Would You Enjoy a River Cruise?

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Paddlewheel ship on the Loire (Image courtesy of CroisiEurope)

Are you a seasoned ocean cruiser but maybe looking for something different? Have you ever wondered if a river cruise would suit you? Are they just too expensive? Would you get bored? Well, read on:

Advantages of River Cruising

  • Most river cruise ships hold no more than 200 passengers, often less; you get a more intimate experience.
  • The river ships are small compared to all ocean ships, so ideal for those with mobility problems. (Town’s with cobbled streets my prove more of a challenge).
  • Most cabins have a large panoramic window/balcony, so you get constant views of the passing scenery.
  • River ships normally berth in the heart of each town/city, so coach transport is not a necessity, you can just walk into town. No ‘tendering’ is ever required.
  • Most river cruises are five stars so the standards of food and service are normally very good indeed.
  • Some river lines include alcoholic drinks, excursions in their fares even flights or coach travel to/from the boat. Some even offer home pick-ups.
  • On-board surcharges and the need to spend money on-board a river ship are minimal, compared to many ocean ships.
  • Seasickness is not normally an issue.
  • The dress code is smart-casual, so there is no need to pack a tux or ball gown, although some passengers do like to dress up a little for dinner.
  • River cruises are more scenic than many ocean cruises,  with constant views of two river banks, when underway.

Disadvantages of River Cursing

  • The fares can be considerably higher than some ocean cruises.
  • At present demand is often outstripping availability. River cruises can sell out very quickly and deep-discounts are rare.
  • River cruising generally appeals to the more mature passenger.
  • On-board facilities and dining options are a lot less than those offered on-board many ocean ships.
  • Meal times and seating may be  fixed and not flexible.
  • The dress-code is smart-casual, so there are no ‘official’ formal nights for those who enjoy dressing-up.
  • The entertainment and activities on-board can be very low key.
  • River water levels (too high or low) can disrupt river cruise itineraries.

Is a river cruise for you? See my ‘Amadeus Silver II ‘ review where I compare river cruises to ocean cruises HERE


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