On river cruises…
1. There is hardly any crowd on board. Choose a cruise during off season (usually in Spring & Fall) and cues or lines in cafeteria and reception are almost sure to be non-existent.
2. No constant packing and unpacking on your trip. Isn’t this a pain?
3. You love to be catered to right? It is easier to get attention on a river cruise sailing with favorable staff-guest ratio of 2-1 on average.
4. Hit multiple cities/countries in one trip on many routes. A great example of a multi-country journey is an upper Danube cruise where passengers can venture up 3 or 4 countries, depending on itinerary ( Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary). For Lower Danube, 4 to 5 countries (Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria).
5. Particularly smaller fleets have a “closer to nature” feel.
6. Meals and alcohol are often all-inclusive in the cruise price.
7. There is simpler pricing, compared to oceanic cruises. A cruise price is listed and port taxes may be added separately to it. Often, land extensions, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), drink and entertainment are included in the cruise price.
8. Small vessels not psychologically overwhelming, not like you’re one of many
9. Passengers get to explore remote places that the ocean vessels don’t go to.
10. Do a vino-cultural wine tour offered (Bordeaux, Burgundy). Fun way to gather up your vinophile friends and travel.
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11. Very cultural/historical in nature. Well-qualified, friendly tour guides show off the local culture and educate guests on the destinations.
12. There is more of an adult experience compared to popular ocean liners. Just a few kids are on board, mostly mature teenagers with families.
13. The atmosphere is great for intimacy and romance. Consider taking a river cruise for a honeymoon or an anniversary.
14. Castle lovers are delighted at many points. Think visiting Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany or Bran Castle in Romania.
15. There is a growing appeal to experience the journey. Though demographics tend to skew 55+ in age, there is something for younger generations as well. Gen Xers and Millennials are especially keen on doing wellness activities (yoga, hiking, spa, etc) and inland excursions that are foodie and wine/beer lover related.
16. A better atmosphere for meeting people and developing friendships can be had, that is, if mingling’s your thing.
17. There is a better opportunity for a localized experience. Staff is most often from the area you are cruising and can offer some tips on destinations.
18. Sea-sickness is not a problem. You’re on the river. It’s smooth sailing.
19. No tendering in – get to the heart of town from many port stops.
20. A good number of bicycles are board. Take up cycling- good the heart, mind and soul.
21. There’s a homey feel on board, River cruising is “Cruising in your den or living room”.
22. It’s more quiet or chill on board. Less buzz from people, less engine noise than on ocean liners. Cruise on the river for a mellow journey.