On the Go Vacations: River Cruises vs. Ocean Cruises
River Cruises and Sea Cruises offer unique destinations and great sights to see.
Vacations on the go are great cruises that take you to exciting places all over the world. There’s no need for a rental car on a cruise and there is never an issue with parking. You’re never more than a few minutes walk away from your favorite lounge, restaurant, or entertainment. What’s the best cruise experience for you? You’ll be on a huge boat with thousands of others if you choose a sea cruise. The ship’s size allows room for lots of on ship activities including pools, water slides, and other exciting activities.
Although river cruises with their smaller ships have been around a long time, they have recently grown in popularity.
River Cruises vs. Ocean Cruises
What kind of cruise experience are you looking for? With vacations on the go, you are looking for cruising into large ports, the Bahamas, cruising the Inside Passage in Alaska, taking a TransAtlantic cruise, or a repositioning cruise you will be looking an ocean cruise. They go to major ports around the world but are too large to go to some of the smaller unique ports in fascinating and adventurous places.
If cruising the Danube, the Rhine, and some of the other major rivers in the world is your cup of tea, the smaller more intimate river cruises are perfect for you. If you never sailed on an ocean cruise, you won’t notice all the differences between the two, but just in case you have you’ll want to know what to expect on your river cruise.
• River cruise ships are much smaller. Instead of holding thousands of guests, your river cruise ship will have only a very few hundred. It’s a more casual and intimate setting where you can get to know your fellow travelers.
• Your stateroom will be smaller, but it will be charming, and all the cabins look out onto the river. Some cabins will have balconies, while others may have panoramic windows that open and create the feel of sitting next to the water even though you can’t go outside.
• Your dining experience is different than an ocean cruise ship. You’ll be enjoying more buffet style meals and fewer restaurant choices. You’ll find more fresh options at meals due to the smaller passenger count. A few river ships have added room service.
• Excursions are more culturally oriented, and usually include a walking tour of small villages with cobblestone streets, bus rides to ancient castles and ruins, cooking and art classes, winery tours and tastings, bicycle rides, and similar types of tours.
• Most sailing is done at night, and long stretches of sailing during the day are rare. The exceptions are when cruising particularly beautiful and scenic stretches of a river where you may be viewing stately mansions, castles, or grape vineyards.
• Entertainment on a cruise ship is low-key. In the evenings, you’ll enjoy cultural entertainment from the area you are visiting which often consists of musicians, dancers, and vocalists. During the day educational seminars are offered.
• River cruises are port-intensive, and you’ll visit new places each day of your cruise. You can visit as many as four countries in a week. Wear comfortable shoes for your excursions. River cruise are exciting and exhausting. Take a break if a tour doesn’t appeal to you.
• Your fare includes more than on an ocean cruise including wine, beer, and soft drinks with meals, 24-hour coffee, and tea, dining in specialty restaurants, Wi-Fi, and excursion tours. Most ships allow you to bring back wines and drinks purchased in local villages.
• There is always an early morning tour, so plan to be up early if you want to participate. River cruises were designed for people who want to get up and get going to see all the sights. If you still prefer to sleep in, you can catch an afternoon tour.
• Your ship docks right in town, meaning it’s just a short walk to local shops, bakeries, points of interest, and cafes. This makes it easy to take purchases back to the ship rather than carrying them with you while sightseeing.
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