Having now been on several river cruises I thought I’d share with you why I love them
I love exploring and I love a city break, a river cruise enables you to get to the heart of the destination and literally walk into town (or village, or vineyard!)
- Being on a river cruise is a very different experience to an ocean cruise
- Think floating boutique hotel- most ships have around 150 pax, the service is much more personal
- You soon feel at home onboard, you won’t get lost onboard! The crew feel like family very quickly
- Great food and many ships use locally produced ingredients and wines
- Amazing service, with an average 1-3 ratio of crew:passengers
- Most operators include some excursions. The higher end ones will often include a special experience e.g. in Portugal we had dinner in a port cellar
- It’s relaxed – you don’t need to dress up smart casual is fine. Quite often there’s a captain’s dinner so if you want to dress up a bit that night people do.
- Sit on deck watch world go by most provide comfy chairs and blankets if its a bit chilly! Some have pools/hot tubs
- No seasickness
- Very few kids (sorry kids!) There are some companies that have kids facilities but most are adult focused
- Locks and bridges are exciting- its amazing how close you get to the edges!
- Great value for money
- It’s easy to make friends, the lounge onboard is the heart of the ship. You will meet there for shore excursion info, enjoy pre/post dinner drinks and watch the world go by in the daytime through the large windows. We have made friends on every cruise we’ve been on (if you want to be on your own that’s fine too!)
- There are rivers around the world to explore including the Mississippi on paddle steamers, The Ganges, The Mekong, The Nile, The Rhine, The Douro and The Seine.
My top tips
- Get the right ship for you (that’s my job,, having been on a few I know which will be best)
- Look carefully at what’s included some include absolutely everything ( drinks,trips,tips,cycle hire, )whilst others just include meals
- They are not great for people with walking issues- you often have to go up steps, there’s no lift to the top deck , and you often have to cross other ships to get off
- Dress before opening curtains (ships dock next to each other and you or your neighbour may get a surprise!)