River Cruising: Why I Love It So Much
One of the fastest growing ways of cruising in the world is river cruising. Virtually anywhere you find a major river, you can explore the land and the culture from the comfort of a river cruise ship. Whether it be China’s exotic Yangtze River, Egypt’s Nile with its many splendors, Europe’s spectacular Rhine, Danube, Main, Mosell, Rhone or Seine rivers with their many towns and magnificent castles, or the wonders of the Volga River and the Black Sea, a new adventure is literally just around the next bend.
My reasons for loving it so much
River cruising has become one of my favorite ways of cruising for many reasons:
- They have port intensive itineraries with new ports to visit every day.
- Because ancient cities were always built around the river, your cruise ship stops right in the heart of the city.
- These cruises always include free excursions at each port, which are guided by experienced and entertaining local tour guides.
- The boats are purpose built short and small to traverse the rivers, bridges and locks and are intimate, with as few as 128 passengers and usually no more that 170-180.
- Most of these riverboats have no inside cabins, so that leaves room for larger outside cabins.
- Most of the cabins have French Balconies – meaning a sliding door with a rail (most do not have actual walk-out balconies).
- All dining is open seating with set dining times.
- Riverboat cuisine lets you experience the local fruits, vegetables and unique dishes of the region, but still caters to the American palette for those less adventurous.
- The chefs will delight you with wonderful entrees as well as fantastic desserts and wine from the local area is always included with dinner.
- The onboard experience and entertainment is representative of the regions traveled with local musicians, lecturers, dancers and entertainers providing a truly authentic experience.
Why you could love it too
I have now traveled on many of these river boats and find one thing to be true; you get to see and experience the REAL countries, not just busy sea port cities but an up-close and personal look at these different countries and their people.
At some ports on a European river cruise, I felt like I was stepping into one of Hans Christian Anderson’s stories with their cobble stone streets and castles. In others, I saw the influence of Egypt as well as the effect of The Napoleonic wars and World Wars I and II. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain has also opened up many countries that only a few years ago were closed. Experiences abound for those thirsty for new adventures!
If you want it all, there is always a list of optional excursions which include activities such as concerts, visits to Salzburg, home of the Sound of Music, exploration of the Pyramids and the Temple of Luxor, or even a visit to the ancient Chinese terracotta warriors and much more.
I always return home feeling enriched, with a deeper understanding of other peoples and cultures. If you’re like me and new experiences and adventure turn your crank, river cruising is for you.
River cruising is one experience that should be on everyone’s list of must do’s. I believe life is a wonderful experience and an adventure. So take in the true Wonders of this big beautiful world and enjoy them on a River Cruise.
Glynna Hileman took her first cruise to the Bahamas 20 years ago and turned a pleasurable experience into a career! Although recently retired, Glynna was with CruiseExperts.com for more than 10 years. She specialized in Europe (including Ireland), the Mediterranean (East and West) and river cruising. She has visited Alaska four times – by cruise and by land – Mexico, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean.
Glynna had the pleasure of being a CruiseExperts.com tour guide for many groups and has visited all but three continents. She is now enjoying her retirement in Arkansas.