River cruising offers a completely different experience to an ocean voyage. Credit: Riviera Travel

River cruise myths busted

Author: Will Payne

Published on:

Never been on a river cruise before? Not sure what to
expect? Here Will Payne smashes five misconceptions
about sailing on the world’s great waterways

1. Aren’t river cruises just for older travellers?
No. Despite being a popular holiday choice with the over-50s market, river cruises offer a range of onboard amenities, excursions and itineraries for all ages. For example, Riviera Travel’s MS Emily Brontë has a gym and wellness studio, as well as a panoramic observation lounge and bar where you can enjoy breathtaking views with a cocktail in hand.

2. Don’t you need to dress formally for dinner?
No. While you’re welcome to don a posh frock, black tie or glittering gown, there is usually no requirement to dress up for your evening meal. Some cruise lines do have a dedicated formal night on certain itineraries, when guests are encouraged to attend suited and booted, but this will be advertised well in advance of your sailing.

The dress code on river cruises is typically casual and comfortable. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Aren’t river cruises expensive?
Quite the contrary. A common misconception is that even a short jaunt along the river will set you back a pretty penny, but Riviera Travel’s five-day Enchanting Rhine and Yuletide Markets itinerary comes in at £914 per person, which equates to around £228 a night. On the face of it that may seem expensive, but when you consider that the line throws in a complimentary superior drinks package, return flights and transfers and four tours, it’s a steal.

4. Aren’t river cruises only available in Europe?
Definitely not. While the Rhine, Rhone, Danube and Seine are certainly very popular, there are stunning waterways to be explored all round the world. You can meander along the Mekong in southeast Asia aboard RV La Marguerite, for example, or discover the wonders of the Egyptian Nile with
MS Movenpick Darakum.

See China from the water on a Yangtze river cruise. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Aren’t river cruises slow and boring?
Yes and no. Yes, river ships sail at a slower pace than their oceangoing counterparts, but river cruises are by no means dull. For a start there is always a view – often one of stunning beauty on each side of the ship – and there are very few ‘sea days’ spent entirely on board. For example, on Riviera Travel’s Blue Danube itinerary you’ll visit seven great cities – including Budapest, Salzburg and Vienna – during your seven-night cruise.

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