For over 90 years, the Tauck family have specialized in operating worldwide tour programs. The Tauck family has had multiple generations involved in making the company the huge success it is today. The company has had over 90 years of experience and they say this has allowed them to make "old world friends" all over the globe with their Tauck River Cruises.
Tauck River Cruise
Pros & Cons
Tauck River Cruise
Tauck's nine riverboats offer many European itineraries, Tauck river cruises focus primarily on the Danube, Rhine, Rhone and Main Rivers. The huge European waterways that travel through France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Tauck also sails on the Moselle River and Saone River.
- Walking tours
- Spa activities
- And more!
Tauck travels to almost every port in Europe, which ports your particular cruise ship will stop at will depend on what river cruise you go on.
What is a Tauck River Cruise?
Each cruise with Tauck River Cruises is all-inclusive. Passengers pay just one fee. Included in the cost are all shore excursions. Tauck river cruises offer their passengers a choice of sightseeing options in many cities, which is often unheard of for river cruising. Tauck river cruises have both onshore and offshore dining and also includes crew gratuities, transfers, onboard lectures, entertainment, pre- or post-cruise hotel stays, and unlimited beer, wine, and spirits.
On Tauck river cruises they create an environment based on relaxed elegance. All dining on Tauck river cruises is open-seating, with table setups for two, four and six. The dining options aboard each Tauck river cruises ship includes buffets, a choice of menus reflecting regional cuisines, and special theme dinners. They also offer vegetarian meals and a selection of international wines. All of Tauck river cruises six ships also have a Lido Bar.
Tauck river cruises offer meals off the ship. These can range from lunches in local restaurants to dinners in historic palaces. They include meals in the cruise prices although you can dine independently on days the boat is docked in port longer. Onboard entertainment on the Tauck river cruises includes lectures from the tour directors and experts and live music.
Examples of Tauck Itineraries
Danube River Cruise
French Waterways River Cruise
Budapest to Amsterdam River Cruise
Cruising the Seine
Things Guests Can Expect From Tauck
Tauck guests have reviewed online that it's the "little things" that make their river cruise experience so special. Travelers have said Tauck staff go above and beyond to take care of customers and make every moment count. Tauck maintains a very polished image and experience for its guest bringing aboard custom-designed riverboats and reflecting the highest standards of comfort and quality. Guests can expect to enjoy access to exclusive experiences, and amazing, authentic cuisine. They include all of this for one upfront price.
Although Tauck is one of the pricier river cruises, you find that you really can't beat what they offer. For a Tauck river cruise, you pay one price, and it literally covers everything! Included in your fare is hotel stays, food, drinks, excursions, even lunch money for while you're on day excursions. It also includes your tips, bus fares, driver fees, and transfer to the airport at the beginning and end of your travels. You can't beat that. No other river cruise line offers the services that Tauck offers.
For a river cruise you can expect to pay around $5000 a person to start. However, it does vary on what cruise you choose and how many days the cruise will last.
How it Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare:
Tauck River Cruise
Travelers can expect to pay around $5000 a person per river cruise $$$
- Ms. Savor **** 4-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Inspire ***** 4.5-star rating based on multiple online reviews (one of the newest in their fleet)
- Ms. Emerald ***** 5-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Treasure ***** 5-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Sapphire **** 4-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Espirit ***** 5-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Jewel ***** 5 star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Grace ***** 5-star rating based on multiple online reviews
- Ms. Joy ***** 4.5-star rating based on multiple online reviews
5-star rating Tauck visits just about any port you could think of in Europe, it really just depends on what cruise you choose to go on!
Additional Perks & Features
5-star rating Tauck has the best perks, all-inclusive plus many river cruises have surprises waiting for guests who aren't even mentioned in the itinerary! From wine tasting, lectures, walking tours, cooking classes, etc. everyone will find something that just makes them say "Wow!" with Tauck.
The AMA Waterways river cruises Europe offers 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.
AmaWaterways cruises begin around the mid $2000's per person $
- AmaCerto ***** 5-star rating
- AmaPrima ***** 5-star rating
- AmaViola ***** 5-star rating
AmaWaterways travels all over Europe and visits most of the ports in Europe. You can visit just about any European country located along a river in Europe on AmaWaterways
Additional Perks & Features
AmaWaterways offers some awesome perks and features on their river cruises. These include a spa, fitness room, and hair salon. They also offer many excursions including special interest tours which can include:
- Indulge in authentic Belgian waffles and chocolate in Antwerp
- Try your hand at knotting a bretzel (German for "pretzel") in Wertheim
- Go to a bratwurst and beer tasting at the oldest brewery in Nuremberg
- Discover hidden treasures on a tour of Vienna's secret spots and sights
- Sample Bavarian specialties like pralines in Regensburg
- Bike along the beautiful Danube River between Durnstein and Melk in Austria's Wachau Valley
- Tour Cologne's Old Town and Cathedral along the Rhine River
- See the medieval city of Rouen in France's historic Normandy region, near the Seine River
- Take in wooded hills and beaches of poplars along the scenic shores of the Inn River in Passau
- Trek up to the Veste Oberhaus in Passau, Germany for incredible views over Old Passau
- Make your way up to Durnstein Fortress where it is said Richard the Lionheart was once held captive
- Hike up the Philosopher's Path to a panoramic view of Heidelberg and the Necker River
- Journey from the ship to the Old Town in Strasbourg, France
- Cruises are economically priced
- Array of activities
- Critically acclaimed dining
- not all activities are covered in price, but most are
- smoking only allowed in one area on all ships
- most passengers tend to be 50 , so if you're looking for a younger, party atmosphere this may not be the cruise for you
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.
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, the itinerary is varied enough to suit a wide range of tastes.
Trips on the Avalon Waterways ships range in price from mid $2000-$5000 a person
- Avalon Imagery II **** 4.5-star rating
- Avalon Tapestry II **** 4.5-star rating
- Avalon Tranquility II **** 4.5-star rating
Avalon Waterways travels to ports all over Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Additional Perks & Features
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.
- Smaller groups on this cruise ship line mean a more relaxing vacation
- Great options for many destinations
- Amazing excursions are offered
- Drinks are only all-inclusive at meal times
- Not all activities are all-inclusive
- May not be the best cruise for children
The one thing that will distinguish CroisiEurope from other river lines for most travelers and reviewers are its moderate fares. CroisiEurope includes wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner year-round and offers unlimited drinks during the high season from April to October.
Something a little different about CroisiEurope is that it has a dual inclusion policy where US passengers receive shore excursions included in their price. European passengers do not have excursions included all-inclusive. European passengers can choose to either add excursions to their trip or to skip them altogether.
Passengers can book a "Discovery" excursion packages. They design theses packages to offer extraordinary experiences while on shore. Some activities can include hikes through famed vineyards, helicopter rides or safari-style visits by jeep to national parks. Make sure you book your discovery excursions in advance when you pay for your cruise.
CroisiEurope's European river cruise ships all have a capacity between 80 to 190 passengers, and they navigate on most of the region's rivers. The line also has several smaller, 22-passenger barges to cruise within France's network of canals.
CroisiEurope river cruises start around the mid $1000's per person $
- Raymonde ***** 5-star rating
- Vivaldi ***** 5-star rating
- Anne Marie ***** 5-star rating
CroisiEurope travels to most ports in Europe, and their smaller 22 person vessels travel through the French canals.
Additional Perks & Features
Some of CroisiEurope vessels include:
- All meals on board included
- Unlimited complimentary beverages
- Free WI-FI
- All excursions included
- All meals on board included as well as beverages
- Excursions are included
- Economical prices
- Not a lot of extra entertainment was mentioned in reviews or website
- Cruises may sell at fast as their ships are kept to smaller groups
Our final verdict and winner for this river cruise review are Tauck river cruises. Although you pay more for Tauck, you absolutely cannot beat the amenities, services, and excursions that they provide. Another thing we really love about Tauck is that everything...literally everything is all-inclusive. Even independent lunch off of the ship is provided! No other cruise line provides that. They also make sure you get to and from the airport!
If you're on more of a budget, our second runner up would be CroisiEurope. This France-based company doesn't offer many of the bells and whistles of Tauck, but they offer a lot of the same cruises and excursions and food on the ship are still all-inclusive.
Tauck River Cruises - Our Final Rating
Featured Image: CC2.0 Roderick Eime via Flickr logo, text and banner added