Why not? Many of us have experienced cruising on massive ocean liners, along with 5,000 other passengers. River cruises are an excellent way to visit smaller, less traveled destinations.
Why should you choose a river cruise over an ocean cruise?
The size of the ships. Most river ships hold under 200 passengers, compared to 5,000 plus on an ocean-going vessel. There is plenty of private space throughout the vessel, and the cabins are spacious.
When mega-ships dock in some ports, especially in Europe, you often have other ships in port at the same time. This means you are in competition with a few thousand people for attractions during your shore excursion. On a river cruise you dock in the quaint little towns and villages along the river and walk into the heart of the city. It’s all right there and most shore excursions are included at no extra cost.
All river ship cabins have a view. There are no interior cabins, meaning you won’t miss any of the glorious sights along the way. The public rooms are equally as open and spacious, with never-ending views from every angle.
River cruises are not just Europe-based. You can choose from many exotic places like China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Peru, and even our own Mississippi River.
Many of the items you would pay extra for on an ocean cruise are standard on a river cruise. Ship transfers to and from the airport, wine and beer at dinner and Wi-Fi are a few examples depending on the cruise company. Most shore excursions are included as well, customized to the region where the ship has docked. Many cultural events of the region are offered, along with varied dining experiences.
Most river cruise companies offer theme cruises at no extra charge, such as the Christmas Markets, wine themes, music of the region. How about a culinary cruise, golf, wellness or even mingle with your favorite author or music?
River vessels are smaller, therefore more intimate. That makes you part of the “cruise family”, not just another passenger.
There are itineraries that give you the opportunity to depart the ship, hop on a bicycle, ride through the beautiful countryside and rejoin the ship at the next port, all with a guide to help along the way. You arrive back at the ship just in time for dinner.
Put two cruises together for an awesome experience to places you’ve always dreamt of seeing. Or do a few days on land before or after your cruise to spend more time in the “must-see” spot.
Hop on the river cruise bandwagon!