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How are River Cruises Different from Ocean Cruises?

While river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of commonalities, there are also several — and significant — differences between the two.
Generally, ocean liners tend to be quite a bit larger and you will find added amenities in your room. ship-1578528__340.jpg Therefore, they are able to have substantially more people aboard. On river ships, since there are not as many people, the feeling is more personal and you have more opportunity to really get to know fellow travelers.

A second differing factor is that on a river cruise you are almost never traveling for a full day at a time, whereas ocean cruises are often on the open sea for a few days in a row. Guests usually get to check out a new port every day. Since the panorama outside the ship is constantly changing, the sensation of discovery becomes part of the discovery. If you are concerned you might get seasick, a river cruise is the way to go because land is always in your line of vision, the water is not deep, and there is barely any turbulence.
Of course, with their greater size, ocean cruises normally feature additional things like onboard gyms, live performances, and many more options for where and what to eat. But river cruises customarily incorporate options such as water, refreshments (even alcohol), Wi-Fi, and many off-board excursions in the overall price of the trip.

River Cruising Popularity Rises

As the proverb goes, the road best traveled is actually a river. There continues to be an uptick in the numbers of passengers picking this luxury holiday option. Additionally, this type of cruising has more options than ever before. Cruises have been loved by vacationers for eons, but river cruises specifically are on the upswing as they do not entail voyaging over open water.

Cruises in Europe are attracting visitors from all across the world as they provide something to suit everyone's taste.

There are a lot of benefits of a river cruise compared to an ocean cruise.
They make it easy for travelers to see the attractions more closely and in-depth. In contrast to almost all ocean cruise lines, a river boat is an intimate affair.

Most river vessels take fewer than 200 travelers, while the staff is still quite large, so the service tends to be superb and very personal.

Rest assured that the level of comfort of river cruise boats is not at all compromised by the more compact sizes of the ships compared to the size of ocean cruisers. High-end things you can find on some of the leading vessels include accommodations that have their own balconies overlooking the river, decadent spas, a relaxing outdoor pool on deck, and panoramic windows to enjoy the views.
Passengers invariably appreciate the relative ease of river cruising. When you arrive at the airport you will not need to figure out how to get to the cruise, as an employee from the ship will be there to transport you. At ports of call, you just walk off the vessel and into town – no waiting in lines to disembark.

Unpack your bags only one time and wake up every day in a new city or country.

Ship builders in Europe also gain from growing numbers of travelers. New cruisers are starting to be built on a regular basis, and others that are already out on the water often need repairs or refurbishing.

Each year river cruise lines have been raising the quality of their vessels. They need to be very cutting-edge with regards to both design and technology, with better and better luxuries and amenities.

Today’s emphasis on eco-friendly organizations has impacted the cruise industry as well.
landing-1441457__340.jpg New and enhanced technologies have allowed this to happen: improved water and energy-saving systems, cutting-edge particulate filter systems, shore-based energy supplies, and better systems for recycling and waste elimination.

Shore-based electricity supplies in particular are a huge improvement for river cruise ships that will help protect the environment.

These enable the cruisers to shut down the majority of their engines while lying at berth, which results in a significant reduction in nitrogen emissions.

River cruises provide many more pros than these.
Seeing that river cruises go at a rather slow speed, passengers have more opportunities to enjoy and participate in the local cultures along the way. You can shop with the chef at a market in Burgundy and then dine on regionally-inspired food that same day or get a glimpse of gypsy heritage at a classic Hungarian dance performance along the Danube.
Travelers worried about becoming seasick should go with a river cruise rather than an ocean cruise because river-going vessels offer a gentler ride with no rocking motion making it unlikely that you'll get ill. In addition, on a river you can always see the land on both sides, so folks who do not like the concept of open stretches of water will be more at ease.

Along with the big increase in the popularity of river cruises comes an expanse of the sorts of travelers they attract. Cruises that last a week or less tend to appeal to younger, professional passengers, while the longer voyages will get more retired people who have more time to travel. At one end of the spectrum are fun, family-friendly cruises while at the other end are the more stylish, lavish cruises with spas and other indulgences favored by adults.

With so many fantastic features, it’s no wonder that river cruises have become such a popular way to travel and see the world. That is definitely a trend we should expect to keep up with no downturn.

River Cruises: Destinations

Your time off the ship can be equally as enjoyable as being on board the cruise itself. A unique variety of adventures comes with each European river cruise.

See Europe by way of its legendary rivers and get to discover the cities and peoples along the routes. Everyone from committed students of history to extreme adventure seekers, to inquisitive tourists will appreciate the offerings and activities. You will experience exciting moments in the greatest cultural centers of Europe, go to historic monuments and take in the beautiful scenery. These luxury vessels are the ideal size to maneuver into the smaller harbors and ports closest to the most significant attractions and town centers.

ferry-boat-123059__340.jpg

Famed Rivers of France

France has many different regions recognized throughout the world, and a river cruise will allow you to explore them.

From its majestic Bordeaux region and gastronomic Lyon, to historic Normandy and charming Provence, not to mention fabulous Paris, France offers something for everyone.

Explore the ports of call, vineyards, farms and forests of Aquitaine, at one time Europe’s most important kingdom.

Hunt for truffles near Périgord and create your own personal blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery.

Savor France’s finest oysters just brought in from the bay at Arcachon.

Taste Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes in their famous ”terroir”. Whichever river you choose for your tour through France – the Gironde, Seine, Rhône, or Dordogne -- the country’s interesting history, beautiful art, and delicious food culture will delight.

Historied Rivers of Germany and Central Europe
Cruises on the Elbe River go through Germany and the Czech Republic on a journey lined by ancient fortifications and medieval villages.

Fans of German Riesling will love traveling down the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which will take them through the region of Germany known for its wines.

The Danube River carries passengers through Central Europe to destinations such as Vienna, where you can learn how to waltz, or Budapest, where you can unwind in the traditional thermal baths known as banyas. Go on to savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine at one of the region’s well-known restaurants, or check out lesser-known Central European cities such as Bratislava and Passau.

The Waterways of the Tsars
Cruise the waterways of Russia and see for yourself the typical Russian architecture in Moscow’s Red Square and the domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral. In Russia, be sure to get some time at the magnificent Hermitage Museum, which in addition to being an awe-inspiring building, is the second largest sized museum in the world.

The glorious Peterhof Palace will take your breath away, while the Soviet-era kommunalka will give you remarkable insight into the everyday lives of the many families who lived there together commune-style.

Russia has some tasty culinary specialties which you will need to try out when you are there: borscht, pirog, solyanka, blini pancakes, and perhaps the most distinguished, caviar.

If you cruise along the Dnieper River you will see lands that were heavily influenced by Mongol, Greek, Russian, Cossack, Jewish, Tatar, and Ottoman forces.

From Odessa to Kiev you will see monuments still left from the region’s Soviet era, old monestaries and churches, and enthralling museums, and you can take in performances of traditional dance and music.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley
Travel the Douro River in Portugal to the vibrant cosmopolitan city of Lisbon, with its newly invigorated districts of art galleries, cafes, and shopping areas.

Wine aficionados will want to stop in the picturesque vineyard region to taste local wines, while the traditional foods and fado singing will be a delight for all. Not only is the Douro River Valley a designated UNESCO site, it was also the very first wine denomination in the world to get demarcated.

Nordic Wonders
After first visiting the gorgeous Nordic region, head to the Rhine River and all it has to do and see.

Begin in historic Bergen, a city with deep Viking roots, and set off for Norway’s breathtaking fjord landscapes, cruising to scenic Flåm, cosmopolitan Stavanger, history-rich Kristiansand and lively Oslo. Art lovers will want to stop in Denmark’s coastal community of Skagen, once summer home to the legendary group of Scandinavian artists known as the Skagen Painters, as well as Amsterdam to enjoy the many masterpieces there, before heading to Kinderdijk to see the enchanting windmills of Holland.

The sights and tastes of Germany along its riverways
In Germany, take a cable car to the spectacular Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or check out the dazzling medieval cathedral in Cologne.

The scenic Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is really worth a visit with its imposing cathedrals, huge fortresses, ancient villages, and rich history.

Pamper yourself in the decadent spas found in the Black Forest of Germany; visit the magnificent Gothic cathedral in multicultural Strasbourg, France; and tour the celebrated art museum in Basel, Switzerland. What you do on land should be just as enjoyable as all the fun you will have on board.

Dive right into the one-of-a-kind aspects of each intriguing place along the way. cruising-4057617__340.jpg Your cruise ship is a work of art, and in very much the same way, every single destination is its own artistic creation made from history and culture.

Cruises Are Cruises Are Cruises. Right?

Almost nothing compares to a river cruise. Because they move at a relatively slow pace you can really see and enjoy all the beautiful views, and the amenities they offer on board will make you feel special. River cruises through Europe are popular for their fantastic restaurants and wine lists, as well as great 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. Better yet, you will not have to continue unpacking and packing at every place.

A journey on one of these cruisers takes you along age-old trading routes to the most modern cities and towns in Europe. While cruising on famed rivers like the Seine, Rhine, Volga, Danube, or Douro, you will witness extraordinary ever-changing vistas and places you'll be eager to visit up close.

You will really to get to appreciate the food, wine, art, and way of life at each spot. There are guided excursions offered at each destination, or more independent passengers can stroll around on their own. There is no scarcity of enjoyable outings to do at each port, from seeing local historic attractions to visiting museums to attending live performances of music or dance.

And the amenities on these ships will ensure that you are happy and have everything you need. You will enjoy a private bathroom in your stateroom and in-room temperature control, plus a small fridge, a television, a high-quality bed, and a private safe for valuables.
These cruisers are well known for their fine dining, bars, and lounges, and many of the larger vessels also feature pools and sun decks where you can chill out in the fresh air, libraries where you can get something to read, specialty boutiques, and free Wi-Fi.
Bring this all together with outstanding and individualized service from on-board staff and you have the makings of the perfect vacation.
No matter what season you travel, you will enjoy the unique culture of each destination.

When the weather is nice, there will be more functions held outside such as outdoor exhibitions and musical performances. Colder weather in the fall could 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 attractions that interest you without feeling rushed or crowded. And in the winter season, you’ll be delighted by festive Christmas markets and beguiled by the holiday customs and events of the locals.

River cruises are great for everyone, specially those looking for a more peaceful and intimate form of travel.
First-time cruise passengers will find out how simple traveling is on a river cruise and not have to fret much about becoming seasick.

Furthermore, the emphasis on cultural exploration of places you visit means river cruises are ideal for those with a curiosity for art and history, or a general interest in travel.

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