Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Five Best River Cruise Ships

According to a poll conducted by Condé Nast Traveler, a premier travel magazine with vacation ideas, destination information and travel tips, the following are voted as the world’s 5 best river cruise ships in random order.

Here is the list of the world’s five best river cruise ships of 2012 according to the votes of Condé Nast Traveler travel magazine readers. Uniworld and Viking River Cruises share the top five positions with three cruisers from Uniworld and two from Viking.

River Beatrice of Uniworld River Cruises

It’s Uniworld again with River Beatrice this time landing second. Launched in March 2009, readers of Condé Nast Traveler rated River Beatrice as the world’s best river ship that year. 67 of Beatrice’ 80 staterooms have French balconies and only 13 cabins do not, which are at the lowest of its three decks.  Most staterooms are 150 square feet big, beautified in floral patterns or crisp beiges or whites, while the suites are 225 square feet big. On the Danube Deck, the restaurant’s fare is inspired by Hungarian and Austrian cuisine, which just fits to the cruiser’s itinerary from Budapest to Linz, Germany and in Salzburg which is reached through a bus.

River Queen of Uniworld River Cruises

River Queen tops the poll. It is one of the older cruisers of Uniworld River Cruises which it launched in 1999 and for which the line can boast some firsts – first elevator and the first cruiser to have constructed a Sun Deck and three decks. Sun Decks are now common to most of Uniworld’s cruise ships. The River Queen was renovated in 2005 but retains its unique riverboat profile which recalls vintage steamships, while its decor in the common places plays on the themes of Art Deco in white and blue. Standard staterooms are 151 square feet in size while suites are about 65 square feet bigger. The ship sails at European Jewels most of the time, from Amsterdam to Budapest along the rivers of Danube, Main and Rhine.

River Royale of Uniworld River Cruises

One of Uniworld River Cruise’ pride, River Royale completed the top 5 best river cruisers. Inaugurated in 2006, River Royal sails French itineraries only. Its staterooms on the highest Azure Deck have French balconies and ornamented in gold and blue theme. On the deck below are Burgundy staterooms fittingly decorated in deep red, all has L’Occitane products. While cruising, passengers usually while away time either on the Sun Deck or on the Azure Deck, which houses the lounge and reception parts. The ship sails through Burgundy and Provence, on Rhône and Saône rivers.

Viking Helvetia of Viking River Cruises

Viking Helvetia from Viking River Cruises is a 198-passenger capacity river cruiser built in 2006. It sails the Rhine between Basel and Amsterdam. All excursions in shores mostly include tours of small German towns. Onboard entertainment at Viking Helvetia includes glass-blowing demos, carving of wooden shoes and building cuckoo-clocks. You can also learn how to make Alsatian flammkuchen or German apple strudel when you are not keen to look out on your stateroom’s large window for passing castles.

Viking Legend of Viking River Cruises

Viking strikes again with Legend this time, the twin ship of Viking Prestige. It was in 2009 when Viking Legend joined the fleet of Viking River Cruises when it was outfitted with a propulsion system which increased efficiency of fuel by 20 percent to provide a more serene cruise. It also is a green first in the cruise industry. Viking has two 310-square feet suites and 155 square feet staterooms with French balconies on the upper two decks. Those who travel alone may want to try Legend’s single berths. All cabins have flat-screen TVs and L’Occitane products. Viking Legend sails between Budapest and Pasau and on longer trips, between Budapest and Nuremberg along Danube, the most legendary river of Europe.

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