10 Reasons To Take A European Family River Cruise

By Nancy Schretter, Editor

Parents and grandparents want to plan extraordinary family vacations, creating shared memories that will last a lifetime.  Iconic destinations help to generate these kinds of enriching vacation experiences. Europe is a popular destination for family and multigenerational vacations, offering a rich tapestry of cultural, adventure and learning experiences for families with kids of all ages. While European river cruising used to be viewed as primarily for adults, parents and grandparents have recently discovered its family appeal. River cruising offers a relaxing way for families to enjoy Europe and make memories together.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is the leader in family–friendly river cruising. It has been named the “Top River Cruise Line for Families” by Travel + Leisure magazine for the last four years in a row. Their designated multigenerational cruises feature exciting family programs and special excursions, a dedicated Family Host to supervise kids’ activities, attractive family pricing and more. If you’re considering taking the kids to Europe, here are ten reasons to choose a Uniworld river cruise for your family’s next vacation:

1.  Effortlessly Explore the Heart of Europe.  In contrast to some other family vacation options, Uniworld’s river cruises offer families a stress–free way to experience the charms of Europe. Being on a Uniworld river cruise is like vacationing aboard a floating family–friendly luxury boutique hotel. Unpack once and let Europe’s most picturesque villages and cities arrive at your doorstep each morning. Because ships generally tie up in or close to town, families can experience these destinations in a relaxing manner. It’s usually easy to stroll off the boat and walk to local shops, attractions and cafes.

2.  Extraordinarily All–Inclusive.  The price of a Uniworld river cruise includes everything families need for a great European vacation. Uniworld's all–inclusive package covers all scheduled airport transfers, shore excursions with a variety of personalized options, all gratuities for onboard crew and local guides, all meals, unlimited beverages of every kind, ship–wide Internet and Wi–Fi access, free use of bicycles and much more in the price of their river cruise vacations. This allows families to fully enjoy their vacation without worrying about logistics and budgets. Some extra services are also available, such as spa treatments and additional optional shore excursions.

3.  Easy To Plan.  Uniworld’s all–inclusive approach makes planning European family vacations simple. The cruise line also offers very appealing pre– and post–cruise packages for those who would like to stay a little longer and explore Europe’s cities and attractions in more detail. It’s very helpful for families to arrive a day or two before the cruise to cope with jet lag and potential travel delays. We stayed in Amsterdam for two nights before our Uniworld Castles Along The Rhine river cruise and wish we had booked extra nights in Switzerland at the end of our voyage as well.

4.  Engaging Itineraries and Attractions.  Uniworld offers family–friendly departures on the Rhine River, the Danube, the Seine River and other European waterways. The itineraries have proven to be so popular that Uniworld has nearly tripled its family–friendly sailings for 2016. “Uniworld’s all–inclusive, multigenerational river cruises in Europe provide young guests with mind–expanding travel experiences, with opportunities for families to spend quality time together,” says Uniworld Senior Vice President Wesley Bosnic. Itineraries are planned to include attractions and activities families will enjoy. On Uniworld’s Castles Along The Rhine cruise, families can view and explore authentic medieval castles along the Upper Rhine River Valley, walk onto the wing of a Boeing 747 airplane at Speyer’s Technik Museum, take rides across vineyards and along scenic winding canals, enjoy hands–on exhibits and tasty samples at Cologne’s Chocolate Museum, and much more.

5.  Enticingly Luxurious.  Uniworld’s river cruise ships provide five–star luxury for families and multigenerational groups. Elegant staterooms akin to Europe’s finest hotels are equipped with flat screen televisions, plush Savoir of England beds, and high thread count linens and duvets. A pillow menu is also offered as well. Marble bathrooms come fully stocked with thick fluffy towels, a wide range of L’Occitane products and an excellent hair dryer. Laundry service is available daily and families can also do their own wash in the ship’s guest laundry room, where free detergent is provided. Uniworld also pays attention to the smallest details, one of the key signs of a true luxury brand. Jars of candy in each stateroom are refilled daily, umbrellas and walking sticks are provided, and a variety of power plugs are available in the room – cutting down the need for adaptors.

6.  Entertaining for Kids.  On Uniworld’s multigenerational cruises, one or two Family Hosts are onboard to supervise the children and accompany exclusive family shore excursions. They also design fun activities that will be engaging for both kids and family members. Family activities on our cruise included interactive cooking and culinary demonstrations, gondola and mini train rides, a trip to an authentic Germany bakery and “Crazy Waffling” with the ship’s Executive Chef, wheelhouse tours with the Captain, and a dedicated family excursion to Germany’s Marksburg Castle.

7.  Excellent for Multigenerational Vacations.  Today’s grandparents want to make lasting memories and share enriching new experiences with their families. Uniworld’s relaxing river cruises are perfect vehicle for achieving those goals. Our Uniworld shore excursions featured exceptional guides who expertly brought their cities and towns to life for guests of all ages. “Multigenerational family travel is a segment that we believe has huge growth potential,” says Uniworld’s President & CEO, Guy Young. “Parents and grandparents are keen to expose their children to the wonderful cultures of Europe and a river cruise is a fun and intimate way to do this.”

8.  Enjoy Plenty of Independence.  While shore excursions are included on Uniworld cruises, daily schedules are flexible and it’s easy for families to explore independently. Simply opt out of the group tour, break off early on your own, or grab some bikes and chart your own course. On our Uniworld river cruise, our knowledgeable Cruise Manager was more than happy to offer personalized suggestions if we wanted to customize our experience and go off on our own.

9.  Experience Memorable Dining.  Cuisine is an important focal point on Uniworld’s river cruises. On our European river cruise, menus featured regional food and wine selections with fresh, local ingredients. The food and wine choices, as well as the entire culinary experience, were superb. The River Empress featured a variety of onboard dining options, unlimited wines and spirits of every kind, al fresco meals, and special unique culinary experiences – all of which were included. Our talented Executive Chef wowed every guest, from the most sophisticated gourmet to younger children. Because river cruise ships are smaller, it’s easy for families and multigenerational groups to share experiences over meals. Food allergies and preferences are attentively handled as well.

10.  Exceptional Service and Guest Interaction.  Uniworld’s river cruise vessels are more intimate, generally accommodating between 100–200 guests. There are no crowds to contend with onboard river cruise ships and it’s easy to make friends with other families with children. Because of the smaller size, families have easier access to everything on the ship and spend more time interacting with the captain, officers and other guests. Service is more highly personalized, too. Uniworld has the highest staff–to–guest ratio in the river cruise industry and the service on our Castles Along The Rhine river cruise was outstanding.

Uniworld’s European river cruises are excellent choices for families. To get a better feel for this visually stunning experience, take a look at this Pinterest board. Then, start turning your European family vacation dreams into reality and begin planning your Uniworld river cruise today.

If You Go:

For more information about Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, visit Uniworld.com.

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