Expert Advice: Getting The Most Out Of Your River Cruise
Cruiseabout Q Supercentre’s Damian Clark knows not all river cruises will be the right match for all cruisers, so he takes the time to understand the type of experience his clients are after before making a recommendation.
In this column, Damian outlines his top tips for making the most of your river cruise, from defining the experience you’re after to deciding when to book.
Define the experience you want
The experience, ambiance and price varies by cruise line and ship. It's important to determine what type of river cruise holiday you're looking for to find one that suits your budget, mindset and expectations.
Book in advance
Doing so ensures you get the desired cruise, dates and cabin.
Book during earlybird river cruise season
Take advantage of earlybird Europe river cruise sales to pick up exclusive offers, such as discounted rates for travel in the following year and discounted or even free airfares. No single supplement is another bonus you won't find outside of the earlybird period.
Consider themed cruises
There are plenty of itineraries dedicated to particular interests such as music, food and wine, history and Christmas markets, which are all wonderful options for travellers keen to compliment their immersive travel experience by exploring their passion.
More river cruise holiday inspiration
Book last minute
If you are flexible with your travel plans, look out for a great last-minute deal for imminent travel. In non-peak season, most river cruise lines will offer great discounts on cruises for departures within three months that haven’t sold out.
Bring layers, be prepared for rain and pack comfortable walking shoes. In the evenings, passengers make an effort with their attire, often dressed in smart outfits, but not so formal as to warrant a dinner suit or gown. Most river cruise ships feature a swimming pool, so don’t forget your swimming gear.
Book a room with a balcony
On a river cruise ship, window cabins tend to be on water-level without much of a view. As there is almost always something to see on the journey, it’s worth booking a stateroom with a balcony to really enjoy the view.
Don’t go travelling without adequate travel insurance.
Arrive early or stay late
Make the most of your time away and extend your holiday by staying a few extra days either side of your river cruise itinerary to explore the departure and arrival cities. You could also time an escorted tour around your cruise dates.
Leave you wanting more
A river cruise will give you a great taste for different regions and ignite your imagination to go back and visit your favourite spots from the journey on a separate trip.
Words by Damian Clark
He has cruised extensively, spending over 1,200 nights at sea in both a professional setting working aboard cruise ships and on personal holidays.
His favourite river cruises include a classic European river cruise with APT, a cruise along the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia with TravelMarvel, and a Viking river cruise through Russia.
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