River cruising has become popular in recent years — the river cruise companies can’t seem to produce enough boats for the demand.
Most popular are river cruises in Europe, particularly on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. But other prime areas in Europe include the Rhône and Saône Rivers in France, the Douro River in Portugal, the Po River and Venice, Russian river cruises, the Nile in Egypt, the Yangtze in China, The Mekong or Red River in Vietnam, Chobe River in Africa. Closer to home is the Mississippi River and the St Lawrence Waterways. The most well-known companies that cater to the North American markets are Scenic, Emerald Waterways, Avalon Waterways, AMAWaterways, Viking Cruise line, Uniworld, American Queen, CroisEurope and Riviera to name a few. All have excellent reputations for the river cruise experience.
Similar to the ocean cruise experience, a river cruise is an “unpack once and see a variety of countries.” The difference is that though river cruises tend to be more expensive, they are also “more inclusive” with — at no additional cost — high quality excursions offered, full epicurean meals with wine and beer served each day, plus local entertainment. While perhaps not as exciting as Broadway-type shows on big cruise ships, it is reflective of the local culture on board virtually every night.
One other notable difference is that every cabin has an ocean-view, from a large upper window in the lowest categories often to an actual balcony in the upper categories. This allows guests to view from their cabins the ever-changing scenery that passes by — from other ships/boats on the water, to wild-life, to small medieval towns around every other bend to cathedrals, museums and palaces, to historic castles, both ruined and restored. Add to that the small number of travelers on board (150—200) together with docking ability right in the city centre and you have quick and easy disembarkation right where the action is!
Picture this: Wake up to a different view in a different destination every morning from the comfort of your cabin. What wondrous sights await you when you step out onto your private balcony or look out of your stateroom window?
On a wine-theme cruise, experience dramatic terraced vineyards, gentle rolling countryside or astounding fairytale castles.
On a Nile cruise in Egypt, for example, step back to the time of the Pharaohs, stand in awe before the staggering mystical and spiritual – and physical – wonders. Touch carved hieroglyphs and feel the texture of the paint that has been there for 3,000 years!
On an Asian cruise (Mekong, Yangtze or Ganges) walk a path less travelled. Discover the magic and beauty of an exotic land bordered by flourishing forests, lush green hills and colourful local houses, delve deeply into local culture and meet extraordinary people who have a remarkable resilience to life. All locations are home to a variety of UNESCO heritage treasures including Ha Long Bay and Angkor Wat.
On an African Chobe river cruise adventure, encounter elephants, giraffes, leopards, zebra, Hippos, crocodiles and Cape Buffalo amongst other wildlife. Be amazed by the glorious Victoria Falls, Boulder beach African penguins, the famous Stellenboschwine country and the unforgettable Table Mountain outside Cape Town.
It may seem like a dream, but it’s not! Much like a dance, your vacation is carefully choreographed to ensure your journey will always be a memorable one. Because of the popularity of river cruising, those interested in a river cruise — especially at popular times — need to book at least a year in advance to ensure that preferred dates are available.
We at AlmonTravel have experienced more than 10 different river cruise itineraries around the world and would be delighted to speak with you about our experiences and help you with your itinerary. Speak to your agent at AlmonTravel.
Remember … using a travel agent usually does not cost any more than booking by yourself on the Internet but you get the assistance you need to make an accurate booking and look after you during the booking process, during the trip, and after the trip if you have experienced any problems.
Check with your agent at AlmonTravel.