Do you like the idea of a cruise but aren’t keen on being amongst thousands of other passengers? Does the thought of sea sickness and ship movement fill you with dread? Then we have just the thing for you…
Welcome to the world of river cruising. Where you moor up at night so can be assured of a peaceful night’s sleep rather than rolling in heavy seas and where land can be seen at all times as you sail along Europe’s spectacular rivers. In essence, river cruising, which is becoming more and more popular every year, is a touring holiday where you will often sail into the heart of the city and so will have the independence of being able to do your own thing if you prefer.
Popular river cruises
Favourites include the River Rhine sailing from Amsterdam through Germany, the Danube and Eastern Europe, the River Rhone taking in the gorgeous French countryside and of course the river Seine. For wine connoisseurs, the rivers of the Garonne and the Gironde are both reached through Bordeaux cruises. The Douro river in Portugal has gained significant popularity in recent years as this is the furthest south that river cruise ships operate in Europe, so the weather is usually fine late into the year. This river cruise has the added benefit of visiting various port houses along the journey where guests will learn all about the production of this special fortified wine.
The excursion programme on ships is usually very comprehensive, covering a wide range of interests. Depending on the river cruise line these will either be included within the price or you will book the trips onboard as you travel. No need to wait for the masses to disembark on tour as your river cruise ship will carry just a few hundred guests so the operation works speedily and efficiently.
The atmosphere onboard the ships is always friendly as you spend time meeting and chatting to fellow travellers. Enjoy the facilities and daily onboard programme, the excursions, the fine cuisine and the evening entertainment.
Where cabins and accommodation are concerned most cruise ships have just the three decks, river view cabins in the main along the lowest deck, then on the second and third deck French Balcony and Suite options are available. Cabin sizes will naturally vary depending on which river cruise line is selected. The lower deck cabins on the ship will usually be the most reasonably priced.
Getting to your river cruise
River cruise ships are easily reached through main airport hubs, and regional airports across the UK which is ideal for those who don’t want the hassle of having to travel into London. Guests will be met at their overseas airport on arrival and then be transferred as a group from the airport to the ship. These transfers will depend on itinerary so make sure you check what is included when you book.
it is worth noting that some river cruise companies will include chauffeur driven transport to the airport in the United Kingdom, usually permitting a journey of up to a specified number of miles each way. This service makes it very easy to reach the airport without having to worry about airport parking, public transport or hotels.
Purchases onboard are easily taken care of within a cash free environment as guests are asked to sign off on their onboard account - this makes for a relaxed experience for many. It is important to note the currency onboard the ship of your choice and whether the gratuities are included as this will vary from liner to liner.
When should I book a river cruise?
The river cruise season typically runs from March through to October and there is very limited availability across the board for 2017. Most river cruise companies launched their 2018 programmes within the last few months with some excellent early booking savings to be had. By booking ahead guests need only pay a deposit to secure their cabin and booking, with the holiday balance only becoming due 14 weeks before travel. Certain dates and cruise itineraries will book quickly though. The months of June and September especially are always heavily booked, as the weather outside the height of the summer will be more pleasant for sailing and for touring.
At Paying Too Much Holidays we are ideally placed to answer your questions and assist you with your requirements for your River cruise.
Call us today on 01243 213 213 and we can guide you through your options.