The Big Three: Out of the ordinary river cruises for friends

The Big Three: Out of the ordinary river cruises for friends

The great thing about river cruising is that there are surprises everywhere and, for friends, there are ample opportunities to charter out entire ships. 

You just need a little imagination and knowledge of your customer to sell them: pitch a Unesco site-heavy cruise to a historian, a canal cruise to an engineer. The possibilities are endless and the rewards are potentially enormous.

Following on from the publication of Cruise Adviser’s River 2015-16 guide, each week we will be running our Big Three feature, which gives you a trio of cruise options to choose from. This week it’s river cruises for friends who say ‘surprise us’.

To request a copy of Cruise Adviser’s River guide email: or click here to read the digital version. Our Family guide is out now.


Line: Avalon
River: Amazon
Departure port: Iquitos
Duration: 12 days
Date: November 14, 2015
Price: £5,885

An amazing tour that starts in Lima, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu before embarking on an Amazon cruise. What better place for a group of horticulturalists than the garden of the world? There is also an option to add a two-night journey in the ancient Nazca Lines for any agent that is feeling especially enterprising.


Line: Gota Kanal Steamship Company
River: Gota Canal   
Departure port: Gothenburg
Duration: Six days
Date: June-August 2015
Price: £1,500


This is one off the beaten path and tailor-made for clients who want something  a little different. Taking passengers right through the heart of rural Sweden, the Gota Kanal Steamship Company operates these vessels for passengers who haven’t got to be anywhere in a rush – guests are encouraged to turn off their mobile phones – as the itinerary takes in Gothenburg and Stockholm.Charters are also available.


Line: Sanctuary Retreats
River: Nile
Departure port: Luxor
Duration: Four nights-plus
Date: Charter only
Price: £1,610 per night for 12 guests


Sanctuary Retreats luxury dahabiya, the Zein Nile Chateau, is available for private charter only. Capable of handling 12 guests in its six cabins, this vessel is certainly on the high-end of things. Past occupants of the vessel have included some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. So you’re looking for some affluent clients who like the finer things in life – and have the budget to match.

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