During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, so they are especially relaxing—and interesting—to those who prefer land nearby. River cruises usually last from 7 to 15 days, although some can last 3 weeks or longer.
Some river ships resemble 5-star hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment. Accommodation, meals on board, entertainment and special events (holidays, festivals, contests, concerts, etc.) are usually included in the cruise price, while bar expenses, sauna, massage, laundry and cleaning, and phone calls are not.
Most cruises have a variety of onboard and onshore activities. The latter include guided tours to historic and cultural sites, visiting local attractions, museums and galleries, and other points of interest. Guides give a running commentary while sailing.
A river cruise provides travelers a unique way to travel. According to Douglas Ward, "A river cruise represents life in the slow lane, sailing along at a gentle pace, soaking up the scenery, with plentiful opportunities to explore riverside towns and cities en route. It is a supremely calming experience, an antidote to the pressures of life in a fast-paced world, in surroundings that are comfortable without being fussy or pretentious, with good food and enjoyable company."
Mr. Ward continues: "A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost constant sight of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas ocean-going ships tend to be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up to 4,000 people from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply walk up the gangway and into the town or city—in many cases the dock is located right at the heart of things. Despite these differences, however, most people who enjoy ocean cruising and the relaxing rhythm of life afloat are attracted to river cruises as well."
Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Danube, the Loboc River, the Rhine, the Seine, the Volga, the Douro or the Po river in Italy. There are several dozen river cruise companies ranging from single-ship businesses to large shipping companies operating dozens of river cruise ships.
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Ship: Viking Atla
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Ship: ms AmaViola
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Christmas Markets on the Rhine : 2019 - 7-Night Cruise with 2-Nights Pre-Cruise and 4 Nights Post-Cr
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Ship: ms AmaPrima
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Ship: Artistry II
See the highlights of Central Europe on this enchanting river cruise vacation.
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Destination: Asia/Far East
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This magical Southeast Asia river cruise along the Mekong River will take you through Vietnam and Cambodia, showing you the culture...
2019 : Jewels of Central Europe with 2 Nights London & 2 Nights Paris - Eastbound (WRB2) - Imagery I
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Savor the experience of Central Europe's gems along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, and Danube Rivers, and begin your adventure with a visit fo...
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Ship: Tapestry II
This fabulous river cruise combines time in France's unparalleled capital of Paris with beautiful scenery along the Seine River and the ...
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From Budapest to Amsterdam, and many exciting stops along the way, you'll be immersed in the culture of Central Europe in a unique way on t...
2019 : Colorful India & the Ganges River with Southern India, Varanasi & Kathmandu (WDKY) - Ganges V
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Destination: Asia/Far East
Ship: Ganges Voyager
Enter a world of color, culture, and cherished spiritual tradition of India and Nepal.
From $3,059.00 (USD)
See the grandeur of Germany with a scenic river cruise through its most picturesque destinations along the Main and Rhine Rivers.
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Cruise along the peaceful Danube River through Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany-stopping at some of Central Europe's most splendid c...