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What makes you think river cruising is boring?


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Loads of my friends always think I’m mad when I say I want to do a river cruise.  They think it sounds boring and dull and they think it's for older people, but I love the sound of it and the ships look really nice too. I like the thought of being able to see lots of different places and to be right in the heart of ports without the need for shuttles or long transfers. 

Plus most of the river cruises you get the excursions included too which is a massive plus. Seeing sights and all the architecture in different places, that you wouldn't usually when doing a land based holiday or even an ocean cruise.
I am definately going to look at booking for next year i reckon? Can any one suggest which one might be best suited for me? I don't see how they can be boring, when there is so much to do?

 

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I share your opinion on this samfox, I just wish my wife did too. I would happily book a river cruise tomorrow, ideally the Rhine to start with and then perhaps the Danube or Douro as well. I'd love to give it a try and I seem to hear nothing but praise for this type of holiday at the moment. Unfortunately my wife doesn't share my enthusiasm for it. She worries we'll find it overhwelmingly different to what we've experienced before and will struggle to keep busy during the holiday due to the lack of facilities and entertainment on board. My argument is that this type of holidays is to explore. I think you're spot on about the destinations, I'd love to walk straight into ports without having to make my way through the crowds of people searching for taxis/shuttles/coaches etc. I also love the idea of river ships carrying bicycles on board that you can borrow to make your way around city's.

The food is supposedly of an excellent standard, depending on the cruise line you choose of course, but I am yet to read any negativity towards a specific cruise line. I like the look of Viking as well as AmaWaterways. Both appeal to me as strong, reputable brands. I think their accommodation looks stunning and I'd certainly opt for a balcony so as to be able to enjoy the views along the way. I am hopeful that one day I'll be able to convince my wife but until then, it's the oceans for me.

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Same here Samfox but I have decided to bite the bullet and give them a go, it seemed like the obvious choice to avoid flights between 2 countries and on roads that maybe are a little dubious. So I will report back after my trip aboard. I'm trying Viking River Cruises as this seemed to be a choice following all their recent TV advertisements

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Hi Sam

 

I have done Viking river cruise end of November on the Danube! Far from boring....loved it!!! The staff are amazing, food is great! Budapest is a lively place and the Christmas markets were on too...i've seen some real fab deals under £1k towards the end of the year which is an absolute bargain! Melk monestry was fascinating and Vienna was absolutely gorgeous....you could use some dollar there with all the designer shops, but personally I loved sitting with my latte watching the world go by!! I never thought river cruising would be for me but I really enjoyed it.  Wonderful views throughout your trip! Really good choice of excursions too!

I also did Bordeaux river cruise with APT in July - another fantastic company - their food is the best in the business!! It's the wine region so thoroughly enjoyed this cruise! Beautiful quaint places along the way  with a good choice of excursions again!

Would definately recommend river cruising and i'm in my early 40's (20 at heart :) )

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Hi,

Having done two river cruises I can certainly recommend them. 

My first one was  Bordeaux with Viking River cruises. I had heard that the standards would be very good and they more than exceeded my expectations. The ship and the cabins are very modern and the food is excellent. I would recommend having at least a french balcony so not to miss out on the spectactular views!  During the day there is a choice of excursions to pick from, included in your fare with visits to a Chateau for some wine tasting or visiting quaint little towns such as St Emillion to stock up on your favourite wine :)

My second river cruise was The enchanting Rhine with Ama Waterways, starting overnight in Amsterdam and ending in Basel, Switzerland. This was great seeing 4 countries in one trip, you would never be bored! there was so much to see and do, especially if you like to be active you could go on bike rides and hikes, looking down over Heidleberg was stunning and gave you an appetite for your evening meal, which was of an excellent standard and there is even a complimentary speciality restaurant, which they encourage you to visit.

Overall, river cruising is a different experience to ocean cruising, with evening entertainment being low key but there is always something put on each evening for your entertainment and the atmosphere is very friendly as you get to know everyone as there are only a couple of hundred passengers onboard, so we have made some nice friends because of this and will certainly be doing another one in the near future.

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We did an Emerald Waterways cruise down the Rhine, Main and Danube, Amsterdam to Budapest. It was fantastic! The ship was beautiful, the food wonderful and the crew brilliant especially the wine waitress at dinner who kept trying to refill my glass with the words 'you drink, I drive!'.  The sighs and excursions were interesting and informative with local guides who all spoke excellent English. In the evenings there was relaxed entertainment and visits from from local bands or craftspeople. We never had a moment to be bored!

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Hi,

 

I did a river cruise with Viking a few years back on the Danube and it was great! Our cruise focused on the Austrian/German part and like you didn't know what to expect.  The longships are all quite new and have modern facilities.

I'm in my late thirties and even though the majority of guests were in their 60's plus this didn't dampen our experience. The atmosphere on board was very friendly,fun and relaxed. The food,service and excursions were fantastic and I would definitely consider going on one again. With it being a river cruise you are generally right in the heart of everything and you have the added benefit of the sights/views as you're cruising by.

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Hi there Sam !  We have been Ocean Cruising for over 19 years, and been on two river cruises in the last 9 months.  It has been an eye opener !!  Did a 7 night cruise, AmaDolce from Bordeaux last June and thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed flow of the holiday, plus of course all the wine tasting at the vineyards.. 

In December we traveled on Viking Rolf, down the Seine from Paris to Rouen with a tour to the Normandy Battlefields.   Most of the time you stop at  small towns that are a short stroll from the ship, and generally full of history.

I can honestly say that that Viking really "rocked my boat" as it were.  Staff 10/10, food 10/10.  We bought a "silver" drinks package, and after ordering the first drink NEVER had to tell any of the waiters again !!

 

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We have done about eight river cruises trying various companies. The worst was with Avalon who in our opinion tried their best to prize more money out of you once on board and they weren't cheap, the Tour Guide was also very poor.

Viking are very good at what they do and are very professional and friendly, we have been with them 5 times which should tell you quite a bit. We have found both APT and AMA a cut above the rest. I believe they both come under the same umbrella of companies. You will be pampered and looked after in a very laid back manner. The staff are trained to a high professional standard and the Tour guides work effortlesly throughout. 

In our opinion anywhere down the Danube is the best type of cruise. Its such a beautiful river and wherever you stop there is loads to see. The Moselle and Elbe rivers are also great as you are always close to the shoreline in very picturesque areas. The Rhine is also good however coming south from Amsterdam it is very industrialised, it gets better the closer to Switzerland. We have also been on the Yangtze in China which is an eye opener. The tour was great and we saw loads of fantastic things but the river is so polluted and has been used as a rubbish tip.

The best thing for us about river cruising is meeting and getting to know diffrrent nationalities. Becsuse there is at best a couple of hundred on board you are bound to make new friends and everybody seems to get along fine and have a good laugh at the same time. There is no discrimination or class distinction so you will be at ease from the start.

Edited by pwebster6
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We travelled with Viking on the Danube last year and had such a fantastic time that we booked another river cruise shortly after we got back.  The second one was to Vietnam and Cambodia on the Mekong, which was absolutely amazing.  We tried to think of something that Viking could have done better and failed.  They think of everything.  The food and service on the boat and at the hotels was excellent, but more importantly the tour itself was fantastic.  We were out on tours from approximately 8.00 am - back for lunch and then out again from 2.00pm.  We experienced so much on this trip, even travelling in an ox drawn cart at one point.  Probably one of the best holidays we have ever had.  Needless to say we have booked another river cruise with Viking - this time to China and we can't wait.

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Moscow to St Petersburg is superb - even on a second-rate, French organised, Stalin Era boat. Choose one which gives you at least 3 days in each of the terminal ports. In between, the scenery is fantastic and the ports of call very different from anything else you are likely to have encountered elsewhere. A cynic might say much of what you are allowed to see is "engineered", but very much worth seeing anyway.

A word of warning for Amsterdam - Vienna. Don't go if there has been a drought! We spent almost half the holiday on coaches, missing out totally on the Rhine portion, because the river had insufficient water.

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I have been on a Rhine river cruise with Viking. Excellent but poor choice of vegetarian food. River  Douro cruise was also excellent(saga). Unfortunately no flights from the north at the time, only Gatwick. I refuse to fly from Gatwick nowadays when I live close to both Liverpool and Manchester airports.

NB as previously reported there can be a problem also on the Douro if there has been a drought.

 

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