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9 Reasons to Try River Cruising

12 April 2017

River cruising is becoming one of the most popular holiday choices, particularly for leisurely travellers over 60, offering a scenic escape with some wonderful perks. Today we're exploring why the river cruise has become so popular in recent years, and whether it might just be the right holiday for you.

1. Unpack only once

Single-centre holidays have the advantage of superb relaxation from the moment you arrive, yet lack in the variety of locations that a multi-centre tour provides. That's why river cruising offers the best of both worlds. Unpack when you board, with plenty of space for your belongings, and don't worry for the rest of your holiday. As you cruise through several inspiring ports of call, enjoy the delights of fresh destinations and discovery, whilst avoiding the hassle of re-packing and settling in somewhere new every few days.

2. Convenient pricing

Within the price of your cruise, you can expect all your accommodation at full-board, with many cruises also including a drinks package, rail or air fare to and from the ship, and often shore excursions, meaning there are no surprises along the way. With a Great Rail Journeys cruise, you also benefit from our honest pricing, with reassurance that once your booking is confirmed we won't increase the price, even if our costs go up.

3. Experience local culture and cuisine

One of the most fascinating parts of any holiday is the chance to experience local culture and cuisine. With many cruises, not only will shore excursions and time to explore ports of call under your own steam allow you the chance to immerse yourself in the cultures of other countries, but on-board activities also help bring the countries you cruise through to life. With evening entertainment that often pays homage to the destinations you visit, as well as regional dishes inspired by local cuisine served on many cruises, this is a wonderfully immersive way to experience each of the places you visit.

4. Make the journey part of your holiday

We love rail because it so seamlessly blends travel to your destination with enjoyment of the holiday itself, and with river cruising, we've found it's the same. Rather than winding your way through stunning mountain passes, cruise smoothly through pristine waters along some of Europe's most scenic waterways, for an unforgettable approach to your ports of call en-route.

5. Meet other people

Socialising on board with like-minded people is all part of the pleasure of cruising. Share your experiences over dinner, or pop along to the bar for drinks with new friends. With Great Rail Journeys, all of our cruises are English-speaking, so you can comfortably mingle with your fellow passengers and happily discuss the highlights of your day.

6. Experts on board

Rest assured, knowing you're in good hands from the moment you set foot on your ship. On river cruises, the team of on-board staff is there to enhance your experience, with a knowledgeable Cruise Director ready to lend their expertise on each destination along your route, as well as providing insight into your excursions and helpful tips to ensure you make the most of your time.

7. Enjoy the luxury

A quality river cruising ship is comparable to a fine hotel; expect well-designed spaces, chic décor, excellent service and a welcoming atmosphere. Dining on our exclusively chartered Amadeus ships is a great example of truly superb fare, with hand-picked menus created using local produce, the chance to embrace regional treats, and free-flowing wine and beer at dinnertime all adding a touch of decadence to your time away

8. Sail away from the crowds

Unlike ocean cruises, river cruising is a more intimate experience, with fewer on-board guests and a small crew of dedicated staff you can get to know as you sail. A smaller ship also means more shore excursions and easier access to the heart of the countries you sail through, allowing greater variety than an ocean cruise and the chance to acquaint yourself with fellow guests with ease.

9. A slower pace of life

River cruising is undeniably serene, which is one of the primary reasons this delightful way of travel has surged in popularity. Watching the world drift by your window, enjoying scenic river vistas and visits to charming riverside towns is blissfully tranquil, and with most costs aside from souvenirs and off-ship dining all paid for upfront, it's easy to just sit back, relax, and let your ship take you wherever you want to go.