What are the Key Differences Between Ocean Cruises and River Cruises?

Although river cruises and ocean cruises share a number of commonalities, there are also several — and significant — differences between the two.

Ocean liners have a tendency to be substantially larger and you will find additional amenities in each room. Many more travelers can fit on them due to their larger size.

beach-2858720__340.jpg Since river ships hold fewer travelers, passengers tend to get to know each other better and often develop lifelong friendships. In contrast to ocean cruises that may include numerous sea days, you will hardly ever have a full day of sailing on a river cruise. Usually, travelers awaken each morning to find themselves in a new place.

Since the view outside the ship is continually changing, the sense of exploration is also felt on the cruise itself.

Anyone nervous about being seasick will like the smooth sailing and shallow waters of a river cruise, as well as the fact that land is constantly visible.

Then again, because they are bigger, 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 customarily come with amenities such as water, beverages (even alcohol), Wi-Fi, and many off-board adventures in the overall price of the trip.

River Cruises Gaining in Popularity

It is often said that the road best traveled is actually a river. Travelers are increasingly selecting river cruises over other travel options. These days these cruises provide more benefits and luxuries than they used to. Cruises have been enjoyed by vacationers for eons, but river cruises particularly are on the upswing as they do not involve travelling over open water.

Cruises around Europe are drawing in customers from all across the world as they offer something to suit everyone's taste.

There are numerous advantages of a river cruise versus an ocean cruise. They sail closer to various landscapes, giving travelers a more in-depth experience.

Ships that steer through rivers tend to be much more compact than those crossing oceans, making them feel a lot more intimate. Even the most sizeable river vessels normally hold fewer than 200 guests, who receive great service from the higher ratio of staff to passengers. While river cruise vessels are smaller than ocean-crossing ships due to the narrow rivers they sail in, their luxury is second to none.

High-end amenities you can find on some of the best vessels include staterooms that have their own balconies overlooking the scenery, indulgent spas, a relaxing outdoor pool on deck, and panoramic windows to enjoy the views.

Passengers appreciate how simple and convenient river cruising can feel. Someone will greet you at the airport and take you straight to the cruise. As you get off the boat at the many destinations, you will not have to wait in a big line; you just walk off the boat and you are ready for your adventure. You only ever have to unpack your bag one time, and every day you will wake up in a new destination.

Ship contractors in Europe also benefit from increasing numbers of travelers. New boats are starting to be designed on a regular basis, and the ones that are already out on the water often need repairs or refurbishing. The public has been demanding that the standards for river cruise ships become more and more posh.

Passengers are looking for more creature comforts as well as more advanced designs and all the most up-to-date technology.

Ship contractors are broadening their businesses to keep up with the increased work load. River vessels are getting designed in a manner that is friendlier to the planet than in the past, as are ocean vessels.

Ships have upgraded their recycling and waste elimination systems, and engineers have designed better particulate filter technologies, water and energy-saving systems, and shore-based energy supplies. Shore-based power supplies in particular represent a milestone for river cruising. These enable boats to turn off their own engines whenever they are in a port of call, thus reducing the total nitrogen emissions of the ship.

However, river cruises offer many more benefits than those. The slow-moving cruising of a river cruise offers a better level of immersion in the local culture.

sunset-3084651__340.jpg You could shop with the chef at a market in Burgundy and then dine on regionally-inspired delicacies that evening or get a glimpse of gypsy heritage at a classic Hungarian dance performance along the Danube.

River cruises are the way to go if you are looking for a greater awareness and experiences of local cultures. People who suffer from seasickness will love the fact that they are unlikely to feel ill on a river cruise the way they might on an ocean trip. Seasickness is induced by the bobbing of the cruiser in waves, and because there are normally no waves in rivers, people do not tend to feel ill. In addition, there is always ground on both sides of the vessel for those who might be a bit fearful of open expanses of water.

Traveling the world’s rivers offers travelers an opportunity to observe the sights up close and personal without discomfort. The greater demand for river cruises brings with it additional types of people. Briefer cruises generally cater to a younger group, while extended trips often see more retirees.

Some cruises pride themselves on their lavish atmosphere while others place emphasis on being more family-friendly and enjoyable for children. Last but not least is trip insurance; definitely advisable with any type of cruise. There are some non-refundable payments required when arranging a cruise in advance, and this will safeguard you. With so many fantastic perks, it’s no wonder that river cruises have become such a popular way to travel and discover the world.

holding-hands-1149411__340.jpg We will definitely be watching that momentum keep up for a long time.

River Cruise Destinations

Your times off the cruise can be easily as interesting as being on board the cruise itself. Each river cruise in Europe includes special activities. History aficionados, adventure-seekers, and people just wanting to learn about interesting cultures will all find something to love.

You will get limitless insights into Europe’s vibrant cultural centers, its historic treasures as well as its picturesque landscapes. Your cruiser will be able to get into the smaller ports due to its nimble size, presenting you the possibility to visit towns, villages, and sights you might otherwise not be able to see. France’s numerous waterways will take you to some of its most distinguished spots. Paris is one of the most gorgeous cities in the world, Provence delights the senses, Normandy is fascinating for the history that took place on its beaches, Bordeaux is a mecca for wine aficionados, and foodies will love the famed gastronomy of Lyon.

The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the richest regions in Europe, are as lovely as its renown wine region and picturesque ports.

Hunt for truffles around Périgord and create your own particular blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery.

Some of the finest oysters in the world come from Arcachon in the southwestern area of France.

In Bordeaux, don’t overlook the wonderfully sweet wine crafted in Sauternes, or the mouthwatering reds of the Médoc and Saint-Émilion.

Regardless of which French river you choose – the Seine, Dordogne, Gironde, or Rhône – you will be able to experience France’s unique food and wine culture and well as its art, history, and other traditions. Cruises on the Elbe River go through Germany and the Czech Republic on a journey lined by ancient fortifications and medieval villages. Wine lovers will enjoy a trip on the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which crosses the region in Germany best known for its production of the Riesling grape.

If you favor Central Europe, consider 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 popular in the ballrooms of the Austrian court.

Foodies will love the Austro-Hungarian culinary pleasures, while curious adventurers might want to enjoy time in some lesser-known cities such as Passau or Bratislava. Experience Russia as never before on waterways of the Tsars where you’ll notice the swirling onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the famous towers of Moscow’s Red Square. In Russia, be sure to spend some time at the magnificent Hermitage Museum, which in addition to being an awe-inspiring edifice, is the second largest sized museum in the world.

A visit to the kommunalka will give you a first-hand understanding of how families lived commune-style in the Soviet years, while a stop at the magnificent Peterhof Palace will give you fascinating insight into Peter the Great’s daily life. And last but not least, don’t neglect to try some Russian delicacies like caviar and blini pancakes, borscht, pirog, or solyanka.

If you sail on the Dnieper River you will see lands that were highly influenced by Mongol, Greek, Russian, Cossack, Jewish, Tatar, and Ottoman forces. Historic cathedrals and monasteries, Soviet-era structures, museums and displays of legendary horsemanship, and music and dance are found along the river’s banks from Kiev to Odessa.

The Douro River in Portugal will carry you to the fantastic capital city of Lisbon, where you can step back in time in the city’s old town or go to the newer areas filled with lively cafes, bars, restaurants, and art galleries. Try the region’s most renowned wine, Port, as well as its delicious culinary treasures; explore the beautiful vineyards; and see a fado singing performance. A designated UNESCO site, the Douro River Valley was in addition the first demarcated wine appellation in Europe and the world.

Start off by viewing the breathtaking Nordic sights from the sea before heading to the exciting Rhine River. Begin in historic Bergen, a city with deep Viking roots, and set off for Norway’s breathtaking fjord landscapes, cruising to scenic Flåm, cosmopolitan Stavanger, history-rich Kristiansand and vibrant Oslo. No journey to Holland is done without a tour of the windmills in Kinderdijk and a stop in the vibrant city of Amersterdam; and Skagen, Denmark is great to visit with its northernmost sand bars. Visit Cologne’s famed cathedral and walk around Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

Experience the turreted fortresses, great cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and striking scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travel through the famous Black Forest in Germany, stop in France’s Strasbourg with its splendid Gothic cathedral, then on to Basel, Switzerland with its enchanting medieval old town. Being onboard is exciting and entertaining, and your excursions should be the same. Dive right into the one-of-a-kind aspects of each fascinating place along the way.

And, just as each cruise ship is a work of art on water, each destination you travel to is a work of art on land.

Cruising Europe’s Legendary Rivers

The most fascinating rivers in Europe can be yours to discover and enjoy. Sailing along rivers such as the Volga, Rhine, Duoro, Danube, Dnieper, Loire, and Elbe is a unique way to tour. pair-843320__340.jpg In addition to exciting local excursions, these smaller boats offer world-class dining and entertainment, magnificent rooms with state-of the-art technology, and a full spectrum of amenities. The setting is relaxing and welcoming with a feeling of decadence.

So that people can enjoy as much time as possible at each local attraction, itineraries are carefully organized to allow for this. What is enjoyable about these excursions is that they give guests the occasion to experience the local culture of each port. Explore first-hand the traditions and history of each dazzling European city you visit. Put your finger on the pulse of the continent’s great cities and discover it through the stories revealed by its artists, history and culinary delights.

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