River cruising is one of the fastest-growing segments of the cruise industry, and it’s no wonder: River cruises give you a more intimate and diverse experience that you just don’t get on the bigger ocean cruises. You get to experience cities and port that bigger cruise ships can’t get to, which allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture.
A great way to think about river cruises is as a land tour – only on a boat. The focus is much more on your ports of call than on activities on the ship. In fact, you’ll probably spend more time in each port than you do on the ship, and, unlike ocean cruises, some – or even all – of your on-shore excursions are included in your overall trip pricing. Since river cruise ships are smaller, they have access to more ports, many of which are closer to the town center – so you get a better look at typical life than the touristy attractions you usually see with ocean cruising. You’ll even get an opportunity to try some local activities such as cheese making, brewing beer, or learning to cook the local cuisines.
Some things to keep in mind before deciding if a river cruise is right for you: