A river cruise offers the convenience and luxury of an ocean cruise combined with the in-depth experience of a land tour, plus the personal freedom of a river cruise. Step aboard. Unpack once. Explore, and enjoy.
For many travelers, a journey along the river is just the right pace for getting the lay of the land. Sitting on the top deck of a ship under brilliant blue skies, you gaze on fabled landscapes dotted with castles, villages, vineyards, lush forests and historic sites. A flight of stairs down, and you have all the amenities of a modern hotel — restaurants, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, spas, internet access and comfortable staterooms.
Itineraries range from three to thirty days in length. Book one year in advance, if possible, and consider cruising March through May or September through December, when the crowds are thinner and airfares may be more reasonably priced than during peak periods.
Some river cruises overnight in ports and cruise during the day; others cruise during the night and tie up in port during the day. Both approaches allow for dinners ashore and late-evening strolls into town.
Prepare to step ashore in fairy tale towns and fabled cities, immerse yourself in contemporary culture, and learn something about the history of the towns along the world's greatest rivers.