Q – I suppose you might say we are a bit different than some of your blog followers. We are well-educated, comfortable financially, and actually interested in learning as much as possible about the places we will be visiting (Likely a two-week European Waterways itinerary). So we are prepared to choose a river cruise line solely on the basis of the quality of its tour programs ashore. We don’t particularly care about the food aboard, we imagine all of it on the better lines will be more than adequate. We don’t want help with air arrangements and we would likely skip the on-board “folkloric” entertainment. It would be so helpful, although I know I am asking a lot, if you would rank the lines in order based on the overall quality of their touring options on European itineraries. The ads and the “critic boards” etc. are all meaningless and contradictory. Thank you very much in advance for your wonderful efforts to tell it like it really is!
A – It is a fair question and one that we are asked many times. Our evaluations and inspection reports can change, but here are the current overall rankings of the quality of shore excursions offered by the various lines. This includes the quality of the guides, proprietary nature of the programs, as well as the sophistication level and variety of the touring options:
- CRYSTAL RIVER BOATS
- TAUCK RIVER BOATS
- SCENIC RIVER BOATS
- UNIWORLD AND AMA WATERWAYS (TIED)