River Cruising: The Next Big Wave in the Cruising Industry.

If you have read many of my posts, you would know I’m an avid fan of cruise vacations.  I, along with my family have taken a dozen cruises on various lines aboard ocean-sailing vessels to the Caribbean.  It has become my family’s vacation of choice for the past 8-9 years and that passion has not waned yet.

Deutsch: Flusskreuzfahrtschiff Viking Sky von ...

Viking Sky, Viking River Cruises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cruising has become one of the most popular segments of the travel industry with no signs of letting up.  Now, a new wave of cruising is emerging and rapidly growing in popularity with booming demand: River Cruising!  Why has river cruising become so popular?  Nothing can compare to seeing the world from a river.  Where else but on a river can you leisurely journey into the heart of the world’s greatest cities and towns while discovering the true nature of the land around them?  Having the luxury of comfort and conveinence, river cruising offers a larger variety of ports than could be encountered any other way.  You spend less time getting there and more time being there!  It’s no wonder that river cruising has become the fastest growing segment of the travel industry.

Because so many cities and towns were developed along rivers and waterways, they were literally made to be accessible by the river.  On a river cruise you sail right up to the heart of world-renowned cities like Paris, Vienna, Budapest, and St. Petersburg and walk right off the ship into the center of town.  I am a big history buff, and the historical significance of these cities and many other port stops is what turned me on to river cruising.  Because the ports are so easily accessible and close in distance, the amount of time I can spend exploring the history in each area is greatly increased from the ports I’ve stopped at on ocean-sailing vessels.

Vikin River Cruises "Clara Schumann"...

Viking River Cruises “Clara Schumann” on the Elbe in Dresden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These ships are small and accommodate between 120-260 guests.  Depending on the itinerary, that number may even be less.  It is easy to make new friends, one aspect I enjoy about cruising.  There is no waiting in long lines to embark, disembark, or to have a meal, one aspect I do not enjoy anytime.

There are several companies to choose from when booking a river cruise, all of which I would recommend.  They include Viking River Cruises voted World’s Best by Travel + Leisure, Avalon Waterways with 80 years of experience, Tauck voted “World’s Best River Cruise Line for Families” by Travel + Leisure,  and AmaWaterways featuring gold medal dining, just to name a few.

These river-going vessels have itineraries on almost every continent and cruise down some of the most picturesque rivers like the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Yangtze, and Nile.  There are even itineraries that take guests up and down the Mississippi on paddle boats reminiscent of days gone by.  Unlike ocean cruising where on sea days your view usually is the open sea, river cruising allows you to enjoy breathtaking scenery that is ever changing.  The ships are beautifully appointed with panoramic windows in the lounges and restaurants allowing you to take in the view from inside.  You can also take in the stunning 360 degree view in the fresh air on the large sun deck appointed with lounge chairs.

River cruise ships on the Danube in Budapest.

River cruise ships on the Danube in Budapest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The itineraries are generally all inclusive.  By that I mean it includes all meals, and on many itineraries guests are invited ashore to dine in a pre-selected restaurant.  Depending on the company you chose to book with wine, beer and, soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner and guests can help themselves to tea, coffee, and cappuccino anytime.  There are a few companies that include alcohol at anytime.  Guided shore excursions with highlights of each and every destination are included in your fare, as well as a variety of cultural events.  A one-night, pre-cruise hotel stay at a 4- or 5-star hotel is included to get your river cruising vacation started on the right foot.  For an added night most companies will arrange extend pre or post-cruise stays, as well as airfare.

I have not had the opportunity to experience this new wave of the cruise industry yet, but I hope it will not be too long before I do.  Considering how popular river cruising has become, it appears I am not the only one to feel this way.  I have included a short video to give you a small glimpse into what a river cruise is like.  If you have any interest in experiencing this or any other type of travel, please feel free to contact me either by leaving me a message here or emailing me through my travel site.  You can also like my Facebook page and contact me there as well.

Explore Viking River Cruises

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