River Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

River Cruises cruise line logo

River Cruises fleet

Displaying 1-12 of 125 result(s)

Review of River Cruises

The CruiseMapper's "River Cruise Tracker" offers information on river cruising vacations via two free of charge services. Our cruise tracker provides detailed itinerary and prices information by riverboat. Our live AIS ship tracking service provides you with real-time positions of ships sailing on rivers in Europe, USA and Russia.

Our river ship database is constantly growing. We add new destinations, lines/companies and new boats on a regular basis. Each riverboat has its own page showing its current-year itinerary program plus all scheduled itineraries for the next year. These are all departures officially announced by the cruise shipping line (often also a shipowner). Our cruise schedules additionally show the cheapest prices Per Person (double occupancy rates) on the boat's lowest cabin grade available for booking. This is an unique opportunity for comparison of both itineraries and prices on a single webpage. This allows you to choose departure dates, itinerary ports (visited ports, cities and towns, usually with land tours included) and the rates.

River Cruise Travel

River cruises are a great and relatively inexpensive way to travel to some of the most historic cities in the world. The itineraries offer scenic voyages along major rivers and inland waterways in Europe, Asia, North and South Africa, South America's Amazon, Australia, USA and Canada. In all visited ports, there are many sightseeing scheduled activities. Often between ports, there are land tours and bus travel excursions ranging from major cities to small towns and villages.

River Cruises - CruiseMapper

The greatest challenge about planning a river cruise travel vacation is to identify the proper itinerary. Most of the itineraries are operated with one week deals, but more exotic voyages can stretch up to two weeks. Grand Danube cruises in Europe connect Holland to Black Sea, and last three weeks. All river cruise itineraries usually start from a beautiful “big and famous” city with location on the river. This type of travel deals are usually inclusive of most of the scheduled land tours (which are guided) and pre- and/or post-cruise hotel stays. In most destinations (especially in Europe), the river cruising season runs from April through October. Depending on the itinerary, some European and USA itineraries could be “Christmas Markets” themed voyages (in December).

While most of the organized shore excursions are price included, some companies additionally offer optional extra-fee tours, hotel packages and cheap flights from UK or USA. Travel cruising on rivers offers an intimate experience which allows exploring all the places part of the itinerary.

Riverboats as sizes are smaller than sea and ocean ships, allowing them to navigate the river's shallow waters and tighter beds. This means these passenger vessels offer far fewer entertainment options, enrichment programming (mostly lectures by local experts) and amenities. In comparison to sea-going passenger shipping vessels, the river cruise accommodations tend to be smaller.

Balcony staterooms are usually rare. Cabin bathrooms are more functional and less "spa". However, the offers on new river cruise ships are "more luxury" and more sophisticated, with larger cabins and a variety of spacious suites. This type of travel vacations are often advertised as great "value for money" deals. In general, from the passenger point of view, river cruising demands a greater value, with higher expectations of service and quality at inexpensive to really affordable prices.

River cruising market

River cruising is the travel industry's fastest growing sector. It is also a changing one, since the market gets increasingly wider as vacation experiences (new ships, new amenities, themed cruises, popular itineraries). Statistics show that in 2014, around 139,500 travelers from UK book a river cruise, which was a 6% rise on the 2013's UK bookings.

In 2016, a total of 23 new river ships are scheduled for launch. Most of the new riverboats are equipped with a gym, spa and even a top-deck swimming pool. Many offer complimentary bikes for shore exploration and also on guided tours. In the last years, the typical age group was also changed. River cruise companies like Emerald and Scenic report about an increased number of bookings made by holiday travelers in their 40s.

According to CLIA's official reports, there is a gaining popularity of the family river cruising vacations. It means that the new generation riverboats (and the river ship travel in general) is attracting younger and more active passengers. To meet the new demand, some of the world's largest lines (such as Uniworld) increase the number of their multi-generational themed itineraries, offering such sailings also in the summer and during the winter school holidays. A-ROSA Flusskreuzfahrten's deals offer free travel for kids under 15. In 2015, Walt Disney started a partnership with AmaWaterways for family-themed Danube cruises on the ship AmaViola.

Contributing to the family river cruising popularity are the boats' new designs, including cabin configurations, connecting staterooms and larger suite accommodations for families. Many land tour activities are also family orientated, featuring cycling, history-themed games, cooking lessons, scavenger hunts.

CLIA's 2016 report said the European river cruising market grew 2.7% over 2015, with over 1,36 million booked passengers. Among those, the majority were North Americans (38,7%) followed by Germans (28,4%).

Itinerary of River Cruises

Our AIS data source is the VesselFinder tracker. We show the current location of each of our boats. One exception are the newest river cruise ships, which are currently under construction and don't have their ID numbers (MMSI) yet. The other exception are the riverboats in Asia and South America, which usually don't have their MMSI numbers announced. In both cases, the unknown cruise vessel identification makes the ship tracking service inoperational.

River cruise ship tracker

Ship tracking is based on the AIS technology (Automated Identification System). Cruise ship tracking is possible because the AIS is a mandatory equipment for all commercial (and passenger) ships with gross tonnage 300GT and above.

cruise ship tracking

The equipment's low cost (ranging between USD 150-500) helped all the AIS tracking enthusiasts to purchase such a receiving system and install it at home. These systems stream the received data to web based trackers. Live tracking of riverboats is a necessity for the shipowner. It also provides valuable info about the ship's current location and course, which helps families of the crew and also friends and relatives of the cruise passengers. And frankly speaking - ship tracking is fun!

List of river cruise ships (itineraries, prices, current location tracking)

In the following table, all new river cruise ships have the year of built added alongside their names. This way you can see how many and from the fleet of which line are the newest riverboats in the world.

The leader among all lines is the Viking company. It launches each year a truly impressive number of newbuild river ships of its patented "longship" design. In both 2014 and 2015, Viking Cruises set (and surpassed) its own Guinness Record for christening 12 (in 2014) then 16 (in 2015) new riverboats. The record is for most ships christened in a single day (24-hour period, actually). Introduced in 2012, each of the Viking longships has capacity of 190 passengers and features a patented design which allows a greater number of cabins, plus more balcony accommodations.

Among the biggest river cruise companies (passenger-shipping lines) launching new boats almost each year are Avalon, AMA, Uniworld and Scenic.

A-Rosa Cruises
American Cruise Lines
American Queen Steamboat Company

French America Line

Avalon Waterways
Century River Cruises CroisiEurope
Crystal River Cruises
Emerald Waterways GCT (Grand Circle Cruise Line)

Luftner Cruises

Nicko Cruises

Pandaw Cruises

Paukan River Cruises

  • Paukan 1947, Paukan 2007

Plantours Kreuzfahrten

Reiseburo Mittelthurgau fleet

Riseday Holding (Phoenix Reisen)

Saga Holidays

Scylla Cruises

Select Voyages

River Cruise Line (UK)

  • mps Amsterdam, mps Lady Anne, ms Princess, ms Sherry

Saga Cruises

Scenic Cruises (Scenic Tours)

Trans River Line (Shearings)

Travelmarvel (APT Touring)

Vantage Deluxe World Travel

Victoria Cruises (Yangtze River, China)

  • Victoria Anna, Victoria Grace, Victoria Jenna, Victoria Katarina, Victoria Lianna, Victoria Sophia, Victoria Selina

Viking River Cruises


Un-Cruise Adventures

Heritage Line (Mekong)

Cruise and Maritime Voyages (charterer)

Douro River ships in Portugal

small lines and chartered riverboats

Nile River cruise ships in Egypt

Note: for more information, go to our Nile Cruise hub.

Russian river cruise ships

Note: for more information, go to our Russian River Cruise hub. Next to the vessel name is shown the shipowner. The list of ship operators in Russia includes Imperial River Cruises, Orthodox, Vodohod.

Hotel barge cruise ships in France and UK

Follows a list of popular hotel barges cruising in France. In brackets are shown the river and/or the wine region in France.

  • FCWL (French Country Waterways) - Adrienne, Esprit, Horizon II, Nenuphar, Princess
  • Absoluut2 (Burgundy)
  • Apres Tout (Burgundy)
  • Belmond Alouette (Provence - Garonne, Canal du Midi), Belmond Amaryllis (Burgundy - Saone, Canal de Bourgogne), Belmond Fleur de Lys (Burgundy, Canal de Bourgogne), Belmond Hirondelle (Burgundy, Franche-Comte), Belmond Lilas (Champagne and Alsace), Belmond Napoleon (Provence and Burgundy - Saone, Rhone), Belmond Pivoine (Champagne wine region)
  • Bonheur (Burgundy)
  • Caprice (Burgundy)
  • C’est La Vie (Loire, Burgundy)
  • Emma (Garonne, Canal du Midi)
  • Le Phenicien (Provence)
  • Luciole (Burgundy)
  • Meanderer (Loire, Burgundy)
  • Mirabelle (Dordogne, Aquitaine)
  • Papillon (Burgundy)
  • Ros Crana (sea lakes in Scotland)
  • Saint Louis (Rhone)
  • Saroche (Provence and Burgundy)
  • Savoir Faire (Loire, Burgundy, Champagne)

European Waterways hotel barges:

The "River Cruise Tracker", as a themed section of CruiseMapper, was created to cover all major lines and riverboat charter operators. Here are listed the world's largest riverboats, steamboats, luxury hotel barges and river cruise ships operating in Europe, USA, Asia (), Australia (), Africa (Nile, Chobe) and South America (Amazon). When fully accomplished, this hub will give our visitors the ultimate source to compare itineraries, also to do ticket prices comparison and get the latest cruise lines and ships related news.

CruiseMapper additionally added several river destination hubs that group ships by operational region / river. If you are a river travel aficionado, be sure to bookmark and visit us again soon!

River Cruises related cruise news