River Cruises 101: What You Need To Know

Many people are familiar with ocean cruises, conjuring images of buffets and crowds, when more often that not the reality is quite different: excellent food, service and pampering. However, most ocean cruise ships are large, carrying an average of 2,000 passengers. River cruises are a whole different ball game. Recently I have had many clients asking about river cruises and their advantages. So, I have compiled for you River Cruises 101: What you need to know. (Of course you can just call or email me and I can find the best possible choice for you.) 

While most people think of river cruises in Germany, along the Rhine or Danube, there are also plenty of other interesting itineraries, like France, Asia, Russia, Portugal and even the Amazon River. Some advantages of choosing a river cruise include:

  • No seasickness. You simply cannot get seasick on a river. So, check that excuse off your list.
  • Small ships. Most river cruises carry between 75 – 200 passengers, so you will get to know your fellow cruiser. Avalon “Suite Ships” has introduced floor to ceiling windows in their suits, ensuring the best views..
  • River cruises dock in small towns, making transit times much shorter, and often allowing more time in port.
  • Shore excursions are usually included. There are also often options to upgrade or do multiple excursions in a day. The idea that these cruises are very sedentary is a misconception. Some river cruises even carry bicycles for passenger use.
  • Most river cruises are more inclusive than their ocean cruise counterparts, including wine and beer with meals, or wifi, in addition to the daily excursions.
  • No sea days. For my mother, this is a big win, as she gets bored easily. Me? I love sea days with nothing to do but nosh and play trivia.
  • Like ocean cruises, simply pack and unpack once for the vacation.
  • There is always something new to see out the window. As you are often quite close to shore, and may even be parked right next to another river cruise ship, it is important to keep the shades drawn and wear a robe when exiting the shower. Just saying…

River cruising has grown in popularity every year, and now accounts for about 500,000 travelers per year. Most travelers choosing river cruises are over 55, and content with less shipboard entertainment. Is a river cruise for you? Email me, and let’s find out!