Ive have been considering taking a river cruise on the Rhine. My wife and I are around 45. Would there be anyone on these cruises within 10 yeare of us? It seems by reviewing all the literature I have been sent they are really geared to a much older crowd. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
We have been on only one prior river cruise and that was on the Rhine, as well as the Main and Danube traveling from Vienna to Amsterdam. We were on a Grand Circle boat which tends to cater to an over 50's group, but my recollection is that there was a broad age range on board. Sure, there were quite a few retired folks, like us, but I do remember talking with a number of folks still in the working world and would assume that they were in their late 40's to late 50's. There were no children on our voyage.
It is a port intensive program and most of your activities on the ship (yes, it is a boat but they like to call it a ship so I will call it a ship) center around meals and gatherings to talk about what is coming up next. There is some local entertainment in the lounge in the evening when you are under way to the next town.
We have been on over 40 ocean voyages and still like them a lot but find that river cruising is a refreshing change. We are leaving in 4 weeks for a trip from Antwerp to Basel which goes up the Rhine with a side journey on the Mosel to Trier, again with Grand Circle since we were so pleased with the prior trip.
I would suggest to you that if you decide to go do plan far ahead as they do sell out of the nicer cabins almost a year in advance. Spring for the type of cabin on the uppermost deck that gives you access to a small porch or at least the ability to open the windows to enjoy the wonderful fresh air of the German countryside.
Try it, you'll really like it! I have also heard very good things about Viking ships so you have multiple ones from which to chose. Good luck with your choice.
We did the Danube last year and had a super trip notwithstanding that there was some trouble with water levels. We liked it so much we did Vienna to Budapest in April and are doing the Christmas market cruise in December.
My husband are I are in our mid fifities and were a number of people our age and younger as well as people in their sixities and seventies on the boat. It all depends on attitiude. We talked a quite a bit to a couple who were I would say in their late seventies and they were great company. We chatted to other english couples and to Americans. Both cruises were very friendly and we enjoyed them both.
On our last 2 Viking cruises, the ages varied from mid-20's to 80's. The majority crowd is older, but you will probably have similar age groups with you. Both our cruises (Russia and Elbe River) were excellant!
We took the cruise in 2003 from Amsterdam to Basel. Before we went, I also worried about the age issue as I am slightly younger than you. I should not have worried.
I would agree with the posts above that the average age is 55+ but they are a very active group. Never had any tour or activity bog down due to people being physically unable to participate. The age range was 25-85, with about 20% under 55. One or two couples traveled with teenagers. We cruised in late August. I would guess that you are likely to see more younger passengers during the summer months (when it is generally easier to take time off work) than in the fall and spring, but that is only a guess.
We had a fantastic time. Highly, highly recommend the cruise and the line.
All posters before me say it pretty much like it is.
The river experience is port intensive and is all about visiting the river destinations and surrounding countryside and learning about the local culture. By and large, people who choose this type of cruise are interested in seeing and learning. Yes, they are all ages--they are great fun to get to know. Whether 20-something or octagenarian, people who choose this vacation option are great travelling companions.
Caveat: If you want your vacation to include lots of shipboard activities and amenities, this isn't it.
BUT, if you want to visit an area on a floating hotel with wonderful opportunities to learn about the history and culture of the area you are visiting, consider the river experience.
My son and I were on a VIKING BURGUNDY Rhone/Saone cruise about a year ago, and most of the passengers were in their 60s or higher. However, there was a sprinkling of people in their 50s (maybe even a 40s or two), and two teenagers were on board. Mind you, we were traveling in late October, when the passenger mix is more likely to be skewed toward retirees than in summer.
Both of us had a great time. (I'm in my 50s, and my son was 17.)