River cruising has long been the domain of the more, ahem, mature set, with families relegated to oceangoing ships. In July 2016, AmaWaterways launched sailings on AmaViola that are designed for families, in partnership with Adventures by Disney. Even the staterooms are designed with the whole clan in mind: The ship has multiple connecting cabins, plus suites with convertible sofas. The family-friendliness goes well beyond those pull-out couches. These trips are a lot different from a Disney ocean cruise, though. You won’t see Mickey and Minnie on the ship, but you can expect to visit lots of castles.
Why Kids Will Love It: Shore excursions include strudel making in Vienna and romps through “The Sound of Music” movie locations in Salzburg. Families can also borrow bikes for rides along the Danube. Back on board there are Disney movie nights for the kids (and wine tastings for grown-ups).
The Details: Danube River cruises on AmaViola take place during July and August, plus there are two holiday-themed cruises with December departures that are timed with the Christmas markets. AmaWaterways is launching AmaKristina in 2017, which will host Rhine River cruises in partnerships with Disney during the summer months. Children age 6 and up are allowed on Disney cruises. Outside of these sailings, children 4 and over are allowed on the ship but there are no special programs for kids.