River cruising is a wonderful way to unwind, observe the world float by at a leisurely pace and discover the cities, towns and countryside of both European and exotic destinations worldwide. While sharing some similarities, river cruising also has some major differences from ocean cruising.
River vessels tend to be smaller than ocean cruise ships, especially in Europe, due to being constrained in width and length to accommodate smaller docks and sail beneath low bridges. Unlike ocean cruises, riverboats visit a new port every day, sometimes even more than one, enabling passengers to explore a variety of different destinations. Excursions on land are abundant, providing busy days of culturally-rich activities. Typically a full day onboard is uncommon, however there is still plenty of cruising time to enjoy the amenities onboard, including evening sailings on select itineraries.
It is important to pack layers to deal with unpredictable weather and comfortable footwear, as numerous tours involve walking and being active. The entertainment onboard is often much more low-key than a traditional ocean cruise, with the primary attraction being the passing scenery and ports of call. The intimate setting of river ships allows passengers to get to know each other quickly and encourages you to make friends with fellow travellers.
Europe is the leading destination for river cruising globally, and it is an excellent place to begin if you’ve never tried it before. The Rhine River, which runs through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and the Danube River, which flows from Germany to Romania, passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria, are the most popular rivers for cruising. The typical length of a cruise along these rivers is eight days, although shorter three- and four-night options are also available, which are ideal for first-timers.
If you’re hesitant about taking your first river cruise, you could try a brief European river cruise before committing to a longer trip. This can help you get a sense of what it’s like and whether you enjoy it.
Deirdre Maher, our Tour America MD recently boarded the MSC Grandiosa and set sail for the Western Med! “…As a seasoned cruiser, I was looking forward to a week of fun and relaxation in the sun – Our departure was all the sweeter as I looked out at the rain pelting down in Dublin. I… Continue reading Aboard the MSC Grandiosa
Princess Cruises has unveiled an exciting new family activity zone called Park19, set to debut on the upcoming Sun Princess ship in February 2024. Located on the top decks, Park19 is designed to cater to all generations, especially teenagers, with nine engaging activities. The Sea Breeze is a thrilling ride that simulates hang gliding, providing… Continue reading Princess Cruises Unveils Park19
Day 1: Our family boarded Odyssey of the Seas in Rome (Civitavecchia) port – approx. 50 minutes from Rome City and Rome FCO airport. We had stayed in the San Giorgio hotel in Civitavecchia the night before. We strolled around the streets of Civitavecchia and ate in the local restaurants. It was a nice start… Continue reading Lorraine’s Cruise Experience Onboard Odyssey of the Seas
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