In the last decade we’ve seen a huge growth in river cruising and it’s now one of the most popular ways to explore Europe. But what’s the appeal? Here we share more information about the cruises and Gate 1 travellers tell you what it’s like when you’re on board.
A Floating Hotel
Gate 1 Travel’s ships have been designed with the view in mind, with large windows in the cabins, dining rooms, lounges and other public spaces – and with few exterior visual obstructions on the outside decks. Throughout, you’ll find soothing interiors, top of the line furnishings and stylish décor.
From the restaurants, you’ll enjoy full outdoor views while dining and during the day you can relax on the sun deck and watch the passing scenery. In the evenings the top deck becomes the spot for star gazers, or you can share a drink with fellow travellers in the comfortable lounge. Take time out and curl up with a book or surf the internet in our generously-sized library and you can get yourself a cuppa whenever you wish from the 24-hour tea & coffee station.
But it’s not entirely like a hotel – because imagine unpacking your bag once and settling in to a room with an ever-changing view!
“What was unexpected for me about the Gate 1 Danube cruise was the standard of luxury we experienced. A seriously divine bed, great cabin lighting, huge TV screen, large mirrors and a bathroom that ticked all the boxes for the travelling woman. Occasionally I just lay in bed watching the amazing scenery pass by.” Nicole T. from QLD, Australia, travelled on 9 Day Danube River Cruise
Food, Glorious Food
There’s a reason why the walking tours are so popular, because you need to work off all the delicious meals!
Each day begins with a hearty buffet breakfast, or if you want to get a head start we also offer an ‘early risers’ meal. Lunch is an international buffet with hot and cold selections, then dinner is a 5-course indulgence with a choice of wonderful dishes, accompanied by unlimited wine and beer. And for the night owls there’s also late snacks, so not only are our chefs are happy to cater for all dietary needs, but they never want to see you go hungry.
“I was on a lactose-free diet but the food I had was delicious, usually the same as the others but made without the lactose so I never felt I was missing out. The food was always great. In the two weeks we never had a bad meal and so many courses – how they do such a good job in such a small space is a credit to the staff and those poor waiters up and down the stairs and still smiles on their faces. The cheese waiter at the end of the meal was great entertainment value.” Sandra F. from NSW, Australia, travelled on 16 Day Classic European River Cruise
“The food and wine were exceptional as one would expect, but again the standard of the dining experience did not let us down. My biggest concern was not eating too much, but it was easy to choose wisely from the huge variety of fresh and local dishes. I just love the fact that each evening meal offered à la carte dining with beautiful wines included.” Nicole T., QLD Australia
So Much To See
While it’s tempting to stay on board and enjoy all the facilities, delivered right to your doorstep are exciting new experiences and wonderful places to explore.
Shore excursions are included to give you more information about the history and culture of the region. Sightseeing of different stops along the way include Vienna, with its legendary opulence and elegance, the historic Benedictine Abbey in Melk and see the beautiful churches and stone bridges of Regensburg. You can also walk in Bamberg’s medieval centre and take a glass-top boat cruise through the canals of Amsterdam.
“The shore excursions I expected would be just a walk around with one of the crew sharing whatever knowledge they had, but no – certainly not, we were always met by an experienced tour guide and our earphones where great, especially for the hard-of-hearing like my husband, so they didn’t miss anything. Even with the guide, our trusty tour director Peter was always there, usually bringing up the rear making sure the tour kept a pace every one could keep up with and always with a helping hand up and down steps and of course the cry of “watch out, bike coming”.
“During those excursions we always saw the tours from others ships, so they were doing the exact same thing as us only paying more. If we weren’t close to town a coach was always laid-on and we were given plenty of time to do our own thing if we wanted.” Sandra F., NSW Australia
Lounging Around & Being Entertained
There are many areas on the ships to sit, relax and escape for some quiet time if you wish. There are also comfortable places to enjoy the company of friends or mingle with your fellow travellers.
Each of the ships has a bar and lounge area, that’s ideal for socialising over a few drinks and taking advantage of the great happy hours. In the evenings our in-house musician will entertain you with world-class performances and many of our staff know how to put on a fun show.
One of the features of Gate 1’s ship is that they all have unobstructed viewing areas, so you can enjoy watching all the activity on the river or keep an eye out for the impressive landmarks as you cruise by.
What Others Have to Say
“The trip was great. We were very happy with every aspect of the cruise – particularly the tour directors (specially Herbert – a real champion!) who were outstanding. Peter, the Executive Chef and his team also produced superb meals and all the service and housekeeping staff were terrific – unfailingly friendly and incredibly helpful. Amelia’s service and wine knowledge were impressive and Stefan’s bar service (especially his Bloody Mary) was legendary. The Master and crew did a great job getting us through without falling prey to shallow and obstructed waterways. We’d happily very strongly recommend this cruise to anyone.” James H, from ACT Australia, travelled on 16 Day Classic European River Cruise
“I must say that I had a wonderful time on my last cruise. The Gate 1 staff were wonderful, in particular Sabi our cruise coordinator. He has a lot of patience and he looked into all the finer details that would allow us to enjoy our cruise comfortably. He’s always there to help. I am impressed with the information we got prior to all events so we knew what’s going to happen the next day and all the important issues that we needed to be aware of. The local tour guides were all very good and knowledgeable. I’ll highly recommend Gate 1 travel to all my friends and relatives for sure whenever I have the chance!” Sim-Ha C., from NSW Australia, travelled on 14 Day Danube River Cruise with Budapest & Prague
Want to find out more about river cruising with Gate 1 Travel? Click here to see our full list of European River Cruises.