A guide to the advantages and disadvantages of taking a river cruise vacation over a non-cruise travel experience. From our recent press trip with Avalon Waterways on the Rhine River.
I’ve traveled in every possible way — from backpacking to seven star hotels — my journey in travel extends ten years and around the world.
Saving time on both transit and packing and unpacking — seeing more, doing more and with a little help? That’s why we sail.
Cruise itineraries aren’t for everyone at every point in their life, but they are for a lot of people. If you’re traveling with a family, as a couple, or traveling solo to meet new people — or simply want to see a lot of places in a short amount of time, a river cruise might just be for you.
In this post:
– Advantages of doing a river cruise trip
– Disadvantages of doing a river cruise trip
– Where to go on the Rhine River / Central Europe
– River cruise ship photos and experience details for Avalon Waterways
10 Cities and 9 Days with Avalon Waterways:
The greatest perk of taking a river cruise over a commute by flights or trains is how much more you can see or do with limited time off. Consider the Rhine River Cruise itinerary with Avalon Waterways:
- Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Cologne, Germany
- Rudesheim, Germany
- Engers, Germany
- Cochem, Germany
- Zell, Germany
- Bernkastel, Germany
- Grevenmacher, Luxembourg
- Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
- Paris, France
That’s four countries in under two weeks!
I know… AMAZING. So how how does it work? See the breakdown of river cruise perks:
Move while you sleep! Sail to save time on transit.
Most European countries are close enough to road trip, and have incredibly affordable flights. You’ve made it across the Atlantic (or whatever ocean you’re crossing), of course you want to see as much as you can!
But do you really want to spend all of your time at airports, on buses or trains? No. Airport lines are unpredictable, trains will leave you lost and buses have many limitations.
Alas, there is an alternative.
See more places in less time when you take a river cruise.
Relax in luxury as you get from Point A (like Amsterdam) to Point Z (like Zell)– squeezing in extra stops without the hassle.
When you travel with a cruise, you actually move while you sleep, dine or wine! Seriously, no time wasted. You can’t sleep as comfortably on flights or trains anyways — not to mention the agonizing fear of getting robbed or lost while in transit.
And the VIEWS! A cruise like Avalon Waterways offers suites with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling balconies. Avalon Waterways boasts the first Open-Air Balcony with opening window-walls of 7 feet wide.
A river cruise is one of the most luxurious and relaxing ways to get around.
Sail to count on comfortable, reliable accommodations.
Have you ever tried to book a hotel in a small European town where accommodations were completely booked out? I have and it was miserable. Three of us ended up in a one person closet (I mean room) because we thought we could be spontaneous.
Not to mention, there was the time I took the train the wrong way in Italy, and the next train was sold out.
Stranded or homeless in Europe is anything but dreamy — and planning it is just as bad.
Save time booking accommodations, checking in and out, and packing and unpacking. When you have a cruise, you’ll familiarize yourself with your place of stay and can *turn off* to relax after a day of adventuring.
Use the My Avalon feature to map around the ship, and customize your pillow and bedding preferences. Stay organized and sight-see assured that your belongings are safely on ship.
Catch the best spots! Trust the local experts for curated experiences.
Avoid tourist scams or sites that aren’t worth your time. Avalon partners with the best locals for bucket-list activities.
As a part of the new “Active Discovery on the Rhine,” you can bike, hike and explore through Europe. On My Avalon you can tailor your itinerary by booking excursions, adding-on destinations, or reserving experience on the ship.
Painting in Amsterdam, the art capital of the Netherlands.
Eat and drink well.
Indulge in the native culture as chefs partner with small farms and local producers to create Avalon Fresh.
Live the destination with regional-based dining.
Rest assured that your meals are rich in nutrients and delicate in service.
Noted — They have the best soups! The chef heard how much we loved the soup, and gave us a set of recipes to cook up the travelers’ spirit in our home! It was such a kind gesture.
Disadvantages of booking a cruise:
Everything in life is a cost-benefit equation. While sailing saves you time, you’re also committing to a schedule, and that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. A river cruise allows for plenty of free time and the power to customize your itinerary, but let’s be real — you’ve got to make it back on the ship!
The ship does anchor overnight at some cities, so you don’t have to compromise a night out on the town in your European escapade.
I’d say that’s pretty much it. By booking a river cruise, you’re committing to being on your transit the same way you commit to a flight or train, so if you don’t feel the need to be spontaneous 24/7 and can manage some commitment, a river cruise checks off all of the right boxes.
Avalon Visionary — do you envision yourself on board?
Beyond the Rhine River
For those interested in other rivers and destinations, Avalon Waterways’ also offers extremely popular itineraries on the Danube River (including Prague, Budapest and Vienna), as well as the Seine and Rhone Rivers.
For those who want to go off-the-beaten-path, river cruises are also a great way to experience developing destinations like Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Learn more about river cruises on the Avalon Waterways website.
To cruise or not to cruise? What do you think?