River cruising is definitely growing in popularity, but if you’ve never been on one before, what can you expect and how does it differ from traditional cruising?
While traditional cruising takes you vacationing on the ocean, river cruising takes you on such rivers as the Rhine, the Main, Danube, and Seine, as well as others in Asia, Africa and India. In the United States, you can cruise down the Mississippi, Lawrence and Colorado rivers, just to name a few.
River cruisers carry fewer passengers than the thousands that the traditional cruisers can carry and they are much smaller, often less than 450 feet long and 40 feet wide.
However, when it comes to your budget, you might need to open your wallet a little bigger because river cruises have a tendency to be more expensive than traditional cruises. Like traditional cruises however, they do offer options for excursions when you dock in the cities you are visiting. Keep in mind though that these excursions cost extra.
A river cruise experience is also much more intimate than that of an ocean cruise, so if you’re looking for something a little less crowded and rowdy, you might enjoy a river cruise more. On the boat, you won’t see the 24-hour buffets that you’ll find on the bigger cruise lines, but you will have more intimate dining opportunities, often sitting with other passengers and possibly even the captain.
When it comes to packing for a river cruise, you should pack for comfort and excursions. Bring casual comfortable clothes, such as sundresses, shorts, skirts, and even flip flops for just casually strolling the deck and sightseeing. Bring some dressier attire for dinners, especially if there is a chance that you will be dining with the captain or for special events.
Remember clothes for when you are participating in activities such as tennis or hiking. Dress for the weather too because you might need a light jacket if temperatures drop in the evening.
If you want to take a river cruise, talk to your travel agent about your options. In 2018, there will be 11 more ships scheduled to debut including the American Song which is slated to debut in fall 2018 for cruises on the Mississippi River. Croisi Europe will also launch three more river cruises in 2018.
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