We often have clients calling our office in search of a new adventure, something different, unique, maybe something they wouldn’t normally look at but fancy a change. This could be you. You maybe sat at home thinking, I’ve done most things, I’ve cruised the Mediterranean and I’ve seen the Baltic Capitals, I just want something different. Well what you might be missing is the rest of Europe and the world. We say this because as you are probably aware most cruise ships these days are unable to head off the beaten track therefore tend to stick to coastal city ports of call for example Barcelona, however, there is a big wide world out there and with this blog we intend to tell you all about it.
Many of the world’s most exciting and attractive cities lay within easy reach of beautiful rivers which are not able to house the modern day cruise ship. Enter the world of river cruising and what a brilliant world it is. This wonderfully niche area of cruising is rapidly increasing in popularity and stature. River ships were once considered bleak and bland, however, in modern times these fantastic creations continue to blossom, exuding style and offering something truly different to an ocean cruise. This type of cruise is ideal for passengers who enjoy the comforts and variety of a cruising holiday yet have the desire to see more of the world and explore new areas.
It isn’t just Europe you can enjoy by opting for a river cruise; there are also excellent itineraries around the world such as Yangtze River experience in China for example. The options are endless and it really does open up a whole new world for our clients looking to indulge in a change.
Now that we’ve addressed the topic, let’s look at what you can expect from a river cruise. No matter which part of the world you wish to discover or which cruise line you travel with, river cruising often shares many similarities. The itineraries are always excellent, port intensive and certainly provide a unique opportunity. Cuisine is outstanding, something you may not expect from a river cruise but you would be distinctly mistaken. The on board experience is great with a laid back, relaxing atmosphere whilst still offering a wide range of entertainment. The passenger capacity on board is relatively small as you would imagine but there is great emphasis on service with the crew to guest ratio always a focal point. A major benefit of the itineraries within a river cruise is that often it is the case that many excursions are included in the overall cost of the cruise without the need for added expense and offering exceptional value for money. There will be added extras on board that you have the chance to opt for, usually for a small charge but most things are included which is excellent for planning the places you wish to see most without having to worry about cost. Another huge positive to river cruising is for anyone that sometimes struggles to find their sea legs. You will find the waters much calmer than the alternative ocean based cruises and therefore much easier to get used to.
Now that we’ve covered the positives, the next step we thought would be beneficial is to look at the accommodation. Often many people have the perception that the smaller the ship, the more you’re going to be packed in like sardines, well this is the complete opposite to that. The staterooms on board are superbly laid out with space a major factor. You will find just as much room aboard a river cruise ship as you would find on a larger ocean vessel. The amenities are excellent and on board some of the brand new long boat ships you can expect state of the art design and technology at your fingertips. Passengers have the choice when deciding upon accommodation between a higher, mid or lower level stateroom. The accommodation sizes are usually the same apart from slight variations, for example balcony staterooms but all cabins will have at least a picture window; after all you’re due to be sailing some amazing sights, it would be a shame to miss out. There will be suites on board at an extra charge that are beautifully designed and come with certain added perks such as priority embarkation but the standard sized are cabins are more than comfortable. Choosing between higher, mid or lower level staterooms shouldn’t be too much of a concern, there is little difference between them with the main variation simply being the view. Higher levels provide a slightly greater view over the landscapes but this is the only real difference. You will not notice a difference in comfort or amenities so don’t concern yourselves too much over deciding on position on board.
So you’ve got to the point of thinking maybe this could be worth looking at but now you arrive at the question, who shall I look to travel with? This is the next step and we have the perfect suggestion; Viking River Cruises. This exceptional cruise line is at the forefront of the river cruising niche and offers a fantastic range of itineraries throughout the year. Viking are once again revolutionising the market with the introduction of their brand new long boat design for 2013 and will be able to offer even greater on board facilities. Another huge reason we recommend Viking River Cruises is the access to the ports of call during your cruise. Many river cruise lines will arrive in port alongside other river vessels, docked together in a parallel line requiring guests to walk through each ship before reaching shore. With Viking River Cruises this is not the case, the majority of the time they have their own private berthing slots, especially at the major ports of interest throughout the world, therefore making accessibility, easy and efficient; completely hassle free. As a highly regarded agent it is always our aim to work with the best operators possible and it is for this reason that we continue to recommend Viking.
Okay, so we’ve established the positives of a river cruise and how it can offer something different to what you may have experienced before. This option is also great for guests preferring a more intimate cruise rather than a larger ocean vessel. The access to some of the world’s most outstanding cities is incredible so there really is no downside to considering this for your next holiday, we would certainly recommend looking it over. Of course any questions you can always give us a call and we would be happy to talk you through the best river cruising options available to you.