A Guide to River Cruising: The Best Liners and Journeys to Book

With more and more ships and destinations to choose from, the trick is finding the perfect waterway for you. 

Courtesy Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
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Uniworld

Los Angeles–based Uniworld is the whole package— beautiful ships, elevated food, an international clientele, curated programming—but it is the cruise line’s decor that really makes a statement. For example, the line’s newest ship, the 150-passenger SS Maria Theresa, cruises the Rhine and Danube rivers with $2 million worth of art throughout and individually designed rooms and suites (162 to 410 square feet) with French balconies, Savoir beds, and Palissandro blue-marble bathrooms. The line is well established in Europe (the eight-day Bordeaux, Vineyards, and Châteaux cruise through the French wine region is especially popular), as well as in Egypt, Russia, and other parts of Asia. In 2016, Uniworld will launch in India with the 13-day India’s Golden Triangle and the Sacred Ganges itinerary (pictured), which includes five days on land in New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, followed by an eight-day cruise down the Ganges River, with stops to see temples in Kalna and brassware artists in Matiari. And while other cruise lines are canceling their ports of call in Istanbul, Uniworld has three new routes with stops in the city. Rooms from $2,800; 800-257-2407; uniworld.com.