River cruising is all the rage, and it's not surprising why! River cruising is the best of both worlds - great for anyone who enjoys the luxury of ocean cruising, and a fresh perspective for seasoned travelers. River cruising allows access to remote places inaccessible from an ocean cruise, and sweeps travelers into unique cultural experiences.
The main difference between river and ocean cruising (aside from the obvious change in bodies of water) is that a typical river cruise places its emphasis on excursions and the itinerary as opposed to the ship itself as ocean cruises do. River cruise ships have fewer rooms, while ocean ships offer rooms of various sizes and comfort.
River cruise ships are small, with fewer than 200 passengers (including crew) and create an intimate experience geared towards enrichment - through fine cuisine, cultural immersion, and integrated luxury.
River cruising has made a name for itself throughout Europe, but is growing in popularity in rivers such as the Mekong and the Amazon as enthusiasm grows for this innovative way to travel!
Cruising itineraries are based not only around location, but on specific interests such as wine and beer, heritage, and seasonal events such as the Tulip Festival and Christmas Markets.
You'll be cruising with people who have similar interests and may end up making lasting bonds!
River cruising offers a perspective unlike any other!. It's not surprising why river cruising is projected to outstrip land touring in popularity!
DO research your destination. Most of your stops will be in historically or culturally significant spots! Ask your agent for a destination guide and for suggestions on additional sources for overviews.
DO pack layers so you are prepared for all weather. No one can control the weather, and you won't want to miss out because of a little drizzle.
DON'T forget a pair of slip on shoes for the ship. When pulling into a port or passing a particularly beautiful section of the river you won't want to miss the scenery from the observation deck because you're doing up your laces!
DO bring some local currency. Even if your cruise is all-inclusive, you'll be glad you have a few euro for a coffee at a sidewalk cafe.
DO make friends. Dinner is a sit-down and drawn-out affair, so when you meet someone on the ship you enjoy spending time with, invite them to join you for dinner!
DON'T expect room-service. Except for a few deluxe suites, room service is not available as an alternative to the sit-down dinner. Pack some snacks in case you decide to stay in your room for a quiet night.
DO plan for exercising off the ship rather than on board. Because of limited space, few ships have an gym. But bicycles are commonly available to ride and there are abundant opportunities to walk at the port towns!
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