One of the most delightful aspects of traveling is the chance to sample and enjoy the food of the region. On a river cruise the chefs work to ensure that the cuisine is fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced, so you won’t need to leave the ship to enjoy beautifully prepared regional specialities.
Here is the essential information about dining on a river cruise:
The Main Dining Room Experience
The main dining room is where you will find the biggest selection for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tables are not assigned, so dine as a couple, with your group – or branch out and make new friends! You will have a variety of options for your meal, ranging from simple favorites to fine dining. Furthermore, since all meals are prepared to order, you can always ask the chef to prepare something for you that is not on the menu.
Other Unique Dining Options
Many river cruises offer other dining options as well. These may include breakfast, appetizers, and light meals available in the lounge; meals served al fresco on the top deck; or the 7-course tasting menu offered at AmaWaterways Chef’s Table. In most cases, dining in these other venues is included in your cruise price, but sometimes there is a small additional charge. Be sure to check these details ahead of time so you can take full advantage of all offerings.
Beverages on Board
You will find many ways to enjoy libations on a river cruise! The bar in the main lounge is a popular place to hang out and you will find a wide variety of top shelf liquors, local beers, wines, and popular international brands. Make sure to ask whether alcoholic beverages are included in the price of your river cruise, as some cruises are fully inclusive while others price alcohol a la carte.
Getting a Meal on Dry Land
Of course, you can also choose to enjoy some of your meals on shore while the ship is docked. Many trips include excursions with opportunities to sample local food and beverages – wine tastings in the wine regions of France and Germany are particularly popular. But feel free to head off on your own to find a local restaurant where you can enjoy a meal. If you need any suggestions for where to dine, your Cruise Manager will be happy to provide recommendations.
Accommodating Allergies and Dietary Restrictions
Whether you are vegetarian, Keto, or have dietary restrictions due to a food allergy or intolerance, the incredible kitchen team on your river cruise will be able to accommodate your needs. When you book your cruise, be sure to let the cruise line know if there are any special considerations required for your diet. You will find that they will work hard to make sure these needs are met so you can relax and enjoy yourself while also enjoying the food!
I hope that this guide helped you to understand the dining options on a river cruise. If you have any questions about specific offerings on the cruise you are considering, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Kira Gartner is the owner of Blue Sky Destinations, a boutique travel agency specializing in river cruises, luxury expedition cruises and customized European vacations. For years she has helped curious travelers plan vacations that allow them to unwind, reconnect, and immerse themselves fully in a destination. Reach out to her for a free consultation - and let her start designing your dream vacation!