River cruising is hot! It is a fast-rising or in-vogue travel trend that makes a great alternative to those who love to sail but would not want to stay for long periods at a time in the high seas. There is a wide range of options and itineraries available to would-be river cruisers, so that almost every need and whim can be satisfactorily satisfied.
In the spirit of slow travel, these relatively shorter cruises in inland waters offer more to travelers who don’t want to be rushed – travelers with infirmities, the elderly, children or those who simply prefer to savor everything. This is also a good first-step to solo travel for those who aren’t comfortable traveling alone.
Traveling Solo Safely
The blog Scared to Travel Solo? Try a River Cruise by Glynnis MacNicol for Yahoo Travel highlights the reasons why such cruises make perfect options for solo female travelers. She says:
“… while solo travel is on the rise for women, it is far from the norm, and I know many women, friends just as independent and adventurous as myself, who shy away from it because they are intimidated by the idea.
Here then let me offer an intermediate option for those of you considering venturing out alone but unsure of how to make it happen.
Think of it as solo traveling with training wheels.”
MacNicol proceeded to enumerate the three major reasons why river cruising makes a great option for women travelers:
- First, the average river cruise passenger is older: Traveling with the elderly is so inspiring. Most are educated, well-traveled and full of wisdom. They are interesting and show genuine interest in you. They are unfazed by simple problems and you can spend long hpours of good conversation with them
- Second… I never had to eat alone. Being smaller than ocean cruises, river cruise ships allow you to meet and enjoy the company of a small number of travelers. You can get to know them more as the opportunity to encounter with anyone of them is higher. On a river cruise, you can be traveling solo, but you’re not alone.
- Third… a river cruise get to be on the move but also have a place to come back to at night … If you are adventurous, you can opt to go on your own on a shore excursion, but you can always feel safe knowing that there are people who will looking after your safety.
Why Go on a River Cruise
If the bug or the vogue hasn’t bitten you yet, you might be wondering what are so exciting about a river cruise. Here are a Five Reasons A River Cruise Should Top Your Travel To-Do List
All Things Cruise:
- The pace is slower, so the experiences are richer: There is so much more time to relish the experience. Generally, the relaxed pace is matched with a casual ambiance so that there is unprecedented flexibility. There is open seating allowing friendships to develop.
- Explore regional culture, past and present: River cruising is a real treat for history buff. Many rivers meander into the hearts of scenic destinations, giving you the opportunity to view the landmarks from a different vantage point.
- River cruise companies are generally small and personal: If you dislike big crowds but love to sail, river cruising is most perfect for you. The crafts are smaller with a lesser number of passengers, without foregoing the most comfortable, even luxurious , amenities on board. Some cruise ships are even specialized to take you on adventurous explorations of special places.
It’s a Family Thing
You may think that because there are no amenities specific for kids, river cruising isn’t for them. In Family Time’s River Cruising With Kids: Three Reasons to Go by Amy Alipio of National Geographic Traveler, she writes:
“A river ship doesn’t have the climbing walls, play zones, or indoor skydiving activities that filigree ocean-going ships, which isn’t surprising, given that the median age on a river cruise ship is 55. So what was my young daughter doing sailing the Rhine one recent spring afternoon?
Playing shuffleboard on the sun deck. And having a great time.”
She cites three reasons why you can let your kids tag along on your next river cruise adventure:
Reason #1: Your child will experience things she only reads about in school; Imagine what your child can experience and share to his/her classmates and friends upon your return from the cruise. You child will have the wisdom to speak from experience what everyone just reads from books or watches in videos.
Reason #2: Your kid will be the hit of the ship: As your kids will likely be the youngest passengers, they can enjoy everybody’s attention – the passengers, crew and services. That can give them one travel they will never forget.
Reason #3: You’ll do things you might not otherwise do: Without much child-designed amenities and programs, you and your child can enjoy more bonding time. You can also be more enthusiastic as you plan your shore excursions together.
If you haven’t gone river cruising yet, it is time to try it soon. Where to go first? Check out the top river cruises according to Fodor’s Travel: 10 Best River Cruises for 2015.