The Da Vinci


Jerry Van Dyke introduces river cruising to Canada in 1988.

Jerry Van Dyke discovered river cruising while exploring Europe with a friend on their yacht in 1987.  Knowing this was a superior experience, he designed the first river cruise for Canadians. At the time, every river boat was family owned and designed to provide the best visual and sailing experience possible.  How things have changed!


Only 90 guests on a 113 guest river boat; we never fill the boat.

  • A superior experience.
  • Conversation in the dining room is pleasant and never muffled.
  • The Living Room consistently offers plentiful open and personal space.
  • Finding a lounge chair on the Sun Deck is never a challenge.
  • Plush couches and armchairs invite you to relax in the Sky Lounge.
  • On shore, two coaches await, not four, five or six.
  • Ancient towns like Karlstadt are not overrun with our explorations.
  • Far superior to larger boats of 140 -200 and soon to be 240 passengers


Do you go to Europe to Experience it, or sleep through it?

Longer journeys provide an experience of delightful river cruising and enchanting shore visits each day.

Every evening you overnight in lovely villages along the river side.

Most river cruises today are too short, forcing you to cruise all night, every night.


The Ultimate design – two cabin decks + a Sun Deck

Low Bridges – no problem

Two deck river boats easily glide under even the lowest bridges.  All ensuring an uninterrupted, 360° experience from the Sun Deck. The Sun Deck is never closed. How do we deal with low bridges? Please Sit Down.  

Larger, taller river boats must close the Sun Deck, often for days on end, due to the low bridges. Between Amsterdam and Vienna, there are 78!

Low or high water – no worries

Two deck river boats have a shallower draft and are not as tall as larger, three deck river boats.  We continue to sail during low and high water while three deck river boats are prone to interruption, delay, or cancellation during low or high water. Web sites flood the internet warning of low and high water periods.

Why turn your river cruise into a coach tour?


Larger boats with three cabin decks + a Sun Deck bring many unique challenges

In the 1990’s as larger companies discovered River Cruising, boats got much bigger, taller and longer.   More passengers, more profit.  The idea of enjoying the cruising part of river cruising, has largely disappeared.

As the boats got bigger, they got more expensive, resulting in a longer sailing season, even though water levels and weather did not cooperate.


Right place at the right time

Over the last 30 years, we have learned where to be in Europe, at the right time.

  • The Danube floods in spring and dries up mid-summer. On larger boats, your cruise turns into a coach tour.
  • The Rhine exhibits the best weather and water levels in May & June and in September & October.
  • Tulips are only found in the spring in the Netherlands. Netherlands and Belgium are very, very busy in summer.


We charter the Da Vinci, to design the entire experience and cater it to Canadians.

We charter the Da Vinci from a Dutch family who grew up on the rivers. With their river experience and our Canadian guest experience, our cruises provide the finest river cruise experience available today.


Proudly flying the Canadian flag while sailing the European Waterways since 1988

We remain the only Canadian company to charter our own river boats.


Canadian, Family owned and operated since 1980.

Da Vinci river cruises include;

Our unique 360° experience! No sun deck restrictions.

  • Only 96 guests on a 113 guest ship. Divine!
  • All inclusive journeys priced in Canadian funds
  • All shore excursions with local guides
  • 100% smoke-free atmosphere, including outside decks and entry platform
  • No formal nights
  • Free Wifi
  • Unlimited use of the sun deck and lounge, only available on a two deck riverboat
  • Wines of the region, beer, soft drinks and juices with dinner
  • All meals daily while on board and while on shore excursions
  • 24 hour cappuccino, hot chocolate, coffee, tea and ice machine
  • Coffee and tea service morning and afternoon in the lounge
  • World class European cuisine
  • Lunches included while on shore excursions
  • Bottled water in your cabin
  • All gratuities to ship’s staff, local guides, coach drivers, porters, Journey Managers, attraction guides.
  • All admissions while on tour
  • Welcome reception and farewell dinner
  • Private car pick up service
  • Our famous little surprises!
  • All taxes, (even the HST and VAT) port charges
  • Round-trip airfare with transfers
  • Services of professional Journey Managers in addition to your local guides and ship staff









European River Cruises on the DaVinci

 Contact us for information on our current journeys or request a Free Journal with all the up to date details and pricing!
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