Experience The Benefits of River Cruising
River cruising has risen dramatically in popularity over recent years. Between 2009 and 2013 river cruising saw an annual passenger increase of 10%. However despite this, river cruising can still be daunting for new passengers.
Rest assured, however, river cruising has many advantages over other holidays.
Ten Great Benefits of River Cruising
1. Benefits of River Cruising – No Hidden Costs
With river cruising, it is very common that the majority of costs are included within the original price of the holiday. Most river cruise lines offer at least one excursion per day within the price, as well as all meals and drinks at mealtimes – including beers and wine. It’s important to check exact details, as inclusions vary, but with river cruises there are usually fewer hidden surprise costs at the end than with other holidays.
2. Benefits of River Cruising – Relaxed Pace
Sailing along the rivers is a lovely, relaxing way to spend a holiday. Speeds are not fast – there is plenty of time to take in the surrounding views. And there is no lack of these unlike ocean cruising, there is always something to see when sailing a river and with views on each side, it doesn’t matter which side of the boat you are on!
3. Benefits of River Cruising – Expect Conveniences of a Contemporary Hotel
Restaurants, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, spas, internet access and comfortable staterooms…. all these can be found on the river boats of many cruise lines. Sizes of rooms are of course smaller than those on an ocean cruise liner, but lines like Avalon Waterways use the space effectively to create a generous room size.
Up to 80% of the Suite Ship Staterooms are Panorama Suites – with floor-to-ceiling sliding windows which open up to give you a 7 foot opening, and beds facing the view.
4. Benefits of River Cruising – Unpack Once
As the boat acts like a floating hotel, there is no need to continually pack, unpack and carry bags from one point to another.
5. Benefits of River Cruising – A Relaxed Dress Code
Dress code is usually informal, so the heavy evening gowns and formal tuxedos are not a necessity like they often are on ocean cruises. This also saves a lot of room in cases and (hopefully) means baggage is lighter to carry.
6. Benefits of River Cruising – Make New Friends
Cruises in general are integrally social – passengers spend time at dinner together, often sharing tables with strangers. The excursions are held in groups, and there is plenty of time to sight see from the deck – prime opportunity to talk to fellow cruisers.
Children are also a rarity on river cruises, with the majority of passengers being within the 50+ age bracket. This means that many people will find themselves in a similar situation, with similar passions and pastimes – the perfect place to meet like-minded people.
7. Benefits of River Cruising – Worldwide Exploration
Although Europe is the most popular destination for river cruises, you don’t have to be limited to just the one continent. River cruises are available all over the world – from China to Vietnam, Mississippi and beyond.
8. Benefits of River Cruising – A New Destination Each Day
Distances between ports on rivers are much shorter than the ports of ocean cruises and boats will therefore often dock at a different location each morning or evening (depending on what time your sailing occurs.) This means that there is little opportunity to get bored – every day a new place, a new excursion, even new culture and cuisine if the boat has sailed into another country.
An added benefit of this is that with smaller ships, river cruises often dock in the heart of a destination, meaning that there is minimum travel time to get to what you want to see, and more time to tour.
9. Benefits of River Cruising – Immerse Yourself in Culture
You will want to get the most from each destination you visit on a river cruise. Chefs on board prepare regional dishes and regional wines and beers are served depending on the day’s destination.
The tours are designed to enable you to see pivotal sights in each destination and really get a feel for the history and traditions/culture of each city or town. The excursions are not obligatory though – if you fancy it you can explore independently, depending on how you feel. Sometimes people watching in a little local cafe can tell you a lot about a place in itself.
10. Benefits of River Cruising – Themed River Cruises
The demand for themed river cruises is also on the rise. Itineraries built around destinations which are known for their culinary delights, or their wine expertise, are growing in availability and popularity. Now there are even river cruises centered around sports such as golf, or health and well being, music types, and historical landmark events, such as the World War 1 centenary.
Article contributed by Avalon Waterways, specialists in first class river cruising experiences in Europe and Worldwide.
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