Tips For When To Book A River Cruise In 2016

So when should I book my 2016 river cruise?

This applies to almost all "new season" river cruises and the simple answer is normally early spring the year before. Therefore, if you want to book a 2016 river cruise, you should start looking around February or March the year before.!

Why should I book my 2016 river cruise early?

This is all about the destination and to some extent, the river cruise company. The popular rivers with less ships are the Douro in Portugal, The Rhone & Soane. Then of course there's always the magical Danube river cruises in June & July which are always extremely popular, mostly for the weather.

The river cruise lines offer very good incentives to book the popular river cruises early and one thing to consider is that the US market accounts for approximately 60% of all river cruise passengers in Europe and they plan their holidays well in advance.

River Douro

Which river cruise lines should I consider and why?

The obvious answer here is Viking river cruises, because if you are a past passenger you will realise that some of their river cruises sell out within weeks of going on sale for the following year and the earl booking savings are very high. But  there's other reasons to consider some of the excellent river cruise lines in Europe.

For example - AMA Waterways has 11 ships in the top 20 Berlitz Guide to River Cruising! Wow, this is amazing and in terms of food and service, AMA Waterways really is a serious contender when considering booking your river cruise early. Our team have experience of AMA Waterways and our MD Phil has recently returned from on of the main ship yards in Belgium where two of AMA Waterways new ships are being built. They are the AMA Vista and AMA Serena, both at different levels of finishing and you can read all about this including fascinating pictures from Phil deep inside these ships including the engine room, the kitchen, the bridge and the hand crafted cabins.

If you want to see how a river cruise ship is built then - click here (coming Dec 2)

Anyway - back to booking early and we continue with the "Boutique" style of river cruising with TAUCK. This is top end fully inclusive "Experience" river cruising where everything is about delivering a unique holiday experience that brings you back to the brand year after year. TAUCK is a 90 year old family business which is completely unique and a company that we are proud to be associated with, especially as we are a 4th generation family business oursleves.

TAUCK river cruise ships carry less passengers, the tour groups are much smaller (approx 12-16 people) and the places you see and the experiences offered are quite something else. This is why TAUCK river cruises sell out quickly - quite simply it is not about the price, it is about delivering on their promises and boy do they deliver. Ask our team of Lyndsay and Dan about the TAUCK experience.

Popular rivers in 2016?

I mentioned the Douro River quite early in this blog and once again this river is going to prove extremely popular in 2016 amongst river cruisers. In many ways it's also a great way to combine a stay in Portugal, experience life on the river and also take in the stunning destination that is Salamanca.

Not to mention to opportunity to experience some of the finest wines and port wine in Europe, this cruise is a huge tick for the foodies and wine lovers with a hint of adventure thrown in. Popular months are May & June.

The Rhone & Soane has to be a river on every river cruisers wish list. Lavender fields, wine making, exquisite food not to mention destinations such as Burgundy, Avignon and Vienne are just several reasons to cruise the Rhone & Saone in 2016.

Avignon France

We hope that this gives you an insight into why some cruises and cruise lines book up extremely quickly. You should now be in a position to make an educated decision on booking your 2016 river cruise holiday.


If you would like to speak to one of our team about the "Hot" river cruises in 2016, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our RiverCruising.co.uk team on 0800 810 8229.

Would you like some top tips for your first river cruise? Click Here

Why not find out where we believe to be the best destination on Europes Waterways? Click Here

I welcome all feedback and if you would like to know more? Leave a comment, let me know!

Phil Nuttall - RiverCruising.co.uk