Is a River Cruise Very Distinct from an Ocean Cruise?

There are both similarities and differences between ocean cruises and river cruises, so it is beneficial to understand both when deciding which is best for you.

Cruise? graphic Normally, ocean liners are more spacious and come with more stateroom accommodations. Thanks to their larger size, they are also able to hold a lot more people. On river cruisers, because there are not as many passengers, the ambiance is more personal and you have more opportunity to really get to know fellow travelers. In contrast to ocean cruises that can include several sea days, you will almost never experience a full day of sailing on a river cruise.

For the most part, travelers wake up each morning to find themselves in a new port. With river cruising, you can also enjoy an ever-changing mural of breathtaking landscapes from your ship, so the trip itself becomes part of your discovery.

If you are worried you might become seasick, a river cruise is the way to travel because land is always in your line of vision, the water is not deep, and there is barely any turbulence.

Then again, since they are bigger, ocean cruises have a better array of onboard offerings like live entertainment, gyms and fitness centers, and more variety of dining possibilities.

But river cruises are nice in that they have inclusive pricing that includes water, alcoholic beverages, Wi-Fi, and even some fun adventures off the ship.

River Cruise Destinations

Off-board tours at ports of call can be as breathtaking as being on board the cruise. Every European river cruise carries its own unique attractions.

To explore Europe by traveling its historic rivers is to open up new worlds for yourself.

History aficionados, adventure-seekers, and people merely trying to learn about interesting cultures will all find something to enjoy.

You will live exciting moments in the top cultural centers of Europe, go to historic monuments and take in the stunning scenery. You won’t miss a thing since these elegant cruise liners are nimble enough to stop in the smaller ports of call nearest the main tourist sights and centers of town.

Famed Rivers of France

France offers many different regions celebrated throughout the world, and a river cruise will allow you to experience them.

Everyone will find something to love in France: food and wine devotees will delight in the delicacies in Lyon and Bordeaux, history buffs will be captivated by the sights in Normandy, and absolutely everyone will appreciate the scenic beauty of Provence and Paris. The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the wealthiest places in Europe, are as breathtaking as its famous wine region and picturesque ports.

Périgord is home to the famous Camus Cognac distillery, where you can make your own individual blend, and offers truffle hunting for adventurous food aficiondos. Some of the finest oysters in the world come from Arcachon in southwest France. Go winetasting at distinguished wineries in Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes. Whichever river you choose for your trip through France – the Gironde, Seine, Rhône, or Dordogne -- the country’s fascinating history, amazing art, and delicious food culture will delight.

Historied Rivers of Central Europe

Cruises on the Elbe River travel across Germany and the Czech Republic on a journey lined by ancient fortifications and medieval villages.

The Mosel River, called the Moselle in France, showcases the German area most known for its Riesling wines. Is portrayal In Central Europe, Danube River cruises take passengers to alluring Old World cities like Budapest where you can soak up the steam in a traditional banya (thermal baths) or Vienna where you can master the waltz, a dance which gained popularity in the ballrooms of the Austrian court.

Austro-Hungarian cuisine will delight food lovers, while people that like to visit places that do not see as many tourists can go to one of the many charming smaller cities like Passau or Bratislava.

The Waterways of the Tsars
In Russia you will not want to miss the magnificent cathedral of St. Basil’s or the captivating architecture of Moscow’s historic Red Square.

Art lovers will enjoy the impressive Hermitage Museum in Russia, which is the world’s second largest museum. Visualize Peter the Great luxuriating in massive Peterhof Palace, then see how many different families shared living space at a Soviet-era kommunalka.

In addition to its world-famous caviar, Russia has some other delightful traditional dishes you should sample: blini pancakes, solyanka, borscht, and pirog.

The chronicle of the Dnieper River was very much influenced by Ottoman, Mongol, Greek, Cossack, Tatar, Jewish, and Russian forces. From Odessa to Kiev you will witness monuments still left from the region’s Soviet era, ancient monestaries and churches, and enthralling museums, and you can take in performances of traditional dance and music.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley

The Douro River in Portugal will transport you to the fantastic capital city of Lisbon, where you can step back in time in the city’s old town or go to the newer areas filled with great cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. Ocean picture Tour the lush vineyards that produce the country’s celebrated Port wine and experience traditional cuisine, wine and fado singing.

Not only is the Douro River Valley a designated UNESCO site, it was additionally the first wine region in the world to be demarcated.

Nordic Wonders
After first checking out the lush Nordic region, head to the Rhine River and all it has to do and see. Follow historic Viking footsteps by embarking in Bergen, visit the breathtaking fjords and the quaint village of Flåm, wander the old town in Kristiansand with its wooden homes, and finally make your way to the more modern but no less intriguing cities of Oslo and Stavanger.

From the resort village of Skagen, Denmark, navigate the North Sea to Amsterdam, and on to check out Holland’s famous windmills in Kinderdijk.

The fabulous sights & tastes of Germany along its riverways
In Germany, try local beer and visit the spectacular ancient cathedral in Cologne or take a tour of the enormous Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The Middle Rhine is a gorgeous historic region with ancient walled fortresses, charming medieval villages, and beautiful ancient churches, and it was selected a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Black Forest in Germany is known for its thick forests, pampering spas, and charming villages; France’s Strasbourg is home to a stunning Gothic cathedral; and Basel, Switzerland is famous for having the country’s biggest fine arts museum.

Nothing on board is cookie-cutter, so your experience onshore shouldn’t be either. Experience all you possibly can of the sights, sounds, and tastes offered to you at each local stop.

Just as each cruise vessel is planned to be a distinct and one-of-a-kind experience, each destination is similarly unique and special.

What Makes a River Cruise?

A river cruise is a fairly unique way to travel. They travel at the optimal speed, feature fantastic amenities and provide stunning views.

River cruises through Europe are renowned for their great restaurants and wine lists, as well as outstanding service and lots of fun activities, and they travel slowly enough that you can really take in the view of all the cities, towns, and landscapes you pass by or stop to visit. All with the benefit of having to unpack merely once allowing you to settle in for leisurely sailing.

Re-trace the age-old trade channels of these famous rivers, while also stopping to enjoy many modern cities along the way. It is a stress-free, immersive quest where you can enjoy the ever-changing vistas along the banks of well-traveled waterways such as the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Douro, Volga among many other celebrated rivers.

You will really to get to know the food, wine, art, and way of life at each location.

Guests can get off the cruise ship and walk around on their own or sign up for guided tours. There is always ample opportunity to find something to do in every port, whether it's visiting an ancient castle, attending a classical concert or enjoying a famous museum.

You will also be really content onboard the ship, as they invariably have the very best of amenities. The accommodations come with a television, a safe for your precious possessions, and a compact refrigerator, as well as a private bathroom and in-room temperature control. These cruisers are well known for their fine dining, bars, and lounges, and many of the larger cruisers also offer pools and sun decks where you can relax in the fresh air, libraries where you can find something to read, specialty boutiques, and free Wi-Fi.

The makings of a perfect vacation
Combine of all this, along with outstanding and individualized service from on-board staff, and you have the ingredients for an amazing vacation.

No matter what season you travel, you will enjoy the different culture of each destination.

In the milder months, there will be more opportunities to take part in outdoor things such as street celebrations or open-air concerts. Cooler weather in the fall may mean you’ll run into fewer tourists in the streets of cities and ports you visit, which will allow you to take your time and get a closer look at sites that interest you without feeling rushed or crowded.

The winter months are a fun time to go if you enjoy seeing the unique holiday events and customs of other countries, such as the impressive Christmas markets traditional in some places.

A river cruise is a wonderful way to go for anyone who would like to travel in comfort and style.

Anyone who has never traveled on a cruise before will like how easy traveling this way can be, and they won’t have to be overly concerned about getting seasick. In addition, with their emphasis on enabling passengers experience the local way of life at each location, they are perfect for art and history aficionados, or anyone interested in travel in general.

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