On the subject of cruises, ocean liners often get all the eye. However cruises aren’t restricted to only the Caribbean, and even to the summer time months. Viking River Cruises gives all types of scenic river boat cruises by Europe—year-round, by rivers (and now oceans)—for vacationers who need to benefit from the journey and a number of locations alongside the best way.
I’ve been fortunate sufficient to have taken fairly a number of Viking European river cruises—from the Rhine in Switzerland to the Rhône in France to the Danube in Budapest (one of many favorites was the Christmas Market river cruise alongside the Rhine!). And I’m a fan.
If you’re making an attempt to determine whether or not to riverboat cruise or not, I’ve put collectively a listing of the reason why you need to select to take a European Viking River Cruise.
You’ll be able to guide your cruise on the Viking River Cruise web site.
1. There are Fewer Passengers
Regardless of how good your cruise ship is, you’re in all probability not going to get pleasure from it practically as a lot if it’s cramped and crowded with lengthy waits on the buffet or no obtainable lounge chairs. The Viking River Cruises boat was smaller with fewer folks; round 200, it felt way more snug and made attending to know my fellow passengers over dinner all of the extra satisfying.
2. Some Excursions are Included
On lots of the bigger ocean liners, they entice you by promoting actually low cruise fares, however then nickel and dime you with excursions. That may add up rapidly! On Viking River Cruises there are included excursions, virtually one at each single European port.
Most are designed to present you a pleasant overview of the town you might be in. After all, there might be different paid choices on the ports too. A few my favourite excursions had been an e-bike journey by the vineyards of Austria and a tour of Germany’s Black Forest.
3. You’ll Have Open Seating at Dinner
You may not anticipate this to be a plus, however for me, it positively was. Open seating meant that I bought to fulfill and get to know extra folks. Every night time you possibly can choose a distinct group to take a seat with or you possibly can dine with the identical folks each night. It’s completely as much as you. Both method, it was enjoyable to match notes in regards to the excursions with my new pals on the finish of the day.
4. Your Room Comes With Free Films
Alright, so perhaps binge watching motion pictures doesn’t prime your record of thrilling European cruise actions. Nonetheless, it was nice to return again to my room on the finish of a protracted day and settle in for the night time with a free flick.
5. It’s Conde Nast’s Readers Favourite River Cruise Line
Yup—Condé Nast readers ranked Viking River Cruises because the #1 river cruise line on the market. Sufficient mentioned, proper?
6. It’s a Clean Experience
Movement illness might simply damage a cruise trip, so I used to be relieved to search out that every one 4 river cruises I’ve been on had been clean from begin to end. No Dramamine wanted!
7. It’s Informal
Yay to no gala nights! Dinners on the cruise are informal, so that you gained’t have to fret about packing a proper outfit or getting all dressed up on the finish of a protracted day. Simply turn into one thing snug (enterprise informal often), sit down, and seize a drink.
8. The Views are Unimaginable
When our cruises set off, I used to be actually wanting ahead to issues like visiting the Christmas markets and seeing some new cities. What I didn’t anticipate was for the views in-between the ports to be so scenic. There might be loads of downtime on the ship, so you possibly can commonly loved watching the surroundings move by from the highest deck as you make your option to the subsequent cease.
9. You’ll Solely Must Pack (and Unpack) As soon as
How else are you able to see 8 cities in 8 days and solely need to unpack your bag as soon as? Having what amounted to a conveyable lodge room took a ton of stress out of this course of. Plus, there was loads of drawers and closet area for 2.
10. You Can Expertise Crusing By means of a Lock
Crusing by the locks on the Rhine, Rhone and Danube was an unexpectedly cool a part of the journey, and one thing you possibly can’t expertise on an ocean cruise. Locks are mainly water administration techniques that assist boats navigate a river by elevating and reducing the water degree. They’re a feat of engineering and crusing by them by no means actually bought outdated.
11. You Can Discover A number of Nations in One Journey
Throughout our Christmas Markets alongside the Rhine, we handed by 4 nations: Switzerland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. And the Romantic Danube was 3 nations: Hungary, Austria and Germany. I don’t know of some other option to see that many nations in so few days whereas nonetheless having time to benefit from the expertise.
12. Meals Include Complimentary Wine
I’ve informed you (about 100 instances earlier than) that pink wine is one in every of my true loves. So, it’s an additional perk when it’s on the home throughout meal instances. The freebie may be for the home pink or white, but it surely has at all times been good and there are many choices to improve.
13. The Rooms are Snug
Viking River Cruises set my room as much as be a comfortable retreat from the get-go, with welcome champagne ready for me after I boarded and a plate of contemporary fruit delivered every day. Between the fruit, the every day candy treats left within the room, and the view from the veranda, it was an ideal spot to start out and finish the day in.
14. Anytime Cappuccinos. It’s true!
As if the complimentary wine, beer, fruit, and sweets weren’t sufficient, every cruise was full with an computerized cappuccino machine you can entry at your leisure. I liked with the ability to stroll over to the lounge and seize a cappuccino (totally free!) anytime.
15. The Meals is Actually Good
Every mealtime, you possibly can select between having a full meal within the eating room or snacking on one thing lighter within the lounge. Most mornings, I opted for the latter and had a easy croissant and cup of espresso for breakfast. I did take full benefit of the cruise’s lunch and (particularly) dinner choices, although.
The cooks on Viking River Cruises have at all times put collectively a inventive menu to accommodate all types of diners, choosy eaters and vegetarians included! It was particularly enjoyable after they had themed dinners associated to the nation we had been in.
16. The Ports Aren’t Vacationer Traps
The cruise itself was pretty, however for those who’re in it for the locations in addition to the journey, this level is a large plus. In contrast to plenty of different cruises, you gained’t be stopping at ports filled with overpriced tchotchkes and Americanized eating places. We made stops to see European historic downtowns, cathedrals and church buildings, castles and palaces, and even a number of UNESCO World Heritage Websites. And in lots of circumstances they had been all inside strolling distance from the ships port.
17. The Small Dimension of the Ship
The smaller measurement of riverboats let you get nearer to the shores of a metropolis, so you possibly can actually expertise all that every vacation spot has to supply with out being dropped off in a vacationer port. Because of this for those who determine to not take an tour, you possibly can simply get off the boat and stroll proper into city by yourself.
As well as, cruising on a small riverboat typically means avoiding the crowds which are usually discovered on bigger vessels. This will result in a extra intimate and satisfying expertise, each on and off the boat. Plus, it’s a lot more durable to get misplaced onboard!
18. Assembly Different Cruisers
As a result of riverboats are sometimes smaller than ocean-going cruise ships, you’re extra prone to run into the identical folks a number of instances all through your voyage. This creates a way of group and makes it simple to strike up conversations with fellow passengers. Whether or not you’re sharing a meal within the eating room, taking in a present within the lounge, or simply having fun with a while on deck, you’re certain to make new pals on a river cruise.
19. Animal Towels on Your Mattress
Have you ever ever been on a cruise and located a cute animal made out of a towel in your mattress? It’s a practice that goes again to the early days of cruising. Apparently, it began with a cruise ship engineer who used to make little animals out of towels for his daughter. When she bought older, she began engaged on cruise ships and would make towel animals for the passengers.
The custom rapidly caught on, and now it’s a staple of the cruise expertise. So subsequent time you see an elephant or swan in your mattress, keep in mind its origins and recognize the little bit of enjoyable it brings to your trip.
20. The Service is Excellent
On all my Viking River Cruises, the service was excellent. From the second we boarded the ship to the time we disembarked, we had been made to really feel like VIPs. The employees was attentive and at all times obtainable to reply any questions we had. They went above and past to make our journey extra satisfying.
. . .
Even this record doesn’t sum up every thing I liked about all my sailings with Viking River Cruises, whether or not it was on Europe’s Rhine, Rhone or Danube. We noticed and skilled a lot greater than I anticipated—each onboard and on the shore—from a beer tasting in Cologne to seeing the Carrières de Lumières Artwork Present within the South of France to visiting the UNESCO Kinderdijk Windmills in Netherlands.
In the event you’re trying to guide a simple getaway, taking a European Viking River Cruise is a superb choice and you’ll guide right here.
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This publish was offered in a partnership with Viking River Cruises. All opinions my very own. This publish might include affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you make a purchase order by my hyperlinks, I earn a fee that helps to maintain this weblog working—at no further price to you. You’ll be able to learn my full disclosure right here.