Top River Cruises Attractions

Nile River

Danube River

Mississippi River

Mekong River

Amazon River

View More

Top Activities in River Cruises

Wine tasting River Cruises

Culture River Cruises

Historic Sightseeing 

Nature River Cruises

Short River Cruises

View More

Classic River Cruises Itineraries

Classic Nile River Cruise

The Nile is one of the longest rivers in the world, as well as one of the most recognizable for its historical significance. River cruises along this ancient water highway are a fascinating trip through the past, among some of the world’s most impressive and mysterious sights.

Day 1-2, Arrive Cairo: Take a walking tour of the city with an egyptologist. See the pyramids and the sphinx. Walk through the Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.

Day 3, Luxor: Transfer to Luxor, modern day Thebes, to board your river cruise vessel.

Day 4, Valley of the Kings: Sail through the famed Valley of the Kings and visit such sites as the Temple of Hatshepsut and King Tut’s Tomb.

Day 5, Esna: Visit the Temple of Khnum - regarded as the guardian of the source of Nile. 

Day 6, Edfu: Explore the mysteries of the Temple of Horus - the falcon god

Day 7, Aswan: Take a camel ride through the desert to the Monastery of St. Simeon, Nubian Museum, ride a felucca (traditional Egyptian sailboat)

Day 8, Abu Simbel: One of Egypt’s most recognizable sights, this temple was moved from it’s original location in the 1960’s to save it from potential erosion caused by the rising Nile.

Day 9, Return to Cairo

See All Nile River Cruises 

Rhine River Cruise Highlights in 1 Week

A river cruise down beautiful Rhine River is a great way to experience Germany and the wonders of Western Europe. Enjoy fine wine, food, and tours of historical castles, towns, and monuments.

Day 1, Basel: Guided walking tour through this quaint Swiss town. Prepare for you week on the Rhine

Day 2-5, Germany: The Rhine traverses much of the Germany’s southwest. Sail past beautiful vineyards and sites from the water include everything from Pfalzgrafenstein Castle to small idyllic villages. Disembark to visit the fairytale Black Forest and Vogtsbauernhof Museum, Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Koblenz where you’ll see Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, learn about winemaking and attend a special Rhine Valley tasting in Rüdesheim.

Day 6, Cologne: Your last stop in Germany. See the historic Gothic Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, and explore lovely Old Town.

Day 7-8, Amsterdam: End your cruise in lively Amsterdam where you can cycle along the canals, walk through the famous Red Light District, and enjoy Danish pastries in waterside cafes.

See All Rhine River Cruises in One Week

Amazon River Cruise Highlights in 7-10 Days

Unpack once, hop aboard, and cruise down one of the longest river in the world, and the birthplace to some of the most complex civilizations in the world. If you are looking for an Amazon cruise focused on nature, consider this itinerary:

Day 1, Arrive at starting city: Many expeditions start in Peru.

Day 2, Explore the Rainforest: Disembark your cruise for the first time and take a guided walk through the rainforest to see incredibly diverse wildlife up close and personal.

Day 3, Ucayali River: Walk along the Ucayali River and watch out for the classic pink dolphins.

Day 4-5, Pacaya Samiria Reserve (northeastern Peru): Trek through the Amazonian jungle forest. See spider monkeys, colorful macaws, toucans, river hawks, and giant South American turtles. Learn about medicinal plants from native village shamen.

Day 6, Optional lake visits: Go fishing in Lake Charo or Carocurahuayte, or picnic along Lake Tacscha.

Day 7, Iquitos & Disembark: Take a stroll through this Peruvian port city. The district of Belén is known for its massive open-air street markets and stilt houses lining the Itaya River.

See All Amazon River Cruises in One Week

Westbound Danube River Cruise Highlights

A Danube river cruise is one of the best ways to see the heart of Europe. With two weeks, you can cover a lot of ground at a more leisurely pace - plus have the opportunity for longer shore excursions which will hit upon both the major cities and smaller attractions.

Day 1: Arrive in your beginning city. Many classic westbound Danube River cruises begin in Budapest or Prague.

Day 2, Prague: Walk across the famous Chain Bridge, visit the Jewish Quarter and see the Old Royal Palace. Enjoy a local meal and overnight stay before taking a scenic drive to Budapest where you will embark your river cruise vessel.

Day 3-4, Budapest: Enjoy the day exploring the city. Take in the architectural marvel that is the Hungarian Parliament building, climb Gellert Hill, walk across any one of Budapest’s famous bridges, explore the Great Market Hall.

Day 5-6, Slovakia: Slovakia is a beautiful country, with massive green forests and hidden castles. Explore the capital of Bratislava and take in the sights from Castle Hill.

Day 7-8, Vienna: Sail from Prague to Vienna, where the cities strong music legacy will come alive. Visit the Opera House, enjoy a classic Viennese pastry as you walk the beautiful streets.

Day 9, Melk: Explore the stunning Benedictine Abbey, founded in 1089.

Day 10-11, Passau: Optional day trip to historic Salzburg, or take a walking tour of the city.

See All Danube River Cruises

123
Reviews of River Cruises Tours
98% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 99 Great 22 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 2
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.8

MR

Recommends

This company is good for trips on the Amazon river August 2015

5.0

Amazon River Cruises

This company is good for trips on the Amazon river

Operator International Expeditions

F

Recommends

One of the best vacations that I have taken August 2015

5.0

Columbia and Snake Rivers cruise

I took my first cruise on American Cruise Lines was August 2014. I took the Columbia/Snake River cruise. It was on the Queen of the West. It was one of the best vacations that I have taken. It was fantastic. The service & personnel was excellent. I had a lot of fun. Even though I was solo traveler, I felt so welcome & met a lot of very nice people. The food was very good. I would recommend this trip. I would like to take another vacation with American Cruise. I plan to in the near future. Read more

Operator American Cruiselines

C

Recommends

A memorable trip January 2015

5.0

Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon

I loved this trip . The Tucano is a great little ship, and if the weather's good you can eat out on the top deck and watch the river and rain forest go by. The guides were terrific -- they knew the area well, and could tell you about the use of medicinal plants or even take you piranha fishing. There were plenty of opportunities to go on shore and occasionally we'd visit an isolated village. My only disappointment was that it's hard to spot wildlife, though we did see some of the famous pink dolphins, heard plenty of howler monkeys, and, at night, spotted some sloths in the tree by spotlight. Read more

Operator Amazon Nature Tours

R

Does Not Recommend

Pros, cons and tips July 2019

4.0

China, Tibet & the Yangtze

This is a review of the Uniworld China + Tibet + Yangtze tour in June, 2019, taken by my wife (80) and me (77). Since knowledge of a reviewer helps readers to judge the applicability to themselves: we are both former academics, normally spry and immersed in cultural, political, and healthful life activities, but we sometimes found the trip daunting, as discussed below. We resist aging, but not always with full success.

The tour had pluses and minuses.

The biggest minuses:
• My wife’s breathing difficulty in our 3-night stay in Lhasa, Tibet (she spent the whole time breathing oxygen and couldn't go on any outings)
• The (inevitable) problem of touring a totalitarian country where citizens are intimidated from talking honestly about the full scope of their lives

The biggest pluses:
• Our guide, Kevin, who was outstandingly attentive, helpful, supportive and patient. He went out of his way to help in difficult situations (like my wife’s breathing problems in Lhasa).
• We were also quite appreciative of Tiger’s brief stint with us.
• With a few exceptions, our baggage was always handled by others. And the exceptions weren’t overwhelming. Apparently for a group, the weight of any individual bag just gets averaged in with all the other group bags being checked. (Some travelers handled their own carry-ons.)

Most of the other people on the tour were quite amiable and unassuming—not always the case when you travel with people whose financial position has to be pretty good to afford this kind of trip (that financial position too often drives unwarranted expectations of privilege and reverence [if that’s not redundant…]).

The accommodations and included breakfasts (and many other meals) were luxurious, though we ourselves didn’t need them to be THAT nice (in this we’re probably exceptions from other travelers—and in this case, a number of our co-tourists had taken multiple Uniworld tours, so they knew and liked what they'd be getting); indeed, we had to learn to stop tanking up at breakfast just because so many goodies were offered, buffet-style. Had we realized those luxuries were part of what we were paying for (and in retrospect we SHOULD have realized), we might have taken a different, cheaper tour. Ironically, what most drew us to the Uniworld trip were the chance to visit Tibet and the expectation that at such a high cost we’d always be getting outstanding, highly informed guides (which wasn’t always the case; as retired academics, we’re unusually demanding in the critical analysis of what we want to hear).

GENERAL NOTES:

We spent several days on our own before the tour (in Beijing) and at its end (in Shanghai). These were quite valuable to us. Perhaps because of time, the Uniworld tour took us to few museums. We are museum junkies, and visited several during our non-tour times. Among other things, Beijing has a terrific national museum, an interesting (partly because of its political subtext) museum about women and children, and an extensive arts district. Shanghai has its own major museum and a tour of the city’s past relationship with Judaism that gives you a more general sense of the troubling antithesis of glitzy life highlighted elsewhere.

I’ve traveled to many parts of the world, and I’ve always been able to learn at least local alphabets and some minimal language skills. China is the first place I’ve gone where I could do none of the first and only a few words (probably wrongly intoned) of the latter. This was extremely frustrating, especially when we toured on our own. Few people outside the major international emporia (I never quite got used to how many upscale stores were in all places we visited) speak English (why should they?). The one ameliorating factor was that many people (especially store employees) had phone apps that did good to excellent translations between spoken English and spoken Chinese. You should have one for your own use.

In major cities, signs quite often include English, so that you can at least know where to shop and what you're looking at. Prices (which you can often negotiate) are typically typed into a calculator.

Perhaps even more than in the West, people are glued to smart phones. Pretty much everyone, it seems, uses an app that includes texts, phone use, and a payment facility, so that people seem to may carry little or no cash or credit cards. No one seems to care—or maybe everyone is just resigned to—that the government can monitor this app and know a ton of stuff about you. As a foreigner, however, you are unlikely to be able to use this app because you need to have a compatible bank account (probably meaning from a Chinese bank).

No matter how you travel in China, you'll see the amazing efforts to accommodate the expansion cities, so that a “town” of which you've never heard might have a million or more people. On the tour, you'll see almost only architectural and shop glitz that the government and cities bask in. You might get very brief glimpses of poverty.

While on the one hand the Chinese government talks a good game and takes some important steps vis-à-vis the climate crisis, on the other hand they still use an enormous amount of fossil fuel for electricity generation. I was also struck—dismayed—by the fact that from all appearances, people only drink bottled water (Westerners are warned against tap water, but I don’t know if local people build up an immuinity to its problems). Especially in warm weather, I can only guess at the billions of single-use plastic bottles that are used every day by the population of 1.4 billion (plus large numbers of visitors). On rare occasions, like at an airport, you might see a place to refill a water bottle (I assume that water is safe).

Please note that in criticisms like the previous paragraph, I do not intend a holier-than-thou American attitude. I am even more critical of what our government does—or more importantly, doesn’t—do vis-à-vis the climate crisis.

THE PEOPLE

Almost everyone was pleasant and upbeat. We mostly moved among middle- (and presumably upper-)class people; we encountered many others, but they were kind of in the background (just as in capitalist countries), and while we made it a point to notice their existence, we had no meaningful interactions with them.

The westernization of outward behavior was almost palpable. My wife had visited 10 years ago and regularly commented on the difference. My impression is that the young (teen-agers, young adults) are especially into western fashion and culture—and to what to me was a surprising extent, seemed to be able to afford indulging that taste.

For what it’s worth, my observation was that people are quite materialistic, focus their lives on that, and increasingly able to afford to indulge themselves. Outwardly, at least, they have little concern with the strictures of their government. Tiananmen Square seems to be in the distant past. Treatment of Moslems and Uighurs (not unlike our current treatment of immigrants and Moslems or our like history of racial and ethnic conflicts) was far away. So far as I could tell, people like Americans (though we’re also bizarre outsiders—there are occasional instances of Chinese people, especially ones who live far from the cities we visited, walking up to a foreigner and asking to take a photo together (this happened to me on the Great Wall, with some pretty young guys).

SECURITY

This abounds. You need to carry your passport everywhere. You'll encounter frequent security checks where you have to put whatever you're carrying through a scanner and show official IDs. In Lhasa, these checks were even present as you wove your way through street markets.

At every airport check-in, you not only go through a security scanner, but you then step up on s short stool so that someone with a hand scanner can go over every inch of your body. (I have sometimes wondered whether proliferation of security folk, including regular police, in nations like this is a clever device for combining meaningful security with full employment.)

The government must have an incredible volume of disk space and incredibly fast computer programs to be able quickly to access information about any given citizen or visitor. Check-in at airports always includes a live photo of you. I’m sure if anyone in the security services had wanted to track me down at any time, it wouldn't have taken more than a few seconds. (For each accommodation where you stay, you have to register with the police. Hotels typically do that for you.)

IN-COUNTRY TRAVEL

We had 4 in-country flights (part of the reason for what Uniworld charges), and much as we wanted to visit the places to which we flew, the time and effort involved in getting from to shuttle bus (then sometimes a long walk) to hotel to airport to check-in to security to boarding to flying to disembarking to shuttle bus to the next hotel became overwhelming.

The tour included 3 nights in a luxury boat on the Yangtze River. This was quite pleasant and included a night’s visit to a show (I don’t remember exactly which one, but when on our own my wife and I went to a couple of shows in Beijing—well worth it even if they're not something to your normal taste). Here, we had some down time. At our ages, we needed more of that. I got sick while on the boat and got what seemed like pretty good medical care.

(By American standards, medicals for my wife in Lhasa and for me on the Yangtze boat were low but not miniscule.)

By American standards, taxis are cheap. They were pretty easy to find in Beijing. (The “universal” app includes signups with services like Uber.) But in Shanghai, they were extremely rare, and we had to get help from strangers to order one. As you would expect, this is especially hard when it’s raining and you're a very long walk from your hotel. Among maybe a dozen or two cab rides during our entire stay, we had two bad experiences with cabbies; I advise photographing the driver’s information and the meter area. I found that this significantly mitigated the problems.

We took the metro in Beijing. After brief adjustment, it was very easy to use. The main difficulty is that stations are far apart, so on (say) a rainy night, you will still need an umbrella and endurance. Shanghai seems to have an equivalent subway system, but we never used it there.

LHASA

Part of the altitude problem my wife (and a few of our fellow travellers) had appears to be the flight’s forcing a lack of transition from sea level to an altitude over 2 miles. (On the other hand, a slower, staged transfer probably would have added cost to an already expensive trip—and maybe loss of a day’s touring.) Especially for older folk, however, I think this is a relevant concern.

I don’t know why, but although I could feel very mild pressure in my breathing, I was fine for the entire Lhasa visit. I had a different disappointment (perhaps idiosyncratic to myself, an academic and non-religious person): if I remember correctly, our entire stay involved visiting Tibetan religious locations. I quite support SOME such visits—religious history is central to human existence—but I would have liked to see aspects of other Tibetan cultural history.

Because of Beijing political issues with Tibet, filing out your Chinese visa involves the charade of not mentioning you're going there (if you do mention it, your visa apparently will be denied).

And a warning re Lhasa (and at least the Great Wall): there can invite lots of climbing, and a number of us, especially some of the older people (even when altitude wasn’t an issue), chose to climb minimally (just enough to get a sense of where steps were going and what the resulting view would be). Kevin and other guides were totally understanding—indeed, we were offered climbing options.
Read more

Operator Uniworld

C

Recommends

A very nice time October 2016

4.0

Burgundy River Cruise Adventure

A very nice time. Wonderful food and boat staff.

Operator G Adventures

HWT

Recommends

Beautiful, fun, great-value river cruise on the Yang-Tze River August 2015

4.0

Three Gorges Highlights: Chongqing to Yichang

We had a great time on this cruise. My wife and I chose this as the end of our 3 week adventurous honeymoon throughout Western rural china. It was also our first river cruise. We'll definitely be doing another.

Overall, the ship we were on, the Victoria Liana, was a little old. Still very nice and comfortable but some of the floors (decks) were slightly warped, some of the furnishings were a bit worn. Normal wear and tear. Nothing to make it look shabby but it also did not look 5 start ultimate luxury.

The price was right - compared to other trips we saw we got an amazing deal. We also got an even better deal because on entering the ship they tried to upsell us a suite. We did the tour, they give us a price, I counter-offered about 1/4 of that and they said no. I told them that we were happy to stay in the regular cabin but if no other guests offered to pay more for the Presidential suite, then our offer still stood. Sure enough, shortly before leaving port the Front Desk Manager told us we could have the suite for the price we offered. What a deal!

For about $200 more, total, we got a private whole deck to our selves in the bow with our own lounge chairs, a large living room with huge windows on 2 sides and a nice bedroom. It really made the trip awesome. Especially since the top outside deck looked like it got crowded when going through some of the most scenic areas. the privacy, especially on our honeymoon was appreciated.

Overall, the staff was very friendly and polite and spoke good english, or good enough. Everyone was local chinese except for a the Cruise Director who was a Bulgarian woman with excellent english skills. Some of the attractions and day tours were included and some were optional and extra charge, though not outrageously priced like some other cruises we've heard about.

I would be mindful of ordering wine as we got a bottle of white that was from 2003. No bueno. Other than that, food was decent. All the western tourists - about 35 in total - ate in a separate dining room. Buffet. There were also about 200 or so local Chinese passengers. I assume they paid a cheaper 'local' price but they all ate in a much larger dining room and had a different local chinese menu. It felt slightly weird being segregated that way but not too awkard.

The views were amazing. Watching peaceful countryside, farms, then highrise mini cities, then gorges and mountains go by was interesting, entertaining and relaxing.

They had some nightly entertainment which the staff put on which was enjoyable if not a highlight.

Overall we had a great voyage and are glad we selected this company. There are definitely more luxurious options but we got a huge bang for our buck and really enjoyed the trip.
Read more

Operator Victoria Cruises

See all reviews for River Cruises Top Operators & Trips
What is Stride?

Stride is the top reviews site for experiential travel and tour packages.

Now you can search tens of thousands of trips from more than 1,000 operators and expert trip planners. Most travel agencies and websites only show options from large companies that pay big commissions. We show you all the options we can gather. We want you to have all the information to find your perfect trip, no matter who it’s with. About us.

Use Stride to:
Search thousands
Search thousands of itineraries and match your style and budget.
Compare local
Compare local experts with global tour operators side by side.
Read reviews
Read reviews by travelers and experts.
Read reviews
Save money as a Stride member (its free), with exclusive deals & rebates.
We are on a mission...

...to help more people travel further, travel more, and travel better. Learn more.

Got it
×
×
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
×
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
×
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 16 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!

x