Nicko Cruises River Cruises Review: Cruise Ship Guide, Itineraries, Bookings & Deals

Nicko Cruises River Cruises offers an enchanting journey through the heart of Europe’s most iconic waterways. With a fleet of elegantly appointed river ships, Nicko Cruises provides guests with a unique opportunity to explore the picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and vibrant cities that line the Danube, Rhine, Main, Moselle, and other legendary rivers. Combining luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, and immersive cultural experiences, Nicko Cruises River Cruises invites travelers to embark on a voyage of discovery unlike any other. Nicko Cruises traces its roots back to 1994 when the company was founded in Germany with the goal of providing high-quality river cruises that showcase the beauty and diversity of Europe’s waterways. Over the years, Nicko Cruises has earned a reputation for excellence, becoming a preferred choice for travelers seeking authentic and immersive travel experiences.

In a Nutshell…

  1. Diverse Fleet: Nicko Cruises boasts a fleet of 19 river ships, each tailored to specific routes and nautical conditions. Ships range from exclusive 40-bed yachts to chic vessels with over 200 beds.
  2. Luxury and Comfort: All Nicko Cruises ships offer high-quality accommodations akin to a 4 to 5-star hotel on land.
  3. Boutique Ships: Some ships fall under the “boutique” category, characterized by small, grand hotel-style vessels with tasteful furnishings and unique decors.
  4. Danube Cruises:
    • nickoVISION: Accommodates 220 passengers.
    • MAXIMA: Space for 180 passengers.
  5. Rhine & Tributaries Cruises:
    • nickoSPIRIT: Accommodates 170 passengers.
    • RHEIN SYMPHONIE: Space for 196 passengers.
  6. Douro Cruises:
    • DOURO QUEEN: Accommodates 130 passengers.
    • DOURO SERENITY: Space for 126 passengers.
  7. Rhône & Saône, Seine Cruises:
    • BIJOU DU RHÔNE: Accommodates 150 passengers.
    • SEINE COMTESSE: Space for 150 passengers.
  8. Elbe & Oder Cruises:
    • KATHARINA VON BORA: Boutique ship with 80 passengers.
  9. Dalmatian Coast Cruises:
    • PRINCESS: Accommodates 40 passengers.
  10. Asia Cruises:
    • MEKONG NAVIGATOR: Boutique ship with 68 passengers.

History of the Nicko Cruises

Nicko Cruises Schiffsreisen GmbH, a leading provider of river cruises in Europe, has established a robust presence in the cruising industry, offering modern and comfortable river travel experiences. With a fleet that adheres to German standards equivalent to 4 to 5-star hotels on land, Nicko Cruises has garnered a reputation for excellent customer service and a wide range of itineraries across numerous tourist waterways and coastal regions.

With over 30 years of experience, Nicko Cruises has evolved from a prominent river cruise provider to a well-known operator of small ships with destination-oriented ocean routes. The company’s fleet, composed of modern and comfortable vessels, encompasses 22 river ships and the classic ocean-going vessel, VASCO DA GAMA. Nicko Cruises’ “time to discover” philosophy emphasizes rich and intensive travel experiences, offering “slow cruising” with small ships and extended anchorage times, allowing guests ample time for exploration and discovery.

Nicko Cruises takes pride in offering culturally immersive itineraries with extended overnight stays, providing guests with unforgettable experiences and moments of relaxation. The company’s focus on small-ship cruising, both river and ocean, creates an intimate and personalized cruising experience, allowing travelers to explore the beauty of European rivers, the Mediterranean, and other coastal regions in a relaxed and culturally enriching manner.

Nicko Cruises’ commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in the experiences shared by its passengers. While some travelers have expressed concerns about excursions being overpriced and the cancellation of cruises, many have praised the helpful and courteous crew, the variety of cultural experiences, and the enjoyable trips they have had with the company. The positive feedback about the ships, service, and excursions underlines the company’s dedication to providing exceptional river cruise experiences.

Nicko Cruises’ all-inclusive river cruises cover selected shore excursions, gratuities, Wi-Fi, and a drinks package, which provides guests with peace of mind regarding hidden costs. The company’s focus on sourcing local produce for meals and offering a range of cultural and culinary experiences on board contributes to the immersive and inclusive nature of its river cruises, catering to various preferences and budgets.

As Nicko Cruises continues to invest in its fleet, introducing new innovative river vessels and an expedition ship, the company’s commitment to delivering exceptional river and ocean cruise experiences remains steadfast. The extensive variety of products and itineraries, combined with outstanding service and attention to detail, reflects the company’s vision for offering diverse and personalized travel experiences tailored to the needs of every traveler.

Nicko Cruises’ legacy as a leading provider of river cruises in Europe is marked by its dedication to exceptional service, culturally immersive experiences, and a commitment to providing unforgettable river travel experiences. The company’s evolution into a well-known operator of small ships with destination-oriented ocean routes underscores its enduring legacy and its vision for the future of river and ocean cruising.

This review provides a comprehensive exploration of Nicko Cruises’ historical significance, commitment to exceptional river travel experiences, and dedication to delivering immersive and inclusive river and ocean cruises, showcasing the company’s remarkable journey and its vision for the future of cruising.

Destinations of Nicko Cruises

  1. Rhine & Moselle River:
    • Key Destinations: Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Cochem, Koblenz, Rüdesheim, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Nijmegen, Bonn, Cologne, Antwerp, and Arnhem.
    • The Rhine and Moselle rivers wind through picturesque landscapes, medieval castles, and charming towns. Guests can savor the allure of historic cities and vineyard-draped hillsides.
  2. Danube River:
    • Key Destinations: Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava.
    • The Danube, Europe’s second-longest river, meanders through cultural gems, offering glimpses of imperial palaces, lively markets, and architectural marvels.
  3. Douro River:
    • Key Destinations: Porto, Guimarães, and Salamanca.
    • The Douro River flows through Portugal’s wine country, where terraced vineyards produce the renowned port wine. Guests can explore charming villages and indulge in local flavors.
  4. Rhone & Saône Rivers:
    • Key Destinations: Lyon, Arles, and Avignon.
    • These rivers traverse the heart of France, revealing Roman ruins, lavender fields, and exquisite cuisine. Guests can immerse themselves in art, history, and Provençal charm.
  5. Seine River:
    • Key Destinations: Paris, Rouen, and Giverny.
    • The Seine epitomizes elegance, flowing past iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral. Guests can relish Parisian sophistication and explore Normandy’s historic sites.
  6. No-Fly River Cruises:
    • Nicko Cruises offers no-fly options via Eurostar rail connections:
      • Seine Voyages: Depart from London St Pancras International to Paris.
      • Rhine Voyages: Depart from London to Cologne.
      • Rhône and Saône Voyages: Depart from London to Lyon.
    • Comfortable Eurostar trains provide a scenic journey, allowing guests to embark directly from European cities without air travel.
  7. Ocean Cruises:
    • Nicko Cruises’ ocean ships explore diverse regions:
      • Western Europe
      • South America
      • Morocco
      • Cape Verde Islands
      • West Africa
      • Canary Islands
      • Mediterranean
      • Northern Europe
      • The Pacific


The fleet of Nicko Cruises River Cruises is comprised of modern and stylish river ships that offer comfort, elegance, and all the amenities guests need for a relaxing and enjoyable journey. From spacious cabins with panoramic views to inviting lounges and restaurants serving delicious cuisine, every aspect of the ship is designed with the guest’s comfort and enjoyment in mind.

One of the highlights of a Nicko Cruises River Cruise is the opportunity to explore some of Europe’s most enchanting destinations along the way. From the fairytale castles of the Rhine Valley to the medieval towns of the Danube, each port of call offers a unique glimpse into the rich history, culture, and traditions of the region. Guests can join guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides, visit historic landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage sites, or simply wander the cobblestone streets and soak in the charm of these iconic destinations.

In addition to cultural excursions, Nicko Cruises also offers a variety of onboard activities and entertainment to enhance the guest experience. From informative lectures and cooking demonstrations to live music and themed dinners, there is always something to enjoy on board. Guests can also take advantage of the ship’s wellness facilities, including fitness centers, spas, and sun decks, where they can relax and unwind while taking in the scenic views.

Nicko Cruises is committed to sustainable and responsible travel practices, and the company works closely with local communities and environmental organizations to minimize its impact on the delicate ecosystems of Europe’s rivers. From reducing single-use plastics to implementing energy-efficient technologies, Nicko Cruises is dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the destinations it visits.

Whether you’re exploring the historic cities of Budapest and Vienna, cruising past the vineyards of the Moselle Valley, or marveling at the dramatic landscapes of the Rhine Gorge, a Nicko Cruises River Cruise promises an unforgettable journey through the heart of Europe. With its luxurious accommodations, exceptional service, and immersive cultural experiences, Nicko Cruises invites travelers to embark on a voyage of discovery and create memories that will last a lifetime.

– Reviewed by Contributing Author Silvester Thomson

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N.B. – The information on this review has been compiled by contributing author and Cruise Expert Silvester Thomson for and is provided “as is” for the convenience of online readers. The Sources come from personal opinions, online research on official and unofficial websites, and in some cases with the help of AI generated content. It should not be taken as fact, as it can be mistaken or altered by future ship modifications from the cruise line done after review. does not and cannot verify all information and should not be taken as granted fact. All readers must take measures to find reliable facts by their travel agent or from the official page of the cruise line to verify any doubts.

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