The Best River Cruise Lines

River cruise lines have exploded in popularity in recent years. They are small, intimate, and a great way to get a bit off of the beaten path. River cruises are also likely only going to see more traffic as time goes on. The demand for ships with lower capacities has increased since the start of the pandemic, and that has really put river cruises on the map. If you’re interested in going on one yourself, here are three river cruise lines that you can’t go wrong with.

Crystal Cruises

You might think that you need to find a company that only does river cruises to really get your money’s worth on a smaller ship. But that’s not true at all. Plenty of cruise lines that are primarily focused on ocean cruises also offer amazing river experiences, and Crystal Cruises is one of them. You want to travel in comfort and luxury when on a river cruise, and Crystal offers exactly that. The brand offers five different river ships to choose from, and each one has a remarkable guest-to-staff ratio of about 1 to 1.5. That means that all your needs will be attended to at all times. Sounds nice to us.


Less well-known that some of its competitors, AmaWaterways is a river cruise line that operates itineraries in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They have a huge itinerary of mostly modern ships that have you traveling in style. Some of their most famous trips are on the Rhine and Danube rivers, with the Melodies of the Danube being particularly alluring. You travel through Hungary, Austria, and Germany over the course of seven days, and each stop allows you to really get an in-depth understanding of every port. AmaWaterways gives the truly immersive experience that most are looking for on a river cruise, with plenty of time given for you to bike, hike, or walk through new locations.

Gate 1 Travel

River cruises are generally thought of as being relatively expensive, and that is largely true. There are exceptions to the rule, however. And you don’t need to sacrifice quality for affordability. Gate 1 Travel has long river itineraries for just a few hundred dollars. While you’ll need to pay for some of the optional extras, you can’t really argue with the prices here. If you want to explore the world of river cruising without breaking the bank, Gate 1 is definitely an excellent choice.

We firmly believe that every traveler should try out a river cruise at one time in their life. Many swear by river cruises over ocean cruises, and while they are very experiences, everyone can appreciate the joys of floating down a river and exploring at a slower pace.

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