River cruises are hot right now, particularly those in Europe. Unfortunately, river cruises don’t exactly have a kid-friendly reputation. You won’t find water slides, climbing walls or Broadway-style shows. However, you will find gallery scavenger hunts, on-board language lessons and cooking classes with ship pastry chefs, if you know where to look.
While I expect more river cruise lines to jump into the mix, there are still just two – Tauck Bridges and Uniworld – that really get that families want to take their kids on river cruises. They have created fabulously interactive and educational itineraries, while making sure to keep popular on-ship game rooms, too. Take a look at four summer river cruises that were created with families in mind:
Blue Danube: Family Riverboat Adventure (Tauck Bridges): Take an eight-day adventure through Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Germany during summer months on a 118-passenger river cruise. Go on an interactive scavenger hunt in Slovakia, visit a traditional palace in Austria and giggle at the trick fountains at Hellbrunn Castle. Prices start at $3,490 per person.
Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise (Tauck Bridges): Spend ten days in July or August experiencing Paris and cruising the Rhone. Kids will love going on the scavenger hunt through the Louvre, bicycling along the Rhone promenade and visiting a private ranch in French cowboy country for hay rides and a bull show. Prices start at $4,690 per person.
Burgundy & Provence Family Program (Uniworld): Spend eight days in June or July exploring France while cruising from Arles to Lyon along the Rhone. Kids will love opportunities to kayak along the Gardon River, take a scenic train ride and enjoy on-board cooking classes with the pastry chef. They can even partake in French language classes on the ship. Prices start at $3,299 per person.
Paris & Normandy Family Program (Uniworld): Enjoy ten days in June or July cruising and enjoying on-the-ground adventures in Paris and Normandy. Kids will love going on a gargoyle-hunting expedition at Notre Dame and then visiting the Naturospace Museum, which showcases butterflies and native flora from around the world. Prices start at $3,899 per person.
Remember, you don’t need to book your travel direct through the company websites. Many times you can get an even better deal by booking through a travel agency that specializes in river cruises, like Premier River Cruises, and they can also help direct you toward the best river cruise option for your family.
Photo Credit: Tauck