You are likely aware that ocean cruising, with bellyflop contests and buckets of beer, has an alternative, more "civil" competitor in the cruising arena - River Cruising. While most of the river cruise itineraries are in Europe, including the Rhine, Danube, Seine, Rhone, Douro and even the Po Rivers, river cruises are offered as well in Asia, India and Africa, and here in the US - although river cruising outside of Europe is a very different offering.
Many European river cruises are focused on a theme or special interests, such as wine regions of France, Jewish heritage, beer tasting in Germany and Austria, "Sound of Music" Tours, Tulip Time in Holland and, in November and December, visiting Christmas Markets, many of which are held in European river cities. Here are several reasons why many travelers are choosing river cruising - and why many choose to river cruise again.
While the price of a river cruise may at first cause "sticker shock," once you realize all that is included, the cost will seem much more reasonable, and actually quite a good value. Viking River Cruises is the best known of the river cruise companies; they were a pioneer in introducing many travelers to the concept of river cruising. There are many choices of excellent river cruise companies, with varying inclusions and on-board offerings, including one company offering Adventures by Disney river cruises which are great for families (and which will soon be offering adult-only itineraries.)
A travel advisor specializing in River Cruising (like me,) who has experienced a couple of river cruises and has relationships with sales reps from the different cruise lines can be incredibly valuable to help one sort through all of the options to determine which cruise is a great fit. River cruising is a great choice for groups of friends, families or colleagues who enjoy traveling together -- when I book a river cruise for a client, I always ask if there is anyone who would like to join them on the trip - it's not unusual for 1 or 2 additional couples to decide to cruise. Who would you like to be with to experience the castles in the Rhine Gorge, or the beautiful vineyards along the Seine, or the Christmas Markets and spectacular palaces along the Rhine?
So, if you are ready to try an experience that does not involve waiting in line with 4,000 of your fellow passengers to disembark from a mega-ship, why not give River Cruising a try? 96% of first time river cruisers would recommend the experience to a friend. Tasteful Voyages works with the major river cruise companies and I would love to help match you and your friends to the perfect experience on the river. In closing I hope you are tempted to get on board with the River Cruise movement; I am looking forward to my next river cruise this June; we will be sailing on the Beautiful Blue Danube.
I Hope to see you on the River!
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