If you’ve booked your first river cruise in Europe, Asia or India, you already know some of the ways they differ from ocean cruises. Here’s a quick refresher on what to expect: you may discover some new tips here, too.
A more intimate experience. Most river ships carry just 100 to 200 passengers, making it easy to be social: you’ll dine and explore on shore with the same people each day, so it’s natural to make new friends. While there won’t be as many dining or entertainment venues as you would find on an ocean cruise ship, you’ll enjoy the advantages of sailing close to shore, which provides a constantly changing view and a greater feeling of connectedness to the places you visit.
River cruises do tend to attract mature travelers who have the time and resources to enjoy this type of vacation; but, a growing number of younger people – and even some families – are choosing the port-filled itineraries and easy pace of river cruising.
Easy sightseeing. Your cruise may include overnight stays in some river ports, but in general you’ll dock somewhere new each day. The smaller passenger count means you won’t need to wait in long lines when you leave or return to the ship. Plus, you’ll often step off the ship right into the center of town. You can explore on your own, or to take an organized tour of the city or inland sites.
Inclusivity. Exactly what’s included in the base fare of a river cruise varies from one cruise line to another, but you should be pleased. Many river cruise fares include shore excursions, Wi-Fi access, beverages, and maybe some special events in port, too.
Opportunities to be active. Most river cruise ships have a fitness area, though there may not be space for an expansive gym. But, there are lots of opportunities to be active on shore. Some ships sail with bicycles you can use in port; in some places, you can cycle ahead to meet the ship at the next stop. And, many shore excursions include opportunities to walk, hike or even do some serious climbing.
If you’re counting the days until your first river cruise, get ready for a wonderful experience! If you’re intrigued and want to know more, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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