African Travel

Is a River Cruise Really Different from an Ocean Cruise?

Although river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of characteristics, there are also some — and significant — differences between the two. Different re-creation Generally, ocean liners are larger and provide more stateroom accommodations.

Given their larger size, they are able to carry many more guests on board.

River ships have a much more personal feel due to the more modest size, and passengers oftentimes find themselves making lots of new friends. A second differing feature is that on a river cruise you are almost never traveling for a full day at a time, whereas ocean cruises are oftentimes on the open sea for a few days in a row. Passengers normally get to check out a new destination every day. The view is continuously changing, so the voyage itself becomes part of the adventure.

First-time travelers might want to start with a river cruise for several reasons including the fact that land is always in sight, the water is shallower, and the sailing is smoother, so there is virtually no chance of getting seasick. Yes, ocean cruises tend to offer more upscale features like fitness centers, numerous dining options and a wide array of live entertainment. But river cruises normally offer features such as water, drinks (even alcohol), Wi-Fi, and many off-board excursions in the overall price of the trip.

River Cruise Destinations

Your times off the ship can be equally as exciting as being on board the cruise itself.

A different array of activities comes with every European river cruise. Explore Europe by way of its renowned rivers and get to know the cities and peoples along the trip. Whether you are an adventurer, a history buff or a curious site seer wanting to experience the local flavors on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

You will enjoy exciting moments in the top cultural centers of Europe, go to historic monuments and take in the beautiful scenery.

Your cruiser will be able to move into the smaller ports due to its nimble size, giving you the option to visit towns, villages, and sights you might otherwise not be able to see.

Famed Rivers of France

France boasts many distinct regions celebrated throughout the world, and a river cruise will allow you to visit them.

From its magnificent Bordeaux region and gastronomic Lyon, to historic Normandy and scenic Provence, not to mention fabulous Paris, France features something for everyone. The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the most powerful regions in Europe, are as beautiful as its renown wine region and picturesque ports.

You will want to go Cognac tasting at the Camus distillery in Périgord and after that go hunting for its famous truffles. Some of the finest oysters in the world come from Arcachon in the southwest region of France. Taste Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes in their own ”terroir”.

Ocean impression Whether you choose the Rhône River, the Seine, the Gironde, or the Dordogne, you are in for a treat with France’s culture of indulgent food and wine, distinguished works of art, and intriguing history.

Historied Rivers of Central Europe
If you would like to tour the ancient fortresses and medieval towns of Germany and the Czech Republic, go with a cruise down the Elbe River. If you love German wines, choose a trip on the Mosel River, whose French name is Moselle, as it travels through the region of Germany that produces world-class Riesling. In Central Europe, a Danube River cruise will go through Vienna, Austria, where you can be taught to waltz as they did back in the days of the Austrian court; and through Budapest, Hungary, where you can delight in the popular thermal baths called banya locally.

Foodies will love the Austro-Hungarian culinary delights, while wandering adventurers might choose to enjoy time in some lesser-known cities such as Passau or Bratislava.

The Waterways of the Tsars
Travel the waterways of Russia and observe for yourself the traditional Russian architecture in Moscow’s Red Square and the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. In Russia, be sure to have some time at the magnificent Hermitage Museum, which in addition to being an awe-inspiring structure, is the second largest sized museum in the world.

Imagine Peter the Great luxuriating in gigantic Peterhof Palace, then see how multiple families shared living space at a Soviet-era kommunalka. Russia has some delicious culinary specialties which you will want to try when you are there: borscht, pirog, solyanka, blini pancakes, and perhaps the most celebrated, caviar. The Dnieper River tells a complex story that includes Greek, Mongol, Tatar, Ottoman, Cossack, Jewish and Russian influences.

There are fantastic museums and medieval churches to tour at various stops along the way as well as imposing Soviet-era structures, or for a lighter experience get tickets to an entertaining local dance or musical show.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley

The Douro River in Portugal will carry you to the fantastic capital city of Lisbon, where you can step back in time in the city’s old town or check out the newer areas filled with great cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. Wine lovers will want to stop in the scenic vineyard region to sip local wines, while the classic foods and fado singing will be a delight for all. The Douro River Valley is proud to be the oldest demarcated wine region in the world as well as a UNESCO site.

Nordic Wonders
Explore the lush Nordic region by sea, then move on the the historic river Rhine.

Begin your tour in Bergen where the Vikings once roamed, knowing that ahead of you lies the dazzling beauty of the fjords and the neighboring village of Flåm, the ancient wood buildings of Old Town Kristiansand, and finally Stavanger and Olso with their modern cultures and lifestyles. Art lovers will want to stop in Denmark’s coastal village of Skagen, once summer home to the legendary group of Scandinavian artists known as the Skagen Painters, as well as Amsterdam to view the many masterpieces there, before heading to Kinderdijk to see the picturesque windmills of Holland.

The fabulous sights & tastes of Germany along its riverways

In Germany, Cologne’s stunning cathedral and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress are places you will not want to miss. The Middle Rhine is a spectacular historic region with ancient walled fortresses, adorable medieval villages, and beautiful ancient churches, and it was selected a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pamper yourself in the decadent spas set in the Black Forest of Germany; visit the spectacular Gothic cathedral in multicultural Strasbourg, France; and tour the famous art museum in Basel, Switzerland. Nothing on board is cookie-cutter, so your visits onshore shouldn’t be either.

Experience all you are able to of the sights, sounds, and tastes offered to you at each local stop. Every cruise ship is created to be its own special creation, just as each destination along the itinerary is a unique and one-of-a-kind place.

What Makes a River Cruise?

River cruises are unique getaways. They transport you at just the ideal pace, with just the right creature comforts, and just the right views. When you take a river cruise through Europe you will have the opportunity to disembark and take part in appealing excursions, while back on board you will enjoy unmatched service, excellent culinary experiences, and fun activities. All that, and you only have to unpack one time before kicking back to enjoy your trip.

These cruises will take you along old trade routes and contemporary cities, and everything in between. T

It is a enjoyable, immersive experience where you can enjoy the ever-changing scenery along the banks of well-traveled waterways such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Douro, Volga as well as many other celebrated rivers. You will have a lot of time to get to know the local way of life at each place.

Travelers can get off the boat and walk around on their own or sign up for guided adventures. Each port is full of worthwhile outings to do: you can check out historical attractions such as castles or ancient forts, stroll through local museums and art galleries, or take in a live music performance.

And the amenities on these ships will guarantee that you are content and have everything you want.

You will get a private bathroom in your room and in-room temperature control, plus a personal fridge, a television, a high-quality bed, and a private safe for valuables. Furthermore, these river cruisers include restaurants, lounges and bars, as well as free Wi-Fi. Some cruisers even come outfitted with libraries, boutiques, pools and/or sun decks.

What a way to travel!

Bring this all together with exceptional and personalized service from on-board staff and you have the the perfect vacation. Regardless of the season you travel, there will be special cultural experiences available to you at each destination. In the milder months, there will be more occasions to participate in outdoor attractions such as street festivals or open-air concerts.

If you wish to avoid the peak tourist months so that you can dodge the crowds, you might want to travel in the autumn months when the weather is cooler.

The winter months are a fun time to go if you enjoy witnessing the unique holiday activities and customs of other countries, such as the spectacular Christmas markets traditional in some places.

A river cruise is a great way to go for someone who wants to take a trip in comfort and style.

Individuals who've never stepped foot on a ship before will love the relative ease of a river-bound trip with little chance of seasickness. In addition, with their emphasis on letting passengers experience the local culture at each stop, they are perfect for art and history lovers, or anyone interested in travel in general.

Experience Some of the The Planet's Best Hikes
The most important hike is not just about the walk itself, but instead about appreciating the destination’s historical past and culture. Still, these walks are not an effortless undertaking. They will make you challenge yourself physically and test... read more
Extraordinary Intimate Holidays
Taking a trip to renew your vows is an excellent way to re-energize any partnership. An anniversary trip can integrate love, trust and intimacy, whether it’s a wooden anniversary in Amsterdam or a re-creation of your honeymoon vacation after ... read more
Tours for Every Budget
There appears to be a special tour for every destination! Is walking better for you or would you opt for a bike to get out and about? The... read more
5-Star Cruises: A World unto its Own
To travel on a luxury voyage across the seas aboard a dazzling 5-star cruiser is to eliminate worries from your life. Of course, there are various other ways to journey that will get you there... read more