When someone mentions a cruise, you probably think of a large ship sailing the ocean between port cities. River cruising, however, has been rapidly gaining popularity. Even though more travelers are asking about this vacation option, it is still is a bit of a mystery to many. Today I’m sharing five things you should know about river cruises.
1 – Location, Location, Location
A river cruise connects you to your destination like no other travel experience. You are surrounded by scenery as you sail between ports, viewing landmarks from a unique perspective. Smaller ships allow you to dock closer to port cities, often in the center of town and within walking distance of dining, shopping, and sightseeing.
2 – Less is More
It’s true that your ship will have fewer bells and whistles than an ocean cruise, but don’t let the absence of glitzy casinos and large-scale production shows deter you. The river cruise experience is much more personal, allowing more opportunities to interact with the crew and your fellow passengers. Your cruise may also include onboard activities like tastings of regional wine or beer, performances by the area’s dancers or musicians, and cooking demonstrations by local chefs.
3 – Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges
When you’re comparing vacation options, it’s important to look beyond the initial price tag and understand the value of what is included. Many additional charges you’d pay during other trips—such as transfers and transportation, beer or wine at dinner, upgraded cabin amenities and views, and even shore excursions—are often included in the cost of your river cruise.
4 – Be An Early Bird
As much as I love a spontaneous travel adventure, river cruises don’t easily lend themselves to being last-minute getaways. Planning works best when it’s done well in advance of your travel dates, so you’ll have plenty of time to coordinate airfare, pre- or post-hotel stays, and other details. Fewer cabins means these cruises can fill quickly, especially for holiday or other specialty itineraries. Your LoveShack Vacations agent can look for early booking specials, which often include savings on your cabin or credit toward your airfare.
5 – Not Just Europe
Although Europe’s waterways are the most popular choice, river cruising is also a fantastic way to explore exotic destinations. Travel with ease as you experience the culture, architecture, and history of Southeast Asia, China, Egypt, or South America.
Which river cruise destination would you like to explore?
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