River cruising has become very popular in the last ten years, especially with active older travelers, however, more and more demographics are beginning to take notice of the advantages of river cruises over ocean cruising. Many of the large river cruise lines, like Viking River Cruises, are aggressively pursuing the younger traveler. Luxury brands often associated with ocean cruising, like Crystal Cruises, are entering the river cruise market with a focus on the savvy traveler. Companies are also offering more exotic destinations, adventurous excursions, and unique experiences.
A recent river cruise with Viking from the gastronomic capital of Lyon, France to the beautiful medieval walled city of Avignon in Provence reminded us of the reasons why you should consider a river cruise for your next vacation.
1. All-inclusive pricing
Many lines now offer all-inclusive pricing and include regional wines with meals. Certain excursions, tips, premium wines, and alcoholic beverages in the bar may be extra, but you can budget ahead for those expenses so there’s no end-of-vacation cost surprises.
2. Unpack once
Whether you travel a lot or only travel once a year for vacation, nobody wants to pack and unpack every day or every few days. Once you’re on the ship, you move from one destination to the next and never have repack your bags, rent a car, change hotels, or race through an airport to catch another plane. It’s more relaxing and allows more time for exploring and enjoying the destinations.
3. Visit beautiful destinations around the globe
River ships navigate the waterways of some the most fascinating places in the world: The iconic rivers of Europe such as the Loire River in France and the Douro River in Portugal; the Amazon River in Peru and Brazil; the Nile River in Egypt; the Yangtze River in China; and the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. With the ships docking so close to major cities and their most popular attractions, you’re able to see more of these amazing places and get a better overview of the destinations. Join one of the many pre-planned excursions or take off on your own to explore and take part in the activities that most interest you.
5. More focused on travel than ocean cruises
Most ocean cruise ships are like self-contained cities with a multitude of on-board activities and dining options, while river cruising affords the opportunity for more off-ship exploring, learning, adventure, and excursions that appeal to a broader audience.
6. Great for family time
With so many options for things to do each day through various excursions or self-guided activities, and an established dining experience that can be shared together, river cruises are a great way for older parents and adult children to spend time together. Each can enjoy what interests them the most by day without the need for constant togetherness, yet being together on the cruise provides moments for family time and bonding.
So, pick the part of the world you’ve been dreaming about traveling to and book a river cruise for your next vacation.