• Kevin Lowe

The Top Differences Between Ocean and River Cruising

Are You Still Not Convinced?

Today marks the last day in our “River Cruising with AmaWaterways” series. But before you decide to jump ship and skip the ending, I encourage you to stick around just a little bit longer. Everyone knows the ending is always the best part!

Just to rehash the last month… We took a deep dive into my favorite river cruise line, AmaWaterways, which hopefully is now your favorite as well. We cruised on the Rhine as well as the Danube. We even took you aboard one of AmaWaterways ships so you could get an idea of life on board.

But here’s my worry… You’re still not convinced?

I’m worried that as much as you may have enjoyed learning about cruising the rivers of Europe, you’re still just not completely sold on the idea. You like cruising, you’ve been on multiple ocean cruises and have always had a wonderful time. Is that right? Well, me too. I also love ocean going cruises as well. But that doesn’t mean we have to keep our heads in the sand when it comes to the idea of trying something new.

We only get one chance in this life, so why not be sure we are making the very most of it by experiencing all that we can, while we can.

In case you are indeed still on the fence, I’ve put together a list of the top differences between ocean and river cruises for you to take a look at.

1. The boats are smaller and more intimate (120-170 passengers) so you can actually get to know your fellow guests and not feel like you are being herded along like cattle…You may eat with whom you choose each evening and have a choice of a few onboard dining venues for variety.

2. It is as close to hassle-free as you can get. There are no lines to get on or off the boat and, when you arrive at your next stop, you can usually walk right off and be immersed in your destination. Europe grew up along its rivers, so there are some very charming and interesting small towns and big cities to explore. Very few ports require bus transfers, which makes it easy to come and go at your leisure.

3. The trip can be totally all-inclusive, depending on the cruise line and ship you have chosen. I’m talking wine and cocktails with dinner, shore excursions in every port, airport transfers, Wi-Fi and all gratuities.

4. Being on the river, there are no waves, so seasickness is not an issue. Also, most cruises include transferring through a series of “locks” to accommodate the changes in elevation, which most people find super interesting to watch. You can literally touch the walls of the locks from your balcony as you pass through! Evening entertainment can be a little sparse, but there is always live music in the lounge, lots of movies and entertainment on your in-cabin TVs and most cruise lines bring on local entertainers in some ports, such as an OomPah band in Passau Germany or Gypsy dancers in Budapest. Plus, there are informative talks on the ports-of-call and cocktails with your newly-made friends from around the world.

The price tag of a River Cruise can cause a little bit of “sticker shock”, but when you figure out everything you are getting for the cost, it becomes much more manageable, and quite a good value.

A Luxury Travel Advisor who specializes in European River cruising (like me!) and who has relationships with the sales reps from all the different lines can be incredibly valuable in helping you sort through all of the options and find the perfect fit.

Whether it’s a romantic getaway for you and your spouse or a fun-filled trip for the entire family please know I am here to help turn your dreams into reality!



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