River cruising has been growing in popularity since 2012 when the industry first underwent its major boom. And with 2017’s predicted river cruise trends including exciting far-flung destinations, beautiful new ships with top-notch facilities and fun interactive themes that everyone can get on board with, now is an excellent time to book your first (or next!) river cruise.
Why your next cruise should be a river cruise
Although the amazing sea views you get on standard cruises are truly beautiful, they’re not a patch on what you can expect to see on river cruises. While the big cruise ships spend a lot of time sailing over huge expanses of blue ocean, passengers on the smaller river cruise ships are treated to gorgeous vistas of historical towns, lush riverbanks, dense jungles and rolling vineyards. Better still, because most rivers are fairly narrow, you can admire the captivating scenery close-up without having to slow down or get off the ship.
Central ports of call
Not only do river itineraries allow you to get a great view of the scenery, but they also let you get closer to the famous landmarks and major cities everyone wants to visit. Go on a river cruise and you’ll just be a few minutes’ walk away from the centre of all the action. This means you can spend more time enjoying your destination, instead of worrying about how long it will take you to get back to the ship.
More intimate experience
Even though huge cruise ships like Cunard’s QM2 with multiple floors home to cafes, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, spa, beauty salon, fitness centre, theatre, planetarium, swimming pools, sun decks and casino might sound like a legendary playground to some cruisers, not everyone loves huge action-packed ships. If you prefer a quieter, more intimate experience you should definitely consider the smaller river cruise liners. Even the new larger vessels are still significantly smaller than anything you’ll find at sea and all have passenger numbers in the low hundreds, compared to the thousands.
Less risk of sea sickness
Most waterways that welcome river cruise liners are remarkably smooth and make for a comfortable, serene ride. The combination of narrow rivers, total lack of waves, flat-bottom ships and slow sailing pace means you’ll hardly even know you’re moving at all. This makes river cruising perfect for someone eager to experience cruising with a history of sea sickness.
More destinations to explore
On a standard one-week cruise itinerary, you’ll generally visit 5-6 destinations, including the original departure port. But on a river cruise, it’s common to visit 2-3 ports in a single day. Because of this you can pack a lot more sightseeing and exploring into a river cruise than you can on an ocean cruise.