Travel, Your Style, Your Way

What Makes a River Cruise Different from an Ocean Cruise?

Though river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of characteristics, there are also various — and significant — differences between the two. In general, ocean liners are massive in size and have more features in each cabin. Consequently, they are able to host many more travelers aboard.

Since river ships hold fewer individuals, passengers tend to get to know each other better and often form long-term friendships. As opposed to ocean cruises, which are at times cruising in open waters for days at a time, river cruises pretty much never sail a single full day at a time.

Different photo Typically, passengers wake up each morning to find themselves in a new place. The sense of seeing new places is also felt while the ship is sailing since the outside view is constantly changing. For those without sea legs, river cruises have the appeal of smooth trekking, shallow waters and the gift of land that’s always in sight.

Then again, because they are larger, ocean cruises have a greater range of onboard offerings like live entertainment, gyms and fitness centers, and more variety of dining possibilities.

But river cruises generally include benefits such as water, beverages (even alcohol), Wi-Fi, and many off-board tours in the overall price of the trip.

Explore Europe’s Splendors on a River Cruise

Enjoy the vacation of a lifetime cruising along Europe’s most famous rivers. From the rivers Rhine, Danube, Volga, Douro, and Dnieper to the Loire and the Elbe, cruising along these legendary waterways is just the right way to cruise.

Size doesn't matter.
While river ships need to be small enough to get around these waterways, they can be very luxurious, with world-class dining, modern technology, live entertainment, and unforgettable local excursions. The ambiance on these boats is one of elegance while at the same time remaining warm and inviting. Trips are set up in a way that offers guests ample opportunity to spend time at each destination.

What is compelling about these excursions is that they give guests the occasion to experience the local culture of each port.

Feel the heartbeat of the continent’s great cities and discover it via the stories told by its artists, history and culinary pleasures.

River Cruises and Various Ports of Call

Your visits off the vessel can be just as enjoyable as being on board the cruise itself. Any river cruise around Europe includes distinctive activities. Tour Europe by way of its legendary rivers and get to discover the cities and peoples along the trip. History aficionados, adventure-seekers, and people merely wanting to learn about different cultures will all find something to enjoy.

You will live exciting moments in the foremost cultural centers of Europe, visit historic monuments and take in the lovely scenery.

Traveling on these smaller, well-appointed riverboats, suitable for docking in town centers, close to the main sights, is a fine way to celebrate Europe’s most luminous ports.

Famed Rivers of France
France has many distinct regions renowned throughout the world, and a river cruise will allow you to visit them. From its majestic Bordeaux region and gastronomic Lyon, to historic Normandy and scenic Provence, not to mention fabulous Paris, France has something for everyone.

The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the most powerful regions in Europe, are as breathtaking as its famous wine region and picturesque ports.

You can go Cognac tasting at the Camus distillery in Périgord and then go hunting for its famous truffles. Some of the finest oysters in the world come from Arcachon in southwest France. Treat yourself to winetasting at renown wineries in Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes. Regardless of which French river you choose – the Seine, Dordogne, Gironde, or Rhône – you will be able to experience France’s one-of-a-kind food and wine culture and well as its art, history, and other traditions.

Historied Rivers of Germany and Central Europe
Elbe River cruises spotlight both the Czech Republic and Germany and transport passengers on a fantastic journey past medieval villages and ancient forts. Wine lovers will appreciate a trip on the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which traverses the region in Germany best known for its cultivation of the Riesling grape. If you favor Central Europe, choose a cruise down the Danube to Budapest, the Hungarian city famous for its relaxing banyas (thermal baths); or to Vienna, where you can take a lesson in the waltz, which became fashionable in the ballrooms of the Austrian court.

Go on to savor Austro-Hungarian cooking at one of the region’s well-known restaurants, or check out lesser-known Central European cities such as Bratislava and Passau.

The Waterways of the Tsars
See the historic Red Square in Moscow and take in its typical Russian architectural design, or stop for a tour of St. Basil’s Cathedral. Art lovers will enjoy the spectacular Hermitage Museum in Russia, which is the world’s second biggest museum.

If you are interested in understanding how people lived in other eras and places, check out a Soviet-era kommunalka, where many families lived together at one time, or visit breathtaking Peterhof Palace to see how Peter the Great lived.

Russia has some tasty culinary specialties which you will want to try when you are there: borscht, pirog, solyanka, blini pancakes, and perhaps the most distinguished, caviar.

The Dnieper River tells a multifaceted story that includes Greek, Mongol, Tatar, Ottoman, Cossack, Jewish and Russian chapters. Historic cathedrals and monasteries, Soviet-era landmarks, museums and displays of legendary horsemanship, and music and dance dot the river’s banks from Kiev to Odessa.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley

In Portugal you can sail the Douro River to the capital city, Lisbon, with its charming old town and thriving newer parts with fashionable restaurants, bars, and cafes. Wine lovers will want to stop in the picturesque vineyard region to sip local wines, while the typical foods and fado singing will be a delight for all.

The Douro River Valley is the world’s oldest demarcated wine production zone and a UNESCO site.

Nordic Wonders
Explore the lush Nordic region by sea, then move on the the historic river Rhine. Begin your trip in Bergen where the Vikings once set foot, knowing that ahead of you lies the striking beauty of the fjords and the neighboring village of Flåm, the ancient wood buildings of Old Town Kristiansand, and finally Stavanger and Olso with their modern cultures and lifestyles.

No visit to Holland is finished without a tour of the windmills in Kinderdijk and a stop in the colorful city of Amersterdam; and Skagen, Denmark is enjoyable to visit with its northernmost sand bars.

The many sights and tastes of Germany along its riverways

In Germany, take a cable car to the magnificent Ehrenbreitstein Fortress or visit the spectacular medieval cathedral in Cologne.

A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lovely Middle Rhine should be high on your list, with stunning old forts, breathtaking churches, charming towns, and rich history. The Black Forest in Germany is known for its dense forests, luxurious spas, and enchanting villages; France’s Strasbourg is home to a stunning Gothic cathedral; and Basel, Switzerland is famous for having the country’s most extensive fine arts museum. Your visits off the ship should be just as intriguing, fun, and indulgent as your time on board.

Dive right into the one-of-a-kind aspects of each interesting destination along the way. Every cruise ship is designed to be its own special creation, just as each destination along the itinerary is a unique and one-of-a-kind place.

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