A river cruise can be a scenic vacation that includes culturally-rich locations, an intimate setting (fewer than 200 passengers), and a variety of activities at each port of call. Although this type of cruise may seem relaxing, choosing a the right one can be both confusing and frustrating. With so many rivers and cruise lines, how do you make a choice?
First let’s take a look at the benefits of a river cruise:
When choosing a river cruise, here are a few things to consider:
1. Choose a River
I always advise clients to first choose a river. Most first-time river cruisers are interested in visiting multiple countries and crossing off several bucket list items in one trip.
2. Choose a Theme
Are you a foodie or a wine lover? Are you fascinated with castles? Or maybe you are interested in Christmas markets. Theme cruises are plentiful these days, so you are sure to find one to your liking.
3. Choose the Time of Year
The river cruise season runs March through December. The Summer months are generally considered the most popular months for European cruises. Spring and Fall months may offer a good alternative for smaller tourist crowds and lower pricing. Christmas market cruises begin at the end of November and continue until just before Christmas.
4. Choose the Cruise Line
Choosing a cruise line may be the most confusing: some cruise lines include gratuities, airport transfers and port charges in their cruise fare and others do not. I will make the comparisons for you, along with any current promotions, so you can make an informed decision.
Finally, below are a few tips to help your vacation run smoothly: