SAIL INTO THE DESTINATION YOU WANT WITH A RIVER CRUISE!
Experience the beauty of the cities of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the United States by sailing along the rivers into the cities. You will be able to experience the beautiful scenery, culture, and civilization from within, and gain a true appreciation for it all.
What are the major differences between ocean and river cruising?
Ocean Cruising is becoming well known for large ships that feature passenger counts upwards of two or three thousand people with multiple venues for entertainment, dining, and activities. As well, Ocean Cruising is limited to the use of major cruise ports due to the size of their vessels, sometimes requiring a lengthy transfer into the actual "destination" your visiting.
River Cruising is a total opposite to Ocean Cruising. River Cruising features small vessels which are designed to operate on the rivers which pass through the cities of the world. These ships actually let you experience the destination from within both while at dock and while sailing. Unfortunately, due to the reduced size, River ships feature a small guest count (typically less then 300 people) offering a intimate setting for your trip. As well, the entertainment and dining venues are typically limited to one or two areas only to allow for maximum use of space on board the ship. A typical evening on board would include dinner with a local musical ensemble or lecturer to speak or play music from the local area. River Cruising is very much designed to put you inside the destinations.
is river cruising more expensive than ocean cruising?
River cruising can be seen as comparable to high end ocean cruising as they are priced with most things already included. If you are used to cruising on the more mainstream or common lines (Ex. Norwegian or Carnival), you should consider all of the things you pay extra for typically which are commonly included in the River Cruise cost. Most river cruises will include basic shore excursions, beer and wine during meals, all meals/restaurants on board, and more. When you add up all of these additional expenses you would typically pay for on an ocean cruise, river cruising can be quite manageable! And the best part of knowing the cost up front is it allows you to budget in advance for your trip, as there can be very little if any costs on board if you like.
are river cruises accessible for those with disabilities or mobility issues?
River cruising presents various challenges to disabled cruisers both on and off the ship, and travelers who use wheelchairs or have difficulty walking need to be aware of the possible pitfalls before they book. From a dearth of accessible cabins to shore excursions that can't accommodate wheelchair users, river cruises aren't always smooth sailing for disabled travelers. Getting on and off riverboats can be tricky for passengers with mobility issues. Sometimes two or three ships are moored alongside each other, so passengers on the outermost vessels have to cross over gangways that link the ships together -- usually on the sun deck or atrium level -- and negotiate stairs to get ashore. Most lines specify that wheelchair users have to be accompanied by someone who can assist them and be responsible for their embarkation and disembarkation.
However, it's not all bad news. Armed with the right information about wheelchair-accessible river cruises, and knowing exactly what to expect, you can find a river ship that provides a very enjoyable and satisfying experience.
What should i expect on board for activities and entertainment?
River ships emphasize the destination, and at most might have a small hair salon, massage room, fitness room and hot tub. If your ship has a pool, its designed is for wallowing, not swimming. Entertainment is typically confined to lectures about the destinations and small-scale music ensembles which are brought on between ports.
aRE ALL RIVER CRUISE LINES THE SAME?
Not at all! Just like Ocean Cruising, the River Cruise lines all have their own feel and brand to them. There are brands of all price levels and a various list of inclusions. When you contact us to plan your River Cruise, we will utilize your interests, desires, and budget to help match you to the Cruise Line perfect for you.
I keep hearing about river cruise problems, whats that about?
Just like the rerouting of an ocean cruise due to weather, River Cruising is subject to similar types of problems. The most common issue that River Cruises face, is water levels of the rivers in which they operate. From time to time, dependent on the rain received in an area, the Rivers can become to high or low to operate the vessels under the bridges or above the river bottom. When this happens, each line will modify the itinerary the best way it can to insure you still get to experience the trip. When this happens, some lines will transfer guests to other boats at different points along the trip, you might be rerouted by bus for a section of river, or in severe cases they can cancel or make your itinerary land only.
Just like with any trip, it is highly recommended that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect your investment. If you are not open to the idea of being rerouted, some travel insurance policies allow you to cancel for any reason prior to the trip. Its very important to discuss your feelings with your travel advisor during the booking process.
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