River Cruising is now being discovered by those wanting a holiday that is all about the destination, the new modern ships have raised the standards and are now definitely attracting a younger crowd. Value for money is also exceptional when compared to other types of touring holidays.
It's a very relaxing way to explore - once aboard you can let the scenery come to you - there are no early morning tour buses to catch and no complicated city centre roads to navigate trying to find your next hotel. River Cruises take you through calm waters so there is no issue of sea sickness or the travel sickness of coach or car journeys.
Most of the river ships have between 50 and 100 cabins all of which have windows. There were 20 new river cruise boats launched in 2015 and more planned for 2016, but unlike ocean cruise liners they are not continually growing. The size of river cruise ships is governed by the width and length of the locks they have to travel through and the height of bridges on the rivers.
When comparing River Cruise prices it’s important to consider what’s included in the price. Your food is always included and not having to pay for meals each day make a big difference to your overall holiday cost. On-board you will find a range of dining options with flexible times and featuring local specialities; with chefs purchasing fresh supplies in local towns each day. Wine, beer or soft drinks are generally included with meals but some have now extended this to include all your drinks on-board.
River Cruises are now on sale for 2017 - pay just a deposit to secure your cabin.
River Cruising is all about the destination you are visiting. Most days you will cruise for half the day and then dock for half of the day to explore. In larger cities you will have at least a day and sometimes the itinerary will include an overnight stay. Many cruise lines now include complimentary excursions and offer passengers Quietvox receivers on tours so you don’t have to struggle to stay close to your guide. Because the vessels are small you get to moor right in the heart of the places you visit - you don’t have to take organised tours, it’s easy to just walk ashore and wander at your own pace.
When sailing there is always somewhere to relax and something to see as you pass through the countryside, towns and cities. There are guest lecturers to tell you more about the area and help passengers understand the history that has shaped the destination. For those who want more there are on-board activities with many new ships now including wellness centres with gyms and spas, cookery demonstrations, walking tracks and of course books, cards and games.
The most popular River Cruise destinations for British passengers are the great European waterways of the Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Elbe. Travelling is easy with either a short flight from a regional airport, train and Eurostar or coach travel to join the ship. Itineraries can be tailor-made to add extra nights at the beginning or end of your trip.
Our most popular one week cruise is along the Rhine taking you from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland. Sailing through France and Germany this cruise is filled with centuries of history and culture, passing through the magnificent Rhine Gorge and to the edge of the Black Forest. The Upper Danube is also a favourite – a one week cruise will typically include Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, Melk and Durnstein.
A river cruise is a great way to discover Russia, with the twelve night itinerary linking Moscow and St Petersburg. Highlights include the cities which merit at least two full days of sightseeing, and the waterway itself.
For more information call the Adeona Travel team today on: 0161 486 9247
The rivers of SE Asia and the USA are growing in popularity with passengers increasingly adding a river cruise into a longer itinerary to really experience their destination. The Mekong is the 10th longest river in the world; rising in the Tibetan Plateau in China and flowing through Myanmar (Burma) and Laos, into Cambodia and Vietnam. Our most popular itinerary being a seven night cruise between Siem Reap in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Itineraries include Phnom Penh and visit the small villages, temples and floating markets.
The Mississippi is the fourth longest river in the world and flows from Minnesota to New Orleans. River cruising here is all about paddle wheeler boats, taking passengers back to the 19th century when the river was a vital transport link for goods and people.
River cruising is almost exclusively an adult pastime however one company has responded to requests for family friendly accommodation and has introduced interconnecting cabins on their new ships. For those travelling alone the small number of passengers makes it easy to have company when you want it but also space to explore and be on your own. For those with limited mobility the size of river boats means they may not be accessible as the ocean vessels. Some older vessels have stair lifts between decks, the more modern ships do have lifts and adapted cabins but all areas of the ship may not be accessible.
The evening entertainment on river cruises is understated; generally just music and a little dancing. There are no big production shows or headline grabbing activities, although on one new cruise boat the pool room does turn into a cinema in the evenings with the water stored in tanks!
On a river cruise ship cabins can be divided into four types:
Outside at or below water level – This is the ‘lead in grade’ and despite not having a picture window – just a long narrow window at the top, these cabins are very light and feel more spacious than you might expect.
Outside with Picture Window – These are above the waterline- in the more modern ships the window are very large and afford great views.
French Balcony – these have floor to ceiling windows that open to a rail so you get fresh air but you can’t stand outside.
Balcony – these are only available on the newer vessels and in many ways are the result of pressure from ocean cruise passengers now taking to the rivers. It is hard for the ship designers to include balconies because the vessels can’t be made any wider if they are to fit through the locks. Different cruise lines have found different solutions but perhaps the most adaptable is a balcony seating area with floor to ceiling windows that feels part of your cabin either as a sun room when the glass is closed or a balcony when it is opened.
River Cruising is still quite a specialist holiday but if you enjoy touring and like to be immersed in your destination then we can heartily recommend it. With the new modern vessels offering high standards and great value for money, river cruising is set to grow in popularity.