There is no more relaxing or rewarding way to see the world than from its great rivers. Throughout time, rivers have served as the world’s natural highways, facilitating trade and travel, connecting people and cultures. As civilizations developed along riverbanks, history’s footprints have remained along their shores, making a river journey simply one of the most culturally enriching and rewarding travel experiences you can have.
We often have clients call our office in search of a new adventure, something different, unique, maybe something they wouldn’t normally look at. This could be you. You may be sat at home thinking, “I’ve done most things, I’ve cruised the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, 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 and therefore tend to stick to coastal city ports of call such as Barcelona. However, there is a big wide world out there and 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 accommodate the modern day cruise ship. Enter the world of river cruising. This wonderful cruising niche is rapidly increasing in popularity. River ships were once considered bleak and bland but now modern day creations continue to blossom, exuding style and offering something different to an ocean liner. A river 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 the 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. 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. A major benefit of a river cruise is that it is often the case that many excursions are included in the overall cost of the cruise, without the need for added expense, thus 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 that for anyone that sometimes struggles to find their sea legs, you will find the waters much calmer than the ocean and therefore much easier to get used to.
Let’s take a closer 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 it is the complete opposite. 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 designs you can expect state of the art design and technology at your fingertips. Beautifully designed suites are available at an extra charge and come with certain added perks such as priority embarkation, but the standard sized cabins are more than comfortable.
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 industry and offers a fantastic range of itineraries throughout the year. Viking once again revolutionised the market with the introduction of their brand new long boat design in 2013, breaking the world record for the most ships to be christened in one day. The cruise line then went one step further by breaking their own world record just a few days ago, launching 14 river cruise vessels in three different countries over just 24 hours. You can read more about the record breaking day achievement here.
Another huge reason we recommend Viking River Cruises is due to the access you will enjoy at the various ports of call during your cruise. Many river cruise lines will arrive in port alongside other river vessels, docked together in a parallel line enquiring 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, therefore making access 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 River Cruises.
River cruising offers access to some of the world’s most amazing cities so if you are thinking about your next holiday you should really check out the itineraries available. We are here to answer any questions so please do not hesitate to give us a call, we would be more than happy to discuss the best river cruising options with you.