Perhaps you like exploring historic cities on mini breaks, or usually you enjoy escorted tours taking you from destination to destination and treating you to a wealth of history and culture, or perhaps you enjoy the exemplary service and the advantage of only unpacking once on an ocean cruise ship. You can enjoy all of this – and more – on a river cruise.
Sailing between destinations along the waterways of Europe and beyond, a river cruise will take you into the heart of charming cities, usually offering some free time to explore, as well as fascinating tours (usually included in the price of the holiday) which give you a deeper insight into the history and culture of the city and region. A much smaller floating hotel than most ocean cruises, a river ship is a floating hotel nonetheless, offering attentive and personalised service, and – of course – there’s no need to unpack between each destination. River cruising takes the best of all these types of holiday, and offers an enhanced experience.
Although river ships are more constrained in how tall and wide they can be than ocean ships – which can be built to carry in excess of 5,000 people, or just 50 – and you’ll never find a multitude of dining venues and waterslides onboard, you will nonetheless still enjoy sumptuous comfort, stunning views of the changing scenery outside, plus an enhanced emphasis on shore-side experiences, which is arguably where most river cruise lines focus their attention to differentiate themselves. Most river cruise lines will include tours and excursions in the price, while those that don’t may offer additional excursion packages to allow guests the flexibility to explore both independently and with fellow guests as much as they like. Many river cruise lines will also offer unique and exclusive experiences, such as extravagant dinners in private castles (sometimes hosted by a member of royalty or aristocracy), wine-tastings in vineyards off the beaten track, or after-hours cocktail receptions and visits in museums. Plus, there’s a wide range of ‘themed cruises’ – from gastronomic, wine or beer themed cruises to cycling, or even offering a more in-depth look into specific areas of history, even featuring special guest lecturers.
As river cruising becomes ever popular, there’s even an increasing focus on reaching out to different people, with cruise lines such as A-Rosa, Tauck, and Uniworld appealing to multi-generational families. Recently Uniworld announced an industry-first to launch in 2018: river cruises specifically designed with millennials (or people aged 18-40) in mind. So whoever you are, there’s a river cruise out there for you.
There’s so many advantages of a river cruise, the only thing left to decide is: which river first?
Contact the experts at Select Travel Holidays, who’ll help you find the ideal river cruise just for you.