River Cruising is an ever increasingly popular form of holiday travel, growing both in size and location, with nearly a million holiday makers a year partaking in guided and escorted tours across the rivers of Europe, the Americas, South East Asia and Australia.
The main difference between river and ocean Cruises is, obviously, size – with the former rarely holding more than 250 people and lasting between 7-15 days. However this affords them several distinct advantages.
Firstly, it leads you on a journey across routes, through regions and to destinations unreachable by traditional ocean ships; on calm inland waterways. They are able to navigate directly to the heart of historical cities, as well as showcasing the beauty of the countryside and the intimacy and charm of local villages. With this, holidaymakers are provided a more authentic and intimate travel experience, providing greater opportunities to interact and connect with the local people, their surroundings, history and culture.
The ability for their ships to dock in central ports is invaluable for off shore excursions or guided tours of various locations. With its rich historical and cultural heritage, coupled with a vast array of cruising options, Europe remains one of most popular and fastest growing river cruise destinations so much so that bookings have quadrupled in the past decade. Whether it is a journey through the historical towns and cities of Eastern Europe on the Danube, the French culture and countryside displayed by the Seine and Rhone or the heritage and charm of the Rhine, Europe offers any and all travellers an array of journeys unique in their charm and appeal.
Whilst most of the amenities offered are similar to ocean cruises, with many offering a wide range of amenities in dining and comfort, there is less emphasis on on-board entertainment. Casinos, cinemas, bingo, or cabaret entertainment is unlikely. These cruises provide a more relaxed atmosphere with many a lazy afternoon spent gliding across an intricate network of waterways past stunning scenery and cultural sites. Furthermore, the intimate setting provided with a smaller vessel ensures better, more personal and attentive service as you get to know the crew and your fellow passengers.
Cruising also provides holidaymakers with multiple journey travel, hassle free – without the need to unpack! With airport transfers, excursions, sightseeing, accommodation and dining all taken care of and included in the cost, river cruising provide one of the most comfortable and relaxing means of holiday travel.