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This selection of river cruise operators tend not to be the household names, but each offers something a little different to suit all tastes


Long established Austrian family owned operator, one of the pioneers of European river cruising. Delightful ships and really well designed spacious accommodation. The Luftner family usually introduce a new ship each year and focus on the Danube, Rhine/Moselle, Rhone and Seine. Fine well run operation with predominantly German, Austrian, Swiss guests and a handful of English and American guests.  Good single cabin rates. They include wines/beers with lunch and dinner. They do not include excursions in the pricing, so suits those that like to be more independent, albeit excursion packages can be pre-booked. We grade as 4star


Highly regarded, long established American family owned tour company with worldwide escorted tour programme and growing river cruise operation in Europe. High quality, no nonsense pricing policy, ie what you see is what you pay. Always in demand and still a bit of an unknown product in the UK market. We grade as 4starPlus


Well known Australian owned operation, featured in lots of UK newspaper and magazine advertising. Scenic operates in the luxury market, although sometimes flatters to deceive, whereas Emerald is firmly established in the 4star market and sees Viking as its direct competitor. We grade Scenic as 4starPlus. Ship design for both brands is more or less identical, with Scenic cabins/suites being generally slightly larger and having a more inclusive product

Well established and highly regarded US inland waterways and river operator. Features the Mississippi and Columbia/Snake rivers with a variety of durations and start/finish points. All modern fleet, with the American Melody, Jazz, Song, Harmony, Symphony and Serenade plus authentic style paddlewheelers, the American Heritage, West, Splendor and Pride. We grade as 4starPlus

                                      For further information and impartial advice, please call 01425 485100


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