Is river cruising for you? There’s a really good chance it is!!
Sailing by river means enjoying all the conveniences (and a whole lot more) of a traditional cruise, along with all the benefits of inland travel.
Recently our agents Holly Poast and Danielle Woodson had the pleasure of experiencing the ins and outs (really, just the ins) of the Rhine Getaway with Viking River Cruises. Once on their adventure they quickly discovered that this is their favorite new way to experience Europe. They were so excited when they returned that they've put together this fun list to give you the top 10 reasons on why river cruising may be right for you!
10. You can’t beat the scenery!
You’ll pass way more interesting scenery sailing close to shore, than you will out in the ocean (sometimes for days). A shoreline is always in sight, as well as the local ports and towns. The river ships are smaller than an ocean liner and can maneuver into places the ocean liners can’t. Leave your Dramamine at home because you’re also not going to encounter motion sickness on a calm river. If there’s a sudden unfortunate emergency or sickness, access to medical expertise and care is close by.
9. Embarkation and disembarkation are a piece of cake giving you more time to enjoy each port and cake, if you choose!
Don’t worry if you’ve got to make a quick cabin stop, restroom stop, or you want to go back and grab that all-included breakfast, lunch, coffee bar, or cocktail. It’s often just a short walk or included shuttle away. Some of your party (not you 😊 of course) may even want to grab a quick rest or nap, with the ease of getting back to the village without skipping a beat. Need a quick change of clothes or recharging of your phone for those amazing pics? Getting on and off a river ship is like walking in and out of “your hotel resort on the water.” It’s rare to encounter a line or wait, and you’re always greeted with your name, a friendly smile, water, maps, and anything else you may need. The crew really take the time to get to know you and your needs and preferences.
8. How else do you get to wake up in a new city each day?
If you’re one of those travelers with an extensive bucket list and want to see it all, this is the way to go. Each day in a new destination allows you the opportunity to sample various parts of the world and see where you want to return. On a typical 8-day cruise, you are likely to visit 8 cities with all kinds of culture, cuisine, and history. Take some extra days (pre and post cruise extensions) before and after your cruise to really take in the nearby cities.
7. Excursions are immersive and uniquely tailored to the local culture.
Viking has privileged access and long-standing local relationships with local guides that have been handpicked. You’ll even have access to excursions that are exclusive to Viking. When you join a daily tour (you always have the option), you’re getting firsthand knowledge, history, flavor, and Viking’s outstanding customer service. Each day you have the option for one included tour. These tours are perfect and a wonderful way to get your bearings on the day’s village or town, with a traditional or city village walk. You can even skip a tour altogether or join for a bit and go off on your own. If you really want to fill up your day, or experience something even more tailored to your own personal interests, you can sign up for additional tours for (prices for the extra tours are reasonable and about the only thing not included with Viking). If tours aren’t your thing, you can skip them altogether or join for a bit and go off on your own. Tours are not required but we’d say you might be missing out on a goldmine. Viking’s local guides know the history, best cuisine, and quirks of the region. The guides are quite entertaining! The technology is up to date, so that you won’t miss a thing with small, easy to use listening devices!
6. Unpack ONCE!
Avoid the hassle of packing and unpacking in your new hotel on the water. Who wants to lug their luggage all over Europe? With a river cruise, you don’t have to. You can even take those extra pieces you may want to wear if you opt for a suitcase larger than a carry-on. It’s hard to believe how much storage the cabins offer. There’s room for larger suitcases to be tucked under the beds, and there’s quite a lot of closet and drawer space. The bathrooms are easy to share with enough counter space and shelving to effortlessly access and organize all your bathroom necessities!
5. The amenities!!!
It’s finally time to mention the luxury! The staterooms range in size from 150 to 205 square feet and include:
Queen-size Viking Explorer Bed (optional twin-bed configuration) with luxury linens & pillows
Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
42" flat-screen TV with infotainment system featuring Movies on Demand, CNBC, CNN, FOX & more
110/220-volt outlets & USB ports (bring your converter for extra outlet use)
Private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated floor, anti-fog mirror & hair dryer
Premium Freyja® toiletries
Plush robes & slippers (upon request)
Telephone, safe, refrigerator
Individual climate control
Bottled water replenished daily
Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping
Under-bed suitcase storage space
Roomy wardrobe with wooden hangers
Suite guests will enjoy all the above plus complimentary laundry and shoeshine service, welcome champagne, mini bar service (wine, beer, and soft drinks), daily fruit, binoculars and more.
Beyond the staterooms, each river cruise ship features:
Sun Deck with 360-degree views & shaded sitting area; organic herb garden & solar panels; putting green & walking track
Aquavit Terrace & Lounge, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area at the bow of the ship for al fresco dining
Lounge & Bar with floor-to-ceiling glass doors
Restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views
Library & onboard shop
Elevator from Middle to Upper Deck only
Ecologically friendly hybrid engines producing less vibrations for a smoother ride