by Erica Moody

The Delights of River Cruising

Do ocean cruises leave you wanting more time in port? Do you long for scenic views at all times and prefer traveling in small groups? Do you love charming small towns as much as big historic cities? If you answered yes to these, a European river cruise, such as those offered by Avalon Waterways, might be the answer to the vacation of your dreams.

What exactly is a river cruise? Well, they travel along some of the world’s most famous inland waterways such as the Nile, Mekong, Danube, Rhine and Seine. The accessibility of these bodies of water to multiple destinations means you can travel from country to country without worrying about hauling your luggage or dealing with airline terminals. You can visit a new destination daily (sometimes even two ports in a day!) with less time spent cruising and more time spent exploring. River cruise ships are smaller but just as luxurious as ocean liners, offering fine dining, entertainment and plush accommodations. 

Here are the some more of the unique benefits you’ll find on a river cruise getaway.


Sky Deck


Relaxation on the River: Smaller Ships and Stunning Scenery

River cruise ships generally hold fewer than 200 passengers. On Avalon Waterways, the number is even lower with ships holding no more than 166 passengers. This means shorter lines when getting on and off the ship, and more personalized attention from crew members. There’s no need to rush back to get on the ship—you’ll be able to enjoy leisurely meals, long chats with locals and in-depth sightseeing. Smaller ships also mean that they can dock in spaces that larger vessels cannot, taking you to more off-the-beaten path destinations.

When you’re on the river, calm waters make for smooth sailings. On top of this advantage, there’s no bad room on a river cruise. Avalon Suite Ships consist of 80% Panorama Suites, offering floor-to-ceiling windows and the widest view in river cruising. While an ocean cruise may have unvaried views while at sea, a river cruise’s views are consistently interesting. You’ll see more than water from the windows of a river cruise—instead of a vast expanse of ocean, you’ll see charming villages with distinctive architecture, offering a peek into other destinations from the comfort of your suite.




An Immersive Experience: Themed Cruises and Rich Itineraries

A river cruise provides a comprehensive experience by stopping at exciting world cities as well as charming small towns. If you have specific interests you want to explore, there’s a themed cruise to suit your passions. Always wanted to visit the famous European Christmas markets? A 7-day “Christmas on the Danube” cruise takes you to festive destinations from Vienna to Nuremberg. Fascinated with World War II history? A “Paris to Normandy WWII Remembrance & History Cruise” stops at the beaches of Normandy and other historic sites, with an adventure host providing expert details about each destination’s place in history.  Interested in photography? Award-winning photographer Brenda Tharp brings 33 years of expertise to scenic cruises through the Rhine and Moselle rivers, imparting her knowledge to guests in the form of presentations and one-on-one conversations.


Castle Tour


Celebrity Hosts: Storyteller Series

Recently, Avalon announced a new “Storyteller Series” of cruises featuring celebrity hosts including authors Cheryl Strayed, Christopher Moore, Candace Bushnell and Gillian Flynn. These European river cruises invite travel enthusiasts to meet legends in legendary landscapes. To sail past cliffside castles while uncovering cliff-hangers. And capture insider narratives outside the pages of novels, scripts or song lyrics.

The Perfect Way to Cruise Again

We understand that, even though some restrictions are lifted and more countries are welcoming visitors, not everyone is completely comfortable with cruising again. River cruising, however, may be just the thing you need to rekindle your love for travel. It’s more intimate, you’ll interact with fewer people, and there’s more access to fresh air throughout the ships. Contact our agency to learn more.


Contact our river cruise experts to start planning your European vacation!

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