One of my best river cruises ever was one of my longest river cruises ever. In 2016, I spent 15 glorious days cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest on AmaWaterways’ AmaSonata. After transiting the Rhine, the Main, the Main-Danube Canal and the Danube, I was left with one thought: Could I stay on and do the cruise in the opposite direction?
Of course, the answer was yes – from me – but a hard no from AmaWaterways. In fact, AmaSonata was not headed back to Amsterdam but would instead operate a series of Danube cruises. Sigh.
You may ask if 15 days on a river cruise would be too much for you. Here’s why I enjoyed my long river cruise. Each day of my trip provided new sights and experiences, keeping the trip interesting and exciting. On board was like being in a boutique hotel with plush accommodations and restaurants. The difference was that our hotel moved along the rivers. Our address was always the same, AmaSonata, but our doorstep changed frequently – one day Passau, the next Vienna, and on and on. If you enjoy this type of exploring, you’ll be just fine with two weeks on board – or longer.
The desire for extended river cruises has not gone unnoticed by river cruise companies. In 2024, AmaWaterways Debuts The Longest European Itinerary Aboard A Single Ship, a 49-night voyage sailing seven rivers through 15 countries. AmaWaterways’ 2024 program follows the success in bookings for the first Seven Rivers Journey commencing on the Rhone this coming April. The 2023 Spring journey will be followed by another in the Summer and yet another in the Autumn. For more info, check out AmaWaterways Seven Rivers Journeys.
Avalon Waterways has river cruises that span up to 26 days, visiting nine countries from the Black Sea to the North Sea, Bucharest to Amsterdam. CroisiEurope invites you to stay on board for 22 days on its cruises from Antwerp to Budapest. On its Grand European & Viking Fjords offering, Viking combines river and ocean cruises that span 22 days from Budapest to Bergen. India’s Antara River Cruises is currently sailing a 50-night-plus river cruise, and Uniworld recently announced its 2024 Rivers Of The World Cruise, a journey of 55 days.
This all begs the question from our readers: Could you do a long river cruise? And if so, what would be the optimal length for you?