Relaxing as ever-evolving scenery effortlessly drifts by, a new view every day and a journey along magnificent waterways like the Seine, Danube, Nile and Rhine; it's no wonder that river cruising has flourished in recent years. With the choice of European and worldwide river cruises becoming more diverse and imaginative as new itineraries emerge, the fact that pretty much everything except spending money is included and that you only have to unpack once for the duration only add to the appeal.
River cruise vessels are much more intimate than those used in ocean cruising as there are smaller numbers (usually 100-150 people) on board. Cabins tend to be considerately situated on the outside with many having balconies and large windows to reveal the best of the scenery. Most of the cruising takes place during the day with the ships mooring in the centre of riverside towns, so you can explore within walking distance of the boat.
For those wanting to combine several destinations into one holiday, river cruises are ideal with a variety of towns, cities and picturesque villages along the way. River cruising brings all kinds of possibilities together: Where else could you take in the splendours of the Baltics and enjoy the timeless treasures of St Petersburg combined with visits to Copenhagen and Helsinki?
In addition to cabin accommodation, scheduled ports of call and in some cases return travel to the port, river cruises also include all meals within the cost. Cruise-goers in search of more local cuisine are welcome to dine out once the ship has moored of an evening.
Popular river cruise vessel MS Olympia includes the following facilities:
With a capacity of just 96, the MS Olympia offers an even more intimate river cruising experience. The vessel has sailed all the great waterways from the Dutch waterways to the Danube and prides itself on a friendly crew and warm welcome. Cabins are arranged on two decks and offer compact yet excellent twin-bedded accommodation (beds double up as sofas) with private shower and WC, table, a chair and small wardrobe. Large picture windows ensure that cruise-goers can take in as much scenery as possible.
See the MS Olympia Deck Plan >
mps Lady Anne
The mps Lady Anne offers cruisers a home away from home, with well presented cabins and a crew who's attention to detail is second to none. The spotless brass furnishings, well presented meals and sparkling glassware add to the homely feel of the Lady Anne. All cabins offer outside views, climate control and ensuite shower facilities. The restaurant was refirbished in January 2013 and seats all passengers for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
See the mps Lady Anne Deck Plan >
A floating 4 star hotel, the ms Serentiy offers a fabulous vantage point to see the sights of Europe at a leisurely pace. There is an air about the ship which exudes style, but the atmosphere is warm and friendly. There is plenty of space to gather with friends with a lounge/bar area, rooftop deck to enjoy the sunshine and a restaurant which is the perfect place to enjoy your included meals.
See the MS Serenity Deck Plan >
MV Serenade 2
Launched in 2007, the Serenade 2 plays host to just 134 passengers. Extensive wood and glass creates a luxurious atmosphere with the public areas designed to a high standard including the spacious lobby, Mendelssohn Restaurant which can comfortably seat all the passengers and the fabulous Forward Observation Lounge, which offers views od the river as you head downstream.
See the MV Serenade 2 Plan >
When you go on a river cruise you are able to stop at some great locations, here are some examples of the stops available on the various cruise itineraries:
Cruising along the River Nile is a once in a lifetime experience. As the longest river in the world the Nile is known around the world, explore this fantastic destination and cruise close to some of ancient Egypt’s most well-known and well-loved sights.
Carving its way through some of the most picturesque scenery in Germany, the River Rhine is a fantastic cruise experience.Sit back, relax and let the world gently slip byas you take in the sights, sounds and smells of this fantastic region of Germany.
The River Douro cruises are particularly famous for cruising through the heart of the Portuguese country side. The river which lined either side with vineyards and quaint towns, provides stunning scenery and a spectacular backdrop for this cruise.
For something a bit different you could always try cruising the Mississippi River, this river cruise travels along this famous waterway as the leaves are changing colour in the fall. With stops in a number of states; Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, this river cruise allows you to explore a number of great destinations across the USA.