Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways.
Cruising the world’s rivers continues to be extremely popular, especially in Europe. This segment of travel has seen tremendous growth in the last ten years. New ships, new and revised itineraries - it's getting a lot of attention. According to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), cruises on the Rhine, Moselle, Danube and Elbe have grown 53% year over year. The Douro, Po and the waterways of France have grown between 24% and 30%.
Having been on a number of river cruises myself, I understand the attraction. It’s a fantastic experience, an easy and relaxed way to travel. Unpack and pack once, the captain does the driving, wake up refreshed and ready to explore a new town. Tours and free time included. Great food and drink. Making new friends. Need I say more?
I rave about river cruising and and I believe the overall experience is a great value for all that is included. But it’s not for everyone.
Following are several points you should know before booking any river cruise for the first time. Better to be armed with knowledge than being unpleasantly surprised.
Photo courtesy of Avalon Waterways.
These facts don't bother me in the least bit, and I'll tell you why.
I am very much an independent traveler - I like flexibility when traveling. But there are times when it is so nice not having to make all the decisions, to drive (the driver never gets to fully enjoy the country side), find parking, find my hotel, find great restaurants, schedule my own tours, etc. River cruising offers a great compromise.
Traveling with "older" guests? Not having evening entertainment? Limited dining venues? Not a problem. Most of the guests I have been with on these cruises have more energy than younger people on ocean cruises. And the places they have been! Makes for spectacular conversations. Who needs evening entertainment when you have that? Besides, in all honesty, after being out and about all day exploring, I'm tired anyway and retire to the cabin after dinner.
However, this is NOT about me. It's about what is important to you. Only you can determine if this is the right experience for you.
NEED MORE INSIGHT ABOUT RIVER CRUISING?
Call Laurie, your river cruise specialist,
at 602.540.7338 or email to get the process started.
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder