A river cruise is a completely different experience to an ocean cruise. It is strange that at one time, the river cruise was considered the poor man’s ocean cruise. If anything, the contrary is true. The sea might be big, grandiose and beautiful, but due to their smaller size, river cruise ships can go where ocean liners cannot. Furthermore, river cruise ships will often dock right in the heart of age-old villages, towns and cities, given that historically settlements would grow up in proximity to water. Therefore they are a great means of accessing some of the most beautiful sights in the world. They’re also perfect for those who prefer land nearby than miles and miles of seemingly infinite sea, and more often than not, it’s relaxing, scenic stretches of countryside that you will see. Countryside that is sometimes studded with beautiful medieval castles that are straight out of storybooks.
River cruise ships are indeed smaller than ocean liners, allowing them to navigate sometimes narrow stretches of river. But some touring companies now offer river cruise breaks and holidays on unique, custom-built ships. These are designed to accommodate the same smaller numbers you’d expect on a river cruise ship (rather than on a busy ocean ship), but also to give all guests the space they’d expect on an ocean ship. The seemingly impossible space to be found in the accommodations aboard these ships is baffling and makes for an experience that easily rivals that of an ocean ship. Moreover, because the amount of guests per ships is still limited, these all-inclusive river cruises are like intimate 5-star hotel experiences.
And yes, I did mention the words ‘all-inclusive’. This is a popular phrase amongst 21st century holidaymakers, and it is easy to see why. It takes an enormous amount of pressure off when you can literally leave your wallets and purses at home because everything has already been taken care of – emphasis on the ‘everything’. Meals and drinks, including tea, coffee, wine, beer and water, plus onshore excursions and activities, plus all travel and transfers are included when you book the holiday. Furthermore, there are often extras that you wouldn’t expect to be included.
River cruise holidays are becoming increasingly popular. They are a relaxing way of exploring the world’s most beautiful attractions, the most dazzling examples of the natural world, the most ancient, diverse and exciting cities and the most enduring, captivating stories, mysteries and legends.