River Cruising is one of the latest trends in travel. What use to be a “bucket list only” item is becoming a leading option for any age adult travel. As with all cruising, there is a cruise line to fit almost every budget and expectation. From U by Uniworld for the younger crowd, to the exceptional service of Viking, Emerald and Avalon to the luxury touches of Scenic, AmaWaterways, Tauck and more, river cruising is a journey you won’t soon forget.
Some of the main differences in river and ocean cruising is that with river cruising you are traveling through a destination, not just to the destination. You’ll be able to experience the cities on a relaxed, immersive trip with local guides who speak English and want to share their knowledge with you. Taste the local cuisine, enjoy the local beverages and see their rich history come to life.
While some lines allow for children ages 12 and older to sail, you won’t find any kids clubs or specific activities on the ship. So make sure your teen enjoys history, art and culture before bringing them along.
Also, you will have a selection of included excursions with your river cruise to choose from and a few that might have an upcharge. Additionally, wine and beer are included in river cruising for lunch and dinner as well as sodas, coffee and tea. Top shelf liquor and cocktails would be an additional charge at meal times.
A typical day on a river cruise would look something like this:
Awake for breakfast in the main dining room from 7:30 to 9:00; be ready for your morning excursion which will leave between 8:30 and 9:00.
Venture into the city and visit the cathedrals or castles, enjoy your local guide who tells you the history and meaning of the places you’ll visit.
Arrive back to the ship around noon for a lunch in the dining room. Then back out around 1:30 for your next adventure.
In the afternoon you might visit a monastery, local vineyard or farm, see what it’s like to make cheese or take a cooking class.
Return to your ship around 5:00 and freshen up for dinner. Your cruise director will meet you in the lounge to tell you of the schedule for tomorrow as well as anything else you should know. The chef will describe the wonderful dinner he has prepared for you and let you know of the regional specialties you can expect to find on the menu.
Then after cocktail hour you’ll have an amazing 4 or 5 course dinner in the main dining room followed by local entertainment in the lounge. You could enjoy a musical concert, see a glass blowing demonstration or enjoy an evening excursion if your itinerary allows.
There are excursions for active walkers, gentle walkers and self-paced bike rides along the riverbank. Explore at your leisure, just don’t forget to make it back to the ship on time!