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River Cruises Raising The Bar

Written by: Jan Shaughnessy

River cruising is the fastest growing niche in travel.  Those looking for a slower pace from ocean cruising will find river cruising fits the bill.  You won’t find rock climbing walls, bowling alleys, Bingo, art auctions, or water slides on a river cruise.  But you will find intimate ships, cultural enrichment, attentive service, and gourmet dining.   River cruises provide an enjoyable way to experience different countries up close and personable.  Passengers will enjoy scenic landscapes and changing vistas as they cruise past castles, vineyards, and picturesque villages.

 

River cruise lines have been raising the bar offering a luxurious and all-inclusive experience.  Most river cruise lines include all meals, unlimited wine, beer, and soda with meals, bottled water, and include shore excursions.  Some include free internet service and use of bicycles while in port.  The average river boat carries 150 passengers or less (except China).  Luxurious appointed river view staterooms are generous in square footage, and offer upgraded linens and bathroom amenities.

 

Those seeking an extra indulgence may upgrade to a suite for a premium experience.  Most of the newest river boats being built have over 80% french balconies.

 

River cruising offers cruisers the opportunity to an Old World in a new way.  You’ll dock in the heart of town just steps away from town squares and charm.  There’ll be no long lines to disembark and no waiting for tenders.  Included shore excursions are escorted by an English speaking guide.  Quietvox headsets are provided, allowing you to spread out from the group and not feel crowded.  Entertainment onboard will often complement the region the ships are sailing.  Cooking demonstrations, local wine and beer tastings, cuckoo clock making, and talented local dancers and musicians will delight your evening.

 

Well known river cruise lines like Tauck, Uniworld, AMAwaterways, Avalon, and Viking, sail the rivers of Europe, China, Russia, and Egypt.  New to the market are Mekong River cruises sailing in Vietnam and Cambodia.  Cruises range in length from as little as four nights on the Danube sailing from Vienna to Budapest; up to 31 days sailing from Paris to Istanbul on the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers to the Black Sea.  Pre and Post packages can be added on to extend your vacation.  Those looking for a themed  cruise will find Wine cruises, History tours to Normandy, and Christmas Market cruises.  River cruises have a high satisfaction rate and appeal to baby boomers, retirees, and those seeking a historical and cultural experience.

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Comments

Comment from J
Time August 8, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Cruised on Amadeus Symphony Budapest to Nuremburg. Quite different that ocean cruising. Leisurely, everything was wonderful.

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