River Cruise Companies Besides Viking

A trip to Europe or Asia typically involves several hotels, lots of transfers or trains between cities, and a wonderful mix of cultural experiences. A river cruise is a fantastic way to still be able to enjoy numerous cities and countries in one trip without the hassle of getting to and from cities. 

When you think of river cruises, I can almost guarantee that you think of Viking River Cruises. They are the most recognized name brand in the river cruise industry - however just like ocean cruising there is a wide array of competitors in the market, each with their own unique attribute. 

Below I have listed many of the river cruise companies you should know about:

Avalon logo
river cruise bed facing the scenery
picture courtesy of Avalon Waterways

While many of the river cruise brands have beds that face the wall, Avalon Waterways maximize the stunning views with the beds facing the floor to ceiling windows. Beyond that, they offer ways to customize your experience your way. Whether you want to enjoy a guided walking tour of one of Europe’s great cities, join a cooking class or paddle a canoe, Avalon Choice® selections of Classic, Discovery and Active excursions offer a wide range of possibilities. 

picture courtesy of Amawaterways

The first thing that comes to mind with Amawaterways (Ama for short) is their award winning food. As a member of the prestigious international culinary society La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, AmaWaterways serves exquisite locally-sourced cuisine paired with complimentary free-flowing wine served with every lunch and dinner on board. The Chef's Table specialty restaurant (pictured above) is not to be missed.

Ama is also perfect for those multi-generational trips. Their ships like the AmaKristina which was ranked #1 Best River Cruise Ship in the industry, offers additional flexibility for families with their triples and quads - some that even connect. 

If you are looking for a specialized itinerary focused on wine, golf, or cuisine, Ama does a fantastic job in all areas. 

photo courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is unlike any other river cruise company around. They are the boutique line of river cruising with one-of-a-kind ships modeled after their luxury sister company, Red Carnation Hotel Collection. The floating hotels offer inviting spaces, exquisite antiques, custom fabrics and original works of art. 

This is the most all-inclusive river cruise option currently available. Unlike many of the other brands, Uniworld offers unlimited premium drinks and wines as well as all gratuities onboard and onshore. 

U by Uniworld logo
river cruise ship

U by Uniworld River Cruises are a fresh new take on river cruising. If you have a passion for exploring and seek authentic adventure, you will be delighted by the immersive experiences and fun activities available on U. This brand is for the young or young at heart. With a silent disco, rooftop yoga, paint & wine, mixology classes, karaoke and more, there is endless amounts of fun to choose from onboard, while stopping in some of Europe's coolest cities. 

Ready to Experience River Cruising?

If you are ready to pack your bags and enjoy the cultural exploration a river cruise can offer, let's chat about which river cruise company would be the best fit for you! Each of them are unique in their own way, so let a travel expert help you select the one that is right for you.

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