Take Me to the River!

Tulip river cruise bike excursion

European luxury river cruises want families now! A booming niche in the travel industry, river cruising, up until recently, has been predominantly an adult getaway, but that is rapidly changing. Itineraries have sprung up crafted specifically for family vacations, and departure dates are designed to take advantage of summer and winter holidays. The European rivers are now great options for family vacations.

On board the luxury riverboats, capacity is often well under 200 guests, not thousands, as can be on ocean cruises, creating a more intimate experience.  With triple and quadruple cabins, some interconnecting staterooms and suites with pullout couches, families can be well accommodated. Children happily enjoy the outdoors on the sun decks which often offer a plunge pool, putting green or a jogger’s track. Young cruisers enjoy kid-friendly menus as well as programs to engage them in the culture of the region such as a cooking class mastering a Viennese strudel or a German class before a walking tour of Strasbourg. Uniworld even provides a dedicated Family Host to oversee the kids’ activities.

The shore excursions thrill the young cruisers, such as riding bikes through the countryside, visiting a saltmine (I am fondly remembering my own boys trying to lick the salted walls of the mines!) or enjoying the world-famous Lipizzaner horse show (Vienna). Tauck Bridges offers a family cruise along the Rhone River, where families can meet French cowboys in the Camargue region who take them on breathtaking horseback trails. Even museums are guaranteed enjoyable outings for children as they are swept up in scavenger hunts amongst masterpieces and artifacts while their parents are left to linger and lose themselves in the details of art and history.

Adventures by Disney is making a splash on the Danube as they have just partnered with AMA Waterways on their dedicated 170-passenger AmaViola for a series of European cruises beginning in 2016.  Disney will be focusing on cultural experiences custom designed for children.

Luxury cruise ships are offering family trips departing in the summer and winter school breaks. These itineraries will guarantee a highly personalized vacation aimed to please a wide range of ages and the best part is that bags are unpacked only once and all the trip details have already been arranged! So reserve your cabins for your next family vacation!

For more information, reach out to Cynthia Bartlett

“I know why I love it like I do. All the great villages and fun things to do…Take me to the European rivers!”- inspired by the Talking Heads 1978.