What to Expect Onboard an American River Cruise
While you probably get lots of promotions in your mailbox about European river cruises on the Danube, Rhine, Seine, and Rhone Rivers, river cruising in the United States is a rapidly growing travel style.
Exploring the United States via river cruise is a lovely travel experience anytime, but right now with international destinations in various phases of lockdown and restrictions, an American river cruise is the perfect vacation to plan for this summer or fall; these ships are sailing this month, and they’ve had their protocol plans reviewed by the CDC. If you’ve had some tours or cruises canceled over the last year, this may be the way to have a fantastic vacation this year.
While road trips can be one way to explore the US, river cruises provide an upgraded level of convenience, service, style, and comfort. Unpack once on your river cruise ship rather than changing to different hotels every night. Enjoy having five-star meals, live entertainment, and shore excursions all planned while still enjoying the flexibility of how you spend your time onshore and onboard.
If you are used to ocean cruising, the river cruises have a more leisurely pace, and the ships dock in the heart of the city, so it’s easy to explore on your own and make use of the complimentary shore excursions. River ships typically host 200-400 guests, so there aren’t the long lines or crowded areas of a large cruise ship.
Some vessels are reminiscent of the paddle-wheelers of old – traditional design coupled with the most current amenities; other cruise lines feature more modern ship designs. They feature a variety of public spaces throughout the ship. There are several dining options onboard and multiple lounges with outside areas or large panoramic windows.
The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and refined, with the attire defined as country club casual, with evening dress similar to going to a nice restaurant. Service levels are high with friendly and attentive American crew members.
The cuisine is inspired by regional culinary traditions of the area you are cruising, so it provides the opportunity to experience familiar dishes elevated to new heights by inventive interpretations and local fresh produce. Dining is set up as open seating on some ships or at scheduled times for other vessels. Special dietary needs are handled with expert care.
Along with the amazing cuisine that is offered, most river cruise lines include wine and beer with dinner, while others include spirits, wine, and beer at all times throughout the cruise.
Entertainment is designed to provide a variety of experiences with numerous activities and presentations, along with Broadway-caliber shows reflecting the region you are cruising through.
American river cruises typically include complimentary shore excursions, with a mix of city visits, walking tours, and also upgrade offerings for unique specialty experiences. The complimentary transportation into town and the excursions take the stress out of exploring the unique towns and stops along the way. No dealing with the logistics of getting around – just relax and experience. Some ships include bicycles for guests who want a bit of activity in their sightseeing.
Another unique aspect of river cruising that is different than ocean cruising is the changing landscapes. Instead of endless sea views, you can see the river’s shores and enjoy the scenery as you progress on the river. The calm waters mean smooth sailing and no motion sickness.
River cruising has been a growing travel trend for years, as so many people try it initially and love it. It tends to generate repeat river cruisers because of the comprehensive experience of exploring new areas combined with the ease and luxury of the river cruising amenities and service. Sailing the rivers of the United States is a delightful way to enjoy this travel style with the advantage of easy domestic transportation to and from ports, no language barriers, and the gratification of discovering one’s own country. The inclusive nature means less time worrying about planning or figuring out the next steps in an itinerary and more time enjoying and relaxing.
This is the perfect way to experience the small-town charm of authentic America.
If you’re intrigued by river cruising in the US, join us as we dive deeper into the experience and the appealing ports during our Virtual Travel Talk scheduled Wednesday, March 10 at 7pm Eastern time. Click here to Register: https://www.recess4grownups.com/virtual-travel-talk/