Have you "been there, done that" and want a different type of vacation experience? How about a truly unique trip for a family reunion or simply a group of friends? Are you looking for time to unwind and unplug? Interested in visiting roads and waters less traveled, getting into the heart of a country, strolling through quaint villages, mingling with locals?
A luxury barge cruise may be just the ticket!
Photo courtesy of European Waterways
River cruising is quite popular, for many great reasons. Especially in Europe, where rivers have long been major transportation hubs, cruises offer passengers ample opportunity to experience history at its best and visit sites off the well traveled trail. The number of passengers onboard is far less than ocean cruising, which creates a more intimate environment, smaller excursion groups and time to meet and mingle with fellow travelers.
Oceans or rivers, wide open or more intimate waterways, foreign lands or closer to home, I love to cruise - no doubt about it. I've been on more cruises than many, but far far fewer than many avid cruisers, like some new friends made on a transatlantic cruise last summer. A good number had over 500 days! I loved listening to where they had been, the ships they were on, where they were going next, and best of all, their most memorable experiences. Truly inspirational!
Last year, travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance published the results of their survey indicating that two-thirds of Americans have never taken a cruise. The stated reasons included prohibitive prices, susceptibility to sea sickness, fear of getting ill, bad reputation or word of mouth. I understand these concerns (yes, these things can occasionally happen), however I can tell you that cruises are fantastic values, amazing experiences, and most importantly, FUN!
To many of the 66% who have not been on a cruise: you are missing out! Here are my reasons why I love to cruise:
An island nation with a population over 5 million people, this Southeast Asian capital has grown into a hot destination, with its melting pot of cultures, great food, modern and iconic architecture, museums, gardens and more.
Singapore has a rich history, dating as far back as the third century, but modern Singapore was born in the early 1800's when Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles negotiated a treaty to establish Singapore as a British trading station. Today, Singapore is a city of sharp contrasts - old and modern, green and concrete, colonial and skyscrapers. Read on to check out the top things to see and experience in Singapore, a vibrant and young city state that became independent in 1965.
One of the most awe inspiring cruises I have ever taken was about eleven years ago from Valparaiso, Chile to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Every port of call was so very unique, from Punta Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine Park (picture above) and Ushuaia, the starting point for many Antarctic cruises, to Montevideo, Uruguay, Buenos Aires and of course Rio. We even went out to the Falkland Islands. I would take this exact same cruise again as it offered so many exceptional experiences.
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder