Why more and more people are choosing river cruises

This article is advertiser content from Escape Travel, who have exclusively chartered a river cruise liner in September 2019 for Newcastle residents, travelling through the heart of France and further. Find out more here.

Booking a holiday can seem like a welcomed reprieve from the deadlines and demands of everyday life, until suddenly you’re faced with the daunting task of planning it. 

These days the modern traveller is inundated with endless options for just about every aspect of a trip. Accommodation, transport, sightseeing, even exchange rate variations can take days of research to get right. And no matter how precisely a holiday is planned, there always seems to be a few things that go awry and get in the way of valuable time away.

It’s no wonder river cruising is an increasingly popular choice – particularly for more experienced travellers who’d rather spend time soaking in the sights and sounds of a country on an all-inclusive curated tour, than thrashing a tricky self-forged path through it. 

The European river cruising industry has boomed in the past decade. More than 120 river ships have been launched over the past five years alone, making river cruising the fastest-growing sector of the worldwide cruise market.

The nature of inland waterways means river cruising vessels are designed more compactly than their enormous oceanic liner cousins.

The nature of inland waterways means river cruising vessels are designed more compactly than their enormous oceanic liner cousins.

This could be attributed to the more intimate nature of the river cruise – the river cruise vessels are restricted by height and width, creating an experience quite different to the endless hallways and jam-packed entertainment program of enormous oceanic cruise liners. That means it takes less time to see more; river cruises can travel through as many as three countries in a week, offering a well-curated line up of culture-rich excursions on shore.

In recent years increasingly interesting itineraries are hitting the market, with tours offered through the many waterways that wind through the heartland of the world’s most imperial countries. Europe is the world’s top river cruising destination, and largest number of cruises can be found on the majestic Rhine river. The Rhine flows through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The Danube carves another popular route, from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania, passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria along the way.

Europe is the world’s top river cruising destination, and largest number of cruises can be found on the majestic Rhine river.

Europe is the world’s top river cruising destination, and largest number of cruises can be found on the majestic Rhine river.

Not only are fascinating new itineraries hitting the market each year, the experience of river cruising has never been more stylish and comfortable. As your cruise liner glides along at an easy pace, you’re cocooned in comfort, surrounded by attentive staff at your service and the company of your fellow passengers.

Think of it as a floating luxury hotel – many cruise liners boast multiple restaurants, bars, lounges, leisure facilities including gym and day spas and plenty of outdoor space to soak in the panoramic sights. When choosing your river cruise operator, look out for fleets newer than 2008 – the finishings of modern fleets noticeably surpass the style prior to that year. 

Panoramic views are on offer from the many outdoor areas on a river cruise, ensuring passengers the best seat in the house.

Panoramic views are on offer from the many outdoor areas on a river cruise, ensuring passengers the best seat in the house.

The best time to cruise Europe is during the warmer months, which is April to October, though Christmas and New Years tours are an option.

Local travel guru Adam Pearson, director of Escape Travel, is chartering an entire river ship September 2019 exclusively for the people of Newcastle.

“We’ll cruise from Chalon sur Saone to Tarascon, travelling through the gastronomic heart of the world at possibly the best time of year,” he says

“We’ll cruise through some of the most iconic locations in France including Lyon, Viviers, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon, the Pont du Gard and the Camargue with options to continue touring through Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Italy”

Newcastle residents can find out more about this exclusive offer here.

Many river cruises operate with all-inclusive tab systems onboard, relieving passengers of handling foreign currency and exchange rates. River cruises typically sell at a single price which can include three chef-prepared meals a day, complimentary wine and beer, and unlimited tea and coffee. In addition the curated itinerary of onshore excursions are typically part of the all-inclusive fare price.

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress dates back to the year 1000 A.D., located on the east bank of the Rhine where it is joined by the Moselle in overlooking the town of Koblenz.

Ehrenbreitstein Fortress dates back to the year 1000 A.D., located on the east bank of the Rhine where it is joined by the Moselle in overlooking the town of Koblenz.

These can range from walking and coach tours of towns and cities along the route to immersive tours of ancient castles, vineyards and food tastings. Scenic Cruises offers inclusive experiences including visiting Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, Melk Abbey or the world-renowned Spanish Riding School. It’s a hassle-free approach to dining, drinking and sightseeing on a holiday.

Winding through waterways lined with ancient medieval castles, rolling natural landscapes and unique villages is sure to keep you entertained, though there are events not to be missed on board too. River cruises include a captain's reception and gala dinner, where passengers can mingle with the liner crew and each other in an elegant setting. It’s an ideal circumstance for meeting interesting people and forging friendships.

Scenic Tour's Crystal suite is 315 square feet of style and comfort.

Scenic Tour's Crystal suite is 315 square feet of style and comfort.

When it’s time to retire to bed, accommodation is as luxuriously appointed as you would expect from a boutique hotel. Many cabins offer French balconies and proper walkout verandas, along with stocked mini-bars, suites with butler service and very comfortable four-poster beds. And don’t be surprised if you wake up from a restful night’s sleep with a view of a different country completely. 

Scenic Tour's balcony suite with a million-dollar view from the private balcony - or bed.

Scenic Tour's balcony suite with a million-dollar view from the private balcony - or bed.

Escape Travel combine the collective river cruising experience of five offices worth of dedicated staff with their ability to create multi-faceted holidays that incorporate river cruising, touring, accommodation, car hire, round world airfares. For more, visit Escape Travel

This article is advertiser content from Escape Travel

This story Why more and more people are choosing river cruises first appeared on Newcastle Herald.