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River cruising

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River cruising

Am considering a river cruise in Europe next summer. Price is no object. Wife has some difficulty walking. Any suggestions?


Chatham, Ontario
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for Cruises
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1. Re: River cruising

I've never taken a river cruise, so I have zero personal experience. But I saw your thread right after reading a review of the Adrienne, which cruises the Loire in France. Thought you might like to read the review, too:


French Country Waterways is based in Massachutsetts and caters to North America travellers. Here's the company's home page:


Pittsburgh, Pa.
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2. Re: River cruising

Hi! Seeing how yinz are fellow Pittsburgers, I thought I'd add my thoughts n'at. We're booked on a 9-day Rhine river cruise with Brennan tours next Oct.

We took a river cruise in Italy 5 years ago and just loved it! We had 3 generations in our party and my 75 yr old mom had no trouble keeping up on the walking tours, altho my brother-in law with 2 knee replacements did have some trouble, but the tour director was kind enough to stop periodically so they could catch up.

I'm not sure what the tours will be like in Germany, but I suspect that many will be bus tours of the cities, and that should be no problem for your wife.

I could suggest renting a folding wheel chair for the walking tours, but some tours may not be able to accomodate them. (best to check out their policies first) If your wife just has a little trouble walking, I think you will have no problem, as I think tour directors encounter this all the time, and will make allowances. Go for it & have fun, & play it by ear.

Chicago, IL
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for Cape Cod
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3. Re: River cruising

No charge to get advice and book with a European River Cruise Specialist. They are listed by zip code at the bottom of the Uniworld website. I've seen them take better care of the infirm on a river cruise ship than on an ocean ship (and that's when the ocean ships were smaller too) however your wife must be ambulatory. Uniworld ship staff are experienced in handling special needs but DO remember that the medievil, charming parts of Europe that you want to see are paved with cobblestones. Can she handle some uneven surfaces?

As you have already figured out, with a river cruise is the perfect way to see Europe since your wife can rest on the ship a day here or there if she is not feeling well. Ashore she can be placed at a Cafe or Beer Garden and drink in the scenery , in addition to the coffee or beer, and enjoy some people watching while you are doing the walking part of an included shore ex. However, the walking tours, at least on Uniworld, consist of walking and pausing AND they have a slow walking group too. I've seen them call a taxi for those who can't walk the 1/2 to the gate at Rothenberg and just otherwise take very good care of their American guests.

Suggest you consider the cruise on the Rhine, Main and Danube either two weeks between Amsterdam and Budapest or three weeks all the way from the North Sea to the Black Sea since you state that price is not a factor.

The Main/Danube Canal which is over 100 miles long, was only completed in 1992 connecting the Rhine to the Danube. The locks you encounter along the way along the Canal are an interesting operation by themselves. Then you'll also have a nice mix of charming European villages and important cities to enjoy all in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere on a deluxe river ship. At least that is my experience with Uniworld and the terrific staff onboard.

Hope this bit of information helps and that you two are able to make this trip.

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4. Re: River cruising

Hi mrlucky,

Here is a thread from the Cruise Critic Board that you can go to and will find a ton of excellent advice on river cruising.


the above link is just the river cruises category.

The main page of the website is: www.cruisecritic.com

Read through some of the posts and you will be able to find out which cruises people liked or disliked and recommendations for the best ships, etc.

Hope this helps.


San Diego
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5. Re: River cruising

Friends(mid 60ish) just came back from a Vikings cruise on the Danube. They added on time in Budapest and just loved it. They said the food was good and they didn't have to dress up for dinner.

East Coast, USA
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6. Re: River cruising

We just took a European river cruise with Avalon and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. Avalon has the newest boats out there and great designs. They've reduced noise and vibration, and most importantly, they've got huge windows for enjoying the scenery. The windows make all the difference. Instead of a small window or a picture window in your cabin, you get a huge sliding glass door, which is great for being able to take pictures without glass glare as well as watching the scenery right from bed. We did the Romantic Rhine. Their Danube itineraries look great and are longer. While on the boat we talked to may seasoned travelers and other travel agents about their favorite river cruises and they consistently put Avalon and Viking at the top of the list (even above the pricier Peter Deilmann cruises).


Travel Agent

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7. Re: River cruising

We took a Viking River Cruise (15 days) from Budapest to Amsterdam in October 2006. There were several people who were ambulatory but needed assistance. One needed a wheechair and it was loaded on the bus for the tours. The cobblestones presented a unique problem for the wheelchair & so the person requiring one didn't go on all the outings. Otherwise, the ship is small and one doesn't have to walk far to meals, sundeck, observation area, etc. Most of the tours were included in the price and were conducted by local guides (excellent) but required walking for about 1-1 1/2 hours at a slow pace. We booked our own flights and transfers and am glad we did as the people who were booked by Viking had inconvenient arriving times and long layovers. We used Budapest Transport and they met us at the airport for the short drive to the embarkation point. We also booked late in the season & received 2 for 1 rates which made it more affordable for us. The windows on the lower deck do not open but the middle & upper deck windows do. Rooms were more than adequate and the food was quite good.

8. Re: River cruising

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9. Re: River cruising

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