Seine River Cruises
Pros & Cons

PROS

  • Trip on smaller ships that are smaller than your normal ocean cruise ships
  • More beautiful area to travel in France
  • Great cuisine

CONS

  • Limited cruise area


Seine River Cruises 

Seine river cruises differ from ocean cruises in that river cruises often dock right in the town you're going to

Image: CC0 Skeezel via Pixabay

 The Seine river cruise in Europe is incredible. Seine river cruises differ from ocean cruises in that river cruises often dock right in the town you're going to. This makes traveling and sightseeing easy. Whether you're planning a solo trip or traveling as a group or with the kids over the summer, the reviews below will make your decision that much easier.

The Seine river cruise has a range from the simple and economical to the lavish and expensive. There are cruises for every taste and every budget. We'll be looking at river cruises run by private companies and only charter a few people at a time and are quite specialized and expensive, to the family-friendly larger river cruise lines that are economical and take a large group of people at the same time. Some cruises are more adult-oriented while others have children-oriented activities available.

What is a Seine River Cruise?

A Seine River Cruise is a trip on smaller ships that are smaller than your normal ocean cruise ships, and instead of cruising the open ocean, you cruise around Europe and go sightseeing, wine tasting, biking, eating, etc while seeing some of the most beautiful countries and towns Europe offers. The Seine river cruise specifically cruises up and down the Seine River in Europe.

All About River Cruises Along the Seine

So, you have decided to travel along the Seine river! There really isn't a more beautiful area to travel in France. You can visit the beautiful gardens and the charming farmhouse where the impressionist painter Claude Monet lived and worked. This setting inspired many of Claude Monet's masterpieces.

You'll also get to trace the footsteps of Joan of Arc in Rouen, what a powerful experience for any young lady in your family! Maybe you have some serious World War 2 history buffs in your family. They will love the Normandy Beach tours that allow them to walk hallowed ground at Normandy's American Military Cemetery and World War II beaches.

The Cuisine

You and your family will get to relish and savor Normandy's best cuisine.  Traveling along the Seine River celebrates history, art, food, customs and all things in the French culture in the country's most amazing urban and pastoral settings.
Go on a tour of Paris and enjoy this dazzling city! Marvel at some of the most amazing sights, like the world-famous Eiffel Tower. Other places to visit in Paris during your trip include the Ecole Militaire, the Orsay Museum, and the Latin Quarter, and the ever magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Don't forget about the Louvre and Opera House and along the famed Champs-Elysees if you have time!

Pricing of Seine River Cruise

Prices for Seine River cruises vary among different cruise lines, and just about all of them offer a Seine river cruise option. Most passengers can expect to pay anywhere from $2000 to $8000 a person, depending on the company you choose and the amount of time you decide to cruise for.

Seine River Cruise: How it Compares

We picked a couple of similar cruises available on the market to see how they compare.

AmaWaterways

APT

Viking River Cruises

Avalon Waterways


AmaWaterways

The AMA Waterways river cruises offer a series of wine-themed cruises that celebrate the varieties of the region. Off the ship, travelers can visit local wineries and cellars, and they normally include tastings in these trips; also, on the ship, U.S. winemakers and locals alike provide tastings of their own wines and locally produced vintages.

This company is bringing family travel to river cruises with adventures on the Danube and the Rhine from the summer months through the early fall season. AmaWaterways reinvented the design of the AmaViola and AmaKristina ships to create family-friendly cabins. Adventures by Disney has come up with the tour menus. Some activities include toboggan rides, hiking, zip-lining in the Black Forest, and canoeing along the Ill River.

Price 

Passengers on AMAWaterways can expect to pay around the mid $4000 per person $$
AMAWaterways

Activities 

5 Star Rating *****
AMAWaterways provides many activities in both their adult geared cruises and their family-friendly cruises. Some of the activities you can expect to find are wine taking, walking tours, hiking tours, zip-lining, canoeing, biking, and toboggan rides.

Ports 

5 Star Rating ****
AMAWaterways travels to most ports in Europe, including several Seine river cruise options.

Additional Features & Perks 

5 Star Rating *****
AMAWaterways offers a lot of kid-friendly activities and programming. They offer family themed cruises where all activities are geared for family activities. They have partnered with Disney to make some truly magical river cruises for parents and their children throughout Europe.

Pros

  • Lots of kid-friendly activities
  • Many different excursions
  • Amazing wine-themed cruises for adults

Cons

  • Not all cruises would be considered family friendly but they definitely offer more than others
  • A bit pricey for a family vacation

APT

APT river cruises seem to be geared towards the more independent person who doesn't really like the typical "handheld guided tours". Also, APT river cruises let you design your day with five choices from a program that they call Freedom of Choice inclusions. APT river cruises let you enjoy such attractions as Claude Monet's house and gardens. APT includes such amenities as all-inclusive sightseeing for up to seven excursions. You'll get to know people who enjoy the same cultures and landscapes as you. They include an expert cruise director for all of your needs and enjoyment. In addition, APT has some suites on each ship that welcome guests with room service and champagne.

Price $$$

APT river cruises are between $4000-$15000 per person

Activities 

4 Star Review
Other than their excursions, they have a library with games and books, computer/flat-screen tv and free WIFI in the rooms and lounge areas. There is not much information online about this cruise line so it was a bit difficult to find the necessary information.

Ports 

5 Star Review
These river cruises travel throughout Europe to all the different ports. They also travel to other areas and countries. Please see their website for more information.

Additional Features & Perks

3 Star Review
Other than saying you can add up to 5 extra excursions, there really isn't much information on additional features and perks for APT river cruises. There are a few reviews that have reported that other cruise lines offer much more in the way of activities.


Pros

  • Great, if you want independence
  • Most meals are included
  • Drinks are included for the most part

 Cons

  • The higher end of the price range
  • Not a lot of amenities available for the price of this cruise
  • Some reviewers have felt that other river cruise lines are a better choice

Viking River Cruises

The suites in Viking River Cruise's boats are hands down amazing. Nine of the suites on each ship have both traditional balconies and wall-to-ceiling "French verandas" that open the bedrooms completely to the passing views. The ships also have two Explorer Suites on each vessel which measure 445 square feet and have 270-degree views and wraparound balconies.

Viking River Cruises are one of the more expensive options, however, you definitely get what you pay for. On their Scenic voyages, you don't have to eat with others, there's room service! Once on shore, you can ditch the group tour and instead use Scenic's virtual tour guide. Viking also offers a fleet of electric bikes makes it easy to set off solo.

Price

Viking River Cruise passengers can expect to pay around $3000 to $7000 dollars per person $$$
Viking River Cruises

Activities 

5 Star Rating *****
Viking river cruises offer a lot of activities for its travelers. From wine tasting, walking tours, biking tours, hiking tours, critically acclaimed restaurants, museum tours, and more everyone will find something to love on a Viking river cruise.

Ports 

5 Star Rating *****
Viking river cruises travel to all ports throughout Europe and provide excursions and activities at each of them for their passengers.

Additional Features & Perks

5 Star Rating *****
Viking offers its travelers its travelers some amazing excursions and offers you the option to do things on a more independent basis. If you don't want to eat with others, you don't have to!


Pros

  • Room Service
  • Independent Options
  • Variety of Excursions

 Cons

  • Pricey
  • Geared towards adults

Avalon Waterways

Avalon's main claim to fame is its river-facing beds, which is what truly sets it apart from the rest. Rather than looking at a wall, passengers can watch the passing scenery from under the covers. This small but significant difference can have a huge impact if you like to sleep in or relax in the comfort of your own room. It's enough of a reason to book the ship.

Avalon offers its guests many amenities on board. The professional Cruise Director who will give you educational commentary as you travel through the different cities, and can also assist with questions and additional excursions

Customer Service

Avalon provides friendly, English-speaking staff who deliver outstanding customer service throughout your trip. Enjoy sightseeing with certified local guides, guided optional excursions and ample free time to go exploring independently. Explore through hands-on cultural and artistic experiences shared by local residents and experts

Based in France, Avalon Tapestry II attracts travelers who share a fondness for French food, wine, culture, and history. Paris, as the embarkation and disembarkation port for its Seine River cruises, adds a touch of glamor to the experience, but there's a casual vibe on the ship. The Normandy sailings appeal to people with an interest in World War II, sometimes including returning veterans or their families who want to see the famous landing beaches; however, their trips are varied enough to suit a wide range of interests.

Price $$

Trips on the Avalon Waterways ships range in price from mid $2000-$5000 a person
Avalon

Activities

Avalon offers the standard daily excursions and a fitness room, wine tasting, walking tours, and other activities. Avalon is considered a budget option and does not have a lot of extra activities and limited on ship entertainment besides the usual musicians.

Additional Features & Perks 

4 Star Rating ****
Avalon offers some extra excursions at the traveler's cost. These are outside of the included excursions. Also, Avalon only includes all inclusive drinks at meal times. The rest of the day you can have coffee or tea, which may not be suitable for families with younger children.

Ports

5 Star Rating *****
Avalon offers cruises traveling to all European ports and provides many destinations and cruises for its customers to choose from.


Pros

  • Smaller groups on this cruise ship line mean a more relaxing vacation
  • Great options for many destinations
  • They offer amazing excursions

Cons

  • Drinks are only all-inclusive at meal times
  • Not all activities are all-inclusive
  • May not be the best cruise for children

Conclusion

For cruising on the Seine River, the winner we have chosen with a 5-star review is the AmaWaterways River Cruise. This company not only provides excellent accommodations and excursions but also they provide some of the most activities out there. AMAWaterways is also one of the few river cruise companies that provide family themed river cruises in partnership with Disney.  So you are able to have luxurious accommodations for the adults as well as plenty of entertainment to keep the children occupied.

For the Whole Family

Parents planning a vacation can be assured that not only will they have a great vacation, but their children will too. With activities like biking, hiking, toboggan rides, and wine tasting everyone will find something they love. Parents will also enjoy that meals and excursions are all inclusive on this cruise line.

Our runner-up would be the Vikings cruise line. This company although a bit pricey offers so much for its passengers. If you're willing to spend a little extra money, this should be the cruise for you. Viking is a little more adult oriented than AmaWaterways, however, it is still appropriate for a family vacation.

QUALITY

PRICE

RATING

Excellent

$$

 

Featured Image: CC0 Skeeze via Pixabay.




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