Up for a new adventure? Why not try river cruising? River cruising is now the fastest-growing sector in the cruise industry for very good reasons. And here we give you these thoughts so you can decide if you should be shipping out on a river the next time you plan a cruise trip.
1.The more destinations, the better.
If you are bored with long sea days in ocean cruises and long for a more adventurous trip then you will absolutely love river cruising. River cruises are more of a land tour than today’s ocean cruise experience. It is more port-intensive so expect to visit a new destination each day. Most of the sailing is also done during late night or very early hours so you will miss most of it.
2.You adore cultural immersions.
You will love the walking tour as you go off the city and get acquainted with its rich history and culture. You can also have a quick me-time to do your own shopping or get a taste of the delicacies the place has to offer. If you are an active traveler, some cruise lines now offer guided bicycle rides, hiking, kayaking, and running tours along with other artsy activities such as art classes, recitals or a trip to the opera or ballet.
3.You cruise for a quiet time.
Unlike ocean cruises, riverboats don’t have flashy entertainment. You can enjoy sipping a drink or two in the bar with the piano or an ensemble playing for you in the background. Or you can just opt to head back to bed to get ready for the early itinerary the next day.
4.You hate crowds and long walks.
River ships are generally smaller. It caters to about 200 passengers at most – sometimes even fewer. So if you are into cruising to rest and relax and get away from the busy and crowded city life, then river cruising will be perfect for you. On the downside, the boat may offer limited amenities than what you are used to – one or two lounges, smaller dining venues, and on some you can expect a tiny spa, gym or computer center.
5.You prefer small, cozier cabins.
Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable. You still get to enjoy the usual comforts a cabin has to offer. On the plus side, riverboats avoid inside cabins so all rooms have a view of the water. Some newer riverboats even add balconies for a more scenic feel. And if you’re feeling a bit extravagant, you can even book yourself a suite all to yourself.
6.You dislike a lot of food choices.
Having to choose among tens of buffet and restaurants can be a nuisance for some especially with an already grumbling stomach. So, if you are like this, you would love that a riverboat only houses one main restaurant (some have up to four intimate secondary dining venues) and often buffet-only. And with the daily port calls and since the passenger count is so small, you are guaranteed of fresh catch and produce every mealtime.
7.You like to get value for your money.
River cruise fares might be more expensive, but it is definitely worth it. Your fare will usually include beverages on your meals – wine, beer, soft drinks, tea and coffee. It is also inclusive of free Wi-Fi access and the standard tour in every port.
8.You like catching the sunrise.
If you are an early riser, then you will love the river cruise’s itinerary. So as early as 7:30 or 8:00 am, you have already enjoyed your sumptuous breakfast and already off to the day’s tour or morning activity.
9.You dislike docking to awful ports in ocean cruises.
Plus the long walks on concrete piers feels a bit atypical to your vacation feeling? Forget about those when you are river cruising! Here, the riverboat will dock directly in town and for just a short walk (or sometimes a quick bus ride) you will get right into the heart of the city in no time.
10.Shorter distance between ports.
This means when weather gets rough, such as high-water levels that will prohibit sailing beneath bridges or low water levels where sailing is not permitted at all, you can be assured that the crew will have a fallback plan to keep the trip going. Contingency plans often include putting you on a bus to your next port or switching you to a sister vessel further down the river to make sure you can still enjoy the whole cruise experience.
I help you make better cruise decisions!
Blog author. Former travel editor for Compete Magazine, awarded top 25 travel writing blog 2018 & 2019..