For those of you who have yet to experience one of the most beautiful travel pastimes ever created, River Cruising in 2018 and 2019 should be at the top of your list, and here's why:
Difference Between A River Cruise And An Ocean Cruise
Aside from size, which is pretty obvious, unless you're cruising aboard a super luxury line such as Crystal, Regent, or Silversea, one of the inclusions that separate a river cruise from all other ocean lines is their all-inclusive amenity, which includes:
- Alcoholic Beverages Some lines vary in their policy; however, most include Beer & Wine with lunch & Dinner. In many cases, the beer & wine they serve are normally from the region you visit, which makes the experience that much more interesting, educational, and fun. Most ocean lines provide different beverage packages (Beer, Wine, Ultimate or Premium) at an extra charge.
- Roundtrip Airport Transfers Airport Transfers are normally not included with most ocean lines regardless of whether or not you purchase your flights through them. River cruise lines on the other hand do include roundtrip airport transfer service, and the best part is you don't have to purchase their flights.
- Sightseeing Excursions Unless you're used to traveling aboard a luxury brand line such as Crystal or Regent, you're in for a treat as river cruises include sightseeing excursions in their packages. Imagine not having to pre-purchase your excursions or worse yet waiting to the last minute to learn excursions are sold out? Not at all an issue with river cruises. Once again, some policies vary from others and it's important to first know what those include or exclude before purchasing.
- You Get To See More On A River Cruise: Unlike ocean cruises that sail the Mediterranean coastline, river cruises take you through the heart of Europe. Before there were large vehicles capable of transporting lumber, stone, and textiles, Europeans utilized boats to get material from point A to point B. The first major cities and villages pitched their first tent along the rivers of Europe. Cities like Prague are on the Danube, which is why it's one of the most popular cities to visit via river cruise.
River Cruise Ships
Unlike ocean cruises where ships have stretched to accommodate whole towns, a European river cruise ship, for example, is dictated by the bridges and locks these vessels must pass under or through. That said, any given river cruise in Europe MUST not exceed a length of 410 feet and a width of 38 feet. European river cruise ships can accommodate between 100 & 200 passengers.
Major Rivers In Europe
River Cruise Ships cruise along the following major rivers in Europe:
- Danube River: Located in Central Europe, The Danube stretches through Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Ukraine & this is to name a few countries. Of the most popular river cruises, The Danube holds the record with cruises involving Prague, Vienna, & Budapest as the most popular river cruise in Europe.
- Rhine River: Stretching through Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland, The Rhine has perhaps the most river cruises to choose from. A Rhine River Cruise consists of endless castles along the river bank. Imagine cruising along the Rhine at a relaxing crawl and seeing castles that have stood for centuries.
- Seine River: Stretching 483 miles from northeastern France through Paris, emptying into the English Channel, The Seine River flows along some of the most beautiful & romantic places in all the world. If food and wine are your main reasons for taking a Seine River Cruise, you are in for a treat! Boeuf Bourguinon, Coq au Vin, and Escargot are just some of the French Classics waiting for you along the Seine.
- Douro River: Flowing from Soria Provence to Porto, The Douro River stretches 557 miles through what was once the main highway for transporting wine in flat-bottomed rabelos. A total of fifteen dams were constructed to regulate the water flow and generate hydroelectric power on the Douro.
- Volga River: Stretching a staggering 2,294 miles throughout Central Russia and emptying into The Caspian Sea, The Volga River is by far the longest river in Europe. Half of the largest cities in Russia including Moscow are a drainage basin. Volga River Cruises typically sail between Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Journey along the rivers of Europe, China and Russia and explore these fascinating destinations all in the comfort of a river cruise. Your Europe river cruise package includes deluxe cabin accommodations, meals, sightseeing and so much more. See all that these countries have to offer and cruising the great rivers allows you to explore not only the large cities but quaint villages. Experienced travelers agree that a Europe river cruise is one of the most enjoyable and hassle-free ways to explore Europe's castles, cathedrals and picturesque villages. Come and enjoy the very best of Europe, China and Russia on a River Cruise!
Benefits of taking a River Cruise through Europe
1. Modern Ships
River cruise ships have recently been compared to small boutique hotels. The ships are modern with a selection of large staterooms and suites, and everything you need onboard. Fitness center, spa. restaurants and many new features are now available.
2. Cruise Europe's Most Scenic Waterways
You can enjoy the scenery including amazing castles and architecture from your cabin or deck while traveling from one region to another while enjoying fresh air or even a glass of wine.
3. An Inclusive with Exceptional Value
Prices includes shore excursions, your meals, wine with dinner, local entertainment and often even free wifi. Because the ship holds only around 150 passenger, you can expect personalized service throughout your vacation.
4. Travel through the Heart of Europe
You can cruise from Amsterdam to the black sea and each time you arrive somewhere you are right in the center of the city. No cabs or buses. Just a short walk and you can enjoy the locals, culture and cuisine of each area you are visiting.
5. Complimentary Shore Excursions
Expert local guides offer an over view of the area, and then you can enjoy free time on your own. Perhaps you would like to use the complimentary bicycles on board.
Whether you want to cruise past vineyards, castles and ruins along the Danube, or see the enchanting lowland plains and high peaks of the Alps in Germany, or the Temples, Tombs and Treasure of the Nile, you can find it all here.
Choose from the most reputable river cruise companies including Avalon Waterways, Uniworld, AMAWaterways, Tauck and Viking River Cruises.