Anyone who follows us will know we love ocean cruising and that our tag line is ‘Cruising? It’s time to get onboard!’ But River cruising? Hmm….ask us a couple of years ago and we probably would have said we’re sure it appeals to some but came out with the usual myths…
It’s for older people
It’s for less active people
The ships are small and there’s going to be little to do, you might be bored
Eh….where’s the climbing wall?? Any flowriders?? No??
Ok, so maybe not the last one….still, if that’s what you’re looking then no, river cruising may not be for you BUT over the last couple of years we’ve learned a lot about river cruising and we admit we’ve been surprised. At a recent CLIA event in Manchester ‘Cruising into 2019’ several cruise lines from both ocean and river cruise were in attendance (it was like a strange speed dating event!) and we were pleasantly surprised so maybe it is time to get onboard… Here’s some things you may not know about river cruising…
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT RIVER CRUISING?
There tends to be a lot more included in your river cruise fare than your ocean cruise fare – for example several river cruise lines include excursions as standard which you can opt in and out of so that can lead to a massive saving. You’ll often get internet, drinks and gratuities included also so the price you pay upfront is more likely to be the entire cost of the holiday
River cruise ships can call right into the heart of the destination so you can walk off your river boat (sometimes clambering across the top of other river boats) and you can be right in the middle of things… forgot your camera, sure go back and get it! Fancy going back for lunch and then out again in a different direction? Then why not. Your river cruise ship is your floating hotel in the heart of the cities and places you’re visiting
Tends to be more overnight calls so you can see your destination during the day and looking completely different at night
There is always something to see. We love sea days of course but on a river cruise it’s a port day every day and when you’re sunbathing on the top deck of your river ship moving between ports you always have something amazing to see..
Innovations? River cruising has them to…. So Celebrity are making a lot of their new infinity balconies but on river cruising they’ve been around a while maximising the space!
Food, glorious food! With ships calling right into the heart of things chefs will go into markets and get the freshest produce for use that night at dinner serving the finest freshest food possible.
Don’t like formal nights? Most river cruise lines don’t bother with formal nights so you can relax.
River cruising can be completely relaxing and slow paced or for example take one of the onboard bikes and cycle your way around somewhere like Amsterdam. Love cycling or hiking? Take up the included Emerald Active tours on Emerald Waterways with guided biking and hiking tours. Step off the ship each morning and go for a jog along the river or how about the onboard yoga and wellness programmes
River cruise ships are changing slightly with new features such as onboard heated pools, onboard cinemas including movies under the stars, spa’s and more.
Think it’s just for older persons? Not so, try U by Uniworld aimed at 21-45 year olds….local DJ’s come onboard, nightclub, mixologists, silent disco’s, rooftop camping and of course you won’t be without your Wi-Fi – it’s free!!
Solo cruisers are well catered for by river cruise lines, much more so than ocean cruises where solo staterooms can be so limited. Single supplements are often very low! We like!
Love meeting new people and making friends? Then river cruising is perfect because the capacities are small you'll meet the same people day in day out really forming bonds as you share the experience together.
2019 - WHATS COMING?
It's not just ocean cruise lines releasing new ships, there are 18, yes 18 new river cruise ships next year from the likes of Viking River Cruise, Emerald Waterways, Avalon Waterways and AMA Waterways including the incredible game changing AmaMagna in 2019 which is double the width of a standard river cruise ship but yet the capacity is only being increased by 20% meaning even more space for everyone, 4 different dining options which is unheard of, 2 spa's, larger staterooms, larger lounges and more. Viking Cruises, already the worlds largest river cruise line, have a whopping 7 new ships next year!
FOCUS ON DESTINATIONS
Yes you can cruise the Rhine, Danube or Seine but there's a focus on new destinations such as the Mekong - with the new Emerald Waterways Harmony being built just to sail all the way into Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam along the Mekong. This 84 passenger / 42 stateroom ship has panoramic windows, there's an outdoor pool and bar with 2 lounges to enjoy. If you book an owners suite you'll enjoy your own balcony hot tubs! This is in addition to the all inclusive experience onboard!
If you want somewhere closer to home and you think you've seen Italy then try the River PO and you'll learn you really haven't..
THE CRUISE ROOM & RIVER CRUISING?
While at the moment we're focusing on everything ocean cruise but river cruising is the fastest growing segment of cruising and with such exciting developments then we think we may need to cover it and bring it to you sooner rather than later. This is just our first article on river cruising and you can expect more to follow....
River cruising? Maybe it IS time to get onboard...