Rollin’ Down the River
By: Brad Harris
Tired of the same old vacation? Looking for something new and exciting? When you think Europe, you think “been there, done that!” Although you may have sailed the eastern and western Mediterranean, the British Isles and Northern Europe, you haven’t seen anything yet. In Europe, most cruise ships stick to the same old coastal routes showcasing amazing cities like Edinburgh, Istanbul and Seville, but much of Europe’s charm lies in its interior cities.
Although many of Europe’s rivers and canals are too small for most cruise ships, they are not too small for a fleet of specially designed river ships and barges. River and canal voyages are becoming an increasingly popular option amongst travelers who enjoy cruising but want to see more of the country. But river cruising is quite different than typical cruising. For one, river cruise ships rarely hold more than 200-plus passengers, giving the ships a smaller feel. Onboard amenities are limited in comparison to the larger ships, although you will find luxurious staterooms onboard most river ships and some include balconies. Entertainment onboard is limited. These ships carry no casinos and tend to offer nightly entertainment such as a piano player or a local entertainer. Newer ships are starting to add more amenities in the way of fitness centers, swimming pools and Internet access. One big difference between river cruising and ocean cruising is that river cruises typically include shore excursions in the overall cruise fare. Itineraries may incorporate major cities, but your experience will focus more on smaller towns and villages. Days at sea are rare and waterways are much calmer than those on ocean-based trips.
In addition to Europe, river cruises are available in Russia, China and Egypt. Most river and canal ships operate seasonally, during spring, summer and fall months with a break during the winter, although some Asian operators will go year-round. An exception is the Christmas season in Europe, where several river cruise operators offer voyages that stop in towns and cities with Christmas markets.
There are a number of river cruise lines offering a variety of itineraries including Uniworld River Cruises, Viking River Cruises, Peter Deilmann River Cruises and Amadeus Waterways. Each line is different and unique in their own way.
So if you want to spend more time exploring the destination rather than getting to it, a river cruise is just for you. CruiseOne offers a variety of river cruises at exceptional prices along with excellent personal service. Contact Brad Harris, your Local Independent Cruise Specialist at (337) 477-2677 or toll free at (877)905-7245 for more information.