European River Cruise or European Bus Tour – Which Is Better?

European River Cruise or European Bus Tour – Which Is Better?


  • Buses are hot and often overcrowded
  • Bus tours have too many unwanted stops
  • River cruises let you see more of Europe
  • River cruises enable you to unpack once
  • You’ll never get seasick on a river cruise
  • Almost everything is included in your affordable price

A hot, overcrowded bus tour may be the worst choice for your next European vacation. I’ve been in the travel biz for over 25 years and have learned a few things that might be important in your vacation planning. First, I’m of an age that I don’t want to travel on big ships with 3000 or more people that I don’t know, don’t care about and who all try to pile off the ship before my wife and I, only to stand in another long line and wait to board a hot tour bus.

I also would prefer not to think about the rigors of a European bus tour with 50 or so folks, making a stop every two hours for a look at another curio shop, one more church or to allow someone with a pea sized bladder a “restroom” break! That’s not the way to see any stunning destination, especially Europe where most of us want to have a pampering, experiential vacation with like-minded travelers at a slow and easy pace. Sure, some land tours brochures appear appealing, but do you really want to spend 13-15 nights in hotels you didn’t choose, packing and unpacking each day of the journey, eating from very selective menus in restaurants you don’t know, and complaining that everything costs too much? I wouldn’t and don’t think you would either.

So why not do what I did, take a European river cruise vacation next time and leave the driving to the ship’s captain. Meander along stunning castle or vineyard lined rivers, travel with 100 or so like-minded folks who are there as are you, to experience an up close and personal view of places like Vienna, Prague, Budapest, the wine regions of France, or even to experience the grandeur of the tulips fields in bloom during the spring along the rivers of Holland.

DISCOVER THE WORLD AND EXPERIENCE TODAY’S BEST VACATION VALUE Today’s modern river cruise ships operated by distinguished companies like Ama, Uniworld or Tauck have everything, wireless internet and really good food, including complimentary regional wines. Your value-packed price also includes all guided English speaking sightseeing tours and even includes free bicycles to use as you wish – yes they have helmets for you.

A river cruise in Europe is almost an all-inclusive vacation and these exceptional ships can take you to places along the Danube, the Seine, the Rhine, or even onto the rivers of Russia for an up close and personal visit to St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Best of all unpack and pack only once, do as much as you want or as little, exercise off the calories in the gym or relax in a sauna. These intimate ships generally dock right in the center of town where you are only footsteps away from the local residents, the best sights and if you choose a great place to sit, have a pastry and espresso and relax as the world passes before you. Even better, if you’re like me, I love the fact that they don’t require you to dress up each night while you are on vacation. Leave the tux and suit at home and enjoy a relaxed casually neat approach to your onboard attire – it’s your vacation, why not enjoy it!

Think about it, most of the world’s great cities are on or very near rivers. You might think you see more on a bus, but that’s also wrong. All you do on a bus is SIT! River cruise boats see more of a destination because while you do cruise a bit during the early morning or very late afternoons, most of the calm, flat water cruising is at night while you are asleep in your sumptuous stateroom or suite.

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