The nicko cruises River Experience


For more than 30 years, the nicko brand has been synonymous with unforgettable river travel experiences, offering top service and a personal touch at the best value for money, and all on a full programme of award-winning European River Cruises.

As a specialist in small-ship cruising, we not only draw on our own experience, but also on an international network of partners, in order to implement the nicko cruises philosophy. We venture deep into the heart of destinations, allowing guests more time to explore ashore and, that includes on our festive sailings.

In 2023, we have several river cruises available for those that want to enjoy the atmosphere and experiences of a traditional European Christmas and New Year. Uncover the beauty of destinations including Budapest, Bratislava, Melk, Mainz, and more, at what can only be described as the most magical time of the year.



General Information – RIVER CRUISES


For each river cruise, we include a selection of excursions featuring the most popular or interesting destinations on your cruise. Additional excursions can also be booked on board and are often subject to a minimum number of participants. Unless stated otherwise, excursions will generally take place with maximum group sizes from 30 to 50 participants. If you do not participate in an excursion you have booked, the cost will not be reimbursed. Please note that due to high or low water, certain weather conditions, changes in mooring allocations at the destination ports or waiting times at the sluices, there may be delays and changes to the excursion programme, such as changes to the exit or boarding point. Please also note: theatre performances are dependent on the performance schedule, which can change at short notice

Language on board

The language on board all nicko cruises ships is English and German. Since nicko cruises is increasingly opening up to the international market, it may be that foreign-language tour groups will be on board for individual departures. In such cases, announcements over loudspeaker or during evening events are made in English, German as well as the respective foreign language of the tour group.


On certain dates and certain ships, a dialysis machine will be available, which can be used by dialysis patients.  Please contact our partner Cruise Dialysis directly on 0844 995 1214 who can handle your dialysis booking requirements.

Embarkation and disembarkation

You will receive detailed embarkation information with the precise berth at the embarkation point with your travel documents. Ships must sometimes change their berths at short notice despite what has been officially confirmed. If you plan to travel independently, please note the precise embarkation times. Even if the ship arrives in the port earlier than planned, the crew must use this time to clean the ship. Please understand that you will not be able to board the ship until the specified time. It is not possible to accept your luggage before 1:00 p.m.

Electrical appliances

Irons, kettles, straightening irons, immersion heaters and similar appliances must not be used in the cabins for safety reasons. All ships are equipped with a hairdryer in the cabins. The voltage in your cabin is 220 volts. Two-pin European plug adapters are required.

First aid on board/Health

A doctor is present on board the nicko cruises ships on all 12/15/17-day Danube trips to provide first aid in emergency situations. Of course, doctors are available at short notice ashore as well. Billing for the on-board doctor’s services and, if applicable, medication that has been administered, is carried out on site. Our on-board staff (e.g., at the reception desk) are unable to dispense any medication. Please ensure that you have an adequate supply of any medication you need on a regular basis and carry it with you in your hand luggage. You should also have enough medication that you might need such as headache tablets. We assume no liability for any medication that is carried in your suitcase. We recommend that you take out international health insurance including repatriation. All ships are subject to strict hygiene regulations, which are constantly monitored by the ship’s management. For your own safety we have hand disinfection equipment in multiple places around the ship, which every guest should use as often as possible to prevent the inadvertent dissemination of pathogens on board the ship. With many ships, the transportation of oxygen equipment on board is possible on request. Please note, however, that temporary power fluctuations can occur on the ship. It is generally not permitted to carry oxygen tanks on coaches.

Guests with physical limitations

Your ship will be as comfortable as possible, but there will of course be staircases, as well as narrow doors and corridors. The entry over the predominantly narrow gangways is not always at ground level; it can also happen that ships lie “in a pack” and you have to go via another ship to get onto your actual ship, or get on board via the sun deck. In general, none of our river cruise ships are equipped for disabled persons. If you require specialised help, you must travel with a companion. Our crew is of course on hand to help; however, please bear in mind that our employees are not trained caregivers and are not permitted to carry out any nursing activities. We are happy to advise you in person as to whether a river cruise would be suitable for you. Please let us know about any possible limitations before booking the cruise.

Internet on board

On many nicko cruise ships, internet connection in the form of WLAN is included in your cruise fare for one device only. Continuous reception cannot always be guaranteed; there may be temporary interruptions to network coverage on sections of the cruise. Please understand that we are unable to reimburse you for coverage interruptions. In order to guarantee a stable internet service, there are restrictions on certain streaming providers and internet services. For more information, please refer to the on-board ABC information in your cabin. If you have any questions, please contact the reception desk staff who will be happy to help.

Children on board

Children up to and including 11 years of age are given a discount on the cabin price if they are sharing a cabin on board with their parents. Accommodation for a child with two parents is possible in a 3-bed cabin (where available). This predominantly involves two lower folding beds and one upper folding bed. On some of our Danube ships, the accompanying child has the option of sleeping on an extra fold-out bed. Despite this possibility, our cruises are not generally suitable for children. There are no separate child-friendly entertainment programmes, childcare, toys, child seats or cribs offered for children on board. Children under 3 years of age are not allowed on board.


During the day on the ship and during the excursions on land, we recommend wearing casual clothing. You should wear non-slip shoes on the outside decks. We recommend a jumper for cooler evenings and solid, comfortable footwear for shore excursions. Don’t forget to bring headwear, sunglasses and something to protect you from the rain. In this context, please bear in mind that the customs of the countries we visit, which often have religious roots, may often be different to our own. Churches, monasteries, temples and mosques are primarily places of worship. Please choose your clothing accordingly. Above all, shorts, short skirts and sleeveless tops are not appropriate in these religious locations. Smart clothing is required for dinner. You are welcome to wear formal attire for the Gala dinner.

Shore excursions

Shore excursions organised and put together for you by nicko cruises take you to the most important sights along your cruise route. You are, of course, welcome to explore the holiday destination on your own. You are able to leave the ship when the authorities and ship’s captain have officially approved disembarkation and the corresponding announcement has been made. Please refer to the daily programme for information on when you should be back on board. A ship is unable to wait for late passengers due to the berthing and sluice times agreed with the harbour. Any extra costs incurred (e.g., hotel costs or additional transfer costs to the next port) are not borne by nicko cruises/Light Blue Travel.

Multi-bed cabins

On some nicko cruises ships, we offer the option of booking three-person cabins. These cabins are not necessarily any roomier than conventional double cabins. The third bed is either an extra mobile bed or a fold-out bed on the upper wall.

Services not included in the price

Please note that the following services are not included in our package prices: travel to/from the airport, premium shore excursions – if not expressly stated as being included in the travel price – travel insurance and other personal expenses.


Please check that all necessary papers and records are valid well in advance of your trip. We would like to point out that you are responsible for having the appropriate travel documents and visas, and for complying with the vaccination requirements. In the event of non-compliance with the passport and visa regulations, travel may be prevented or it can lead to considerable costs for the passenger. If a cruise cannot be taken due to improper documentation, there will be no refund of the travel price. Please read up about any customs regulations along your cruise route in advance of departure.


Flights are carefully selected by us and booked through well-known airlines. Flight times detailed with your final cruise documents are non-binding, as we have no influence on any changes to these times made by the airline. Please note that requests for rebooking flights must be checked and may be subject to any charges made by the airline.

Guests with physical limitations

Your ship will be as comfortable as possible, but there will of course be staircases, as well as narrow doors and corridors. Even boarding or disembarking from the ship is usually via narrow gangways, which are not always at ground level and, depending on the tide, can also be very steep. If you are not able to handle these obstacles on your own, an ocean cruise on our ships is not recommended. Our crew is of course on hand to help, however, please bear in mind that our onboard employees are not trained caregivers and are not permitted to carry out any nursing activities. If you require specialised help, you must travel with a companion. Guests who are wheel-chair dependent may travel on VASCO DA GAMA but must bring their own collapsible wheelchair. Please note that the number of guests per cruise who are wheelchair dependent is limited for safety reasons and embarkation may be refused without prior registration. Please ensure you advise us of any specific needs, limited mobility or other physical limitations prior to making your booking.

Internet on board

Both WORLD VOYAGER and VASCO DA GAMA is equipped with a satellite reception system and offers WLAN internet connection which is included in your cruise fare for one device only. Additional data can be purchased for a fee for other devices once onboard. Continuous reception cannot always be guaranteed; there may be interruptions to network coverage on the high seas. Please understand that we are unable to reimburse you for costs caused by coverage interruptions. In order to guarantee a stable internet service, there are restrictions on certain streaming providers and internet services. For more information, please refer to the on-board ABC information in your cabin. If you have any questions, please contact the reception desk staff who will be happy to help.


Your cabin number is usually provided with your booking confirmation. You are welcome to make a cabin request when booking, but please note these are requests and they are not binding; however, details about cabin numbers are expressly not a contractual component. Noises and smells typical of a ship, for example from the ship’s engine, the air conditioning system or ventilation, etc., can be heard in almost every room. The cabins with the note “aft” are located to the rear of the ship. In these cabins, engine noises are increasingly audible when the ship is in motion. In the cabins at the front of the ship, the noise from the bow thruster is amplified during mooring manoeuvres and sluice passages. All cabins are outside cabins with a window or porthole. Please note that the line of sight may be reduced slightly due to staircases/struts.

Passenger manifest

For all of our cruises we require information from you in advance of departure in order to draw up a passenger manifest. This helps the ship to be cleared faster by the authorities in the various ports we visit and therefore shortens waiting times for you. Information provided for this passenger manifest is subject to the Privacy Policy. You will receive your personal log-in details for the online registration of the manifest data with your booking confirmation.


Please check that all necessary papers and records are valid well in advance of your trip. We would like to point out that you are responsible for having the appropriate travel documentation, visas and for complying with the vaccination requirements. In the event of non-compliance with the passport, visa and vaccination regulations, travel may be prevented or it can lead to considerable costs for the passenger. If a cruise cannot be taken due to improper documentation, there will be no refund of the travel price. You will not need a visa for the Russian Federation when travelling as part of our excursion programme in St. Petersburg. If you plan on taking shore leave in St. Petersburg on your own, a visa is a mandatory requirement. The visa is not included in our travel services and each guest is responsible for procuring their own visa. You can obtain a visa for Russia either directly through the responsible consulate/embassy service centre in your country or use a visa service to apply on your behalf. Please read up about any customs regulations along your cruise route in advance of departure.


You can send most post while on board. The post will usually be sent when we reach the next port. Postcards and postage stamps can be purchased at the reception desk on board, but please bear in mind that prices are often more expensive than they are ashore.

Changes to prices and services

1.The details printed in our brochure are correct at the time of printing. Please understand we reserve the right to make changes to the services for objective reasons up until your booking request is submitted. We will, of course, inform you of these changes before concluding the contract.

2. The prices stated in our brochure and on our website are correct at the time of printing/publishing, however we reserve the right to make necessary changes were necessary. Please refer to our Booking Conditions for more information.

3. Price adjustments may be necessary in the case of increased transport costs (particularly fuel costs), port fees aviation costs, the so called ‘bed tax’ or a change in exchange rates applicable to the cruise in questions.


Smoking is only permitted on the outside deck (and on most ships only in the designated areas). On all our ships, all interior areas such as restaurants, lounges, cabins, corridors, etc. are non-smoking areas.

Travel documents

The travel documents are ready for dispatch approx. 14 days before departure and will be sent to you by e-mail immediately after payment has been received. The travel documents contain important information, including embarkation information. In individual cases, the documents may be delayed and not arrive until a few days before departure.

Itinerary/dates of travel

For one-off trips, the specific travel date as well as the individual week days are specified in the travel itinerary. For travel dates with different (or rotating) week days, day 1 and the following days in the itinerary refer to the date we have specified under travel dates as the travel date.

Changes to routes and services

River cruises are dependent on nature – for example, heavy rain or long periods of drought can have a negative impact on the water level. High and low tide, certain weather conditions or delays during sluice and bridge passages may make it necessary to change the travel itinerary. Strikes may also lead to changes to routes and services. In extreme scenarios, we will use another means of transport available for river sections that are impassable or we will organise accommodation in a hotel for the days of travel affected. Certain programme items may not be included as a result. nicko cruises also reserves the right to make any changes to the order of the ports we will be visiting.


Each ship has a berth in each port, which is usually allocated at short notice or can also be changed by the authorities at short notice. It is not always centrally located and is often not in the first berth on the landing pier; instead, the ship will moor up “in a pack” with several other ships berthed alongside each other. In this case, you may only be able to see the neighbouring ship out of your cabin window and it may be a bit noisy and smelly in the layover. Consequently, if you do go ashore, the route may take you over and through other ships. Please note that the view may also be impaired by pontoons and quay walls during the layover.

Ship equipment

On every nicko cruises river cruise ship, you’ll find a cosy lounge with wonderful views. In the evening, our on-board musicians will enjoy playing for you. Daily information events and an entertainment programme (varies depending on the ship) will be promoted in the daily programme which is delivered to your cabin each evening. Some ships have additional lounges, which are ideal for reading and playing games in small groups. Some ships have small fitness areas available, which you can use free of charge, and massages at extra charge. Use them at your own risk. On the sun decks of our ships, you’ll always find comfortable chairs, tables and usually also deckchairs and sun protection. Please understand that there are limited numbers and there are the maximum number possible for the deck space. Please note that nicko cruises ships are not accessible to disabled persons.


On many nicko cruises ships, it is possible to make calls on board from cabin to cabin. On many ships, it is also possible to call ashore via a satellite link. The costs of this, however, are high and we recommend using your own mobile phone if you would like to phone home (please check with your provider for information on roaming charges).


Due to the lack of space on board, we are unfortunately unable to allow pets or transport bicycles.


It is common practice around the world for a satisfied guest to reward the services of staff accordingly. The amount tipped is, of course, at the guest’s discretion and should be in recognition of good service. For your convenience we have included the cost of gratuities in the cruise fare, however if you still wish to reward staff that have given you good service, please feel free to do so. The cruise director, local tour guides and bus drivers are not included in this. You can, however, also thank them by giving them a tip.

Drinking water

As the fresh water on board the ship is always stored in tanks, we recommend not drinking the tap water and getting mineral water from the bar or restaurant instead. The water is perfectly suitable for brushing teeth. With the exception of nickoVISION: the tap water on this ship is of drinking-water quality.


Ships that have televisions work with a satellite dish, so television reception is guaranteed for most of the trip. There may be short-term interference with reception when passing under bridges or with layovers in sluices and on certain other sections of the route.


All nicko cruises ships are full board and information relating to the services included in your cruise can be found in your trip details. Depending on the cruise route, the catering may include local cuisine. Breakfast is offered on all ships in a buffet style. Lunch and dinner are served at your table; however, a light lunch buffet can be served as an alternative. Selected meals are sometimes also offered in a buffet style. On board nickoVISION and nickoSPIRIT you can enjoy meals in an open dining style in three different restaurants. When making your booking, please also indicate any special diets or food intolerances. Suitable catering options will usually always be provided


Some cabins are equipped with a small safe box in which you can store your valuables. On some ships, a shared safe is available at the reception desk. However, we recommend that you do not take things such as expensive jewellery, etc. on the cruise. We sometimes visit parts of the world in which for our standards lower affluence levels are considered abundant riches, and the display of valuables can evoke covetousness. Valuables, such as cameras, jewellery, cash and other expensive items, must be carried in your hand luggage. We would point out that nicko cruises is not liable for the loss of valuables in unaccompanied baggage you have checked in.

Payment on board

The currency on board is the Euro. You can pay for additional beverages you consume outside of your drinks package, on board and trips booked on board at the end of your journey in cash in Euro. You can of course also pay your onboard bill using your credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express) or your debit card. Please note that paying with a credit card will incur a transaction fee. In some circumstances, foreign travel charges may be incurred by your bank or credit card company for card payments. Please note: money cannot be exchanged on the ship.

Call our Reservations Team on

01223 568907

or email


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