River cruises are getting more popular, and it’s easy to understand why. River cruise ships sail the inland waterways of North America, Europe, Asia and other spots around the globe, treating passengers to constantly changing scenery, immersive experiences on shore, and an intimate onboard environment. If you haven’t been on a river cruise yet, ask someone who has – we think they’ll recommend it. If you’re already a river cruise fan, what will be new and different in 2019? Here are some of the biggest trends in river cruising:
Special Interest Cruises. Voyages that appeal to specific interests aren’t just for ocean cruising. There are river cruises that focus on food or wine (think sailing through a winemaking region, with plenty of tours and tastings on the way), including beer-themed cruises for the brew masters among us. Others focus on art, World War history, Jewish heritage, gardens, golf and more. Some of the most popular special interest voyages focus on the charming, sparkling Christmas markets of Europe (a wonderful option for a holiday season cruise).
Multigenerational Cruises. This is important if you’re looking for a family cruise vacation. Some river cruise lines welcome children, while others are limited to adults. So, as you browse itineraries, make sure all the members of your family – including any tots, tweens and teens – will be able to get on board (your professional travel advisor can help you with this). If you plan to roll on the river with kids, check out the next trend, too – active cruises.
Active Cruises. Passengers who consider daily exercise a must want to work out on board, so river cruise lines are creating larger fitness centers with a greater variety of equipment and, in some cases, professional fitness instructors. As for being active on shore, river cruises call on a new town nearly every day, and you can explore them on walking tours of various intensities. Some port calls also give you the chance to explore via bike or kayak, or to swim at local beaches, too.
Eco-Sensitivity. River cruise ship lighting systems, heating and cooling, water treatment systems and windows are getting more energy-efficient all the time. During the next few years, watch for ships with higher-performing engines that have the potential to reduce fuel consumption. Some lines are also reducing the use of plastic products (straws, for example). After all, it’s essential for river cruise lines to protect the ecology and beauty of the rivers they sail upon.
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