As you might expect on an ocean cruise ship, river cruise ships also have a no indoor smoking policy. It’s still a little unclear which river cruise lines in Europe might permit smoking on the balcony so check with the cruise line so you know before you go. You won’t find a cloistered cigar bar or indoor smoking room so be prepared to head up to the Sun Deck whenever you want a smoke.
River cruise ships in the USA do not permit smoking indoors, either. In fact, American Cruise Lines states on their website, No Smoking Allow ONBOARD. UnCruise ships have a small outdoor aft area designated for smokers.
Once you get to the Sun Deck, you should see clearly marked areas where smoking is permitted. On most river ships in Europe and USA, it is usually at the aft end, possibly near the crew’s outdoor smoking area. However, I been on river ships in Europe where a section of the shaded area in the center of the Sun Deck also
permitted smoking, as noted by the prevalence of ashtrays. If you like to relax on the Sun Deck and don’t smoke, be forewarned.
Fire is the most dangerous hazard on any ship, no matter how shallow the water or how few passengers it carries. If you do smoke, be considerate and be sure that the ashes are totally cool before you leave the area. River ships are small. If you think you can get away with smoking in your cabin, you won’t. If a fellow passenger doesn’t rat you out, someone from the crew will notice and report. it.