We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Non-stuffy European River cruises

Staten Island, New...
Level Contributor
21 posts
121 reviews
Save Topic
Non-stuffy European River cruises

We are entertaining the idea of a river cruise, but not sure of itinerary and company to choose. (Perhaps Germany/Hungary) We like to go off on our own adventuring ands like things as casual as possible. To be frank, I have no idea where to start. We like to laugh, and while we are 60 & 64, we are not ready to be spoon fed . Any suggestions appreciated :)

Mentioned in this post
Germany
Germany
Europe
Hungary
Hungary
Europe
Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Munich, Amsterdam, The Ardennes
Level Contributor
7,952 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Why do you want to go on a river cruise then?

It usually involves organized group trips, a lot of waiting on each other, and many elderly people on a boat.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
Level Contributor
16,068 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Go over to the River Cruise forums on cruisecritic.com. Lots of reviews of the various lines and very active board.

I have been on several and we are very active. It is a good fit for us when we travel with my mother. AMA Waterways is our favorite for the more active style and younger demographic - their newest boat even has a swim up bar in the pool!

They offer fast walker tours (we normally skip anything organized and DIY) and extended bike rides (18km or so each day) which are a great way to spend a day and see the countryside.

We like their theme cruises (wine and Christmas markets) as these also attract a younger and more active crowd.

Stay away from Grand Circle as they are AARP only.

Look for a 7 night itinerary with extended times in port and overnight stays.

We do pre and post time in Europe on our own.

While independent land travel is our preference, not all river cruise lines are created equal and with some research you will be able to find a line and itinerary to fit your needs.

The longer cruises attract older passengers. On a wine cruise last year at least half of the guests were 40-50 something and since the events are co-sponsored by wineries, they had their management team (30s) aboard, along with wine club members. Some of the added features included winery tours and tastings and were a lot of fun.

You can PM for more detailed info if you wish.

Edited: 02 October 2012, 18:24
Mentioned in this post
Europe
Europe
World
Wake Forest, North...
1 post
Save Reply
3. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

My wife and I and two other couples just returned from a Gate 1 Travel 7 day Danube River cruise ("Sound of Music") from Nuremberg to Budapest. We were very pleased with all aspects of the tour. There was plenty of free time to do exploring on our own. Typically the stops had a local walking tour followed by free time. Most river travel occurred at night between the ports. The staff was very well organized and the accomodations and meals were very good. I would recommend this tour for anyone interested.

Mentioned in this post
Danube River
Danube River
10,323 Reviews
Budapest, Hungary
Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Middle Franconia, Germany
Budapest
Budapest
Central Hungary, Hungary
california
Level Contributor
552 posts
128 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Hi Felicia,

We're in the same age demographic(55) so I think my experience is relevant to your question. We took a Danube River cruise with Uniworld in 2009 and we are taking a Rhine River cruise with Uniworld again this May.

We have taken ocean cruises and a river cruise, here is what I like about a river cruise:

You don't have to dress up for dinner, just a pair of slacks and a sweater.

There are daily tours, but usually they last an hour or so in each place and then you can explore on your own. I like it because you get a sense of how the area is laid out. You can always skip the tour and take off by yourselves. We did this is Vienna - we rode the tour bus to the city center then took off on our own as we had a number of things we wanted to see that were not offered on the tour.

Most riverboats have 130-160 guests, so you have a more relaxed intimate experience than you would on ocean liners.

We found most of the guests on our last river cruise were people just like us- middle-aged but active, fun, and interesting.

Mentioned in this post
Vienna
Vienna
Vienna Region, Austria
Rumson, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
133 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Viking was very casual. Very few dress at night other than maybe change into fresh clothes after touring. If you like being independent, you may not like the times structured for you.

Canberra
Level Contributor
87 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Have a look at Scenic. Inclusive tours in the mornings and free time in the afternoons. And plenty of Australians... We invented casual.

Have a ball

Rumson, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1,405 posts
133 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

I agree, take a look all the options. Once we got over the " guilt" of not utilizing all the Viking structured tours, and started missing lunch onboard and doing "our own thing" it worked out fine.

Louisville, KY USA
Level Contributor
28 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

We have done several Viking River cruises and love them. They have been consistent with excellent service, excursions, and accomodations. The demographics is around 50+. Most of the passengers are will traveled.

We like the easy pace of the excursions that are well organized (small groups.) In most instances there is ample time to explore on your own. We like to have lunch at the local restaurants.

Although there is no entertainment (usually just a piano player) relaxing and enjoying your fellow passengers is enough for us.

Since the ships can dock in the town you can get up close and personal.

We've also enjoy big ship cruises but the river cruises and itineraries are often better than the big ships and certainly different.

It is relaxing and very cost effective since all excursions are included in the price.

Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
126 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

For a non-stuffy tour of Germany, inculding "adventuring" you might think of taking a rental car and go around on your own?

Or maybe even taking a private driver tour, if you don't like to drive around by yourself.

Mentioned in this post
Germany
Germany
Europe
australia
Level Contributor
390 posts
182 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Non-stuffy European River cruises

Perhaps you may find this option more to your taste we are booked on a Nuremberg to Amsterdam didnt want all the flash and dash of some of the other river cruises.

lueftner-cruises.com/fileadmin/files/2013_Li…

Mentioned in this post
Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Middle Franconia, Germany
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands