OUR GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISES
Luxury river cruises have come of age. There are over 725 river cruise ships worldwide — over 200 operating European River Cruises! Luxury river cruises are available on the Amazon, the Mekong and Iriwaddy rivers in Southeast Asia, China’s Yangtze, Egypt’s Nile and others. River cruise lines offer a more intimate experience from ocean-going cruises, and nearly as much diversity in choice.
Throughout history, cities were built along riverbanks to provide trading routes, making river cruises convenient to visiting cities and towns, as well as see more of the interior of a country.
In addition to the ever-popular Rhine and Danube Rivers, there are river cruises on the Seine, Main, Maas, Moselle, Rhone and Saone Rivers in France, the Douro River in Portugal, and Russian River Cruises on the Volga, Dneiper, Neva and Svir rivers.
Why A River Cruise Vacation
Those attracted to river cruises are generally interested in culture, art, music, history and heritage, and enjoy the slower pace a river cruise provides. River cruises are destination-focused vacations — they are more authentic experiences. River cruises don’t offer casinos or Broadway-style shows. But they offer:
- An unhurried pace travelers find compelling,
- The convenience of docking in the heart of cities and towns,
- The all-inclusive nature of river cruises: shore excursions are included, as is wine with dinner (on most),
- The more casual and small group size of river cruising,
- The emphasis on cultural discoveries.
If comparing the cost to an ocean cruise, it’s important to take into account river cruises include shore excursions. Generally you can expect river cruise prices to range from $250 – $600 per person per day, depending on river cruise lines and stateroom category. Travelers are becoming more discerning, and appreciate quality. The best and newest river cruise lines invest in quality furnishings like marble counters, better beds, more comfortable chairs and larger windows. The best river cruise companies also differentiate themselves with better service and upgraded cuisine, something you can’t tell from a brochure. River cruise lines are spending nearly double on building new river cruise ships than what they spent a decade ago. As a result the best river cruise lines deliver a better vacation experience and more value.
Asia River Cruises
River cruises are not exclusive to Europe. The opening of tourism in China led to a huge growth in river cruising in China on the Yangtze River. Cruising on China’s 3,900-mile long Yangtze River has become a popular component to China tour packages. There are now over 85 ships that cruise on the Yangtze, the world’s third longest river. China river cruise itineraries typically include either a four-night cruise upstream or three nights downstream, or a 7-day round-trip cruise. Naples Luxury Travel Advisors can arrange a Yangtze River cruise in conjunction with your trip to China. While the Yangtze River cruises operate from March thru November, peak season is April thru May and September through October. There are a several China river cruise companies operating on the scenic Yangtze River in China, and we recommend those principally catering to the English-speaking.
A number of new China river cruise ships have been built in recent years, and the product has evolved to deliver all the comforts Western travelers desire. Some now include wireless internet access, luxury bedding and flat-screen televisions and in some cases, full shower tubs, small fitness rooms and limited spa services. The newest ships feature balconies and elevators that connect several decks, and larger and more comfortable marble bathrooms. Suites are now available for those desiring more space and comfort, with sitting area and larger baths, some with whirlpool tubs. Cuisine is usually a mix of Western and Chinese fare. Breakfast and luncheons might be buffet, with table service for dinner. Some of the newer ships are adding alternative dining options.
Asia river cruises in Myanmar (formerly Burma) on the Iriwaddy River are also available, and more recently, Asia River cruises between Cambodia and Vietnam along the Mekong are growing in popularity as new river cruise boats are introduced.
Adventure River Cruises on the Amazon River
South America’s Amazon River offers one of the more exotic river cruise trips, but till now the quality and choice of boats was very limited. Luxury Aqua Expeditions and Delfin River Cruises offer exciting offbeat adventures on the Peruvian Amazon.
Africa: Nile River Cruises & Beyond
There are many cruises along Egypt’s Nile River, a journey not to be missed! Our preferred Nile river cruise lines include Lindblad Expeditions and Uniworld River Cruises. A new luxury river cruise is operating 3- and 4-day cruises along the banks of Chobe National Park in Botswana.
USA River Cruises
Cruises on American rivers include trips along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Chesapeake Bay, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Hudson, and others. There are some USA river cruises operated by Blount Small Ship Cruises, American Cruise Lines and American Canadian Line. For more on available river cruises in the USA, contact Naples Luxury Travel Advisors. We work with select river cruise companies that provide the comfort and quality experiences our customers rely upon. Our river vacation consultants can assist you with the right choice, and make all the necessary arrangements. View & compare offers and read more about some of our most preferred river cruise lines and small ship cruise lines that operate river cruise vacations.