Ama Prima APT river cruise ship on european river

Which River Cruise Line Is Right For Me?

3 October 2018
Read Time: 4.0 mins

Cruising Europe’s rivers is a truly magical way to experience the continent. Rather than travelling by coach on the freeway, you can instead, unpack once and take your floating hotel with you as you move from one destination to the next. Mooring in the heart of historic cities and passing quaint villages as you move through picturesque countryside, river cruising is the ideal way to explore Europe. Wherever you have your sights set, it’s important to know how river cruise ships, itineraries and inclusions may differ, and which cruise line offers the level of inclusions and luxury that’s right for you.

group having breakfast on sun deck of ama prima APT river cruise ship Breakfast on the top deck of APT's Ama Prima river cruise ship. (Image: APT)

Styles Of River Cruises

Who are you? Thinking about who you are and what you want from your cruise will greatly influence the experience you have.

Think about what your interests are. Are you into food and wine, so looking for a cruise themed around this? Perhaps you’re travelling with your kids and grandkids? Are you a history enthusiast looking to explore the heritage of destinations along the way? Most river cruise lines, including APT and Travelmarvel, offer distinctly themed cruises to suit unique interests and groups.

Travelmarvel's Diamond river cruise ship in Budapest Travelmarvel's Diamond river cruise ship in magical Budapest. (Image: Travelmarvel)

Different Levels Of Luxury

When booking hotels do you look for minimal fuss and value for money, or do you want all of the bells and whistles with the best service in town? Just as hotel chains do, different river cruise lines offer different levels of luxury.

APT might be the equivalent of the Ritz-Carlton, with the grandest ships on Europe’s rivers, the best service, ambience and amenities, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get value for money, just as you do on board a Travelmarvel cruise. On board both APT and Travelmarvel ships there is a choice of multiple different levels of accommodation, from window staterooms and suites through to indulgent Royal Suites and Owners Suites, so there is something to suit all types of travellers.

A top tip is to look at cabins in the next category up and down to see if you can get better value in a bigger space for not much more, or if you can save when space or location doesn’t matter so much.

APT Europe river cruise sunset drinks on deck of Ama Prima. Sunset drinks on the top deck of Ama Prima. (Image: APT)

Are Inclusions Important?

One main drawcard for river cruising is the single payment and forgetting the rest. Many river cruise lines offer all inclusive packages, however what’s included varies between companies.

Travelmarvel allows you the flexibility to explore Europe with a range of included tours and experiences in each location plus additional experiences you can select for an extra cost. Each Travelmarvel European river cruise includes all transfers, excursions, sightseeing and meals, so you can explore Europe with expert cruise directors and guides, knowing you won’t miss a thing. Then if you would like to explore further, and pursue your own interests, you can choose from the range of select experiences to add on to your trip.

APT offers top of the range luxury river cruises, with everything included in the price of your tour. That means all tips, meals, excursions, transfers and more. Plus, APT tours offer Freedom of Choice activities, which are optional excursions you can book while on tour, but at no extra cost. So you can pick and choose where you want to explore more, without having to worry about any extra costs.  

APT river cruise with group cycling and waving from bank in Europe APT's Freedom of Choice activities allow you to pick and choose your excursions in each destination, for no extra cost. (Image: APT)

Booking Excursions In Advance Or On Board

Many activities, including popular onshore excursions, specialty dining experiences and spa treatments can book up well before the first passengers have even stepped on board the ship. So when researching your cruise, be sure to take note of any activities and excursions you don’t want to miss, and book them in with your Flight Centre travel expert. Some activities, like APT’s Freedom of Choice range, can be booked on board your ship too.


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Vicki Fletcher

A writer and photographer for Flight Centre, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, hiking into mountain ranges, following locals to the best food in town, and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's written for publications across Australia and Europe. Top travel tip: always look up. Follow Vicki on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.