River Boats – The Class of 2014

A Condé Nast Traveller Reader’s Choice of the Best River Boats:

Viking Longship Var Follow Me on Pinterest

Viking Longship Var

Each year Condé Nast Traveller magazine conducts a readers’ poll to vote for the best passenger ship in the various categories. Given the ever increasing popularity of river cruising, river cruise ships are now a category of the Condé Nast Traveller survey.

Survey Criteria

The Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Survey rates each river boat based on seven criteria: itineraries, shore excursions, crew/service, cabins, food/dining, activities/facilities and design/layout.  Each river boat is then judged on the highest overall score.  Only boats that receive the required minimum number of responses were eligible to be included in the rankings.

With Viking launching ten new “Longships” in 2013 (Viking Aegir, Viking Atla, Viking Bragi, Viking Embla, Viking Forseti, Viking Jarl, Viking Rinda, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor and Viking Var) and another twelve to come in 2014, it’s not surprising that with the largest river boat fleet, several of their boats are in the top river boats list.

Top Ten River Boats

Of the Top Ten river boats selected by Condé Nast readers, five were from Viking River Cruises, two from Grand Circle and two from Tauck.  It should be noted that the Condé Nast survey is mostly an American survey. Nevertheless, here are the results:


RiverboatOperatorNo.of PassengersOverall Score
1Longship OdinViking19097.7
2ProvenceGrand Circle 4697.6
3River AllegroGrand Circle9097.2
4Swiss EmeraldTauck11896.9
7Swiss SapphireTauck11896.2
8Viking HelvetiaViking19895.7
9Viking PrestigeViking18895.7
10Viking RurikViking19695.6


What about you? What do you think?


  1. avatarEdwina Grant says

    I simply have a question for any of you seasoned riverboat cruisers. A few articles I have read comment on the thin un-soundproofed walls between rooms. We are taking our first riverboat cruise in May on the Beatrice. We have secured a Jr.Suite. Do you suppose we will encounter this on this particular riverboat. We are so looking forward to the trip, but have a few concerns if we will be dealing with getting to know our neighbors better than we wish. Has anyone experienced such problems?



    • avatar says


      We’ve been on three riverboat cruises and noise from neighbouring rooms has never come up as an issue.

      We’ve not travelled on the Beatrice but the fact that it got voted best riverboat in the Conde Nast poll says a lot about customer satisfaction. Below are some further reviews by past passengers for your reading.


      Uniworld’s boats are really classy and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. But just in case you’re unlucky enough to have a very loud neighbour, can I suggest that you take some ear plugs with you to ensure a good night’s sleep. They’re always handy on planes as well. You’ll find that during the day, most people are in the lounge or on the sundeck enjoying the magnificent sights.

      Cheers and have a great holiday.

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