WE’RE THE RIVER CRUISE EXPERTS!
We’re one of the largest river cruise agencies in Western Canada. We know river cruises! Our team have been aboard the ships of Uniworld, Scenic, Emerald, AmaWaterways and Avalon – allowing us to share our first hand experiences. Our sales volume allows us to offer preferred pricing or amenities on many itinerary dates. Let us put together the perfect river cruise for you, including exclusive bonus agency amenities on most packages.
WHY RIVER CRUISING?
An immersive, enriching and inclusive experience aboard intimate boutique ships
Imagine a vacation where you get to explore the treasures of Europe or Asia’s most fascinating cities, all in the lap of luxury while only unpacking once. You dock in the heart of each city, and English-speaking tour guides help you navigate through captivating town squares, and introduce you to local chefs, winemakers or chocolatiers. Each night you escape to the comfort of your stateroom while anticipating the day’s next port. Welcome to the world of river cruising. The popularity of river cruises has grown rapidly over the past few years as the word spreads about this wonderful way to explore the world aboard comfortable, modern ships. Cruise Holidays is an industry leader in helping travelers craft the river cruise itinerary of their dreams, whether it’s through Spain and Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, or a number of other destinations in Europe, Russia or Southeast Asia.
Guest on river cruises are explorers, more than they are cruisers. Getting into the history, culture and really becoming immersed in the destination is what these travelers are all about. They also know that a river cruise is one of the best ways to cover a lot of destinations without the wasted time of packing, unpacking and traveling over the road.
From the waterways of Europe, to Asia, Russia, and beyond
For first time river cruise guests looking to Europe, the most popular itineraries are the Danube (from Southern Germany through Austria to Hungary), or the Rhine (from Switzerland or Southern Germany sailing to the Netherlands).
Most river cruise lines offer a 14-night itinerary from Budapest to Amsterdam that combines both of these rivers, and this is one of the most popular itineraries, combining larger cultural centres like Budapest, Vienna, Cologne and Amsterdam with charming villages in Germany and Austria. Along the way, you’ll see stunning scenery including castles, rolling vineyards, and steep gorges – and of course – many locks!
Other popular European destinations include Provence and the South of France, or Paris and Normandy. One of our favourite river cruise destinations is the Douro Valley in Portugal, the whole region a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Further afield, river cruises can take you deep into Vietnam and Cambodia on the Mekong, through the great Yangtze river in China, or along the Irrawady in Mynamar.
Finally, there’s even unique itineraries aboard very intimate ships with just 20-30 guests sailing on the Zambezi river in Africa, or the Amazon in Peru.
Our experienced team have travelled the waterways of Europe and Asia so contact us for expert planning advice!
OUR RIVER CRUISE PARTNERS
From value-priced river cruises, to 6-star luxury all-inclusive, we can find the style of river cruising that’s right for you.
Scenic Cruises offers a luxury river cruise experience that is ultra all-inclusive, including fine wines, spirits, beers, soft drinks, and all crew and tour guide gratuities. Unlike other river cruise ships, Scenic has a choice of several onboard dining options, including the River Cafe – open from early morning until dinner, offering all day light meals, patisserie and beverages, in addition to fine dining in the main dining room, Table Rive chef’s table, and Portobello’s fine dining Italian.
Scenic pioneered an innovative indoor/outdoor balcony concept, with their Scenic Sun Lounge. A full sit-out balcony converts at the touch of a button to a glass enclosed sun lounge – perfect for maximising your space and offering great views even on cooler nights or during inclement venue.
Expect some of the largest accommodations on the river, Butler service and enhanced in-suite services, and an attentive well-trained staff. With ships of a similar size to competing river cruise lines, but significantly less guests onboard, expect more spacious accommodations, less crowding, fewer lines, and more personalised service aboard the Scenic River Cruise fleet.
Touring programs are included in the fare, and several unique options include “Scenic Sundowners” – a chance to enjoy cocktails and appetisers at a landmark site at sunset, as well as “Scenic Choice” tours – giving flexibility to choose from more than one tour option in select destinations.
Scenic offers a wide range of European itineraries including France, Central Europe and new for 2015 – options in Asia including Vietnam and Myanmar.
Scenic is priced in Canadian Dollars, offering a competitive price point for the luxury all-inclusive market.
Style of Cruising: Luxury ultra-all-inclusive
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 5 stars+
Celebrating its 13th anniversary in 2015, award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways continues to build upon its industry lead. With its fleet of 18 deluxe rated vessels, AmaWaterways has now expanded beyond Europe and offers unrivalled and leading options in Asia and Africa, including Vietnam and the Mekong River, and African Safaris with Zambezi River cruising, plus new for 2015 – be one of the first to experience the wonders of Myanmar (Burma) onboard the brand new AmaPura sailing to Mandalay and Yangon.
Explore immersively with AmaWaterways: Dock right in the heart of historic towns and cities: Enjoy the excitement of waking up in a new town, docked just steps from markets, museums and landmarks. Ships rest close to the town centre so you can easily sample local culture and favourite past times. Take a guided excursion – included in your fare – or explore independently on foot or with the free bicycle rentals, instantly blending in with daily life.
Intimate environment, inclusive value: With AmaWaterways ships having less guests onboard than many other river cruise lines, you will never wait in a long line to board or disembark. Your inclusive vacation provides incredible value – from the champagne breakfast and hand-selected European wines with lunch and dinner, to a fleet of bicycles, free Internet access, included sightseeing excursions and live cultural entertainment onboard.
AmaWaterways Twin Balcony accommodations offer both a small sit out balcony and an indoor sitting area with a French Balcony, and combine upscale design features and appointments with functionality, and a generous amount of space.
AmaWaterways is priced in USD Dollars. For Canadian Residents, ask about our exclusive Canada offers, offering up to 20% bonus savings to help offset the exchange rate differential.
Style of Cruising: Deluxe
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 5 stars
From the world’s youngest river cruising fleet to the sleek, contemporary ship design and state-of-the-art technology, Avalon Waterways is a leader in modern river cruising and small-ship cruising, operating throughout the rivers of Europe. Travelers gave Avalon river cruise vacations a 98% “Excellent” or “Very Good” rating on post-river cruise surveys. With shore excursions and expert guided tours as well as select complimentary beverages included in the up-front price, the value proposition is excellent.
Avalon ships offer contemporary, sleek interior designs and spacious accommodations. Avalon’s Panorama Suites eschew typical sit out balconies (which can cut away from the interior space) and ingeniously create a floor to ceiling wall of windows that slides open – allowing you to enjoy the full space of your accommodations, but lean out and enjoy the breezes and views.
A base program of included tours offers an immersive look into local life. Some optional additional tours can be purchased for a small fee. Wine/beer/soda is included with dinner, and tea/coffee/bottled water are available anytime.
Avalon is priced in Canadian Dollars, and offers a competitive value for a solid 4.5 star river cruise product.
Style of Cruising: Premium
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Emerald Waterways launched in 2014 as a division of luxury parent company Scenic. Emerald has significantly raised the bar within the value priced segment of the river cruise industry.
Brand new purpose built ships feature very contemporary and sleek appointments, and a signature dual-purpose area at the aft of the ship that transforms from an indoor, heated pool with retractable roof during the day, to a cinema at night.
Like parent company Scenic, accommodations onboard feature the unique Sun Lounge concept, converting a sit out balcony into an interior conservatory style space at the push of a button.
An attractive alfresco dining area at the bow of the vessel provides an informal alternative dining option for breakfast and lunch, and four course dinners are served nightly in the main dining room.
Unlike many competing cruise lines, crew and tour guide gratuities are included in the fare, as is wine/beer/sodas with dinner, and tea/coffee/bottled water anytime.
A full program of tours and excursions is also included in the fare, including some unique options such as tea with a local family. Some premium/full day tours are available for a small additional fee.
Emerald is priced in Canadian Dollars, and offers a competitive value for a good 4 star river cruise product.
Style of Cruising: Contemporary/Value
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 4 stars
Uniworld is a leader in European river cruises. When you join Uniworld on a river cruise, expect to be exceptionally well cared for, from port to port, and enjoy an atmosphere flowing with a sense of welcoming warmth and intimacy.
Enjoy ultra-all-inclusive cruising – rates include all-inclusive amenities: beers, wines and spirits, all meals, a full program of enhanced shoreside events, tours and excursions with local experts, use of bicycles, upgraded staterooms, all crew gratuities and tour guide/tour director tips and gratuities. Pay one price and enjoy – it’s all included!
Luxury ships take their design inspiration from sister company Red Carnation Hotels, and offer bespoke luxury appointments akin to a country house hotel. “No request too large, no detail too small” is the credo of the Uniworld staff, who go above and beyond to create an extraordinary experience for our guests.
Uniworld’s one-of-a-kind, exquisitely appointed river cruise ships are each a work of art, designed to be as unique as our guests, and as inspiring as the destinations they visit.
When it comes to dining, Uniworld has crafted a culinary experience for the most discerning of palates to ensure every guest’s dining experience exceeds their expectations. With every meal onboard, guests are treated to a rich selection of complimentary craft and local beers, spirits, and distinctive wines chosen by our acclaimed sommeliers.
With 21 ships, Uniworld offers more distinct European itinerary variants than any other river cruise line, as well as more options for guests to personalise their Uniworld river cruise with innovative onshore programs, including “Choice Is Yours,” “Go Active,” and “Gentle Walking” options.
Uniworld offers pricing in both US and Canadian Dollars. While pricing may appear higher than other river cruise options, keep in mind that Uniworld’s ultra-all-inclusive product means virtually no additional spending once you are onboard.
Style of Cruising: Luxury ultra-all-inclusive.
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 6 stars
With the world’s largest fleet of river cruise ships, Viking delivers a good 4-star product with a strong emphasis on value.
New Viking Longships provide comfortable public rooms and a range of stateroom choices. Some of Viking’s French Balcony accommodations can be very compact in size, so guests should consult with our cruise experts to ensure they get the stateroom and price point they prefer. Larger Veranda staterooms with a sit-out balcony offer more space.
Viking offers pricing in both US and Canadian Dollars. Viking includes wine, beer and soda with lunch and dinner, but gratuities are additional.
A full program of tours is included, although some longer/full day tours require a small additional fee.
Viking provides a value priced river cruise vacation that combines a good onboard experience with affordable accommodations.
Viking is the leader in Yangtze River cruising in China, offering the highest standards of accommodation and overall experience in the region. Viking also operates some unique European itineraries not offered by competitors, including the Elbe River in Germany.
Style of Cruising: Contemporary/Value
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 4 stars
Tauck Tours has launched their luxury Tauck River Cruising program, offering a unique luxury river cruise option for guests looking for a truly immersive and enriching experience, with unrivaled local access to special events and attractions. The experience is built around four corner stones:
Uncommon Access – Cruising with Tauck, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to behind-the-scenes cultural experiences on included shore excursions that immerse you in each destination, experiencing Europe as it was meant to be enjoyed… including private dining experiences in historic venues that go far beyond the ordinary.
Ultra All Inclusive – When you cruise with Tauck, virtually every river cruise expense is included in one upfront price… including all shore excursions and unlimited complimentary beverages onboard. There are no little extras to pay for, no hidden expenses, no options sold.
Intimate, Club-like Atmosphere – Aboard spacious, custom-designed riverboats, you’ll find that the key to the intimate, club-like atmosphere is in the details. Luxurious cabins and suites… service rivaling that of a premium hotel… fine European-style shipboard dining, with a choice of dining venues… all the little touches.
Personalized Cruising – Expect to be exceptionally well-cared for with personalized, thoughtful service from dedicated Tauck staff on every river cruise, plus an experienced ship’s crew.
Style of Cruising: Luxury/Expedition
Ocean & River Cruises Star Rating: 6 stars