The Adventures by Disney tour company and AmaWaterways are bringing pixie dust to European river cruises. Family-oriented, luxury river cruises have Disney-trained Adventure Guides, engaging activities for a variety of ages, behind-the-scenes tours and after-hours cultural experiences at Europe’s most popular ports.
The trips are all-inclusive, too, so there are no surprises when it comes to paying for a truly immersive and hassle free experience. Let’s look at this partnership.
Adventures by Disney Guided Tours
For nearly 15 years, Adventures by Disney (ABD) has provided guided tours with a Disney flair to destinations in Europe, China, North America, South America, South Africa, Peru and Australia. Billed as the “ultimate in escorted family tours,” these upscale trips are designed to thrill anyone who appreciates the company’s skills at storytelling, customer service and yes, making magic.
For Disney fans, “family” is a very broad term, and we’ve heard an average one-third of participants are taking these trips without children.
Their ABD formula has been a winning one, with new destinations such as Iceland and Switzerland — and new activities like horseback riding — added all the time. In fact, Adventures by Disney was honored with awards from both Cruise Critic in 2018 and a Reader’s Choice Award from the travel agents of Travel Weekly in 2017.
AmaWaterways is a European Cruise Leader with a Global Reach
AmaWaterways is an equally decorated river cruise company, snagging Travel + Leisure World’s Best Award, Cruise Critics Editors’ Pick Award, and an overall 4-Star Plus rating in the inaugural “Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe” guide.
AmaWaterways has been running luxury cruises around the world, including Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa, since 2006.
It turns out that river cruising is a very popular vacation option for Disney fans and, since launching in 2016, ABD AmaWaterways river itineraries have expanded — a sure sign of success.
River Itineraries Designed with Families in Mind
AmaWaterways and Disney executives talk about the Danube as “the starter cruise” most likely to appeal to first-time travelers. Most trips make a total of eight ports of call in Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, with pre- and post-cruise stays available in Prague. The minimum suggested age for sailors is 8 but the ABD team says families with children age 4 and up are welcomed.
Combining the service and luxury of AmaWaterways with the family travel expertise of Adventures by Disney, the river cruises explore Europe from the inside out. Planned activities range from visiting Salzburg filming locations from “The Sound of Music,” riverfront bike tours, and goulash cooking classes in Hungary, to exploring Devin Castle in Bratislava and taking a traditional Austrian folk dancing lessons in Melk.
In keeping with AmaWaterways tradition of customizing each guest’s experience, there are eight Adventures by Disney Adventure Guides on board each sailing. Their job is to help families decide among a choice of planned activities, whether to join organized shore excursions, or whether to explore on their own during days and nights in port.
Fun River Cruise Itineraries in 2019
Adventures by Disney family sailings typically depart during the summer and winter school holidays. The special holiday themed sailings also include special visits to the renowned Christmas markets in Budapest and Vienna, and / or a Vienna Boys Choir Christmas performance in the Hofburg Palace Chapel and a special holiday menu lunch.
There are no costumed characters on board, yet there is time to show movies, play games, and share Disney storytelling with kids while adults enjoy special Chef’s Table meals and the wine bar. At shore, active play areas for younger children are incorporated into excursions which are led by local experts at each port.
Depending on the season, all river cruises have active excursion options for the whole family which may include including biking, canoeing, horseback riding or hiking.
In 2019, Adventures by Disney guests will launch a brand-new itinerary along the Seine River in France. The 10-day, nine-night Seine river cruise vacation combines two days exploring Paris on land (guided tours of Paris icons including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre) with eight days of cruising to picturesque French destinations such as Conflans, Vernon and more.
Plus, Adventures by Disney guests can add on an extension package at Disneyland Paris Resort.
The Future is Looking Fun in 2019 and 2020
In 2020, Disney and AmaWaterways European river cruises sail more often than ever before, including 27 departures along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Rhone rivers. To complement the increased selection of family vacations in 2020, 10 river cruise departures are reserved exclusively for adults.
Also new in 2020, Adventures by Disney guests can add guided three-day, two-night short escapes in Paris, Amsterdam and Budapest, Hungary, which can be booked as pre- or post-cruise stays or as standalone trips.
For more details and to book reservations, visit AdventuresByDisney.com, call 800/543-0865 or contact a travel agent to learn more.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.