We previously asked the question of whether a balcony is needed during a cruise along the world’s waterways but, having come to the conclusion that there are many benefits to this, we thought we would take a look at the different balcony options available on a European river cruise.
Not all staterooms will feature an outside space but most ships will have at least a few rooms that do. Depending on which operator you sail with and the grade of cabin you choose, you may have access to one of the following types of balcony.
Step Out/Full Balcony
Full balconies are a familiar sight on ocean ships, offering a good-sized outside area in which to sit. However, due to the tight width restrictions that river vessels have to adhere to in order to transit various locks, they are rarely found on inland waterways. Full balconies are usually separated from the main stateroom via a glass door and provide a great vantage point from which to watch the scenery float past. Operators offering ships with these include Scenic Tours and Viking River Cruises.
French or Juliet balconies are much more common on the rivers as they don’t require any extra space outside the confines of the stateroom. Again, they are separated from the living space by a glass door but this time the railing is immediately on the other side. You can still sit and soak up the beautiful views but you will be inside rather than on an extended decking area. Cruise lines offering French balconies include Tauck, A-Rosa and Riviera Travel.
The twin balcony concept is a great way of giving you, the guest, the best of both worlds. Not only do you have a walk-out balcony on one side of the room, but there’s a French balcony too. This means that you have a sitting area to enjoy whatever the weather. Both AmaWaterways and Viking River Cruises offer twin balconies in the higher graded cabins of their newer ships.
Open-air balconies are becoming more and more popular on board newer ships, as they are a great way to maximise space within the stateroom. The specific design will vary between cruise lines but the basic concept is that you have a panoramic window which turns into a balcony at the touch of a button. By flicking the switch, the top half of the window will glide down and tuck neatly behind the railing to effectively turn the whole room into a balcony. This piece of innovation allows the light and fresh air to flood in but means you won’t get wet if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Amadeus River Cruises, Uniworld and Emerald Waterways are among the cruise lines that have adopted this approach.
With all the options available, you are bound to find a balcony style to suit your preferences. Our knowledgeable team will be able to suggest a ship with the balcony you are looking for, so contact us today to plan your next river cruise adventure.