Ocean cruising is awesome (like, we get it…it’s all the rage nowadays), but have you ever considered river cruising instead? Exploring our planet’s intricate rivers can be just as amazing as cruising the seven seas.
Although cruising the ocean is incredible and offers many great experiences, river cruising allows you to witness epic sights and offers you unique travel flexibility. Before deciding what type of trip you want to go on, ask yourself if you’d like to relax on a world-class cruise boat or get your feet dirty exploring exotic lands, foreign cities, and quaint villages. Also, if you plan on traveling in-country, a river cruise may be a good option to take you to your destination.
If you are considering a river cruise, then this blog post is for you. Before we start, however, we’d like to provide you with a brief overview of popular destinations so as to give you an idea of all river cruising has to offer.
Top cruise destinations: Includes the Danube river, the Rhine, the Moselle, the Main, the Seine, the Douro, the Mekong, and the Chobe.
Separated by Continents – See below
Europe – Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main, Seine, and Douro
Asia – Mekong
Africa – Chobe
*Watch this video to catch a glimpse of Europe’s amazing rivers and stunning beauty!
A Very Brief Overview of Rivers and Tourist Sights
Danube: As the second longest river in all of Europe, the Danube travels 1770 miles from the Black Sea to the Black Forest in Germany. Along this marvelous river, you can see the Danubius Hotel Gellért in Budapest, the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Veste Oberhaus (a 13th century fortress) in Passau, Iglesia Fortificada de San Miguel in Weissenkirchen, Saint Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, Ars Electronica Center in Linz, Dürnstein Castle in Dürnstein, and finally the Marienplatz in Munich.
*The pictures are listed in order from left to right, top to bottom, for your reference.
picture 1 / Budapest: Danubius Hotel Gellért, Szabadság híd / Image by Jorge Franganillo. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 2 / Schönbrunn Palace / Image by Federlos from Pixabay
picture 3 / Veste Oberhaus / Image by Kiathan Leviasa from Pixabay
picture 4 / Weissenkirchen – St. Michael or Iglesia Fortificada de San Miguel / Image by Roger W. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 5 / Saint Martin’s Altar / Image by Dennis Jarvis. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 6 / Ars Electronica Center / Image by cea +. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 7 / Dürnstein Castle / Image by Rolanas Valionis from Pixabay
picture 8 / Marienplatz / Image by flyupmike from Pixabay
Please call us at 936-756-1217 if you have travel questions. There is so much we can help you explore!
Rhine: At 766 miles long, the Rhine river is one of Europe’s most important waterways. Crammed with historical landmarks and tourist sights, traveling this river will not disappoint. Visit the Zoo Basel in Basel, the rolling vineyards of Breisach, the stunning Black Forest mountains, the Ill River in Strasbourg, the Baroque old town in Heidelberg, the Automuseum Dr. Carl Benz in Ladenburg, Lahneck Castle in Lahnstein, the Niederwald Monument in Rüdesheim, and the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne…among many other attractions!
picture 1 / The Young Rhino / Image by Tambako The Jaguar. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
picture 2 / Ruedesheim Niederwald monument/ Image by Jac. Janssen. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 3/ Breisac_2074 / Image by sbamueller. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 4 / Black Forest, near Schonau, Germany / Image by Peter Rintels. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
picture 5 /Quai des Pécheurs or Fishermen’s Wharf / Image by Valentin R. Some rights reserved – https://cretivecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
picture 6 / Lahneck and Nieder-Lahnstein Castle, Hesse-Nassau, Germany / Image by Ashley Van Haeften. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Picture 7 / Heidelberg / Image by Tobias Nordhausen. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 8 / The Automuseum Dr Carl Benz / Image by Koen Roumen. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 9 / Cologne Cathedral / Image by B. Hochsprung from Pixabay
Moselle: At 338 miles long, the Moselle is a sizable tributary of the Rhine and passes through beautiful wine country. Follow it to see the Basilica of Constantine (Aula Palatina) in Trier (near Wasserbillig), Porta Nigra, the castle, ruins, and chateau of Bernkastel, the breathtaking landscape of Cochem, and more. This cruise disembarks in Basel.
picture 1 / Germany-5312 – Protestant Church or Aula Palatina / Image by Dennis Jarvis. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 2 / Porta Nigra / Image by Cornelia Schneider-Frank from Pixabay
picture 3 / Bernkastel – Burg Landshut / Image by O de Andrade (MoScha). Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 4 / Cochem / Image by Günther Schneider from Pixabay
picture 5 / Castle in Cochem / Image by Herbert Aust from Pixabay
Maps of the Rhine (left) and Moselle (center) and a picture of where the two rivers meet
Main: At 326 miles long, the Main is another significant tributary of the Rhine. There is plenty to see along this incredible waterway—the Imperial Castle of Nuremberg, the Altes Rathaus in Bamberg, the Eltmann nature preserve, the Old Main Bridge in Würzberg, Kloster Bronnbach in Wertheim, and Engelberg Abbey in Miltenberg.
picture 1 / Imperial stables, Nuremberg, Bavaria, ca. 1895 / Image by Trialsanderrors. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 2 / door Kloster Bronnbach / Image by Magnus Hagdorn. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
picture 3 / Altes Rathaus Bamberg / Image by image by Klaus. Some rights reserved –https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
picture 4 / Miltenberg Castle / Image by Sirah from Pixabay
picture 5 / Marketplace Miltenberg / Image by lapping from Pixabay
picture 6 / Nuremberg Castle / Image by Gerhard Gellinger from Pixabay
Douro: The Douro is a large and important river in the Iberian Peninsula, flowing from Duruelo de la Sierra to its outlet at Porto. Enjoy the “City of Bridges” tour with wine tasting and local dining in Porto, the Holy Staircase hike in Peso de Régua, the Castelo Rodrigo tour in Barca d’Alva…and finally, witness the beauty of The Douro Valley in Pinhão.
Seine: As France’s second largest waterway, the Seine passes through some of the country’s most famous cities, as well as truly spectacular countryside. It flows west through Paris, then onto Normandy, and finally to the English Channel. See the Eiffel Tower in the City of Light (Paris), the Parc Naturel Régional du Vexin Français (regional park) just north of Montes-la-Jolie, the rolling French countryside of La Roche-Guyon, considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, Claude Monet’s house and garden in Giverny, a Medieval walking tour in Rouen, the Manoir de Retival in Caudebec-en-Caux, and the Museum of Modern Art André Malraux in Le Havre.
Mekong: As the 12th longest river in the world, this amazing waterway travels through six countries, (China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam), the heart of Asia’s ‘rice bowl.’ See Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei in Kampong Cham, the ancient wooden houses of Angkor Ban, the high-quality silk of Oknhatey Village, the stupas of Oudong, the historic Royal Palace and National Museum in Phnom Penh, the markets of Sa Dec, the Tien Chau Pagoda in Cai Be, and the Cu Chi Tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City.
Chobe: This 454 mile-long river travels through Botswana and Namibia and flows into the Zambezi River. It passes through a wonderland of wilderness and natural preserves. Experience a full-day safari at Chobe National Park, visit a local African village, go bird watching and fishing, and have an African-themed dinner. Disembark at Victoria Falls.
picture 1 / Chobe National Park / Image by Tim Copeland. Some rights reserved –https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 2 / African village / Image by Mike McBey. Some rights reserved –https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 3 / Victoria Falls / Image by Jack Wickes. Some rights reserved –https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
picture 4 / Green-winged Pytilia / Image by Derek Keats. Some rights reserved –https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
picture 5 / Chobe River Front, Botswana / Image by Joachim Huber. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ picture 6 / Artisanal fishing boat in M’bour / Image by Sebastian Losada. Some rights reserved – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
If you have questions, please give us a call at 936-756-1217, and we’ll walk you through the travel process. We’ll make your trip planning process seamless and easy.
All right! Now that we’ve got all that on the table, let’s talk about the….Top 10 Advantages of River Cruising!
Number 1: Highly Social Atmosphere
Everyone wants to feel the love on vacation, and in our opinion, river cruising provides the perfect opportunity to do just that! Isolation and boredom are never what you want to experience during your time away from the rat race, and fortunately, you don’t have to. River cruises, which often have less than 200 people on board, encourage you to get to know your fellow travelers and the cruise staff!
Number 2: Visit Landlocked Sights
A wise man once said, “You can’t visit landlocked places in the ocean,” so if you have an interest in traveling inland and experiencing the flavor and beauty of other countries, river cruises are the way to go! See more about traveling inland at our AmaWaterways vendor website by clicking here. Also see our Uniworld vendor site and Viking vendor site.
Number 3: No Seasickness
You might have experienced seasickness. If so, you know all too well of the terrible nausea that can rise up and strike at a moment’s notice, making you want to spill your lunch. Well, you don’t need to worry about getting queasy if you’re taking a river cruise. For the vast majority of people, river cruising doesn’t cause motion sickness. Hurray!
A quick note to our readers: If you are motion sensitive and have concerns, we encourage you to see your doctor. There are plenty of medications that can help with nausea and other related symptoms. We also recommend you take precautions when eating at restaurants. Follow your local guides and don’t buy food items from unlicensed vendors.
You might also be interested in watching this video. “How to Prevent and Cure Sea Sickness” by Captain Lang Sailing Tutorials on Youtube.
Number 4: All Inclusive Fare
As far as luxury sailing goes, river cruising tends to offer the pricing perks you would expect. While some vendors do charge gratuities, many of your amenities (such as wifi) are included in your cruise fare. Viking River Cruises, Uniworld, and AmaWaterways offer free excursions at each port. Likewise, most vendors offer wine, beer, and sodas for lunch and dinner. Some vendors offer complimentary bikes, helmets, and Nordic walking sticks. Wellness programs are often available free of charge.
If you have any questions regarding perks, call us at 936-756-1217, and we can help you find the best deals.
Number 5: Local Guides
On a cruise ship, you’ve got the classic setup of captain, the crew, performance artists, and of course, your friends and family. On a river cruise, you’ve got all that plus local guides who help make your journey more adventurous! Keep in mind that local guides can make or break your vacation experience. Our vendors provide trustworthy guides who will help make the most of your time. Each guide knows the history and hotspots of his or her city and can answer any questions that you might have.
Number 6: A Variety of Entertainment
On board, you are treated to entertainment by local artists. For example, in Austria you might hear songs from The Sound of Music as you reflect on the day with new friends and enjoy an exotic dinner. By river cruising, you are able to experience some of the world’s best art.
*Viking Cruises, AmaWaterways, and Uniworld River Cruises all offer excellent entertainment options.
Number 7: A History Lover’s Dream
Ever wanted to see the sinister Nazi Rally grounds in Nuremberg or the magnificent castles that line the Rhine River in Germany? Have you ever been curious about the history of Swiss chocolate or wondered how French delicacies came to popularity? Whatever your interest, river cruising offers you an intimate look at European and world history. You also get to enjoy delicious food!
Number 8: Unique Scenery
This one is obvious….There is no end to the natural beauty you will see while river cruising!
Number 9: Cultural Immersion
Get to know the people, the language, and connect! You’ll find that most people are just like you—eager to get to know their neighbors and friends!
Number 10: Lower Single Supplement Options for Solo Travelers
Ok, this is a mouthful, but it’s actually not that complicated. Let’s break down what this means. Simply put, cruise lines are priced for double occupancy…two people per cabin. For this reason, single passengers often have to PAY FOR TWO in the form of a supplement.
Here’s what this means by the numbers: If your fare costs $1, you will pay a 100 percent supplement that will increase your total cost to $2. Easy right? Well, extrapolate those numbers, and you can see just how steep your cost can get. Whatever your fare cost is, just double it. This might sound like a bad deal, right? The good news is vendors like AmaWaterways and Uniworld have select cruises that offer 0, 10, 25, and 50 percent discounts on that single supplement….Meaning that all you solo cruisers out there may be able to save significantly on your next river cruise. Comparatively speaking, river cruises often offer better discount options for single cruisers than ocean cruises.
Call us at 936-756-1217 or toll free at 855-358-0181 with any questions or for assistance!
~Brenda Hall & Sam Hall, with Eagle Adventures