What are the advantages of a river cruise over ocean cruising?
-there are only an average of 150 passengers onboard
-the size of the ships allow them to get into ports that the larger cruise ships cannot reach (which often appeals to experienced cruisers, who wish to try new itineraries)
– there is no worry about motion sickness, since there are no rough seas , so these are smooth sailings (which often appeals to newbie cruisers)
-Viking is award winning river cruiseline
– Viking has the largest fleet of river cruise ships, which means that when you have to deal with changing water levels (which can be common in Europe for river cruises, as the ships have to go under many bridges), Viking can put its clients on different ships
-Viking offers many overnight stays in various locations
-85% of Viking’s staterooms are are balconies, or have windows that open
-Viking ships are small (in the sense of 150 passengers, compared to large ocean cruiselines that may have 4000+), and they have a limited cruising season – so often river cruises sell briskly (there is not much inventory left for 2012, and sales for 2013 are already moving well)
-Viking offers mostly all inclusive sailings -which is different than most ocean cruiselines (where your shipboard account can often exceed what you paid for the cruise itself)
-there are early & late riser breakfast options
-there are full sit down or light lunch options – including speciality food, carving & omelette station for breakfast & lunch
-there are healthy choice and organic food on all menus
-they have complimentary bottle water, full speciality beverages, and wine/ beer with dinner
-there are comprehensive shore excursions – you can wander the halls of hermitage museum in Russia’s St. Petersburg, tour age-old castles along the middle Rhine, sample fine French wines in Burgundy, marvel at the incredible dexterity of Chinese artist crafting fine porcelain wares, stroll the courtyards of Beijing’s forbidden city, and all the while listening to your tour guide on a quietvox personal headset system on every excursion (no more dueling tour guides)
-some old world highlights include: hands-on demos (cuckoo clock-making, wooden shoe-carving, glassblowing); classes in cooking local specialities (apple strudel); tai chi lessons (guided by a chinese tai chi master, on the sun deck while cruising the Yangtze); traditional tea service in Russia; Ukrainian tea party
-popular destinations include the Grand European Tour Amsterdam to Budapest – 15 days 5 countries, 13 guided tours, 9 UNESCO World heritage sites; old world highlights – glassblowing, Bavarian folkloric entertainment, Dutch cheese & jenever tasting; culture curriculum – the dutch masters; and more
And – you can cruise Russia – or China!
Let me know if you’d like to learn more!