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Cruise Blog

Best time to cruise to Alaska

clock 2nd December 2019 | comment0 Comments
With so much to do across the Last Frontier, you may be wondering when is the best time to make the journey. Whether you’re eager to hike or are hoping to spot some whales, find out the best time to cruise to Alaska in our helpful guide. [More]


Top Tips for Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

clock 14th October 2019 | comment0 Comments
With waterfalls tumbling down cliffs, quaint villages home to fascinating history, and countless excursions to immerse you in the outdoors, a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords is a bucketlist-worthy holiday. We’ve put together the ultimate guide on voyaging this fantastic destination, covering the best time to go, where to visit and more. [More]


5 Worst Mistakes to Make When Packing for a Cruise

clock 18th March 2019 | comment0 Comments
While there will be some exceptions, there are cruise essentials that you will need no matter which cruise line you sail with. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise, and avoid a packing faux pas! [More]


Is River Cruising for You?

clock 23rd August 2018 | comment0 Comments

Over the years river cruising has become an increasingly popular way to see the world, in a relaxed setting. This is evident in the fact that more than 150 river cruise itineraries have been launched in the last 5 years alone. But what is it all about? Read on to find out if river cruising is for you.

 

 

A Quick Overview of River Cruising

 

River cruise ships are much smaller than ocean cruise ships, which is often what attracts people to travel onboard. In many cases the smaller size means guests are more personally catered for, and truly receive that flawless service that you might not get on a ship of over 3,000 passengers. River cruise ships general accommodate between 100-200 people; creating a perfect, intimate experience.

The size of the vessel also creates a completely different kind of cruise holiday where destinations are concerned. The ships traverse the world’s rivers, which often pass through integral inland cities, such as Paris, Budapest, and Cairo. On a river cruise you will usually visit a new port each day, and possibly more than one a day sometimes. This means you might visit an incredible four or five countries in just one week, which is very uncommon on ocean cruises.

 

 

What’s Life Onboard Like on a River Cruise?

 

With fewer people onboard, river cruise ships are generally comfortable and intimate, but with plenty of space for everyone. Usually, you’ll find a restaurant, one or two lounges, and a deck on top with loungers, a bar, and sometimes a pool.

Generally all meals onboard are included, complete with complimentary drinks such as wine, beer, and soft drinks at dinner times. Along with those drinks, you’ll often have unlimited coffee, tea, and bottled water. During meal times there is open seating, so you are able to sit where you like each night. Tables are usually arranged to sit between six and ten guests, so you’ll be able to mingle with and get to know fellow cruisers more easily.

 

 

The dress code onboard is laid back, with no formal requirement. However, it is suggested that you bring at least one smart outfit, to wear at events like the Captain’s reception and gala dinners. You should also bring comfortable shoes and clothing due to the extensive menu of excursions, which range from castle hikes and bike rides to walking tours and wine tastings.

Entertainment on river cruises varies depending on the vessel and destination. Most river cruise lines prioritise the destination rather than onboard entertainment, as the itineraries are so port-intensive. This doesn’t mean there is nothing happening onboard however. You’ll often find a pianist playing during cocktail hour and after dinner, and many lines invite local entertainers onboard to provide a culture show of some sort.

 

What Are Excursions Like with River Cruising?

 

Excursions are a huge part of river cruising, so much so that generally all of them are included in the overall cost of the cruise. This is great because often excursions can tally up to a significant sum on an ocean cruise. This is one of the main attractions of this type of holiday to many frequent river cruisers.

 

 

The excursions themselves are designed to highlight the local culture and history of the port you’re stopping in. So if you are someone who enjoys getting out and about and discovering new things, know that river cruising creates captivating, unforgettable memories with truly insightful opportunities. You could visit a local orphanage in Southeast Asia, go to a cookery demonstration in Africa, or see some important World War II sites on a European river cruise, to name just a few.

 

Why should Ocean Cruisers try a River Cruise?

 

Many fans of ocean cruising will find themselves thinking about a river cruise at one time or another, so here’s why we think you should take the plunge and give river cruising a try.

 

  • The inclusions in your fare. All your food, free-flowing wine and beer at dinner, and all your excursions are completely taken care of.
  • The size of the ship. Whilst some ocean cruisers love the city-like feel of a liner that can take over 5,000 passengers, we promise you will enjoy the personal service and intimate surroundings of a river ship.
  • There are almost no days without a port stop. You’ll never find yourself bored on the ship with nothing to do, as river cruise ships do most of their travelling at night.
  • The number of destinations. Just about every day you can get out and about and discover somewhere new. With some excursions starting as early as 7am, no time at all is wasted.
  •  

    Would a river cruise float your boat? There are countless top-class river cruise lines sailing Europe, Asia and beyond, including Emerald Waterways, Saga River Cruises, AmaWaterways, and more,so you'll find countless itineraries to choose from. For sailings tailored around a specific country, try Discover Egypt and Pandaw River Cruises, both offering excellent knowledge and guidance throughout their journeys.

    For those who have previously cruised on ocean-ships, many cruise lines have brought their fantastic service to the river, such as Thomson-Marella. With TUI River Cruises sailing the waterways of Europe, you will enjoy your favourite cruise line on a smaller, more intimate scale.

    If you're still undecided you can also find out more about first-hand river cruise experiences, with this customer review onboard Emerald Waterways, or get in touch with our expert team for more advice!



    Watching the World Cup on a Cruise

    clock 6th June 2018 | comment0 Comments

    World Cup season is right around the corner once again, and football fans that are due to be cruising during the month-long season have probably begun wondering how possible it will be for them to watch the games. If you’ll be on a cruise during the world cup, rest assured that most of the mainstream lines will be screening the matches onboard.

     

    P&O Cruises

     

    The nation’s favourite cruise line will be showing world cup games onboard on their sports channel – Sports 24. Not only this, but they are actually offering an exciting Baltics cruise which includes a stop in St Petersburg while games are held there.

     

     

    Cunard

    This traditional cruise line will also be screening world cup matches onboard, in cabins and in some public spaces on their sports TV channel.

     

    Azamara Cruises

    With two itineraries including up to three days in St Petersburg, Azamara Cruises are offering guests plenty of opportunities to get absorbed in the hype of the games. Enjoy the beauty and originality of the city as well as taking in a live game or two.

     

    Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises

    These three popular cruise lines will also have ships positioned in St Petersburg during the world cup games, during some fantastic Baltics itineraries.

     

     

    Pullmantur

    As a Spanish cruise line, it possibly won’t be a surprise to learn that Pullmantur are going above and beyond with celebrating the world cup and all things football in 2018. Two ships, Sovereign and Horizon, will offer screenings of the games in public spaces as well as in cabins, and Spanish games will be shown on the big screen in the theatre. As well as this, there will be a number of football themed activities on offer. These will include a mini world cup for guests to show off their skills, a football quiz, and face-painting for the kids. There will also be special arts and crafts workshops at which children can design their very own football kits.



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