Not Sure About River Cruising? 7 Reasons Why a River Cruise Could Be Your Next Favorite Vacation
River cruises have been all the rage lately, and after recently returning from a European Rhine River Cruise on AmaWaterways, I am very excited to report back.
My mom and I went on a 7-day cruise aboard the AmaPrima from Amsterdam to Basal, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. We experienced incredible food and service, and some of the most beautiful scenery as we passed by countless castles and villages on the Rhine River. The thoughtful staff made everything so easy and relaxing, and it was the perfect mother-daughter trip.
You may say “I am not a cruiser” – but think again – river cruising is completely different from ocean cruising, adapting to cater to different ages and styles of travel, and offering a great value and experience that you cannot find elsewhere.
Read on for my 7 reasons why river cruising could be your next favorite vacation…
1. You only unpack once.
As a frequent traveler, this is a big one for me. From the moment you arrive, there is a friendly face ready to help you with your bags, and from then on you do not have to worry about your suitcase for the rest of the trip. Less time repacking and more time drinking champagne on the sundeck. Ahh.
Also, what this means is that you have a moving hotel (which quickly feels like home) that takes you from place to place. You wake up in the morning and “ta-da!” you are in another charming town to explore. No planes, trains or traffic.
2. No sea sickness – hooray!
Sea sickness is a reason many do not cruise, BUT with a river boat, it is not an issue. Since you are on a river, you do not experience the rocking of the boat often experienced on large ships in the ocean. Problem solved.
3. Check multiple countries off your list.
On my Rhine River Cruise, we visited the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland – all within a week. If you are looking to cross countries off your list or get a taste of a variety of destinations, river cruising is a great option. AND then of course if you fall in love with a specific place, you can always come back and explore for a longer stay. Win-win.
4. Small ships = personalized service and a social atmosphere.
Compared to the mega-ships sailing the oceans these days with thousands aboard, river ships are usually limited to 100 to 150 passengers with a fantastic guest-to-staff ratio. This means an exceptional level of personalized service and a social atmosphere onboard where you can get to know your waiters, bartenders and staff as well as make friends with other guests.
For example, a couple days into my AmaWaterways cruise my waiter Robert knew I liked fresh-squeezed orange juice with breakfast, my room attendant Katarina always had extra towels in the bathroom, and I was practicing my Spanish (and my dancing) with a group of friendly Latino guests onboard!
5. All-inclusive and worry-free. A great value.
River cruise lines make an effort to ensure your vacation is as seamless and relaxing as possible, with one feature being that most all are all-inclusive. Not having to worry about the bill or your budget when you are onboard can really add to that stress-free, vacation feeling.
Of course with anything that is “all-inclusive,” there are some caveats (for example that some cruise lines include gratuities, and others do not, and some include beverages only at certain times), but regardless most of your day-to-day expenses (most always including meals and shore excursions) are covered in your cruise fare.
Even if the price tag may seem a little high at first, when you factor in what is actually included, it is an incredible value.
6. So many options to find the right cruise for you.
The river cruise industry has grown significantly, and so have the amount of destinations and cruise themes. Are you a wine-o? Embark on a themed wine cruise to the best wine regions in the world. Love Christmas? A Christmas Markets cruise will get you in the holiday spirit! Think you are too young to go on a river cruise? U by Uniworld features fun, active cruises catering to a younger demographic.
From the Mekong River in Southeast Asia to the Congo in the heart of Africa – there are so many options that go beyond what you might consider the typical European river cruise.
7. And…amazing family-friendly options as well!
If you are traveling with the entire family and don’t want all the hassle of a land-based vacation, river cruising is a fantastic option. Adventures by Disney offers river cruises that cater to kids of all ages, while Tauck has family-friendly sailings for the ultimate family vacation.
Are you convinced?
So if a river cruise is something you might be interested in, I would love to chat to help you navigate the many options out there. Not all river cruise lines are created equal (frankly, they vary significantly in the type of experience they offer) so it is important to find the right destination and cruise line for you.
As a certified river cruise agent, I have a ton of knowledge of the differentiating factors and how to go about choosing the right sailing for your personal preferences. I always say a vacation is a significant investment of your time and money – so it is worth making sure you are booking something you will enjoy!