I love cruising. Being on the ocean has always been one of my favorite things (well…except that I get sea-sick a lot!). But as with everything, there are positives and negatives. One of the negatives is that the ships can go around the border of the country, but there is no way to take a ship IN to the country. Or is there….
The popularity of river cruising has been growing year after year. When I started in travel almost 6 years ago, river cruising barely made a blip on our radar. Today I am considering it for my own honeymoon!
What we love about river cruising:
- When Europe was being built, commerce was conducted on the rivers. Because of this towns were built around the rivers. When you step off of a river cruise in port, you are in the heart of town and don’t need to take an hour or two bus ride to get to your sight-seeing (with the exception of a few places that you wouldn’t normally be able to get to on a river, but are super popular so they offer the excursions).
- The boats are small and so it’s never really crowded. Most river boats accommodate about 150 people. You can have as few as 2 people and as many as 416 (these types of river boats are found in Asia on the Mekong… not in Europe). The limited number of people can help make your experience more personalized.
- River cruises are everywhere! Some popular places are Russia (yup… you can cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg… AND the ships are finally coming up to US standards!), Egypt, Vietnam, Europe, the Amazon, throughout the US and now even Africa!
- The scenery. While you may not be in port all the time, the scenery while you are sailing to the next port is breathtaking. Some of the favorites are the castles along the rivers in Europe. Often the cruise director will be giving you a commentary as you sail past places of historical significance.
- Inclusive! Wine and beer are usually served with dinner and on some lines will even be included with lunch. Each port includes an excursion and often they have additional optional excursions if you want to experience more (some lines even have multiple excursions depending on your fitness level). Every line has their own list of inclusions and so much to offer!
When you are considering a trip to any destination with a river cruise offered, it is something I recommend. You get the great convenience of only packing and unpacking once, but your hotel floats down the river with you to your next stop!