Think of River Cruises and your mind instantly goes to luxurious accommodation, showstopping vistas and glamorous people – thanks in large part to Agatha Christie’s famed book Death on the Nile.
But fast forward to the twenty-first century and whilst they have retained their age-old glamour and timeless appeal, they have evolved into a contemporary bucket list holiday that has so much more to offer. Worry not though, you don’t have to be Hercule Poirot to find out why – here at Orbital Travel we’ve done the detective work for you.
Here are 8 reasons why we think your next holiday needs to be a river cruise…
1. Your time is precious – make the most of it
If you’re short on time but want to take in a variety of different destinations in one holiday, then look no further. In as few as 7 days you can hop from city to city, from fairy tale landscapes dotted with quaint castles to bustling capital cities and charming rural villages – there’s no other type of holiday that provides you with so much in so little time.
In particular, the rivers of Europe act as a gateway to a diverse range of sights and experiences stretching for hundreds of miles; seamlessly linking countries, cultures, people and age-old traditions.
“River cruises are a fantastic way of seeing multiple destinations as part of your holiday; making it the ultimate city break” – Jenny, Orbital Travel
2. Peaceful, yet plentiful
Whilst river cruises are rising in popularity, there are many rivers across Europe which are less travelled, with plenty of treasures to discover. This gives you the opportunity to go off the beaten path if you have already had your fill of Europe’s more well-known waterways, or if you prefer to avoid the crowds in some of the busier destinations. River cruise holidays have so much to offer that even the most well-seasoned cruisers will find delights to surprise them just around each riverbend.
“We truly believe that river cruising is one of travel’s best kept secrets and should be experienced by everyone at some point in their lifetime.” John – Orbital Travel
3. Incredible value
As we know, river cruises have so much to offer in the richness of destinations and experiences you can immerse yourself in on just one trip, it should come as no surprise that they are incredible value for money for other reasons. As a starting point, most cruise lines offer you a free city tour of each port on your trip, whilst on board you can enjoy fast and free wi-fi and complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks to refuel after a day of exploring.
4. Stay in a boutique floating hotel
River cruise boats share much of the luxurious amenities of the bigger ocean liners such as lush lounges, spacious rooms with balconies and open decks, opulent furnishings and gourmet standard restaurants, but without the thousands of passengers. Due to the nature of river cruising and the necessity of passing through locks and bridges, their size has to kept on the small side. As a result, most ships will have a maximum of 200 guests on board at any one time, and some are much smaller. But what they lack in scale you certainly don’t miss out on when it comes to impeccable service and amenities – if you’re lucky you may even find there’s a hot tub on the deck of your ship!
5. Great way to meet people in a relaxed setting
As a rule, river cruises are more casual than ocean liners. For example, there are often no seating plans for dinner (check with your cruise expert before booking) and dining is a more laid-back affair. You can probably leave the ballgowns and dinner jackets at home, leaving you more room in your suitcase for the curios and knickknacks you have picked up on your trip.
“River cruise ships are floating hotels which are smaller and have a more intimate atmosphere on board than the ocean cruise liners, allowing you to make new friends and create lifelong memories.” Jan, Orbital Travel
6. Ideal for cruise beginners
River cruises provide a great introduction to life on board. If you’re not sure you’re suited for a life afloat, it’s a great way to start your journey towards earning your sea (or river) legs. Plus, as you don’t have to battle the ocean waves of the Mediterranean or Atlantic like when you’re aboard a big ocean liner, it’s a great option for those prone to seasickness.
7. Perfect multi-generational holidays
Whilst the on-board accommodation is top class, with river cruises it’s all about the destinations and what you can experience both on-and off board; with a focus on activities, culture and sightseeing. The river cruise sector has evolved massively, and you can now find a cruise to suit everyone, no matter your age or interests. There are active cruises, gourmet cruises, spa cruises and family-friendly cruises to name just a few. As they really do cater for everyone, it’s unsurprising that they are fast becoming a top choice for multi-generational holidays.
“River cruising is becoming a popular way of holidaying amongst all types, young and old.” Lisa, Orbital Travel.
8. Go it alone.
River cruises are also a great option for single travellers. From experience of travelling alone, we know that safety and companionship are top priorities – you can be assured of both on a river cruise. The environment is secure and there are plenty of opportunities to meet other (single) travellers and likeminded people on board – the staff themselves often become lifelong friends, but they also go out of their way to enable you to meet up with other single travellers on the first day of your cruise, if this is what you want.
Get in touch with our cruise experts today to discuss your next holiday. We personalise cruises for our clients, ensuring every detail is bespoke and perfectly tailored to you.