WHY CHOOSE A RIVER CRUISE
- Get to the heart of the destinations on a river cruise. Unlike oceangoing cruises, which stop in coastal ports, river cruises sail between the centers of major cities and towns even if they are inland. Particularly in Europe, this means they stop each day in the center of the classic cities and towns of the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and more. That means you have instant access to the heart of Europe. Essentially they are land tours on the water---in this case the rivers and canals of the Continent.
- Enjoy comfortable, spacious accommodations with great views. While once upon a time cans onboard river cruises were cramped and unmanageable, these days river cruise ships offer a whole range of staterooms that are large, have great beds, full entertainment systems, bathrooms that can be larger in some cases than those on oceangoing ships and even have balconies. Plus, in the upper categories (usually the second and third decks) they all offer wonderful views of the passing river banks, picturesque towns, castles and landscapes.
- Get a floating hotel where you never have to pack or unpack. One of the great joys of river cruising is being able to travel through Europe, or any other river cruise destination for that matter, without having to pack and unpack your belongings even though you visit multiple destinations. Yes, oceangoing cruises offer the same advantage, but river cruises again take you into the heart of the destination instead of the coastal port.
- Experience more local and regional cuisine onboard. The old days of mediocre food on board a river cruise are over. Now river cruise ships feature great region cuisine and wine that are in tune with the places they visit. They feature gourmet food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with all dining experiences giving guest views of the river and surrounding scenery. Many evening dining experiences are essentially dinner cruises.
- Get great guided tours of the places visited. Most river cruises include a full set of land tour programs that allow guests to explore the places they visit with an experienced guide. While guests have the option of going out on their own, the all-inclusive tours offered by river cruise companies usually come complete with motor coach, guide, entry into major attractions and even transmitters so guides can provide commentary to guests throughout the tour. Many river cruise companies either have long experience in delivering such tours, or have sister companies that are well-known escorted tour operators.
- Benefit from an all-inclusive vacation at an affordable price for value offered. River cruises are essentially all-inclusive vacations the combine transportation, accommodations, food, drink, land tours and even port charges, fees and tips (in some cases). River cruise companies do differ slightly in what they include and don't include, but they remain an extremely inclusive product. You pay one price for an entire experience!
- Enjoy a product that offers high repeat value, satisfaction and more options. River cruise companies are quick to point out the high satisfaction levels reported by their guests. Many guests come back eager to repeat their journeys. And now, river cruise companies offer more itineraries and destination than ever before. In addition to the classic Danube, Rhine, Elbe, Seine and other European rivers, river cruise options are available in Italy, Portugal, Russia, Egypt, Southeast Asia, China, the Amazon and yes even in the U.S., where yo can sail on the Mississippi, Ohio, Columbia and Hudson rivers, among other waterways. River cruising is now a true global product, though the most popular initial sailing continue to be in Europe.
Thanks to James Shillinglaw