Real Travel

How do River Cruises Differ from Ocean Cruises?

Even though river cruises and ocean cruises are comparable in many ways, you will notice some significant differences as well. Ocean impression In general, ocean liners are massive in size and have added amenities in each room. Owing to their more substantial size, they are also able to hold a lot more passengers. The more compact scale of river ships means fewer voyagers, but more potential to get to know fellow travelers, often leading to lifelong friendships.

As opposed to ocean cruises, which are sometimes voyaging in open waters for days at a time, river cruises practically never sail a single full day at a time. Guests typically get to check out a new destination every day. Since the panorama outside the cruiser is constantly changing, the feeling of exploration becomes part of the discovery.

Anyone nervous about becoming seasick will appreciate the smooth sailing and shallow waters of a river cruise as well as the fact that the shore is always within sight. That said, ocean cruises normally have more elegant benefits including areas to work out, more of a selection for dining, and fantastic live shows.

But most river cruises offer inclusive value, so your Wi-Fi, water, alcoholic drinks and included excursions are covered in the price.

Sailing Europe’s Legendary Rivers

Enjoy the voyage of a lifetime cruising along Europe’s most famous rivers. Navigating rivers like the Loire, Elbe, Duoro, Rhine, Volga, Danube, and Dnieper is a wonderful vacation experience.

Size doesn't matter.

Although these river ships are scaled-down in size, they are no less luxurious or technologically advanced, and offer high-end amenities, fine dining experiences, and interesting off-ship activities.

The ambiance on these cruisers is one of high quality while at the same time feeling warm and inviting. Itineraries are created to make best use of the amount of time travelers spend at their ports of call. These excursions enable travelers to get an inside look at the daily life of the locals at each place. Experience the continent’s remarkable cities and discover them via the stories told by its artists, history and culinary delights.

River Cruises and Diverse Ports of Call

Off-board adventures at ports of call can be as spectacular as being on board the vessel.

A different variety of experiences comes with each European river cruise. See Europe by way of its famous rivers and get to experience the cities and peoples along the routes.

History aficionados, adventure-seekers, and people simply wanting to learn about interesting cultures will all find something to do. You will experience exciting moments in the greatest cultural centers of Europe, see historic monuments and take in the beautiful scenery. Your cruiser will be able to slip into the smaller ports due to its nimble size, providing you the option to visit towns, villages, and sights you might otherwise not be able to see.

Famed Rivers of France

France offers many distinct regions renowned throughout the world, and a river cruise will allow you to explore them. Cruises? impression From its majestic Bordeaux region and gastronomic Lyon, to historic Normandy and picturesque Provence, not to mention elegant Paris, France offers something for everyone. Enjoy time in Aquitaine, once one of the richest parts of Europe, and check out its beautiful farms, forests, vineyards, and ports. You can go Cognac tasting at the Camus distillery in Périgord and then go hunting for its celebrated truffles.

Some of the best oysters in the world come from Arcachon in the southwest region of France.

Taste Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes in their famous ”terroir”. No matter the waterway, the Rhône River or the Seine River, the Dordogne or the Gironde, a France river cruise will immerse you in a community rich in wine, art, food and tradition.

Historied Rivers of Central Europe

If you would like to tour the ancient fortresses and charming towns of Germany and the Czech Republic, choose a cruise down the Elbe River.

Fans of German Riesling will love cruising down the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which will take them through the region of Germany known for its wines. If you have a preference for Central Europe, consider a cruise down the Danube to Budapest, the Hungarian city famous for its calming banyas (thermal baths); or to Vienna, where you can take a lesson in the waltz, which became prevalent in the ballrooms of the Austrian court. People who like to discover places off the beaten path will enjoy outings to smaller cities such as Passau and Bratislava, while adventurous food lovers will enjoy noshing on the delicacies of the regional cuisine.

The Waterways of the Tsars
Enjoy Russia as never before on waterways of the Tsars where you’ll encounter the swirling onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the well-known towers of Moscow’s Red Square. Enjoy the extensive collections of the Hermitage Museum, the second largest museum in the world.

If you are interested in learning how people lived in other periods and places, check out a Soviet-era kommunalka, where several families lived together at one time, or visit breathtaking Peterhof Palace to see how Peter the Great lived. Of course, when you are in Russia you ought to indulge in the famous local cuisine including pirog, solyanka, borscht, blini pancakes, and of course some decadent caviar. The Dnieper River tells a multifaceted story that includes Greek, Mongol, Tatar, Ottoman, Cossack, Jewish and Russian influences.

There are wonderful museums and old churches to tour at various places along the way as well as imposing Soviet-era structures, or for a lighter experience get tickets to an enjoyable local dance or musical show.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley
In Portugal you can cruise the Douro River to the capital city, Lisbon, with its medieval old town and thriving newer neighborhoods with trendy restaurants, bars, and cafes.

Take in a performance of traditional fado singing, then over dinner have the local culinary delights and luscious wines, including the region’s famous Port. The Douro River Valley is proud to be the first demarcated wine production zone in the world as well as a UNESCO site.

Nordic Wonders

Discover Nordic wonders by sea, then visit highlights of the famous Rhine River. Embark in historic Bergen, a city with strong Viking roots, and set off for Norway’s dramatic fjord landscapes, cruising to scenic Flåm, cosmopolitan Stavanger, history-rich Kristiansand and vibrant Oslo. From the seaside village of Skagen, Denmark, cruise the North Sea to Amsterdam, and on to visit Holland’s famous windmills in Kinderdijk.

The sights and tastes of Germany along its riverways
In Germany, Cologne’s magnificent cathedral and Ehrenbreitstein Fortress are landmarks you will not want to skip. The picturesque Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is well worth a visit with its imposing cathedrals, great fortresses, ancient villages, and rich history.

Travel through the famed Black Forest in Germany, stop in France’s Strasbourg with its splendid Gothic cathedral, then on to Basel, Switzerland with its picturesque medieval old town. Absolutely nothing on board is cookie-cutter, so your visits onshore shouldn’t be either. Experience all you can of the sights, sounds, and tastes offered to you at each local port. Just as each cruise ship is made to be a unique and one-of-a-kind experience, each destination is similarly unique and special.

Learn About the American Express Pay-with-Points Plan
AMT Travel is proud to offer more savings and personalized satisfaction with American Express’ Pay with Points plan. In past years, American Express Membership Rewards customers were able to redeem their rewards points for... read more
River Cruises and Diverse Destinations
Off-board adventures at ports of call can be as amazing as being on board the vessel. A different array of activities comes with each European river cruise. Explore Europe from its beautiful waterways and unlock ... read more
Take a Hike: The World's Very Best Treks
The most enjoyable journeys are not just about the walking, they are about walking into the place’s historic past and customs. Still, hikes are no picnics. They will challenge you on a physical level and mental level, leaving you with an indelible... read more