The once ‘poor man’ of cruise has now become the fastest growing part of the cruise industry which is, itself, the fastest growing sector of the entire travel industry.
The previous small, and generally unattractive ships, many still looking like the converted barges that they once were, have now been replaced by purpose-built luxury ships with many of the facilities that were once found only on the larger ocean-going cruise liners.
Operators like AmaWaterways, Avalon, Uniworld and Viking amongst others have invested in new boats that incorporate more of the contemporary features of the large cruise lines. These new-builds feature amenities like spacious two-room suites, cabins with full balconies, Wi-Fi, gyms, spas, swimming pools and multiple dining venues.
What makes a river cruise so different from an ocean cruise is the emphasis on the places visited. Every day a new port. The operator does not try to capture you on board with a ‘cruise only day’. Often guided tours are included, and no one opts to spend a day enjoying the boat when they could be out exploring. River itineraries feature a mix of sophisticated stops such as Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne and Budapest and picturesque villages like the Danube’s Durnstein and Cochem on the Moselle. View the countryside from a different perspective, anyone who knows the Rhine valley would say that the best views are to be had relaxing on board as you glide peacefully along, far from the hustle and bustle of the roads.
As river cruising becomes more popular so do the itineraries with more and more of Europe’s waterways opening up. As well as the Danube, Rhine and Moselle the smaller Rhine tributaries such as the Main are now open, as well as the Douro in Portugal, and the Seine, Rhone, Dordogne and Garonne in France.
Further afield cruise itineraries in South East Asia such as Vietnam and Myanmar have exploded on to the scene in the last few years. Enjoy exploring the many exotic destinations then returning to the sanctuary of your well-appointed cabin each evening.
African adventures still feature with the Nile being the original experience to savour by following in the footsteps of Hercule Poirot. But what about a cruise in the heart of Africa with a few days on the Chobe in Botswana as part of a safari experience?
Let’s not forget two of the greatest rivers of the world – The Amazon and the Mississippi. The only way to see the Amazon and its wonders is to take a river cruise and who would not want to experience the glory days of a paddle wheel steamer trip along the ‘Big Muddy’.
It is not just the destination that is being promoted. On offer are speciality cruises such as wine tasting experiences. Christmas Market and Easter time Dutch Bulb Field cruises have extended the cruising season in Europe into the shoulder and winter months.
To enquire about river cruising, or anything else travel related please fill in the form below and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can.
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