoon on your own. This was true for us in Regensburg. Optional tours usually take all day and lunch is included at a nice restaurant. This was our day in Salzburg with lunch in a restaurant dating to 800. We were entertained by six singers doing a medley of songs from the Sound of Music. We had extra time after lunch before boarding the bus back to the ship, so we shopped and had coffee in a streetside cafe. The river cruise mode of travel was perfectly suited to the way we like to travel where we like a home base and not have to move from hotel to hotel and become accustomed to new city. On a river cruise, your room travels with you from place to place. The food was fantastic as was the service and staff on board. We booked a French balcony suite with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the river which is usually the mid-range cost for river cruise accommodations. The scenery was wonderful, and the river provided a smooth trip that was appreciated by myself who suffers from motion sickness - no problem at all for me. I liked the experience of going through the locks which, if I recall, amounted to two dozen or so throughout the trip on the Danube (many at night). Sometimes cruises are interrupted by low water depths in sections of the rivers, especially in the summer, and cruisers are bused to another destination/ship to keep the itinerary going. We did not experience this, but it is possible. There are added expenses for optional tours and tips, etc. that added to the cost to the point where the 8-day cruise was more expensive than the nearly three weeks we spent in Oslo, Berlin, and the Black Forest combined. I think the initial cost was just over 7 thousand dollars and by the end, all told, we spent nearly 10 grand on the trip. Viking does offer a good rate on flights as part of their plans, but we didn't use this option. I had heard that their flights might include multiple stops, but I cannot from personal experience verify this. We continue to get Viking cruise brochures in the mail and we are tempted to go again but for us the cost is prohibitive. We also haven't found an itinerary of cities/destinations that we would would entice us to book another river cruise - although the Christmas market cruises would be an interesting and fun way to do our holiday shopping.

Posted by
85 posts

I have done two river cruises with Tauck. One was a Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise. I just recently did a Belgium/Netherlands Holiday cruise with them. If you want to truly relax and be pampered, they are the ones to choose. There are tours each day to interesting places and the food is great on the ship. No details to worry about.

Posted by
198 posts

We did 2 Viking River cruises last year- France- Lyon to Avignon and Danube- Budapest to Regensburg. We used Viking air as it was free (they run deals all the time) and had no problem. You can pay $50 to be able to use their travel agents and pick what flights you want (versus them telling you). Had non stops or 1 stop on Delta and their partners. Fantastic time. Food amazing.