#1: Travel the Intimate Way
Instead of sharing your vacation with 3,000 other travelers on an ocean liner, how about setting sail with less than 150 travelers on a River Cruise? The mere number of passengers lends the river cruise a particularly intimate feel — vacationers end their days chatting with other passengers on the not-too-crowded deck, swapping travel stories and tips, and sometimes making life-long friends in the process. And if you need some “just-the-two-of-us” time, it’s easy to steal away a moment or two alone exploring the ship’s nooks and crannies. Service, too, takes on a more intimate feel: by the end of the trip, chances are your servers will be greeting you warmly by name.
#2: An Incredible Experience, Magnified
Gliding across the water is a travel experience unlike anything else! The magical experience of being on the water in an inland waterway is amplified by the long, angular ships that get you up close and personal with the water rushing past you. In fact, many river cruise ships are only two levels tall. Imagine beginning every morning of you vacation by sipping hot coffee on your balcony while the cool spray of the water below provides you with a refreshing wakeup ritual. On a river cruise, everything’s closer, brighter, realer — even the waterways you travel on.
#3: Don’t Pay Extra for Fun
Let’s face it: on an ocean cruise, the real fun usually comes through excursions when you dock in your port cities. Unfortunately, the cost of an excursion at every port can add up. That’s simply not the case on river cruises, where almost every excursion is included in your reservation cost. What’s more, river cruises typically have several excursion options on any given day, tailored to the varied needs of their passengers. Stroll leisurely through one of Old Europe’s quaint towns on a special tour for gentle walkers, or take the complimentary bikes on board for a spin across the countryside. Whatever your vacation speed, the myriad of options on river cruises can accommodate you. Since your excursions were included and paid in your cruise fare, you will have more money for souvenirs for your loved ones back home!
#4: Exclusive Access to Incredible Places
Imagine sailing past not only the cultural capitals of Europe, Asia, or Africa, but also dropping an anchor at the hard-to-reach gems and hidden tiny towns considered the continent’s best-kept secrets. With river cruising, that’s possible. While giant ocean cruisers can only dock in large — often touristy — port cities, the nimble design of river cruise ships allows them to take passengers deep into the heart of inland countries. The result? More authentic experiences at destinations you may not have thought were easily reachable — or even destinations you’ve never even heard of! This is “off-the-beaten-path” travel at its best!
#5: Savor Built-In Independence
With river cruise lines’ increased nimbleness comes increased independence for passengers. Small ships are often able to dock right in the heart of the city or town, meaning you’ll be able to stroll straight off the ship and into an incredible array of astounding architecture, bustling local markets, or world-renowned museums. No vacation is complete without a little free time, so when you’re ready to take a break from guided excursions, you’ll be able to walk right off the ship and explore a whole new world — now how’s that for travel magic?