A European River Cruise
When we did our first European river cruise in 2005, we predicted that river cruises would become one of the fastest growing tour options in Europe, as evidenced by the large increase in the number of riverboats plying main waterways like the Rhine and Danube and on order from shipyards for the next and following years. Well today, river cruise operators are doing a booming business and one of our travel agent friends indicated that most of the popular 2007 cruises have completely sold out.
Why the huge rise in popularity of this tour option? River cruises offer a relaxing and really pleasant way of visiting and exploring famous cities, romantic towns and villages as well as enjoying the magnificent beauty of the European riverside scenery. Having done a lot of coach tours in the past, I really appreciated not having to pack and unpack each day. If you didn’t feel like company, you could retreat to your cabin and enjoy the beautiful river scenery from the comforts of your own room and you’re free to walk around the ship or stretch out in your cabin instead of being belted up in your coach seat. Travel time is definitely much more comfortable and enjoyable and there’s not the need to beat the traffic to get to the next destination.
River cruises also allow you to pick and choose your activities for the day. The boats are nearly always moored near the town centre and if you didn’t fancy racing off on a land tour, you could always spend your time strolling around town on your own, enjoy a relaxing meal in a local restaurant or laze on the upper deck and enjoy a book.
When booking a river cruise, it is definitely worth the extra money to get rooms where you have floor to ceiling sliding doors to enjoy unobstructed views of the spectacular scenery, and they were spectacular! The newer boats also have a slightly larger balconies which allows you to enjoy the views from your own balcony.