Adventures by Disney

Credit: Adventures by Disney

With an increasing number of USTOA tour operator members offering families exclusive pricing and family-focused on-board activities, river cruising is no longer just an adult’s vacation. These special European river cruises offer parents an alternative to large cruises and traditional land vacations. Multiple stops along the way with child-friendly experiences in history, cooking, culture and much more enhance the trip for children and their parents.

Check out some of the family experiences offered by USTOA tour operator members below or visit to find your next dream vacation.

Tauck - Castle on the Rhine

Credit: Tauck

Families can take French lessons, ride bikes along the Rhine-Moselle cycling route and much more on Tauck Bridges’ “Castles on the Rhine: Family Riverboat Adventure.” The eight-day cruise down the Rhine river from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, includes a ride on the world’s steepest cogwheel train to the summit of Mt. Pilatus, walking tours in Koblenz and Cologne, a canal boat cruise in Amsterdam, and a visit to the Van Gogh Museum.  All shore excursions, meals and gratuities, all onboard beverages (adult and otherwise), airport transfers, and luggage handling are included from $4,490 per person, plus airfare. This cruise is available June 27, July 4, 23 and 30, 2018.

Adventures by Disney - Cruise

Credit: Adventures by Disney

Adventures by Disney invites families to enjoy a cruise through Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Hungary on the eight-day “Danube River Cruise.” Families can participate in a private marionette performance and strudel making demonstration at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, zoom down a mineshaft slide at the Salt Mines of Hallein in Austria, and test their skills at archery and other medieval activities during a visit to Devin Castle. Kids also enjoy movie nights with snacks and drinks and cultural games and traditions based on each destination. Families can get $700 off select staterooms or $350 off per person through October 20, 2017. Starting at $4,789 per person and available in June, and July 2018.

Children 16 and under sail free on CroisiEurope River Cruises’ family-focused “Family Club: Venice and its Lagoon” cruise. The itinerary features stops in Venice, Padua, Ferrara, Verona, and Burano where families have the chance to participate in walking and biking tours of various cities as well as visits to the lagoon islands of Murano and Burano. A tour of the Doge’s palace and its mysterious passageways and an optional gondola tour in Venice await passengers of this six-day European cruise. Just in time for summer break, this cruise is available for June, July, and August 2018 departures from $1,243 per person.

AmaWaterways welcomes families this holiday season with Christmas Markets themed cruises available on four itineraries from November 23 through December 23, 2017. Families will marvel at the fairytale-like beauty of the Danube during wintertime, sailing through Budapest and Vienna, where guests can explore up to six different markets and one of the world’s most famous Christmas Markets in Nuremberg. Guests sailing the Rhine visit bustling Christmas markets in Basel, Amsterdam and Strasbourg, as well as the quaint village markets of Riquewihr and Rüdesheim. Onboard festivities for the whole family include tree-trimming contests, gingerbread decorating, a Captain’s Christmas party, a traditional holiday dinner, carolers and more.  Prices start at $2,317 per person. Guests choosing to embark on the December 23 Rhine sailing will enjoy an AmaWaterways special holiday gift – two free nights in Amsterdam.  For more information, visit


Editor’s Note: Information was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Prices may vary from time of writing, based on currency fluctuations.