River Cruise Deck
Photo By: David Blaikie (Creative Commons)

You know how the great, big ocean cruise beckons – and it’s always so hard to resist. It promises a fun, luxurious getaway to an exciting, faraway paradise of a destination.

But, what about river cruises? They are experienced through those relatively quieter, cozier ships that glide through picturesque, at times historical, river banks. The ships are smaller, and you’re less likely to be headed to a sandy beach.

Does that sound less thrilling? Well, it’s about time you look at river cruising in a different light. Here are five best reasons why you should book one soon:

River cruises are, more often than not, all-inclusive

Ocean cruises have so much to offer – quite literally – and this could mean so much to spend on too. Think professional photographer pictures, that vintage bottle of wine, and even that specialty coffee brew you love so much – the expenses can really add up.

While river cruises are not exactly scrimping on onboard fancies, there are less to almost no ‘add-ons’ to surprise you when you end your cruise. Costs are usually upfront, and any add-ons to the basic package are availed of and paid for when you book your cruise.

And since they sail closer to land – you won’t leave your social media feeds wanting. Yes, free wi-fi (with a decent speed) is usually available onboard!

River cruises offer well-planned tours as part of the cruise package

Ocean cruises let you explore your destination – but how you do it is largely up to you. As opposed to river cruises, which provide you with well-planned itineraries, activities, and even accommodations, so you can fully enjoy all the highlights your destination has to offer.

You will be going to key points in the city you’re visiting, and will be given the opportunity to fully explore it. Sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, visit a museum, see ancient castles, mingle with the locals, sample local cuisine – your list of things to do on land (and onboard) is never boring.

You also never have to fuss about planning your itinerary, all you have to do on a river cruise – is show up.

River Cruise

Photo By: Rolf Heinrich, Köln (Creative Commons)

River cruises provide a laid-back, educational, culture-rich experience

You know what happens on an ocean cruise ship. There will be a couple (or more)  grand productions, brand-name shopping, luxurious spa visit, beach excursions, and yes, a lot of fun parties.

River cruises do offer equally enjoyable opportunities to socialize with other cruisers (in a more relaxed setting though), but on top of those, their main focus is to let you soak in the culture of the city you’re visiting.

In addition to visiting a city’s most beautiful spots, you’ll also get to enjoy local delicacies from the best local sources, enjoy performances from the sought-after folk groups in the city, often with magazine-worthy city vistas as your backdrop.

You go to the center of the action, and enjoy a truly authentic experience of what a city has to offer.

River cruises are luxurious, relaxing, and intimate

With river cruises, you’ll most likely be spending more time on land exploring than onboard. Still, new ships have been decked out to ensure that you have a grand  experience when you’re on the cruise.

Cabins have been transformed from cozy sleeping areas to upscale hotel-like accommodations. You can now expect to see luxurious lounge areas, pools, hot tubs, and even private balconies! And since you’re on a smaller, less crowded ship compared to those of ocean cruises, these facilities can be fully enjoyed at a more relaxed pace.

River cruises also give you the chance to actually get to know more of your fellow cruisers and the friendly, helpful staff who will be making your cruise as comfortable as possible.

River cruises are easier to pack for.

River cruises have a more laid-back environment, and there are no formal nights. Dress code is casual, so your packing focus is more on looking decent and staying comfortable. You can include a couple of dressier options though for those ‘just in case’ moments.

Since you’ll also be staying closer to land, forgetting an item or two is not something to worry about. You are more likely to have the opportunity to ‘run to a store’ compared to when you’re on ocean cruise.

BONUS REASON: No huge waves, no strong currents mean no seasickness. River waters are almost always relatively calm. That in itself, make river cruising doubly desirable. This also means you actually get to maximize more hours out of your trip.

River Cruise

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