Sailing along the rivers in Europe is a relaxing way to visit some of Europe’s most stunning sights. Unlike a much larger ocean cruise, a river cruise is a smaller boat allowing it to dock directly in front of cities likes Paris, Budapest or Vienna.
This massive advantage of being able to dock in front of a city, unlike ocean cruises, means you have more time at each destination. For example, ocean cruises going to Paris would have to dock over 2 hours and 20 minutes away from the city, while a river cruise can sail along the Seine and dock right next to popular sights like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre.
Why Cruise With CroisiEurope
CroisiEurope is an expert in river cruising, and are Europe’s biggest river cruise operator. Compared to the competition, CroisiEurope cruises are much more affordable compared to cruise lines likes Viking, Crystal River Cruises and AmaWaterways. Not only the cruises cheaper, but they also include the cost of the excursions and all alcoholic drinks too. So if you want to test out if river cruising is for you, CroisiEurope makes an affordable choice for your next vacation.
Compared to planning a European trip, a river cruise takes out all the hassle and stress out of the trip. You don’t need to arrange your transportation, accommodation and activities in each city. Instead, you board your floating hotel, that will take you to a new destination each day and will arrange all your food and tours. As river cruises stop at 1-2 cities per day, it is the perfect way to see several places at once. It will allow you to get a taste of the area, and determine which spots you want to return to at a later time for a more extended stay.
Another major perk is it is much easier to budget for a river cruise than planning your own Europe trip. Instead of estimating the cost of accommodation, transportation, entrance fees, along with daily meals and drinks everything is bundled into one flat rate. Similar to staying at an all-inclusive vacation, cruising with CroisiEurope includes all your food and unlimited alcoholic beverages.
Where Do CroisiEurope Cruises Go
CroisiEurope offers more than 170 itineraries around the world, so there is always a new route to try.
Some of the many destinations they travel to include: Southern Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Canada, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Sicily, Malta, Austria, Hungary and France.
What Are CroisiEurope Cruise Ships Like
CroisiEurope has around 55 ships in its fleet. So the ships vary greatly, depending on how new they are. I sailed on the MS Vivaldi one of the premium class ships. It was built in 2009 and can have 88 passengers in the 48 cabins. The ship has 3 floors, plus a top sundeck. Floor 3 and 1 were only cabins, while the middle floor was a mix of cabins, the restaurant, and the lounge.
When you are aboard the MS Vivaldi, you could relax in the lounge where there was a mix of couches and sofas. At night there would be music and dancing, while in the afternoon it was a popular spot to go for cocktails. My personal favourite spot was the sun deck. Here there were ample lounge chairs so you could lay in the sun and enjoy the view. I loved to relax here with a glass of bubbly and enjoy the sights or a good book.
The room was rather spacious, with surprisingly lots of storage room. There was a wardrobe right next to the door with plenty of space to hang your clothes, and a few shelves too perfect for shoes or bags. Next, to the bed, there were also several cabinets that provided additional storage, which was amazing.
One thing to note is the room only had no free electrical outlets. So if you are travelling on this particular ship make sure to bring an extension cord so you can charge your phone or electronic devices. Thankfully when I asked at the reception desk, they were able to lend me an extension cord to use, for the entire trip.
The room also had a nice bathroom, with a wonderful shower, and a cabinet with additional storage space. Outside the bedroom, there is also a tiny vanity with a mirror, and a hairdryer, which is rather convenient as it allows for two people to get ready at the same time.
Dining On CroisiEurope
All meals and drinks are complimentary on CroisiEurope cruises. Breakfast is a buffet consisting of an assortment of slices of bread, cheeses, meats, yogurt and fruit. While for lunch and dinner there is a 3-course meal. For lunch and dinner, there were no meal options, with everyone getting the same thing. Accommodations to the menu are made for those allergies or dietary restrictions (but you have to let them known in advance).
One thing I loved about dining on CroisiEurope was the menu frequently feature local dishes of the destination we were visiting. For example, in Hungary there was goulash, in Austria they served schnitzel and apple strudel. Otherwise, the menu had a strong French influence with dishes like ratatouille, duck with red wine sauce, leek quiche, and crispy buttered veal.
Sweet lovers would be happy to know they served dessert for lunch and dinner, and there was plenty of delicious offerings like rhubarb clafoutis, crepe Suzette, creme brulee and baked Alaska. For me, the best bite had to be the chocolate lava cake which was amazing.
Drinks On CroisiEurope
One of the big money saving perks of CroisEurope cruises is that alcoholic beverages are included. The average lowest rate for alcoholic drink pages is $69 per day with gratuities. So for a one week cruise that is nearly $500 just for your drinks!
Meanwhile, on CroisiEurope, all the drinks are included. You can enjoy unlimited beer, wine, champagne, cocktails, aperitifs and spirits. The drink service is available all day too, unlike some drink packages that limit the free drinks to only at meal times.
On my week-long river cruise each day I visited a new location, and there was a tour of that area. Typically the tour would start after lunch, returning for lunch around 1:30 pm. The tours were all free, but if you wanted you could also skip the tour and have free time in the city too. Two of the evening there was a show in the evening, where you would board a bus to see a concert or folklore show.
Otherwise, before and after dinner you had tons of free time to relax. As the ship is small, there isn’t too much in terms of entertainment, so it is best to bring a book or your laptop. As the ship sails most afternoons to the new destination, you need to find ways to keep busy on the ship.
I found the best way to spend the time way on the sun deck where you could enjoy the view and read a book on the lounge chairs. Some nights in the evening there would be special dance nights arranged, but otherwise, there wasn’t too much for organized events or things to do. Thankfully there is free wifi though, so you can catch up on social media and with friends.
Should You Take A CroisiEurope Cruise?
A CroisiEurope cruise is a great choice for a first river cruise. They cost much less than the competition and include alcoholic beverages and shore excursions.
Unlike a larger ocean cruise, a river cruise won’t have nearly as much entertainment onboard or restaurants but you will make it up for it by docking the heart of beautiful cities. As the whole point of travelling is to see the destination, I personally think the tradeoff of less on board, but seeing more of the sights is well worth it.
While the main people aboard a river cruises are still seniors, as a millennial I had an amazing time. I loved how the cruise I was on went to so many cities, and I was able to do tours of palaces, and attend a Viennese concert. I’ll admit the music and entertainment aboard wasn’t too my liking as it was aimed for seniors, but it didn’t stop me from having fun.
If you’ve been thinking about taking a river cruise, I personally think CroisiEurope provides excellent value and a super organized tour where you can safely and easily see several countries. I know I would certainly love to try another one of their cruises.
Book Your Cruise
Interested in learning more about CroisiEurope Cruises, see their website.