River cruising is more popular than ever and for good reason!
A river cruise is a one of a kind experience! Unlike other cruises, a river cruises allow travelers a chance to truly see a region. From scenic vistas to stately castles in old world settings, river cruising offers unique itineraries for the intrepid.
Recent trends in river cruising include:
•An industry wide 11% growth
•Expanding itineraries across multiple continents (Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Africa)
•Solo Travel Friendly with low or no Single Supplements
Here are some unique features about river cruising!
PricingIt’s important to read the fine print when selecting river cruises. The prices depend in part on schedules and accommodations.
- Price ranges: The cost of a river cruise typically runs from several hundred dollars to many thousands, and sometimes includes airfare.
- Discounts for early booking: Some cruise lines encourage early booking by discounting their prices. Because demand is so high, it’s unlikely a consumer will find last-minute deals.
- Hidden charges: Consumers should learn whether they’re required to pay costs such as port surcharges and Wi-Fi that are not included in the blanket cruise price.
CabinsA river cruise ship serves as a hotel as well as a boat; get higher-up cabins and larger windows for the best views.
- Height: The typical river cruise ship has three levels. A cabin on the lowest deck might afford a view only of the riverbank, while cabins on the third deck offer cityscape views; a midlevel cabin is okay in many cases, but unfortunate ship docking can result in a pole or object blocking windows. Lower-level cabins typically cost less.
- Design: Cabins come in varying sizes and with different accommodations, such as balconies. A cabin with about 160 square feet is adequate in most cases because when rooms start getting bigger than that, you’re not getting enough benefits in exchange for the extra money you pay.
Ship featuresJust as ships vary in size and shape, so does the feature they have aboard. Features can vary between a romantic room with floor to ceiling windows, or a pool for the whole family to enjoy.
- Amenities: Wi-Fi access, gyms, and pools are amenities on some ships. Also, most do not allow smoking.
- Entertainment: As opposed to the casinos and performances on oceangoing cruises, river cruises don’t offer much in the way of entertainment. Shuffleboard and piano concerts are generally as fancy as entertainment gets.
LogisticsConsumers need to plan their trips carefully and understand what happens when weather conditions and other factors do not perform as hoped.
- Bridges: When there hasn’t been much rain and water levels are low, cruise operators may have to change the routes of cruises on rivers with many bridges because the ships risk getting stuck on rocks. In flooding situations, the ship might not fit under the bridge. Responses include longer day tours and using buses instead of ships to get around.
- One way: Some cruises have routes that run one-way only, requiring consumers to fly out of a different city that they flew into, or to make arrangements to return to the original city they started at.
- Packages: Many cruises are part of an overall trip package that begins with, for example, a two-night stay in London and then a train trip to France, where the cruise itself begins.
ItineraryRiver cruises generally last from a few days to several weeks. Some cruises stop in big cities, while others stop in small cities, the city size depends on which rivers the cruise is on. It is important to look into these details when planning your trip.
- Free time: While the ships do most of their traveling at night, some passengers may prefer itineraries that allow them to experience more city nightlife.
- Tours: Onshore tour offerings vary from cruise line to cruise line, and some charge extra for certain tours.
DestinationConsumers can book river cruises in Europe, South America, China and many other places. They should use time of year as a guideline, particularly if they want to avoid tourist crowds on land.
- Season: Some cruise lines offer trips year round in all locations, while others limit trips to certain seasons such as tulip season or autumn.
- Country: Different countries have different entrance and visa requirements; for example, travelers to South Africa must have at least two blank passport pages.
You can see the guide in its entirety here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”