Ask A Travel Question

We have just added a new page to our website and it has great value for you in your search for accurate and useful travel information.  It is called Ask a Travel Question and provides you an easy way to get specific information about your travel ideas or concerns.

So, why should trust us to provide you answers about travel? 

Even discounting our 23+ years of experience and dozens of satisfied clients, you might be interested in knowing our 25 FAQs about Europe River Cruising is on page one of Google (as I write this, we are at #4), so we do have some very good credentials in answering travel questions.

Are your ready to learn more?—okay, let’s go!

Why Not Just Buy My Trip Online?

Why Not Just Buy My Trip Online?

I am amazed at the number of folks who think they can plan travel better than we can.

“Oh, I’ll save money and everything I need to make a decision is on the internet”—this is some variation of the responses I have heard.

Another—“I didn’t realize travel agents still exist—don’t they cost more money to use?”

So, let me defend my thoughts—why you should not buy online and use us?

Cool Castles--My 15 Favorite in Europe!

Cool Castles--My 15 Favorite in Europe!

I have always been fascinated with the castles of Europe.  Anne will tell you, we have gone to some unusual lengths to see some, as often they are in the more remote parts of Europe.

So, I thought you might enjoy hearing my thoughts and seeing 47 pictures about what I consider my 15 favorite castles of Europe.

Don’t expect any real rationale for my selections—I have organized them by regions of Europe; there is not one favorite castle over another; and my only rationale is that I liked them—something was cool in my mind.

So, let me defend my thoughts—I’ll tell you a little about them, maybe some history, but the real criteria is why they appeal to me.

Ready for my personal castle tour?—Let’s go!

European River Cruise Advantages and Disadvantages

I write all the time about Europe river cruising and its value.  But there is no vacation option that is right for all.  Many who have never taken a European River Cruise, have no idea how much is included and the many benefits of this travel opportunity.

So, let me defend my thoughts—is a European River cruise the right option for you?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of sailing on a rivership?

Ready?—let’s go find out together!

You Need Our Tenacity, Especially from Anne

You Need Our Tenacity, Especially from Anne

You Need Our Tenacity, Especially from Anne!

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

Tenacity—perseverance, determination, diligence—call it what you like, my wife Anne has it. 

She is relentless in her search for the best possible trip for you.  A while back during this year, I witnessed her staying on hold for over an hour to get a client a great deal on a flight and hotels in Europe because the online reservation system wasn’t working correctly.  It became part of the inspiration for this blog, and when I witness her actions on our D Day trip, I knew I had to write something about her tenacity.

Why should you care?  The reason is simple—our goal on every trip is to get you the best possible value for your vacation and tenacious folks like Anne, who are not afraid to put forth an extra effort, do get results that benefit you.

So, with your permission, let me give you some examples of tenacity from our business that have benefited others and about Anne’s amazing research abilities.

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

The Best Europe Cities to Visit Before and After Your Europe River Cruise

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

I write all the time about Europe river cruising and its value.  One aspect that is often very confusing for many, is how best to extend their trip and visit some of Europe’s great cities.  This blog covers the key extension cities on the Rhine and Upper Danube.

Almost all major cruise lines offer extensions and they can be a great value in simplifying your trip planning but are they always the best choice for you? 

I know you would like a definitive answer but my response is it depends on several factors.  To me these factors are 1) what is included? (to include the quality of the tours and guides), 2) transportation to the desired place, 3) security and ease of mind (how well do you handle unfamiliar places) and 4) cost—is the price worth what is included in the cruise line’s package? 

I should also mention that each cruise lines has different offerings, so it really is impossible in this short blog to adequately cover exactly what they offer.  To help remedy this, my approach will be to tell you about the key cities, perhaps some pitfalls to really see the sights on your own, and then you can use the 4 factors I provide you to see if it is a good value for you.

We will start north to south in Europe. So, let me defend my thoughts—use the cruise line packages, do it yourself or better yet let us plan it for you.

An Exceptional Resource--Our Europe River Cruise Section of Our Website

An Exceptional Resource--Our Europe River Cruise Section of Our Website

An Exceptional Resource—Our Europe River Cruise Section of Our Website

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

Do you want the Best Europe River Cruise Resource available for you on the World Wide Web?—then visit our river cruise section of our website! 

A very bold statement, to say the least, but for me it is true—we have more information about Europe River Cruising assembled in an easily organized manner to answer almost any aspect of your questions about Europe River Cruising.  I study Europe river cruising daily, have visited dozens of websites, read everything I can about Europe river cruising, and, in my humble opinion, we have the best information, organized in an easy manner, for you to understand and learn more about Europe river cruising.  Some websites come close, but still do not provide as extensive coverage as we do.

So, let me defend my thoughts—Are we an Exceptional Resource and the Best Europe River Cruise Resource on the World Wide Web?

The Great Value of a Europe River Cruise

The Great Value of a Europe River Cruise

The Great Value of a Europe River Cruise

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

We have planned almost every type of vacation you might want to take.  However, no matter how many we plan, we just keep realizing more and more the exceptional value you get when you take a river cruise, especially in Europe.  

We travel to Europe 2-4 times a year (just like you, we are limited by travel costs) and are taking river cruise number 18 later this year, and I think that really makes our thoughts about river cruising even more important—we speak from experience.  Our experience is that for most trips, it’s hard to beat the features of a river cruise, especially if you take a pre and post land option along with the cruise. 

So, let’s explore the value of a Europe river cruise!

Sights in Normandy--Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

Sights in Normandy--Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

Sights in Normandy—Pictures from 2 D Day Anniversary Trips

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

75 years ago today, the Allies invaded France in the Normandy region to start the defeat of Germany.  We have been lucky to led 2 Anniversary Trips (the 70th and 75th) to Normandy.

I could tell about the massive effort to assemble and train the invading force, the detailed planning and super human effort of the soldiers involved, but perhaps we should see the results of their sweat, blood, sacrifice of these soldiers by looking at Normandy in two Anniversary Celebrations from some of our pictures.  Normandy is free today and they have never forgot the cost to make them free.

The soldier’s deeds on that day allowed Normandy to be reborn.  In Europe, the best concentration of museums, memorials and preserved sites from WW II are in Normandy.  When you add in the re-enactors and equipment displays, it is almost overwhelming how good this festival celebration is—I can’t tell how much I recommend a trip here. 

The other part of this is a question we are often asked--why go back a second time or more on a trip or river cruise in Europe?—I think our pictures will show you how easy it is to really miss an important aspect of a site or experience and why we keep returning to learn and see more.

So, let’s take a journey through our pictures of 5 years past and this year’s celebration to see a festival that no one will forget!

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

Utah Beach on 5 June 2019

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

During our recent D Day trip for the 75th Anniversary of D Day, where we led 33 wonderful folks on a week-long trip (35 total counting Anne & I), we got to visit Utah Beach on a very busy day on 5 June 2019.

So, I thought I’d tell you about Utah Beach in the Normandy Invasion and let you see some of our pictures of this hallowed ground as it looks today.

On The River Again With AmaWaterways

On The River Again With AmaWaterways

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

As I write this, I am on the AMASerena on the Rhine River. We are sailing on the Captivating Rhine Route from Amsterdam, Netherlands to Basel, Switzerland.

AmaSerena Pool top Deck in Cologne

AmaSerena Pool top Deck in Cologne

Once again AmaWaterways continues to impress—the standards are very high, the food and wine are awesome, the ports and sights are great and the crew always makes you feel special.

It is cruise # 17 on AmaWaterways for us, so we have learned about this company from top to bottom and watched it grow and get better on each sailing since our first cruise in 2009. It just feels like home to us—inviting and we feel like special guests.

I write all the time about Europe river cruising and its value. We have 8 guests sailing with us, 2 couples for the first time and 2 couples that are new to the AmaWaterways family. They all agree—it is a great value!

Since many often want to know the differences between cruising during the seasons, I thought I’d tell you about the differences between cruising on the Christmas Markets in December and the summer cruise we are on now, on the identical route.

So, let’s compare the two—Ready?—Let’s go!

The Differences in the Ports

The most striking difference is the crowds in the public squares.

During the Christmas Market season, the squares are full of small booths and festive people shopping, talking and enjoying food and drinking heated, spiced wine. They are bundled up, happy and it is an amazing atmosphere of lights, color and fun. It is often quite crowded.

In the summer, many squares seem almost empty compared to the crowded Christmas Markets, but the small restaurants often have outdoor tables loaded with people enjoying a drink or meal and people watching. The establishments extend out into the squares and have replaced some of the empty space.

Since sunset is after 9:30 PM (2130 hours) in the summer in June, it seems the days last forever and the weather is mild. On this trip in particular, the weather has been spectacular—temps in the 60’s-70’s in the day and only a small rain shower for about an hour or so.

The wonderful thing about visiting Europe is seeing the people in their outdoor living rooms—the public places of Europe where the gather to visit, eat and enjoy life.

Both seasons are great, but just have a different feel and vibe.

The Wellness Program

In the summer, the already excellent Wellness Program has more activities due to the better, milder weather and program upgrades.

We got an early look at the program in the winter with the onboard wellness host, Selena on the AmaKristina. It was very good—as I have earned a master’s Degree in Physical Fitness, I think I have the credentials to properly evaluate the program.

Let me be clear—it is robust, fun and I was taken back about how many different activities were offered—it by far is the best fitness program on the Europe rivers by any company!

Jane, Len and Marcelo getting ready for a bike tour.

Jane, Len and Marcelo getting ready for a bike tour.

They offer stretching, Yoga, resistance bands, core exercises, bike tours and jogging tours. All are professionally led—Marcello, from Portugal, was our onboard wellness host and he did an outstanding job!

Selena, now the overall director of the program, has created a wonderful addition to Europe river cruising—well done!

The Tours

The tours do not change much except during the Christmas Markets, there is more time to visit the markets and each cruise manager helps folks learn about where to go to get their special gift or decoration.

The tours are well planned and fun. As we have been on this route 4 times, we know about each offering and have either been to the place on the offered tour or have seen it on our own.

This is one way we add value to your cruise—we use our first hand experience to advise you of which tour at what pace would be best for you. On this summer trip alone, we have a very active couple who completed most of the active and wellness activities, to include the bike tours, others who enjoy the normal paced tours and one couple who like the gentle walkers tours. They have used our advice to enhance their onboard experience.

The range of tour activities and the pace of a tour just enhances the guest experience—again AmaWaterways is right on the mark!

Life Onboard

AmaSerena Lounge

AmaSerena Lounge

It is amazing to me how consistent AmaWaterways is in delivering a great experience at a reasonable price. The meals and service is always good. Somehow the crew, who always work long hour away from their families, are pleasant, caring and really want you to have a great time. In 17 cruises, we think it gets better each time.

Anne with Jess at German food party while sailing—see the hard working crew in the background?

Anne with Jess at German food party while sailing—see the hard working crew in the background?

I wrote about high performing organizations in a past blog, and AmaWaterways is certainly high performing. Each person in the 47 person crew does their job professionally with a smile and tries to make you feel special.

My Ama Cruise App

A new feature on AmaWaterways is a mobile App that helps improve your travel experiences.

The App allows to know your full cruise itinerary, post pictures to an album, and has the Daily Cruiser, your detailed hour by hour schedule of each day.

If you post photos, you can send them to family and friends in an attractive email postcard. Friends can also follow your cruise progress on a live tracking map.

Rhine River Gorge Castle 2019–I can add this photo to my cruise App

Rhine River Gorge Castle 2019–I can add this photo to my cruise App

Very good descriptions of each port of call on your itinerary is also available to you when using the App.

The App also keeps track of your past and future cruise memories all in one place.

While sending the notices to others requires a WiFi or internet connection, it still can be used offline to record pictures and read about the sights or your daily programs. When internet service becomes available, it will update when you open the App.

It first came out in early December of 2018 and is better now in June of 2019.

Great, innovative idea!

My Final Thoughts

What a great company!—no wonder I still rate them the number one company for Europe river cruises. They have earned this spot and still keep it!

We are travel experts, ocean and river cruise experts, and Europe destination experts. We have first-hand knowledge of almost anywhere you want to visit in Europe. We know our products and the vendors who sell them to you. We have designed special tours for dozens of clients, led several and will continue to find just the right vacation that will exceed your expectations.

When you are spending your hard-earned money for a vacation, you want an advisor who can match you with the right trip. You want someone who will understand your expectations and fuel your anticipation (or excitement) to get you the best possible trip experience. And, you want someone who can help you with the decision making process. We think we have all these qualities.

Whatever your Dream Destinations are, we are here to help you get the best possible vacation based on what is important to you! We will provide you high quality, expertly planned travel. Please give me a call 713-397-0188 (Hank) or email me at hschrader@dreamdestinations.com. We want to help you: Savor life…make memories…Visit Dream Destinations! Your journey begins here!

HANK is a certified Western European Destination Specialist (DS) who has been traveling to Europe for 48 years. He is also an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), conferred by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). This recognized expert in cruise and leisure travel is a retired Army Officer, and taught World Geography for 8 years. He is a `71 graduate of West Point and has earned 2 master’s degrees. His other Certifications:

• AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist

• Viking River Cruise Specialist

• Scenic River Cruise Specialist

• Emerald Waterways Specialist

• Avalon Waterways Specialist

• Brit Agent

IMG_1399.jpeg

Are We Europe River Cruise Specialists?

Are We Europe River Cruise Specialists?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a specialist is “someone who has a lot of experience, knowledge, or skill in a particular subject.”

While I think we have exceptional experience, knowledge and skill in Europe river cruises, to properly evaluate what constitutes an expert and specialist in the travel industry, I believe there are 6 good measures that can provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation to determine if a travel advisor is truly an expert and specialist.  Here are the measurement factors:  1) experience; 2) certification; 3) knowledge of the industry; 4) first-hand knowledge of the industry; 5) professional organization membership and 6) can you trust them?

We can use these 6 factors to determine the difference between travel advisors and help you decide—what makes us special about our knowledge of river cruises and how do we use that knowledge to help you get a better river cruise vacation experience.

So, let’s explore what makes a travel advisor a river cruise expert and try to answer the question—Are we Europe river cruise experts and specialists?

Our European River Cruises Guide

Our European River Cruises Guide

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Specialist

www.dreamdestinations.com

I write all the time about Europe river cruises and their value.  If you take one, you will experience adventure and discovery of some of the great destinations of Europe.  The rivers were the roads of the past—an easy way to transport goods and trade with others—long before roads were built.  Because rivers were so important to humans, amazing sights, crops (especially vineyards) and towns developed around these vital transportation systems.

So, what do people want to know about European River Cruises?

I think they want to know:

1)  Why should they take a European River Cruise?

2) How does a Europe river cruise compare to an Ocean Cruise?

3) What are the best routes to go on?

4)  What European cruise line should they use for their vacation?

So, let’s get our answers to these questions—Ready?  Let’s go!

Why Take a European River Cruise?

Hard to Match any more excellent sights than the Rhine River Gorge Castles on the Rhine—it never gets old!

Hard to Match any more excellent sights than the Rhine River Gorge Castles on the Rhine—it never gets old!

A river cruise is, in our opinion, the best way to experience Europe--there is just so much to see!  The ships are small and comfortable, and the crew and staff are friendly.  Most river cruise lines have good food and wine.  Unlike ocean cruises, there is a clear upfront price that includes most of the expenses of the trip--food, wine & beer, excursions, accommodations, snacks, destination talks, free Wi-Fi, and usually local entertainment.  There are no inside cabins--all have a view.  With all that is included, it is a good value for the money!

Here is a list of my favorite reasons you should take a European river cruise:

  • A very spacious river cruise ship that has no more than 197 guests.

  • Pack and unpack only once during your 7 or more day cruise.

  • Sumptuous accommodations with every conceivable cabin amenity.

  • Incredible gourmet cuisine, much of which is prepared when you order it.

  • Complimentary wines, beers, sodas and bottled water.

  • Many have complimentary small-group sightseeing excursions in every port.

  • Some ships have a gym, sauna, massage, hairdresser, pool, free internet and free use of bicycles.

  • Daily free onboard evening entertainment (usually a piano player, sometimes local groups that come on board).

  • Complimentary in-cabin Internet, entertainment systems and free movies.

  • Dock right in the center of most towns and it takes only one minute to get on/off the ship.

  • Ability to see more of a region and experience the local culture in-depth.

  • A resort-casual onboard atmosphere – leave the formal wear at home.

  • All staterooms have a river view.

I think these are all great reasons to take a European river cruise!

How Does a Europe River Cruise Compare to an Ocean Cruise?

Seabourn Quest in port—great luxury ship

Seabourn Quest in port—great luxury ship

Maybe the best way to compare is to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of transportation for your vacation.  Here is our list:

Ocean Cruise Advantages

  • Less Cost to get on ship than river cruise on some lines

  • More Ship On-Board Experiences

  • Multiple Dining Options

  • Includes room, food entertainment & visits to ports on itinerary

Ocean Cruise Disadvantages

  • Usually Extra Costs during cruise

  • Size—too many people?

  • Larger Distances between Ports

  • Shore Excursions cost extra

  • Could experience rough sailing conditions

A much smaller luxury rivership—holds 156 passengers—what a size difference between this vessel and an ocean cruise ship!

A much smaller luxury rivership—holds 156 passengers—what a size difference between this vessel and an ocean cruise ship!

River Cruise Advantages

  • Smaller, more contact with crew every day

  • A lot more chance to visit historic centers with minimum hassles—see more in less time

  • Mostly All inclusive—food, wine/beer, shore tours all included

  • Always something to see

River Cruise Disadvantages

  • Usually higher price than ocean cruise

  • Limited entertainment—no casino or big shows

  • People with mobility issues may have limits to participate in all activities

  • Could have high water/low water conditions which may restrict ability of rivership to navigate a river

We hope this gives you a good idea of the key differences between an ocean cruise on a larger ship and a river cruise on a smaller ship.

What Are the Best Routes to Go On for a European River Cruise?

Europe Rivers—you get to sail through countries instead of to a country on a big ocean cruise ship. Map courtesy of AmaWaterways

Europe Rivers—you get to sail through countries instead of to a country on a big ocean cruise ship. Map courtesy of AmaWaterways

Perhaps the best answer we could provide is to let you know about our blog and website page about the routes available for you to sail on.

Here is a short write up about the blog I wrote about Europe river cruise routes:

Summary--We are often ask “Which river should we sail on for my first Europe river cruise?”  My short answer is take multiple trips--I would sail on all of them!  However, the problem is that most of us don’t have unlimited time and money to sail them all.

So to solve this dilemma, here is our guide to the European River routes.  I will describe the river, point out a couple of highlights and why you might consider sailing on this river.  The routes may be very short or may cover larger distances.  While there are some variations, many lines essentially cruise the same route on the most popular European rivers.

Since most folks want to know what the best starting rivers are if they have never taken a European River cruise, by far the two most popular rivers are the Rhine and the Upper Danube, so let’s explore them first together.  Then will examine the remaining Europe Rivers you might want to consider for your vacation.

Ready?—Let’s cruise together!

Why it Matters?—river cruising is about the destinations and what you will get to see and experience on your European river cruise.  The wrong destination, or wrong theme can make the trip less valuable, or may even ruin your vacation.

What European Cruise Line Should They Use for Their Vacation?

Two great riverships rafted together—the AmaDolce of AmaWaterways and Uniworld’s River Royale—which is better for your vacation?

Two great riverships rafted together—the AmaDolce of AmaWaterways and Uniworld’s River Royale—which is better for your vacation?

I have written three great, detailed blogs about European cruise lines.  They should allow you to match the right vendor to you travel style and desired level of travel service and amenities.  Here is a summary of the three blogs and links, so you can learn more about this topic.

What is the Best River Cruise Company?

Summary--Perhaps the most often asked question from our clients about Europe river cruising is “What is the best Europe River Cruise Line?  It is almost always followed by: Why is it the best?

So, I googled best Europe river cruise company and got some really interesting results.  The results were all over the place—incomplete lists, reader polls, cruise critic best list(s), and two good river cruise authorities who have some well-reasoned lists.

Why such varied results?  I just don’t think you can create a best list without categories.  My preferred method is to compare all-inclusive river cruise lines together and then compare lines that may require extra costs.  I also think you have to look for how objective these lists are—the source, their qualifications to review river cruise lines and their reasons to rank one line over another.

Another key factor, in my opinion, is that all river cruises are good vacations and how valid is a best company list?—Does it have any real meaning?

Here is a key fact to support that argument—all of the 8 major lines I cover have good accommodations, free Wi-Fi, wine & beer with lunch and dinner, limited entertainment and tours included in their base fare.  At the very least, all river cruise companies are on par with premium ocean cruise companies and with a few exceptions include more than the ocean cruise lines.  

And, when you read my top 10 list below, you will see each of the 8 major lines I cover has at least one win somewhere on my lists.

Why it Matters—we all want the best trip possible and these comparisons and descriptions help you match your personal travel style to the European river cruise line that best matches your budget and desired level of comfort, while traveling in Europe to the many destinations available for your vacation.

River Cruise Vibes

Summary--I have wanted to write this blog for a long time.

Since 2009, I have studied Europe River cruising to try and learn all I could about the river cruise industry. A few industry experts have tried to make comprehensive comparisons of the different lines. Each has a slightly different approach.

We have taken a unique approach by creating a PowerPoint presentation. Our 86 slide 2019 Comparison Guide is very good but even that lacks one factor—the vibe of the line and its ships. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines vibe as “the feeling that someone or something gives you.” So, here goes—my evaluation of the vibe or feeling you will get on 8 river cruise lines.

Why it Matters—there is little information of the company vibes in one place together available to the consumer.  Did we provide a good summary of each lines feelings?  Will that help you decide on which line best fits your desired vacation experience?

Europe River Cruise Comparisons

When you are comparing European river cruise lines, it becomes rather complicated, as the details about one company compared to another really make the difference.  To help solve this problem, we have created a great, detailed comparison to help you match your travel style to the available options.

Summary--As many of you know, we have one of the best, in-depth, Europe River Cruise Comparisons available anywhere on our website.  We have updated our 2016 version to provide even more accurate information on the ever changing Europe river cruise scene.

We want to emphasize all of these river cruise lines are good values and special trips.  Many have won awards and there is really no official ranking system to provide you a valid comparison method. 

To help overcome the lack of an official ranking system, we have found that The Berlitz River Cruising in Europe & the USA guide to be as fair an evaluation as presently available to the public.  This book evaluates individual ships in its rating system instead of entire companies, so we have decided to compare the best rivership from each company to determine a ranking system as our method of comparison.

We have also provided our own personal rankings of each line with comments.

So, let’s explore these ranking together, or if you like, just go directly to our full PDF presentation at this link:

Why it Matters—this is an excellent summary—it ranks always on the first page of Google (this is earned—we have never paid to boast anything on the internet).  Getting unbiased information about the various river cruise companies is difficult.  There is no one company that is right for everyone.  We believe we know enough to guide you to the right company that matches your travel style.  Did we convince you?

My Final Thoughts

Wow—sure is a lot of information here!  This is a one stop resource to help you completely understand European river cruises.  We hope we did our job and answered all your questions.

We are travel experts, ocean and river cruise specialists, and Europe destination experts.  We have first-hand knowledge of almost anywhere you want to visit in Europe.  We know our products and the vendors who sell them to you.  We have designed special tours for dozens of clients, led several and will continue to find just the right vacation that will exceed your expectations.

When you are spending your hard-earned money for a vacation, you want an advisor who can match you with the right trip.  You want someone who will understand your expectations and fuel your anticipation (or excitement) to get you the best possible trip experience.  And, you want someone who can help you with the decision making process.  We think we have all these qualities.

Whatever your Dream Destinations are, we are here to help you get the best possible vacation based on what is important to you!  We will provide you high quality, expertly planned travel.  Please give me a call 713-397-0188 (Hank) or email me at hschrader@dreamdestinations.com.  We want to help you:  Savor life…make memories…Visit Dream Destinations!  Your journey begins here!

Hank Schrader.JPG

HANK is a certified Western European Destination Specialist (DS) who has been traveling to Europe for 45 years.  He is also an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), conferred by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).  This recognized expert in cruise and leisure travel is a retired Army Officer, and taught World Geography for 8 years.  He is a `71 graduate of West Point and has earned 2 master’s degrees.   His other Certifications:

  • AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist

  • Viking River Cruise Specialist

  • Scenic River Cruise Specialist

  • Emerald Waterways  Specialist

  • Avalon Waterways Specialist

  • Brit Agent

Best Europe River Routes--The Upper Danube, The Most Popular Europe River Cruise Route

Best Europe River Routes--The Upper Danube, The Most Popular Europe River Cruise Route

Best Europe River Routes—The Upper Danube, The Most Popular Europe River Cruise Route

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Specialist

www.dreamdestinations.com

This blog is designed to provide you comprehensive information about sailing on a rivership on the Upper Danube—the most popular river cruise route in Europe. We are providing you a chance to experience this wonderful trip by using some of the many photos we have taken during our 5 trips on this route.

So, let’s visit this magical river together and learn all about its’ wonderful sights and ports!

What Are the Top Google Searches for Europe River Cruises?

What Are the Top Google Searches for Europe River Cruises?

What Are the Top Google Searches for Europe River Cruises?

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

Today, we all do searches for information on the web.  By far, Google is the number one search engine in use today.  Basically, Google uses keywords to find the information you are looking for from other sources—websites, blogs and other items posted to the world-wide web.  While the goal of most is to be on page one of Google, the basic question is—is the information accurate and useful to the user just because it is on page one of Google?

So, I thought I would go into a minefield and tell you about what folks are looking for on the web about Europe River Cruises.  Why is it a minefield—it is often hard to tell how accurate the information is about Europe River Cruises and the vendors and writers often sing the praises of Europe River Cruising, without adequately defending their views. 

Let’s go together, with open eyes and see how we would answer these most searched topics—not only will we answer the question but tell you where we rank on Google—but please remember, just because it is popular, it doesn’t mean it is the best available information.

Also, you may Google these topics and get slightly different results, so we must consider this a snapshot at best for 1 and 2 May 2019.

Luxury Europe River Cruises

Luxury Europe River Cruises

Luxury Europe River Cruising

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

www.dreamdestinations.com

This is an important look at luxury Europe river cruising.  It is an update of a blog I first wrote in November of 2016.  My central theme of this blog is the answer to the question “What is luxury in Europe River Cruising?

A couple of years ago, the Editor-in-Chief of Travel Age West Magazine, a publication for travel professionals, posed this question to his readers and asked for comments from the field.  He basically challenged us to explain how we explain “luxury” river cruising to clients.  He also asked if we have any amenities that we feel are mandatory to classify a river cruise line as “luxury”. 

Before we begin, it is important to decide what luxury is.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines luxury as: “1) Something that is not essential but is conductive to pleasure and comfort. 2) Something that is expensive or hard to obtain. 3) Sumptuous living or surroundings.” 

But, as my lovely wife Anne points out, we all have different ideas of what luxury is.

I’m sure long time readers of this blog know Anne and I are up for this challenge, so here goes—let’s explore Europe Luxury River Cruising together!