Europe Boutique River Cruises FAQs
We hope that the information provided below will help answer any questions you may have about Uniworld Boutique River Cruises. If you have any questions or concerns not answered here, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our Reservations Department at 01 7753838.
Q: Which direction of the cruise should I book? Is one better than the other?
A: It does not matter which direction you choose, as each direction contains the same included features. Timings of activities may, of course, vary a little due to cruising times up- or downstream, but you will not see or do more in one direction than in the other. The progression of your journey may be a matter of preference. For example, for the Eastern European cruises, you might want to start in Eastern Europe and work your way up to Western Europe, or you may prefer to do the opposite.
Q: Which itinerary would you recommend?
A: For first-time river cruise passengers without a special interest in a particular region, an excellent first cruise choice is Amsterdam to Budapest. This journey will introduce you to four countries and many must-see sites, including Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Budapest, and Vienna, as well as hidden gems like Wertheim and Miltenberg. Cruising highlights include the romantic Rhine, the scenic Wachau Valley, and the Main-Danube-Canal—a marvel of modern engineering.
Second- or third-timers who have done Amsterdam to Budapest or Amsterdam to Vienna, and who are interested in the cultures and traditions of Eastern Europe, may enjoy a Black Sea Cruise such as "Eastern Europe Explorer." Those who prefer to stay in Western Germany and enjoy lots of daytime sailing and lovely scenery will love "Legendary Rhine & Moselle."
If you have already cruised along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers, we would suggest taking in the fabulous scenery along Portugal and Spain's Douro River—a real hidden gem. The entire Douro River Valley is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Not many ships are allowed on the river; in fact, Uniworld is the only North American river cruise line who operates a ship in Portugal! Russia also offers sensational sightseeing, and our "Imperial Waterways of Russia" takes you to the best sights along the Volga River. Please note that while our Douro River and Russian cruises are offered on some of the most comfortable ships of the region, they may not have all the amenities of a Uniworld company-owned ship.
Q: Do we always dock in the heart of the city?
A: It depends; in many places you will dock within walking distance to the city center, but there are places where the river only touches the outskirts of a town (i.e. Bamberg or Nuremberg), and thus a motorcoach transfer is necessary.
Q: Is there a lot of walking on the tours?
A: As we visit mostly historic cities, many of the tours are partly or entirely walking tours. Cobblestones are also very common in Europe. To be able to fully enjoy all excursions, passengers should be in good health and able to walk well (including up and down stairs); otherwise they may not be able to participate in all the tours. River ships are not wheelchair accessible.
Q: Are there ever any other ships docked next to us?
A: Yes, this happens and is a normal part of river cruising. As river cruising has become more popular, traffic on the rivers has increased, and it is perfectly normal to moor next to another ship or sometimes even between two ships. The assignment of the exact berthing is up to the harbor authorities of the port of call, and neither Uniworld nor the Captain of the ship has any control or influence over this.
Q: On what side of the ship should I book the stateroom?
A: It does not matter, as there is no "better" side of the ship. On some days, port-side staterooms will be docked facing the shore; on other days it will be the starboard-side staterooms.
River cruise ships always dock facing upstream. Views from cabins may occasionally be restricted when the ship is docked, particularly when other ships dock next to our ship. River ships often dock next to each other, as docking spots are limited. The Harbor Master is always in control of this, not the ship’s Captain.
Q: If during our cruise a Christmas Market is closed, what do we do?
A: There is usually an arrangement made for a city tour and/or free time to spend in the city center.
Q: What are the tipping guidelines?
A: On our ships in Europe (excluding Russia), our suggestion for tip per day, per guest would be: €2 - €3 for the local guide and €1 - €2 for the driver. At the end of the trip there will be two envelopes to be used for tips, one for the crew and one for the Tour Manager. Our suggestion for tips at the end of your cruise would be: €3 for the Tour Manager and €10 for the crew on the ship (per day, per guest). Gratuities can be billed to onboard accounts and paid with a credit card (Uniworld company-owned ships in Europe only) or cash (cash is accepted in Euro or USD only). Personal checks cannot be accepted.
Q: Can our Uniworld cruise/tour booking be extended or customized?
A: Yes. For many itineraries, guests have optional extensions to choose from. For registered groups of 10 or more paxs, customization is available.
Q: Are we able to take our children and is there an age restriction?
A: Passengers who are under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older. Uniworld’s long-term experience is that most young children (especially those under 8 years of age) do not enjoy or appreciate the river cruise experience. There are no special arrangements, activities, or accommodations for children on Uniworld river cruises and tour programs. An exception to this is our Multigenerational Family-Friendly Cruise Program, which is offered on select itineraries during the summer months. Please contact our reservations department at (800) 733-7820 for more details. Adults accompanying children are responsible for their behavior during the trip.
Q: Is there entertainment onboard the ship?
A: Yes, depending on the itinerary, there could be local performers or musicians offering entertainment onboard the ship.