During river cruises the countryside is usually in view, so they are especially relaxing—and interesting—to those who prefer land nearby. River cruises usually last from 7 to 15 days, although some can last 3 weeks or longer.
Some river ships resemble 5-star hotels, with sun decks, dining rooms, lounges, fitness facilities, swimming pools, casinos and other entertainment. Accommodation, meals on board, entertainment and special events (holidays, festivals, contests, concerts, etc.) are usually included in the cruise price, while bar expenses, sauna, massage, laundry and cleaning, and phone calls are not.
Most cruises have a variety of onboard and onshore activities. The latter include guided tours to historic and cultural sites, visiting local attractions, museums and galleries, and other points of interest. Guides give a running commentary while sailing.
A river cruise provides travelers a unique way to travel. According to Douglas Ward, "A river cruise represents life in the slow lane, sailing along at a gentle pace, soaking up the scenery, with plentiful opportunities to explore riverside towns and cities en route. It is a supremely calming experience, an antidote to the pressures of life in a fast-paced world, in surroundings that are comfortable without being fussy or pretentious, with good food and enjoyable company."
Mr. Ward continues: "A river cruise is very different from an ocean cruise. For a start, you are in almost constant sight of land and stops are far more frequent than they are at sea. The vessels are like small, friendly, floating inns, whereas ocean-going ships tend to be bigger, flashier, busier and livelier, the crew practised in the art of moving up to 4,000 people from one port to another and getting them on and off the ship. In contrast, when your river cruise vessel docks you simply walk up the gangway and into the town or city—in many cases the dock is located right at the heart of things. Despite these differences, however, most people who enjoy ocean cruising and the relaxing rhythm of life afloat are attracted to river cruises as well."
Popular river cruises include trips along the Nile, the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Danube, the Loboc River, the Rhine, the Seine, the Volga, the Douro or the Po river in Italy. There are several dozen river cruise companies ranging from single-ship businesses to large shipping companies operating dozens of river cruise ships.
From $7,390.00 (USD)
Ship: ms Esprit
Epicurean delights take center stage on this Rhine River cruise, with a feast of culinary experiences that showcase wine, cheese, chocolat...
From $5,590.00 (USD)
Ship: ms Sapphire
Follow your Parisian rhapsody on a 10-day journey that's sure to impress on a river cruise aboard ms Sapphire.
From $6,690.00 (USD)
Ship: ms Savor
Explore Central Europe's ancient heart on a river cruise along the Danube's lower reaches to the Black Sea.
From $3,699.00 (USD)
Ship: ms AmaVerde
CRUISE FROM : Nuremberg to BudapestTravel back through centuries as you walk along cobblestone streets through grand cities and historic...
From $3,999.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Idi
Explore Paris & sail the RhinePay your respects at the Luxembourg American Cemetery. Discover Roman Trier.
From $5,299.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Kadlin
Explore Lesser-known TreasuresDiscover the ' of Waltzes,' Austria's elegant capital and European center of classical music.
From $3,199.00 (USD)
This Christmastime river cruise begins in Austria's magical capital of Vienna, home to the sounds of Mozart, Strauss, and the Vienna Boys...
From $9,947.00 (USD)
Follow the graceful waterways from the Danube Delta through the Balkans, Hungary, and Austria with stunning views along your Danube River cr...
From $2,348.00 (USD)
From the Gypsy violins of Budapest to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the 'City of Music,' this European river cruise highlights the natural...
From $2,799.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Skaga
Winter scenes & Parisian delightsEmbrace the holiday season with a taste of Joyeux Noel.
From $6,990.00 (USD)
Ship: ms Savor
Explore Habsburg castles, medieval wine-towns, alpine peaks and lakes, Baroque monasteries, and enchanting cities on a 12-day journey throu...
From $2,899.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Gersemi
Tis the season to be joyfulImmerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas as you journey through storybook villages.
2025 : Riches of the Mekong : 7- Night Cruise With 6 Nights Pre-Cruise And 2 Nights Post-Cruise : Ha
From $4,774.00 (USD)
Destination: Asia/Far East
Ship: ms AmaDara
OverviewCRUISE FROM : Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh CityCruise along the Mekong through Cambodia and Vietnam as you are transported bac...
2025: The Danube from Romania to Germany with 1 Night in Bucharest & 2 Nights in Prague (WODY) - Exp
From $9,286.00 (USD)
From the 'Paris of the East' in Bucharest, Romania, to the 'Golden City' of Prague, in the Czech Republic, this Danube River cruise is an...
2024: From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon with the Nazca Lines & Galapagos Cruise (WAMY) - D
From $11,399.00 (USD)
Destination: South America
Ship: Delfin III
Experience the fascinating Nazca Lines, archaeological treasures, and gastronomic delights of Peru, with the untamed rainforest of...
From $7,269.00 (USD)
Destination: Asia/Far East
On this unique and inspiring Southeast Asia river cruise through Cambodia and Vietnam-including a stay in Bangkok, Thailand-you'll be ...
Ship: Viking Radgrid
Enjoy Paris & Norman treasuresDock in the heart of Paris, admiring views of the Eiffel Tower and a replica of the Statue of Liberty f...
From $4,999.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Gefjon
Travel through the heart of EuropeAdmire Rhine Valley vistas from a 900-year-old castle.
2025 : Rhine & Moselle Splendors : 7- Night Cruise With 3 Nights Pre-Cruise And 4 Nights Post-Cruise
From $6,944.00 (USD)
Ship: ms AmaPrima
OverviewCRUISE FROM : Luxembourg to BaselParis and Zurich provide the perfect beginning and ending to your splendid journey along two of...
From $4,199.00 (USD)
Ship: Viking Helgrim
Enjoy the Douro's beauty & historyExperience the renaissance of Lisbon, newly invigorated with trending galleries and restaurants.