Here is a simple checklist to decide which option is the best one for you. If you are a first timer with a boat then bareboat is not an option for you. For first timers a sailing instructor on board may work well. Now choose the boat. Too small may feel cramped. See the number of people on board and then select one. Check if the boat is well equipped and clean. New is always not the best. See the amenities available on board.
There's also one that has caught my attention - they just opened up their cruises to the No. American market - Arosa. We checked out one of their boats when were were on our river cruise and were impressed with it. While we've not sailed on them, clients we have who spent time on them were impressed.
Tauck & Scenic Tours are the best, but they're also luxury class, so alot more expensive than the others.
We're hooked on river cruises and can't wait to go again - truly a wonderful way to visit cities on the rivers that you can't get to on an ocean cruise.
__________________ 47 Cruises & Counting! Favorites: Paul Gauguin to Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises in Europe; any of the Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America for 12-nights in the Baltics & Russia; RCCL for 14-night Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America for 14-day Alaska cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days in Hawaii including a 7-night NCL cruise; Oceania for 25 days in Asia; & 3 months touring Europe by train. And many days spent in all-inclusive resorts!