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  • Writer's pictureMarissa Massa-Cirillo

What to Love About River Cruises

A Travel Agent's Perspective on the Intimate Way of Exploring the World's Waterways


River Cruise on the Danube in Budapest

As a travel agent, I've had the pleasure of helping my clients embark on countless adventures, from sprawling ocean voyages to trekking through exotic locales. But my favorite type of travel to reccomend, and for my own personal travel, is river cruising. Standing out as a truly unique and captivating option, whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-timer. I've been able to convince even those who think they strongly dislike here are some of the compelling reasons why I wholeheartedly recommend river cruising.


I've been able to convince even those who think they strongly dislike cruises, to go and experience a river cruise for themselves and they come back a true believer. Here are some of those compelling reasons that convert even the strongest skeptics!


Intimate and Personalized Experience --

Unlike sky scraper-esque ocean liners they seem to be pumping out these days, river cruise ships offer an intimate and personalized experience. With a smaller passenger capacity, most have less than 200 passengers, you'll enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere. You can easily connect with fellow travelers or find a quiet corner to take in the landscapes flowing by. The low passenger counts allows for a high staff to guest ratio, making dedicated service and hospitality priority on each ship. You truly do feel like you are at home surrounded by friends, when onboard.


No Risk of Seasickness --

Usually the most convincing reason for taking a river cruise is that you do not have to worry about getting seasick! Your ship is more like a floating hotel than a water faring vessel.  Calm waters and minimal waves ensure a smooth sailing for your entire trip. Even when there is bad weather, the motion of the river is not noticeable onboard. There were times I had to look out the window to know if we were moving or not.


River Cruises are like floating hotels


A Perfect Balance of Activity and Relaxation --

Since you are on a floating hotel, this means you also get to travel through many cities while only haveing to unpack once! This leaves you more time to immerse yourself in your travels instead of worrying what time check-out is.


You can also experience each destination at your own pace. Whether you are an active traveler and want to bike around each city, going faster and farther, or want to take things at a more leisurely place with a walking tour and sit down at a cafe to people watch, each cruise line will have options to fulfill the type of traveler you are.


Locks - A Unique Experience --


Passing through a lock is a unique and memorable experience all on its own. I found myself in awe during the many "lock parties" on the top deck with my fellow guests as we moved up and down in these water elevators. Locks offer a glimpse into the fascinating engineering and operation of these working waterways. that we also get to enjoy.


If traveling up-stream you'll approach the lock and be confronted with the towering lock gates that rise above the water level, creating a temporary barrier between the different sections of the river. If traveling down stream, it'll appear as though the river simply drops off ahead of you. The longships that operate on Europe's rivers were specifically designed where you are right up against the lock wall, able to reach out and feel the slow rise or fall of the ship with the changing water levels. Unless you choose a Panama Canal itinerary, this is an experience unique to river cruising.


A Differnt View --

Unlike the beutiful yet never ending view of the ocean, there is nothing more magical than gliding down the river with ancient castles, vast vineyards, and charming villages dotting the mountain sides as you sail to the next port. River cruises often take you to lesser-known destinations and places off the beaten path. While they might lack the array of onboard ammenties the ocea cruises offer they more then make up for in natural beauty and unique access. You might discover destinations untouched by mass tourism, explore historic sites steeped in local lore, and dock right in the heart of a city to step off your ship and right into the beating community. The only tender you might encounter here is being double-parked along side another longship, meaing you have to walk through it's lobby, from your own, then right out to street level.


A longship passing through charming European towns



Something for Everyone --

Solo traveler? Traveling with the whole family? Looking for a younger crowd or maybe an older one? Are you a beer or wine enthusiast, fascinated by history and architecture, a culinary snob perhaps? There are a lot of cruise lines out there and a lot of rivers and itineraries to explore.

Now that is where I come in!

I can help narrow down the best cruise lines and itineraries that best fits your travel goals and dream experience. Saving you hours of research and headaches so you can get to the most important part - what to pack!

I can help with that too!



So are you a believer yet? If not, let's get you on board to experience the unparalleled beauty, cultural immersion, and personal discovery to be found on these unique waterways!


Submit a New Client Inquiry Form to find the best river cruise for you or join us on one of our Hosted River Cruises coming up!


TULIP TIME - Holland & Belgium - March 31-April 7 2024





PARIS TO PRAGUE - Castles & Brews - September 21 - October 4, 2025




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