A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience: The River Cruise

Traditionally, here at Cruise Planners, ocean cruises have been the more popular type of cruise vacations. In recent years, however, river cruises have gained popularity as a means of visiting some interesting destinations. River cruises are similar to ocean cruises in many ways, but there are some differences.

River cruises are generally calmer than ocean-based trips due to the calmer water passages used. Since a river cruise is close to land at all times, the cruise line will generally offer shore excursions each day. These excursions can be included in the ticket price or can be additional expenses.

Sue and Marv Weber, as experienced cruise consultants for over 18 years, know that ocean cruise lines can offer only a limited number of enrichment-types of shore excursions. Although both river cruises and ocean cruises offer onboard entertainment and planned meals, river cruise lines usually are more tuned into the local ambiance and cuisine.

Many cruise destinations include a trip to a scenic or well-known area.  As such, river cruises are generally scheduled on bodies of water that bypass popular cities, landmarks, and scenery. The open season for these cruises depends on the location and weather of the area.

European locations are popular destinations for many river cruises. River ships sail the Seine, seeing landmarks such as the Eiffel tower in Paris, France. Further east, cruise ships can sail on the Volga in between Moscow and St. Petersburg. The scenery between these areas is appreciated on the cruise. The Rhine and the Danube are also popular destinations for many river ships, giving vacationers a look at European culture and architecture.