New berlitz river cruising guide reveals highest and lowest scoring riverships in europe –

A river cruise is widely considered to be the most civilised way to see the best of Europe. Avalon river cruises europe Brochures invite passengers to relax in comfort as they glide through picturesque towns and soak up the scenery.

However, until now there has not been any official star rating system for riverships and it has been impossible to differentiate between them, making the choice a daunting one.

Any star rating quoted in marketing material hitherto has been based purely on the opinion of the company selling the holiday. 5 star river cruises europe That’s all to change with Douglas Ward’s remarkable brand new work, Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe (£14.99, pub June 2014) that divulges the highest and the lowest scoring riverships.

A must-have for those who are considering a river cruise, as well as for travel agents selling cruises, the guide independently rates the experience, whether budget or deluxe, so that holidaymakers can make an informed decision and avoid expensive pitfalls.


Ward has based the system on the tried and tested structure that he uses when evaluating and rating ocean-going ships for his annual bible Berlitz: Cruising & Cruise Ships which, in September 2014, celebrates its 30th year of publication. Viking river cruises europe For the new river cruising guide, the evaluations and ratings cover five principal areas, such as accommodation and cuisine, with a maximum possible score of 100 for each area. River cruises europe august 2015 Points are then converted into star ratings ranging from 1-star to 5-stars.

In the river cruise equivalent of the Oscars, the crown goes to AmaPrima. Avalon river cruises europe 2015 Operated by AmaWaterways, with an overall score of 422 out of 500, the 4-star Plus AmaPrima also scores tops for cuisine and service.

Ward describes the vessel which entered service in 2013: “Outstanding cuisine and high standards characterise this comfortable rivership. River cruises europe december 2015 AmaWaterways knows how to do it right, and it shows.” With three decks, 82 cabins including French balcony cabins, she sails a variety of Europe’s rivers.

Indeed, AmaWaterways clears the decks with outstanding scores across the board, owning the top 11 ranking 4-star Plus vessels. River cruises europe tripadvisor For cuisine, top marks go to AmaPrima, AmaVerde and AmaVida all scoring 86%, and for service the finest are AmaPrima and AmaVerde, both with 82%. What are the best river cruises in europe Praising AmaWaterways, Ward considers that they have helped to redefine European river cruising.

Some 82% of its vessels have French balconies and the company spends more on its food and wine and on food service training than almost any other river cruise company.

Closely following AmaWaterways in overall scores are 18 4-star Viking River Cruises (395 – 398 points), with Riviera Travel’s Lord Byron (4-star Plus) and Amadeus Elegant (4-star) also scoring highly (405 and 397 respectively).

When it comes to the accommodation, whether suites or cabins, the award goes to TUI Queen from TUI Travel, a stunning 4-star rivership that provides the ultimate in creature comforts. Best river cruise lines in europe 2014 With a score of 85%, TUI Queen has the edge, just ahead of a host of Viking River Cruises and Lord Byron.

Considered the world’s foremost authority of cruising, having spent more than 45 years working in the cruise industry, Douglas Ward travels up to 200 days each year aboard the world’s ocean-going cruise ships and riverships. River cruises europe jobs Commenting on the results, Douglas Ward, said, “In the past, booking a river cruise has been a bit hit and miss.

This book is a culmination of many years of work, following a constant round of sailings and observation. Avalon cruises europe I hope that it helps those who want to book a cruise to cut through the brochure hype, whether they are looking to enjoy fabulous food or great comfort.

Even the three lowest-scoring ships have something to offer: two of them are operated by the Netherlands-based Fietsvaarvakantie and used specifically for low cost bicycle tours.

The other lowest scoring vessel is 2-star Salvinia, with just 192 points, described as “an old lady with plenty of character”, which for some travellers will more than make up for the poor soundproofing of the cabins and the limited cuisine in the cramped restaurant.