Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Fri May 22 2015

Opinion Home | River Cruising From a Unique Point of View

  • Melanie Gravdal | May 22, 2015 3:00 PM ET

    Yes, You Should Go On a River Cruise!

    Yes, You Should Go On a River Cruise!

    PHOTO: Avalon Expression. Courtesy Avalon Waterways.

    You’ve read about them. You’ve seen pictures of them. You may have even overheard a conversation about them at a cocktail party. And now, you are wondering “Is a river cruise as relaxing and romantic as it seems?” The answer is yes. There are many reasons travelers are choosing to see the towns and landscapes of Europe and Asia from the peaceful perspective of their legendary rivers. Here are the top five.

    No traffic jams.

    River cruising is a hassle-free, worry-free way to see the world. When you’re floating down the world’s fabled rivers, everything else flows beautifully too. There’s no navigating traffic, no congestion and no crowds – just the ability to take in the sights and sounds of the river and the charming villages that dot its banks – not the sounds of cars, taxis and buses.

    The fewer the merrier.

    River cruise ships are like the smaller sibling that can squeeze behind the sofa when no one else can. Built to glide through narrow passageways, fit through locks and sail under low bridges, river cruise ships not only lead passengers to more remote destinations – offering glimpses of the world others don’t get to see – but consequently offer a more intimate experience. Smaller ships mean fewer passengers and therefore more opportunities to connect with fellow travelers.

    What suitcase?

    When you travel to multiple cities, generally you have to switch between hotels, which means packing and unpacking multiple times. With your river cruise ship acting as your traveling hotel, you check in once, unpack once, put your suitcase out of sight and take in the amazing sights of castles and cathedrals passing you by.

    You’ll be immersed on land.

    River cruises don’t lose sight of the reason you’re traveling – to see the people, places and cultures on shore. Included sightseeing in port cities will lead you down cobblestone streets, into ancient establishments and up to the stools of charming bistros that give you a taste of the local cuisine and the local scene.

    It’s no Love Boat, which is why you’ll love a river cruise.

    While ocean cruises constantly try to outdo their last off-the-wall contest or theme party, river cruises offer enlightening onboard experiences that highlight and complement the region in which you’re traveling. On a river cruise, you may enjoy a cooking class, a regional wine-tasting, a musical performance or even an art presentation with like-minded travelers.  


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Melanie Gravdal River Cruising From a Unique Point of View

Melanie Gravdal Obsessed with all-things culture - from entertainment and the arts to customs and cuisine - Melanie Gravdal loves to travel, to see and experience new things, new people and new places that broaden her horizon and view on life. And, for the last two decades, Melanie has made traveling the world a central theme in her career as a communications professional. Working with travel and lifestyle professionals from around the globe, she provides public relations counsel and support ranging from strategic storytelling and branding messaging to pavement-pounding street marketing and special events. Originally from Iowa, Melanie now calls Southern California her home.
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