By Meghan Brennan
If you think cruising is just for the Caribbean, Alaska or even the Mediterranean, then have we got news for you! One of the best and fastest-growing kind of cruising is the happening on the waterways of Europe – river cruising. So why should you give river cruises a chance? We’ve got three pretty good reasons.
Large ships are made for the open seas, but narrow rivers need smaller vessels. This works out pretty well for river cruisers – smaller ships mean a more intimate experience. River cruise ships also usually have more balcony cabins and suites simply because there’s so much to see! So not only do you get to sail through Europe, you get to watch the Old World go by from the comfort of your own room. What’s not to like?
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good beach or two (or five), but there’s something to be said for a week-long trip that whisks you away to 10 cities in four countries. Most of Europe’s major cities are along rivers like the Seine, Main, or Danube, so it’s easy to find a cruise that appeals to your interests, whether you like history, wine, music, or all of the above! These cruises get even better at the holidays, when they take you on tours through cultural areas like Germany’s Christmas markets.
Related Story: A Trip to Paris: What to See and What to Skip
OK, so you won’t find Broadway shows on these ships. The entertainment here is usually of the quieter variety – think lectures by experts on the areas you’re traveling through, cultural experiences like dance troupes, and culinary demonstrations (not to mention tastings!). Bookworms will flip for the on-board libraries, and nautical nuts will love the ship tours offered on lines like Avalon Waterways. Plus, unlike Caribbean cruises, excursions (usually guided city tours) are included in the cost of your cruise, so you don’t have to worry about how to see the city.
Related Story: Escorted Tours 101
Basically, river cruises are a great way to explore a new place in a new world – and we’ll always take that.