Is River Cruising Right For You?

Is River Cruising Right For You?



River cruising is not a very new concept, but it is the newest growth segment in the travel industry as it offers a good “in between” for those who like land and cruise vacations that are looking to include the benefits of both in one vacation! Just like a cruise trip, your journey takes place on a boat that navigates from port to port through water but instead of oceans it meanders through rivers and canals. But also like a land based tour, you are able to spend more time visiting these cities in a more intimate fashion as they usually arrive at port earlier and leave later, and sometimes they will overnight at the port. The destinations are much less touristy in most instances or at least not as busy as an ocean cruise port would be. The river ships are of course smaller which means less passengers and crew, less amenities, and less dining options, but they usually make up for it in higher quality cabins and food. Below I will point out some of the main differences and highlights of river cruising compared to other travel options!


Like a land based trip, river cruises are more immersive and intimate as you have more time to explore the cities you visit. You also will have access to places off the beaten path or not as well known due to their location. Some of these will be hidden gems you would never have discovered if not for a river cruise. Most river cruise companies will also include 

some or all of the excursions at these stops as part of your fare. Some will also offer several levels of activities from just easy walking tours, to more active and adventurous things like cooking classes or local hiking trails. You will also find a wide variety of options for destinations including many in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and even in the USA!

French Balcony Stateroom on-board the Viking Longship Hild.

Accommodations and Amenities:  

Since the ships are smaller they have less options for cabin types so most are more luxurious and have water views. Depending on the cruise company, you will find fewer “inside” cabins just due to the limited space available. You will find some higher end “suites” that offer larger rooms and some other perks just like on ocean cruises, but there are less of them. Some companies wil l also have a few cabins dedicated to single travelers as well. Most river ships will accommodate less than 100 passengers so you will not feel crowded at all. Although all ships are different, most will have a pool area, a fitness and spa area, outdoor sports court of some kind, and a couple different bar areas. Some companies will offer deal that include airfare and/or post or pre stay extensions for your trips.


Since you have less options for dining than ocean cruises, all of your dining is included on most river ships. They all usually include some sort of buffet option, and a couple other venues including room service. The food is generally on a higher quality with fancier menus that offer up some of the local dishes with locally purchased provisions that include beer and wine. There are also places for coffee, tea, and snacks located around most ships. Since you will be docked at most ports for the entire day, it also gives you the option to dine at the local eateries.

Specialty Sailings:

You will have many options for cruises that are focused on specific events and themes due to the regions that the rivers run through. Wine themed cruise itineraries will focus visiting vineyards in certain wine regions in France, Italy, Germany and more. Christmas Markets cruises that tour cities in Germany, Austria, Hungry and others in Europe are a big draw for shoppers and those looking for amazing holiday decorated cities. Some companies also offer up Golf centered cruises that offer the add on option to play some great courses in Germany, Austria, and more.

Benefits of River Cruises:

No rough seas! Rivers have very little chance of getting you sea sick. More time in port. Less people to deal with on board. More pampered feeling by the staff. Better value as there are more included amenities including shore excursions. A more immersive destination experience with local cuisine and entertainment. More off the beaten path ports of call with fewer tourists. Unlike most ocean cruises, the average age of a river cruise guest is 59 years old, so very few if any young kids on board.

Plenty of Choices: 

Over the last few years, the popularity of river cruises has increased by over 100% giving raise to many more companies and cruise options! Just like ocean cruising, you have many different ships and itineraries to choose from in all budget ranges and we can offer you our expertise to help you find the perfect one for you! Below is a list of the top rated River Cruise companies in the industry that we work with no matter if you are a single traveler or want to put together a group for friends! Contact us at or give us a call at 813-300-6840

Viking River CruisesAmaWaterwaysUniworld – Avalon Waterways – American Cruise Line – Amadeus River Cruises – Tauck River Cruises – Emerald Cruises – Riviera River Cruises