Many of my clients and potential clients ask me about river cruises. Let me guess what first comes to mind when you think of a river cruise:
1. "Old People"
2. Mississippi River
3. The Danube and/or Rhine River cruise
4. Yes, "Old People"!
So, let's delve into the world of river cruises and dissect the different cruises and see if one is right for you or not!
The river cruise scene on the Mississippi is heating up with another river cruise line now cruising between St. Paul, Mn. to New Orleans plus other cruises depending on the time of the year. Yes, these cruises tend to get an older crowd. The over 55 set. Now, during holidays, you can see multi generational groups on the boats. Grandparents, parents, and children. Otherwise, it's an older crowd.
Most of the time, the other river cruises people think about are the ones that go on the Danube and the Rhine (Germany). And, these are very popular with the senior set. However, during the summer months you will see families as well aboard these cruises. So, if you want to see much of Germany this is a great way to see it!!
The other thing that should be considered at this point is the river cruise line!!
This is where a really great travel agent comes into play. You want one that not only listens but hears what you are saying!! There are a plethora of river cruise lines and there's one that is right for each traveler. Some take no one under 18, some include wine and beer with meals, some have small pools on deck, etc.
There is not a big price difference among them when your travel agent breaks it down. Importantly, some attract a younger crowd as well, many that have accrued wealth in recent years in the stock market and want "the best" and realize seeing much of a particular area from a river cruise is an efficient and fun way to travel.
Having said that, there are many other river cruises. Two of my own personal favorites, and they attract a younger crowd as well, are the Bordeaux and Burgundy cruises in France. They do not traverse a great deal of France, but they are really for food and wine lovers! Thus, my passion for these cruises. I have clients that have taken a Bordeaux river cruise, the next year they will take friends with them, and in the third year take several couples with them!! These two cruises are the most repeated river cruises of them all.
Another one that attracts people of all ages and we were in our thirties when we went, are the Christmas Markets river cruises. These go from late November through the end of December and are so much fun. Yes, it's cold, but everything is brightly illuminated, The markets are open into the night, there's food and drink, plus wonderful handmade crafts that make wonderful gifts for that year or next. This is a river cruise for everyone of all ages and all religions. It's just fun and bright. Once in a lifetime experience.
Now, there are three more I'd like to touch upon, Certainly there are more river cruises in Russia, Eastern Europe, and lesser known parts of Europe but the three below are truly spectacular.
THE NILE. This is a river cruise for everyone. Fly into Cairo and spend 2-3 days. VIsit the British Museum. The fly to Luxor to start your river cruise up river back toward Cairo. This is a mystical cruise filled with pharaohs, tombs, and spectacular desert scenery. You will stop twice daily to see another tomb and learn about the person inside. Once you finish you will fly back to Cairo and and again spend a few days including seeing the famous pyramids. I went on this river cruise in my early thirties and was among peers, younger, and older travelers. This river cruise attracts anyone who is interested in Egyptology.
VIETNAM/CAMBODIA. This exotic river cruise is fascinating for several reasons. It takes you through all of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta, and in Cambodia-Phnom Phen, Angkor Ben, Angkor Wat, and Siem Reap. Couple this river cruise with Singapore and Thailand and you have the perfect 14-17 day vacation. And, you can add on Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, etc.
PERUVIAN AMAZON. One primarily thinks of the Brazilian Amazon however the Amazon also goes through Peru. There is a spectacular river cruise that plies the Amazon up close but does it in style! You cruise aboard a luxury boat with haute cuisine. Yet, you are deep in the waters of the Amazon seeing all the flora and fauna. I love this trip! And, yes, it gets travelers of all ages.
Finally, I hope by now you see there are so many varied river cruises for everyone, of all ages, and intrepid travelers, to people who just want to take it all in and ride bikes in each port, to foodie and wine lovers.
There is a product for everyone. I've been fortunate to get a great sampling of river cruises so believe me, there is one or more for you!