The Top 5 Things to Know About River Cruising
Forget what you've known about cruise ships. Think not of massive ships conquering the waves on the open ocean while vacationers shoot through water slides dipping precariously off the ship's side. Instead direct your mind to a slower pace, a more intimate, personal experience. Think of a vacation where you can reap all the benefits of a cruise ship, while also visiting places most recently only accessible via land travel.
In recent years river cruising has increased in popularity, and we are experts in this growing market. Whether you want to visit castles in England, taste the street food in Vietnam, or try the port wine in Portugal, we have the experience and knowledge to help you plan the perfect river cruise vacation.
If you’re new to river cruising, we’ll break down the top five things you need to know to get started.
1. Sample Different Locations
One of the best things about river cruising is the ability to try several different cities, and countries, on the same vacation. Imagine you are visiting Paris in France, Heidelberg in Germany and Prague in the Czech Republic all along your river cruise. You might find that the baroque art in Prague speaks to you so much, that you must return to the city on a future vacation to spend more time. If you had chosen to spend only a week in Paris, you would not have known how you felt about Prague. Unlike ocean cruising you will usually be sailing during the night, so sailing days are less common, and you will wake up to a new port each day. The ability to try several locations is a real benefit of river cruising.
2. Smaller Ships
If ocean cruising is the only type of cruising you’ve been exposed to you might be thinking of very large ships, however, river cruise ships on average only carry about 200 passengers compared to an average 3,000 on an ocean cruise line. Because river ships are navigating tighter bodies of water, the ships are smaller. One of the great benefits of fewer passengers and smaller ships, is that the service is much more personalized. The ratio of staff to guest is less, allowing for overall better personal attention.
River cruising affords a very convenient way to travel for all. You can think of your ship as a “floating hotel” because once you have unpacked, you won’t have to pack again until your cruise has concluded. You’re able to visit new places and countries, walk on and off the ship for excursions, without ever needing to worry about packing your things or arranging transportation to your next destination.
4. Diverse Itineraries
Gone are the days of exclusively cruising in Europe. River cruise lines are now offering cruises on every continent, and most of the world’s major rivers, including the Nile, the Amazon, and the Mississippi. Cruise lines specializing in certain client demographics are also becoming more popular. For example, U by Uniworld is a cruise line that specifically targets millennials in their décor and unique excursions. Adventures by Disney is a family-friendly line focused on children, while Viking River Cruises in exclusively adults-only. In addition, most lines offer themed cruises targeting niche interests like wine, art, or a specific holiday.
5. Exceptional Food
Whether you’re a foodie, or you just enjoy a good meal, you will be delighted to find food on a river cruise to be of a higher caliber than most ocean cruises. The food is often locally-sourced by the chef at each port the ship visits. In fact, some lines offer an excursion with the chef as he goes to local markets in port to buy products for your upcoming meals. In addition, food and drink on a river cruise are normally all-inclusive, unlike an ocean liner. There are usually not all-day buffets on river cruises, but instead, sit-down meals in the main dining, with snack stations set up throughout the day.
River cruising is an exciting and wonderful way to travel, but with all the options it is a little overwhelming to book. Also, due to the smaller ship sizes, itineraries sell out faster than ocean liners, which means you will want to book well in advance. To navigate all your options and speak with experts who have taken over thirty cruises, call TravelPerks today. Booking with us will ensure that your first river cruise experience is out of this world.
Contact TravelPerks today to speak to our team of experts about booking your getaway!