Sunset on a European river cruise

Rivers & Seas - Best Tours & Trips 2019

The world's rivers and seas have become prime cruising destinations, especially over the past decade, as travelers increasingly discover the benefits of small-ship and river cruises. Small ships and river ships are far more intimate than ocean-going mega-liners, sightseeing is at closer distances, port stops are generally more frequent, and smaller ports unavailable to big ships can be added to itineraries. While Europe remains the epicenter of river cruising, Asia, North and South America, and Africa are fast gaining popularity, while small ships sail the Mediterranean, Baltic, and Black seas, among others, and make expeditions to the Polar Regions as well.
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DEPARTURE DATES

Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Tour Styles

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

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Top Rivers & Seas Experiences and Attractions

Top Rivers & Seas Experiences

Seeing the fairy-tale castles and medieval villages on Danube River cruise.

Sailing across the Aegean and Adriatic Sea on a small ship cruise, stopping to visit ruins of Olympia in Greece, and Albania’s historic city of Butrint.

Taking an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula and on the way stopping to see South Shetland Islands and Bransfield Strait.

Enjoying a boat tour along the Ganges River where you get to see the temples and Hindu’s performing the bathing ritual.

Cruising through Moselle and Rhine rivers, which is the heart of the scenic German wine country.

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Rivers & Seas Trip Reviews

664 Rivers & Seas Tour Reviews - Summary 95% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 494
Great 130
Average 14
Disappointing 4
Terrible 22
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Never again! Perillo is sliding downward quickly.

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 1.0

No on-site management. The staff has no supervision.
Hotel is moldering and crumbling. Serious personal safety issues of several kinds. Doors are left unlocked all night, my room door bolt was broken.
I had some very unsettling experiences in a hotel and Perillo tried to ignore me and make me go away.
Extremely inept, defensive, inexperienced and unprofessional staff.

Read more
Operator Perillo Tours

Perillo uses hotel in Amalfi where there is no on site management. Lots of bad things happened to me there. Staff is rude, ancient hotel is crumbling and clearly in financial trouble. Perrillo has no competent professional service and won’t address serious issues they are responsible for.

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 1.0

Sleazy operation

Read more
Operator Perillo Tours

Misleading and often just plain dishonest.

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 3.0

We paid for a 3 week luxury river cruise but received a large group bus trip across Europe with many days of packing and unpacking. I called our Viking representative when we received an email message just 2 days prior to departure that mentioned a possibility of problems with low river levels. I was assured that everything was "normal" In reality, as we learned later from ship personnel, nothing has been normal for at least 3 months. About 2 weeks prior to departure, we received by mail, lovely personalized booklets describing all the details of our voyage on the Viking Lif, which we were to board in Russe, Romania. Instead, we boarded the Viking Aegir but not at Russe, because the Danube was too low. Instead we rode buses upstream to a port on the Romanian side directly opposite our first scheduled stop at Nikopol, Bulgaria. We had a beautiful cruise through the Iron gate gorge, but after three more scheduled stops in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia, our voyage was terminated in Mohacs, Hungary, an unscheduled place two days short of reaching Budapest. So we were herded into buses for a 1.8 hour ride each way to our scheduled stop at Kalocsa. The next day we retraced the journey to Kalocsa and continued an extra 1.5 hours to reach Budapest. We lost the entire morning in Budapest and spent the night at the Marriott hotel. The next day we lost the entire afternoon in that city because we had to take a 4 hour bus ride to Vienna. Where we were put aboard the Viking Embla. Our voyage on that ship ended two steps later at Passau Germany. After a day in Passau we went upriver for a short distance and it seemed that we had entered the canal to take us to the Main river. But much to our surprise, it was a dead end channel for an industrial port. We spent two days there with our balcony room moored tightly against another Viking ship so there was nothing to look at but the scenery at that site was even worse than looking at someone else's window and the balcony was unusable anyway due to the unpleasant odors at that site. The pattern continued with a long round trip bus ride the next day to our scheduled stop at Regensburg and a 3 plus hour trip the following day to Nuremberg where we finally boarded the Viking Lif. A crew member told us that the Lif had not traveled east of Nuremberg for 3 months. We sailed from Nuremberg to scheduled stops in Bamberg, Wurzburg, and Werthiem and then our voyage terminated for good at an unscheduled port in Mainz. Once again we endured a long round trip journey to our next scheduled stop at Koblenz, followed by a 10 plus hour bus trip (with lunch and a walking tour in Cologne) to Amsterdam and a night in a hotel. Despite a promise that our bags would be in our rooms (they did take great care to provide us with tags so they could easily keep our bags organized) all the baggage was dumped in the hotel garage and it took a good 15 minutes of searching to find it and then take it to our rooms ourselves. There is much more, but it would only be more descriptive of the misery of this trip. We know Viking didn't cause the low river levels, but they did not need to lie to us and make us suffer because of it.

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Operator Viking River Cruises

Beautiful country, stunning scenery...

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I came away from this trip with a great understanding of Sri Lanka. It is a
beautiful country with stunning scenery, interesting buildings and lovely
people. Our fantastic guide Dileepa made the trip easy for us ( we were a
very small group), and he was extremely knowledgeable with the ability to
answer our many questions. The hotels were of good standard- especially Hotel
Sigiriya with its stunning location. Highlights for me were the elephant
safari, climbing Sigiriya Rock and the cycling morning and local lunch (
delicious). It was a busy trip but there was time for relaxing by the pool
too.
The whole trip was very well organised. I am grateful to our guide who helped
make this trip such a fantastic one. I will definitely use Exodus again!
Seeing elephants in the wild and the stunning scenery from Sigiriya Rock.


Dileepa was fantastic- enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. He answered
questions in depth and I have learnt alot about Sri lanka. He was kind,
patient and understood the needs of the group. He was sociable and had great
communication skills ( superb english). He was very well organised, and knew
exactly the best times to go to places.


Take trainers and or walking style shoes for some activities. A lightweight
day rucksack would be useful.


Read more
Operator Exodus Travels

Discover Sri Lanka

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

The discover Sri Lanka trip offers a great mix of learning, seeing and
experiencing what Sri Lanka has to offer, mixed ample opportunities to simply
relax by the pool trying to decide what mixer to have with your large glass
of Arrack
I really enjoyed visiting Lions Rock, which after getting your breath back
after climbing all the stairs offers wonderful views of the surrounding area,
as well as an insight to Sri Lanka history.

I also enjoy the unscheduled visit to Little Adams peak, after rain meant
that Hortons plain was not viable, this was a great alternative and offered
beautiful views of Sri Lanka


Roshan, was great, he gave a very good in depth introductory talk on the
first day and provided us with an excellent history lesson of Sri Lanka, as
well as being very knowledgeable in terms of the fauna and flora of the
various regions.


There is very little street food or dining out culture in Sri Lanka with the
exception of Kandy and less so Nuwara Eliya, therefore you will be eating the
vast majority of your meals in hotels, with buffets being the easiest choice
but it does make it more expensive. A la Carter is an option at most places
but service tends to be slow and therefore often requires pre-ordering.


Due to the fact that so many meals are eaten at the hotels, to make things
easier I would have included these the trip price.

I think that during the introduction clients and guide should set up a
WhatsApp’s group, one for the sharing of info, but also to help with the
running of the trip, I.e. start times after free days extra or arrange
numbers for optional extras


Read more
Operator Exodus Travels

Rivers & Seas Tours and Travel Guide

Rivers & Seas Attractions & Landmarks Guide

The world's rivers and seas have become prime cruising destinations, especially over the past decade, as travelers increasingly discover the benefits of small-ship and river cruises. Small ships and river ships are far more intimate than ocean-going mega-liners, sightseeing is at closer distances, port stops are generally more frequent, and smaller ports unavailable to big ships can be added to itineraries.

While Europe remains the epicenter of river cruising, Asia, North and South America, and Africa are fast gaining popularity, while small ships sail the MediterraneanBaltic, and Black Seas, among others, and make expeditions to the Polar Regions as well. 

The Alluring Amazon

Perhaps dissuaded by the thought of piranhas, mosquitos, and the many other pesky creatures that make The Amazon their home, people have historically not made this a vacation destination. But that is changing. Taking an Amazon River Cruise is becoming increasingly popular, and itineraries are very diverse. You can choose between hiking through wilderness or a more relaxing journey with a luxury operator.

The Beautiful Blue Danube

A European river cruise is an experience not to be missed. On a leisurly Danube river cruise, you will sail past grand architectural sights, quaint European towns, and impressive history around every turn. An impressive 1,780 miles long, The Danube flows from Germany to Romania on its way to the Black Sea. One of if not the most popular river cruise destination, it is truly a sight to behold and no wonder it has it’s very own waltz. 

The Bright Blue Mediterranean

The stunning blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea have beckoned travelers for centuries. This gorgeous body of water and the land region represented by the same name is one of the most traveled to regions in the world. If you’re visiting any one of the countries that share the Mediterranean's shores, be sure to take advantage of a day trip out on the water. Alternatively, this is one of the most popular destinations for taking a small ship cruise

Mysteries of the Nile

Sail past the intriguing lands of Ancient Egypt and beyond on a Nile river cruise. At 4,258 miles long, it’s importance to the livelihoods and cultures of the people who have depended on it for centuries cannot be understated. History will come alive as you pass iconic structures and the beautiful Middle Eastern landscape.

Crossing the Ocean

An ocean cruise is one of the slowest ways to travel, but also one of the most rewarding. Feeling the pace and the vast distance, you will get a sense for what early explorers must have gone through (and appreciate the luxury of your cruise cabin!). It also affords you the opportunity to visit multiple countries in one trip, which is a great way to cover a lot of ground, if you don't mind the limited amount of time you will get to spend in each place. 

Related Guides

Popular Continents: 

Europe, Asia, North America

Popular Destinations: 

Germany, France, Romania, Brazil, China, United States of America, Egypt, Burma, Netherlands, Austria

Popular River                   Cruises:  

Seine River, France; Rhine River, Germany; Danube River, Nile River, Egypt; Mekong River, Cambodia; Yangtze River, China & Many More

Styles For:            

Guided Group tours; 50+; Scenic Sightseeing

Top Rivers & Seas Travel Companies

All Rivers & Seas tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.6 for all Rivers & Seas trips.

676 trips from 200 tour companies with 664 reviews

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