Travel Tips & Advice

Top 5 Things to Know About River Cruising

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

When you think of cruising, what comes to mind?

Like many, you probably thought of a massive ship in the middle of the ocean, with water slides, casinos, and more food choices than you can count. While these types of cruises can be fun and activity-filled, sometimes you just want to take your cruise at a slower, more leisurely pace.

Let us introduce you to river cruising! It’s the perfect opportunity to reap the benefits of a large cruise ship while visiting places that, up until recently, were only regularly reached by land travel.

River cruising has increased in popularity in recent years, 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, the perfect river cruise vacation is waiting- and we have the experience and knowledge to help you plan!

If you’re new to river cruising, we’ll break down the top five things that make river cruising one of a kind.

1. You can Sample Different Locations

One of the best things about river cruising is having the ability to experience several countries and cities on the same vacation - without ever needing to move your bags! Imagine you want to visit Paris, France, Heidelberg, Germany, and Prague in the Czech Republic. By choosing a river cruise, you can easily see all three places while discovering lesser-known towns along the way. You may just find your new favorite vacation destination!

One of the unique benefits of river cruising is that you sail less during the day, meaning you’ll have more time to explore on land. You’ll likely wake up at a new port every morning!

2. Smaller Ships

While the largest ocean cruise ship can hold almost 10,000 people, river cruise ships, on average, can only carry about 200 passengers. River ships need to be smaller in size since they navigate through smaller bodies of water and are often in tight spaces while sailing. With a smaller guest-to-staff ratio, the staff onboard is focused on giving you a more personalized experience; it’s just another benefit of fewer passengers and smaller ships!

3. Convenience

River cruising is an excellent option for those who want to avoid the stress of planning hotel stays and transportation while traveling. Once you’re in your room onboard, you won’t move your things until you disembark! You can fully enjoy your traveling experience without stressing about the logistics. With most river cruise lines offering guided shore excursions, you may not even have to think about what you will do on land!

4. Diverse Itineraries

River cruises used to set sail exclusively in Europe, traveling on one of the many rivers where many towns are situated. Well, those days are gone! River cruise lines now offer cruises on every continent, exploring some of the world’s most well-known rivers, including the Nile, the Amazon, and the Mississippi.

Cruise lines specializing in specific client demographics are also becoming more popular. For example, Viking River Cruises is adults-only, while Adventures by Disney is a family-friendly line that caters to families and children. In addition, most lines offer themed cruises targeting niche interests, such as European Christmas market river cruises or seeing the tulip blooms in Amsterdam and the Netherlands.

5. Exceptional Food

Whether you’re a culinary connoisseur or just want to enjoy a good meal, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you realize that the food onboard river cruises are often prepared at a higher caliber than on ocean cruises. The food is often locally sourced by the chef at each port the ship visits! Some lines even offer excursions to local markets to accompany the chef as he buys the ingredients for your upcoming meals.

The best part is that food and beverages are usually covered by your base fare- meaning you won’t have to think twice about ordering something special from the menu!

River Cruising is an exciting and wonderful way to travel! River cruises offer the convenience and adventure you’re looking for in a vacation.

With many different river cruise lines offering diverse experiences, it can be overwhelming to start planning your trip. Not to mention that you have to plan well in advance- smaller ships mean itineraries that can sell out fast!

Our vacation specialists are here to help you plan! You can figure out which river cruise is right for you while receiving discounts only TravelPerks can offer.

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