Try downsizing on your next cruise

Travelwise

There is an ever-expanding world awaiting you with river cruising. A river cruise is a boutique cruising option and is ideal for travelers looking for smaller ships and fewer passengers on board. River cruises feel more intimate and relaxed. If you are accustomed to big cruise ships with large cabins and balconies, water slides, an abundance of restaurant choices and shows, it will surely be a different experience. The entertainment on a river cruise is low keyed and might include a cooking demonstration featuring fresh ingredients from the local specialties, a pianist in the bar or an educational seminar.

If you are ready for a new adventure focused largely “off” the ship, learning about people, culture and endless natural beauty, river cruising is a great choice. For a holiday to escape from your daily routine, discover new places and experience a different pace of life, a river cruise might be the perfect getaway for you. 

European rivers have long been the favored waterways when considering a river cruise. However, there is no need to fly to Europe for a river cruise. In the last few years there have been many changes to the U.S. river cruise industry with new modern ships built similarly to the European river ships such as the ones seen on the Seine or the Danube. With the modernizations of the paddle wheelers, U.S. river cruising can involve a trip down the Mississippi River. There are new ships and routes bringing even more options in river, lake and coastal sailings here in the United States. Cruises are available to the Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, New England, Alaska and more. 

Discover natural, cultural and historical attractions along the waterways and coasts. With no sea days, river vessels stop daily in a different town. Most ships will include a sightseeing excursion at every stop. There are also additional excursions available depending on your adventure level, or you are welcome to explore under your own steam. Passengers can sip wine on a vineyard terrace while enjoying the view of the Columbia River. 

There is daily whale-watching from the deck or exciting zodiac boats trips that will take you up close and personal while visiting the Alaskan glaciers. Hang on tight while zip-lining through Oregon’s lush forests. Listen to Civil War history in Vicksburg, visit music history in Memphis and enjoy listening to the great jazz artists of New Orleans while rolling along the great Mississippi. Kayak through the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan or the sea caves of the Bayfield Peninsula while at Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands. Venture out on a naturalist led hike on Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail to discover glacial landforms and local wildlife along the way. And when you are cruising, the top deck is always open to relax with a good book and a beverage while watching the shoreline scenery.

River cruises in the United States usually take you to the center of the city you are visiting. The ports are the main attraction and you spend more time sightseeing and less time getting to your destination. A typical package consists of everything in a single price, including staterooms, meals and alcoholic beverages. Some cruises include pre or post hotel stays. 

By day, casual comfortable clothing is the way to go. In the evening “smart casual” would be in order. And comfortable shoes are a must. If you hope to explore each exciting stop, plan on a lot of walking, biking and hiking as you learn about America.

Visit your professional travel agency to learn all the wonderful new ways to explore these beautiful United States. 

About Donna Croushore 16 Articles
Donna Croushore is owner/manager of Creative Travel & Cruise, located in Port Warwick. She can be reached at 757-898-4006 or visit the website at www.creativetravelandcruise.com.

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