River cruises are becoming increasingly popular with the British cruising market. The beauty of river cruises is that they offer a more relaxed holiday than many of the bigger sea cruise lines. They enjoy a different atmosphere than that of the larger cruise liners. With fewer passengers and smaller ships they are more intimate and have an elegant, refined charm that passengers always love.
Although river cruise ships are smaller, they do not lose any of their luxury. Many river cruise vessels offer exclusively outside or balcony staterooms, so that passengers can always enjoy the views as the ship sails gently along the river. Staterooms are normally more spacious than those you would find on larger cruise liners too, meaning you’ll have more space to relax and enjoy your cruise holiday.
River cruises allow passengers the luxury of ever changing beautiful scenery at all times whilst on board. The most beautiful stretches of sailing are preserved for daytime cruising to allow passengers to enjoy the views, but most of the real sailing is done at night, which allows passengers as much time in ports as possible.
Another benefit of river cruises is that the ships are small enough to dock right in the heart of most destinations, allowing passengers the most time possible to explore without having to take shuttle buses into the centre of a destination.
Within Europe there are many different rivers to sail upon. There’s The Douro, The Rhine, The Moselle, The Danube, The Main, The Elbe, The Rhone and the Saone (which converge in gastronomic French city Lyon). Many of the rivers can be explored together for example, The Main and the Rhine.
The beauty of a river cruise is the ability to explore smaller towns and cities than you normally would on traditional sea cruises. Larger destinations such as Cologne, Vienna, Budapest are smattered with visits to small towns where the pace of life is slow and passengers can explore quiet towns and enjoy traditional architecture.
The Rhine is the most popular river for cruise passengers in Europe. Many of The Rhine’s itineraries will begin in Amsterdam and travel through Germany and to the Swiss border passing through some stunning scenery as the land rises and becomes more dramatic.
Further afield there is the River Nile, River Yangtze, River Mekong, River Dnieper and the River Volga. Each of these exotic locations would offer a very different style of river cruise from those within Europe. You’d get to explore local culture and traditions up close on a small, intimate river cruise ship, affording you a great snapshot of countries such as Russia and China.
For more information on Cruising by River click here