Benefits of Taking A River Cruise

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Sep 14, 2017 / 0 comments

Have you taken a river cruise? It's an easy and slow way to see a country or area - and make the most of your time. River cruises allow you to take a journey that most won't ever experience - and visit some of the world's most important cities, located right on the water. Paris, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Budapest - all of these important historical cities developed because they were on the water! It's an unexpected way to travel Europe.

Benefits of Taking A River Cruise

A river cruise can also allow you to travel slowly, and intimately. River cruises generally only have 100-200 guests on them, versus the thousands on major ocean cruises. You'll unpack once - in your cabin - and then enjoy smooth sailing on some of the worlds' greatest rivers! Click here for best rates and availability.

I remember reading a book of a river cruise on the Seine, in college. I'll never forget how the author wrote of the slow pace, of being able to truly SEE a land, and experience it, of hopping off and exploring towns, and then coming back to your own bed at night. It's stuck with me - as an ideal for slow travel that allows you to get to learn a country.

Each day brings a new vista - all day! But while you're traveling slowly enough to get plenty of photos (or just sit and wonder), you're still making time and getting to the next place. It is this juxtaposition of slow and travel that is attractive to me.

River cruises also dock - so you can hop off and explore! Need to stock up on gifts in markets? Or, prefer to peruse the local gourmet stores and make a picnic on your balcony? Sick of shopping, but want to find as much music as you can? Love to visit art museums? Want to meet locals (perhaps through a social hospitality site like Tripping) for coffee? Each town will offer plenty of opportunities for all of these activities, while providing you a home base from which to explore.

River cruises offer guided tours, if you're so inclined.

And don't forget the food. One thing that cruises are well-known for is the excellent food. This goes the same for river cruises. Fine, fresh, gourmet food and wine is standard. Indeed!

Benefits of Taking A River Cruise

A room with a view

Each room, on a river cruise, offers a gorgeous view. No tiny porthole, but even sometimes a balcony! Because of the way river cruise ships are built to travel the rivers, they are low-slung and compact. Each cabin is so luxurious that only these great cities will pull you away.


River cruises don't only happen in Europe. They are all over the world - Egypt, Southeast Asia, China, Russia - wherever there is a great river, river cruises will be sharing travel and culture.

Concierge services

River cruises offer such a variety of experiences while traveling that the concierge will become your good friend. They can help arrange for so many things - spa treatments, concert tickets, restaurant reservations, car service, and more. Talk to them, and ask what they suggest based on your interests. You'll find out more from them than any guidebook.

Benefits of Taking A River Cruise


There are many cruise deals available - do your research, and then plan your trip! I can say this will be one of the most memorable journeys of your life.



Have you been on a river cruise? What did you love most? Please share in the comments!



This article was originally published in 2012, and updated in 2017