PHOTO: Adventures by Disney operates family vacations aboard AmaWaterways’ riverboats in Europe.
Once considered an adult vacation, European river cruises are now catering to families with children. Several operators point to specific departures as being kid-friendly, with excursions and onboard activities to appeal to young travelers. The lines said the minimum age is 4 years old, but the recommended youngest age is 8.
Here’s a sampling of 2017 European family river cruises.
ADVENTURES BY DISNEY ON AMAWATERWAYS
The family-friendly Adventures by Disney cruises are operated on AmaWaterways ships. This year, 12 departures are scheduled on three itineraries.
The four seven-night “Rhine River Cruise” departures in June and July were all on waitlist at press time, but there appeared to be more availability on the seven-night “Danube River Cruise” departing June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26 and Aug. 2, 2017; child fares start at $4,139, adults $4,349.
Adventures by Disney also operates seven-night Christmas market cruises departing Dec. 20 on the Danube and Dec. 23 on the Rhine.
Tauck’s family-oriented program includes 20 European river cruise departures in 2017, double the number over last year. This year, it introduced its fourth family itinerary, a seven-night “Family Fun along the Seine: Paris to Normandy.” The new Seine itinerary operates round-trip from Paris on the new 98-passenger MS Sapphire. Departure dates in 2017 are June 29, July 4, July 9 and July 14; fares start at $4,290.
Tauck Bridges also operates the seven-night “Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise” on the Rhône River between Paris and Lyon. The 2017 departures are July 17, July 22, July 27, Aug. 1, 2017; fares start at $4,290.
The seven-night “Blue Danube: Family Riverboat Adventure” through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany, departs on June 24, July 1, July 10, July 17, July 31 and Aug. 5 this year, with fares starting at $3,990.
The seven-night “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure” cruises through Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. In 2017, there are departures on June 22, June 29, July 18 and July 25. Fares start at $4,190.
UNIWORLD BOUTIQUE RIVER CRUISE COLLECTION
This luxury river line is operating 18 family departures on nine itineraries in 2017, up from just five departures two years ago. Children ages 4-17 cruise at half-price on these sailings.
Three departures are on Uniworld’s newest ship, the 128-passenger Joie de Vivre, which will operate the eight-day “Paris & Normandy” itinerary departing June 25, July 2 and July 9. Fares start at $4,349.
Other family-friendly cruises and 2017 departure dates are the eight-day “Castles along the Rhine” (July 12 and July 19), the 10-day “Delightful Danube & Prague” (June 28, July 3 and July 26), the 10-day “Danube Discovery & Prague” (July 28 and Aug. 6), the 10-day “Rhine-Main Discovery & Munich” (July 14 and July 23), the 15-day “Splendors of Italy” (June 30 and July 7), the 10-day “Gems of Northern Italy” (June 30, July 7), the 15-day “Grand European Discovery” (July 23), and the eight-day “Classic Christmas Markets” (Dec. 15).