River cruises is a steadily growing holiday option, particularly for those looking for a relaxing, luxurious getaway. When you’re retired, time is best spent doing what you love and what’s not to love about these top river cruises for retirement?

Read our guide below on the top cruise lines to spend your retirement on – if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our expert Cruise Concierge team on 0800 197 0854 who can offer their guidance and knowledge to help you choose.

Why choose a river cruise for retirement?

River cruises offer the perfect getaway for retired guests due to a number of reasons. Seniors particularly love river cruising as it is a wonderfully relaxing way to see the world.

For those who have enjoyed ocean cruising, river cruising is much different and in some cases may be better suited to your cruising lifestyle.

Get up-close to the ports

River cruises visit a number of major cities and towns during their itineraries. Due to their size, they can dock close-by meaning you have much more straight-forward access to local landmarks and sights – great for those who need walking sticks or struggle with lots of walking at once.

Smaller crowds

Compared to ocean cruising, river cruising draws a much smaller crowd. Most ships accommodate around 200 guests, though these are not always at full capacity. This also means there is never a long wait on-board for drinks and dining and, with the open-seating policy with some cruise lines, you can get to know your fellow passengers much easier.

Smoother sailings

Away from turbulent sailings and waves rocking the ship, river cruises offer a much more relaxing experience. Say goodbye to rough waters and prepare to watch the world pass by from your balcony for much smoother sailing on a river cruise.

Viking River Cruises

As voted by Retirement Living and Reader’s Digest, Viking River Cruises offer the best experience for retirement. Each ship offers an intimate feel without feeling too cramped, influenced by the Scandinavian lifestyle to create a luxurious floating hotel.

Aquavit dining venue on-board Viking

The cruise line offers multiple itineraries across ten countries and has won over 15 awards from prestigious travel publications. Viking River Cruises offer sailings across Europe, Russia, China, Egypt and Southeast Asia, meaning there is a wide range of destination choices to explore, alongside plenty of cultural and historical excursions to delve deeper into each port.

As for on-board, Viking River Cruises offers a proprietary Culture Curriculum which features showcases of musicians and dancers, lectures and intellectual talks, as well as cooking lessons  inspired by the local regions and other enrichment sessions.

There is no need to leave your stateroom during some parts of your sailing, as you get a scenic view of world capitals and foreign lands from your window. The cruise line also has plenty of al fresco dining areas on-board their river longships, getting you closer to the action on your chosen route.

Uniworld River Cruises

This year, Uniworld River Cruises topped Travel + Weekly’s list of the World’s Best River Cruise Lines, with readers rating the cruise line on cabins, facilities, food, service, itineraries, excursions and value.

A woman relaxing in the lounge on-board Uniworld SS Catherine

Uniworld boasts 18 unique vessels, sailing across Europe, Southeast Asia, China, and Russia, offering a breadth of itinerary choices to spend your retirement on. The main draw of this cruise line is that everything is included, so you can leave your wallet at home!

The cruise line also lives by the mantra of ‘no request too large, no detail too small’, with staff eager to help with walking sticks and bicycles for use on shore to ease exploration and lengthy excursions.

Crystal Cruises

A big name in river cruising, Crystal Cruises are well-known for their Michelin Star-level dining options, which will be appreciated by all foodies. The cruise line’s culinary experience is one-of-a-kind, with lavish presentations of European-sourced ingredients, all pieced together with trained chefs and exemplary staff.

Solo traveller on-board Crystal River cruise

The dress code in Crystal’s dining venues is casual, much different to the typical cruising requirements of suits and ties. Other features with the cruise line include plenty of all-inclusive benefits such as in-suite butler service, unlimited room service and beverages.

The cruise line is one of the most luxurious around, with sleek designs and well-appointed cabins. Guests on-board can enjoy cultural and educational itineraries, perfect for learning more about the destinations you visit and their iconic landmarks.

There are plenty other cruise lines to take your pick from, it all depends what you’re looking for. If you would like any more information on your next river cruise or to book, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0800 197 0854 for expert advice and award-winning customer service.

Which cruise line would you pick for your retirement? Have you sailed on the above cruise lines before? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Emma Smith

Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over a year. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in diary for 2020! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.