Ocean cruises have been a popular way to vacation for decades, and for good reason. They’re affordable, convenient and offer travelers peace of mind knowing that everything they need for a fantastic getaway is all in one place. What could be better than that? Well, consider a river cruise.
You might think that the words “inland” and “cruise” are incompatible. Well, let me show you just how superbly well they go together. River cruises combine all the comfort and convenience of an ocean cruise with the excitement of European excursions at each port of call.
Here are the top 10 reasons we know why you’ll love river cruising.
1. Expand Your Options
While ocean cruises take you to countries, river cruises take you through them. There simply is no way to reach river cruise destinations on mega cruise ships.
2. Intimate Experience
River cruising offers a more intimate setting. Most ships range from 144 to 196 passengers. This means that you’ll never have to wait in line, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy all the amenities and have a more personal experience with other passengers and crew. From ordering a beverage to getting on and off the ship, you’ll enjoy the absence of long lines.
3. Dive into the Local Culture
Get away from the touristy ports and explore hidden gems. Large ocean liner ports can receive up to 20,000 visitors on the same day but with a river cruise, you’ll arrive into port with only a few hundred visitors. Not only will you avoid long lines at your destination, but you’ll also enjoy leisurely excursions at each incredible port of call. You’ll be able to take in the local culture and history of every unique town that you visit.
4. No Need to Rush Back
With many departures from the destinations being later in the evening, you’ll have the chance to enjoy the nightlife in select ports of call. Whether you choose an evening walk through cobblestone streets, a local show or performance, or one last glass of wine after dinner while listening to a local musician, immersing yourself in the evening culture together with the locals is a unique experience.
5. Castle Views
That’s right, castle views. From Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine River, and in Budapest, Bratislava, Dürnstein and Passau on the Danube, you’ll see colorful architecture and castles that will blow you away. But don’t stop at just viewing the castles, why not hike or drive to them and then explore their fabulousness with a knowledgeable guide? You’ll literally be walking in the footsteps of world history.
6. 5-Star Reviews
5-star reviews are only earned through 5-star service. When you’re relaxing with a glass of wine on the Sun Deck, enjoying a night under the stars, or having an unexpected encounter with kind locals that your tour guide has arranged for you, you’ll appreciate where the 5-star reviews come from.
7. Entertainment for the Whole Family
With a variety of activities and plenty of stops along the way, we’re sure everyone in the family will have an unforgettable experience. River cruising is perfect for multi-generational families. From grandparents to teenaged grandchildren, the entire family will bond over a range of topics and activities from food to history to countryside excursions. There really is something to do for everyone on board at each destination. Some members of your group may choose to take advantage of spa services, or the sundeck pool, or cultural activities, while others may prefer to seek out a quiet space with a book. Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together again as a family. It really is the perfect multi-generational vacation for your family or group of friends.
8. Taste the Difference
Whether you’re into wine tasting or local street food, a river cruise provides an exceptional culinary experience both on the ship and at every destination. River cruising offers the chef the unique opportunity to go into each destination and source local ingredients. The onboard culinary team focuses on utilizing fresh local ingredients. Dishes are paired with local wines. There’s absolutely no mass-produced and buffet food onboard a river cruise.
9. Variety of Experience
Let’s not forget just how special every European country is! The towns and cities may be close in proximity along the river, but don’t be surprised by the unique feeling and experiences that each destination gives you. Choose from visiting local breweries, hiking to castles, biking through trendy neighborhoods or visiting museums that highlight the local culture.
10. World-Class Accommodations
One of the reasons we love river cruises so much (and we know you’ll agree) is the feeling of walking into a luxurious suite or twin-balcony stateroom that will be your home away from home for the next 7, 8, 10 days or more. While each cruise line has its own decorating style, some being more traditional, some more modern. Each ship and each stateroom is tastefully decorated and is river facing. Whether you choose to have a window view, a private balcony, or even a twin balcony (with both a French and outside balcony), you’ll always have a room with a view.
We’d love to match your travel style with the right itinerary and ship. Reach out to us today and be sure to mention if you’re planning a romantic getaway, bachelorette trip or a friends’ reunion and we’ll let you know the add-ons available that will make your experience truly special.