What is a River Cruise Like? And is it Right For Me?


While cruise holidays are quintessentially associated with glittering blue oceans and gorgeous tropical beaches, there is a new kind of voyage gaining rapid population among discerning travellers.

In the past few years the river cruising industry has enjoyed an unprecedented boom thanks to the growing number of luxury vessels and ever increasing itinerary of exciting destinations.  To help you decide if you want to jump on-board the river cruise trend, we’ve compiled this useful guide that offers a complete overview of the river cruise experience.

The ship

River cruising vessels are sleek, elegant and generally much smaller than their ocean liner counterparts. They have minimal decks enabling them to effortlessly glide underneath major locks and bridges. They are also built with much lower drafts which allow them easily navigate rivers, waterways, canals and inland lakes. On average, river cruise vessels are a maximum of 12 metres in width, three decks in height and capable of carrying around 200 passengers.

The facilities

Thanks to their close proximity to land, river cruise vessels will often offer passengers complimentary Wi-Fi which is almost unheard of on ocean voyages. There are generally a great range of other perks on offer such as fitness centres, spas, salons, butler service and small swimming pools.

As space is limited, the choice of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues is small, however the facilities that are available will generally of impeccable quality. Outdoor dining venues and glass walled observatories and indoor terraces that take full advantage of the ever changing scenery all feature on some of the industry’s premium river vessels.

As far as accommodation goes, the growing popularity of river cruising and increasing competition between lines has resulted in the launch of some delightfully lavish vessels. Many staterooms now offer features such as French balconies and floor to ceiling windows.

The destinations

As expected, a river cruise calls at ports located on or near rivers and other inland bodies of water. This means there is a heavy focus on chic cosmopolitan cities and charming riverside towns. From romantic European of the Rhine to the exotic intrigue of the Mekong Delta, a river cruise will take you to destinations that larger ships simply couldn’t access.

The experience

If you’re looking for an intimate, sophisticated and wonderfully relaxing experience, a river cruise is a fantastic choice. The overall feel of the ships is incredibly luxurious while the slow paced sail embodies the essence of a relaxing getaway. You’ll have plenty of time to kick back and soak up the scenery as well as embark at port and explore some of the amazing river cruise destinations.

If you like the sound of river cruising, why not check out some of the amazing package deals on offer from Cruise 1st?  Whether you want to soak up the summer sunshine while cruising through the Norwegian fjords, marvel at the exotic sights and sounds of Nile or soak up the spectacular scenery and picturesque towns along the Danube, Cruise 1st has a river cruise deal that will perfectly suit your needs.


About Author

Since her first job at First Choice Holidays, Kelly has clocked up 12 years' experience in the travel industry. She specialises in cruise line news and transatlantic cruises.

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