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Top 10 Tips for First Time River Cruisers

Monday 17th Oct 2022

At Blue Water Holidays we are experts when it comes to river cruising. If you’re keen to book one and don't know where to start, or if you'd just like to know more about river cruising in general, then this is the perfect blog for you! From tips on when to book to shore excursions, this article contains everything you need to know about river cruising

Beautifully appointed cabins Enjoy a festive break on a river cruise Dining experiences designed to reflect the local culture Many cruise lines offer complimentary wine and beer with meals Lounge onboard a Uniworld ship Welcoming reception area Spacious restaurants Scenic Crystal visiting Durnstein Scenic Spirit on the River Mekong SS Catherine in Avignon

  1. When should I book?

    Booking early usually gives the best price and the full choice of cabins and dates so you can pick exactly what you want. However, if you’re more flexible on date, location and cabin type, there are often last-minute bargains to be had!

  2. Is food included on a river cruise?

    Of course! Most cruise lines provide a buffet for breakfast, for lunch either a buffet or waiter service and for dinner it’s usually a 4 or 5 course meal with fine cuisine, specially selected to suit the culture of the city you’re visiting.

  3. Are shore excursions included and do I have to do them all?

    Most cruise lines include guided excursions to suit a range of different hobbies and interests, from walking city tours, to wine tastings, to even a private Mozart recital! Although there are often many excursions to take part in, you do not have to do them all. If you would rather spend the day exploring your tranquil river ship or discovering each destination at your leisure then it’s completely up to you.

  4. Does my cabin have a bathroom and a window?

    Unlike large cruise ships, all river ships provide rooms from which you can gaze at the passing, magnificent scenery. While some rooms may have full sit-on balconies, others have twin balconies which offer both a sit-on and a French balcony. Each room will have its own private bathroom.

  5. What is the best time of year to go on a river cruise?

    There are many different reasons to choose a River cruise in each season. Summer is good for the light evenings, longer days and warmer weather; Spring is the least expensive time of year to go travelling but you still get the lovely, fresh weather; Autumn boasts beautiful scenery with the everchanging colours; and winter is renowned for the festive Christmas Markets which you can visit on a River Cruise. We have many more suggestions on our River Cruising Through the Seasons blog.

  6. What will my ship be like?

    Along with your private room, a fine -dining restaurant, a sun deck and a lounge, many new ships now offer a gym, spa, library, cinema or swimming pool.

  7. Where can I go on a river cruise?

    There are countless destinations to visit on a river cruise and there really is something for everyone. In Europe there is the Rhone, Rhine, Douro, Seine, Moselle, Elbe and Loire. In Asia you can travel along the Yangtze, Mekong and Ganges. The Mississippi River is a highlight of the USA and is often explored on an authentic paddle-wheeler. Each river holds multiple destinations at which you can immerse yourself in the unique nature and history that each has to offer.

  8. Which river cruise is best for me?

    With our wide range of destinations, ship sizes and departure dates there are more than enough options to choose from, however, if you call one of our River Cruising specialists on 01756 706500 they will find the cruise that's perfectly suited to you.

  9. What will the price include?

    Aside from your wonderful cabin and full-board dining, the price of your cruise has many more inclusions! Many cruise lines now offer complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, with some including beverages at all times. Complimentary Wi-Fi and in-cabin entertainment is usually included. Tips and gratuities are often included on river cruises, both on and off the ship. You can fly from a wide range of regional airports, or even travel by train, and some cruise lines also include private transfers from your home to the airport!

  10. So, why river cruising?

    Along with all the reasons already listed, there are still so many more. River cruising provides an experience that bigger cruise ships cannot, with their ability to travel along rivers and shallow waterways and moor in the heart of the destination. River ships offer a cruise for those who prefer a more intimate and immersive destination-led experience. You are able to explore the local cultures and history of each place you visit, while only being a walk away from your floating hotel!

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Blue Water Holidays Blog