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It may be hard for a veteran ocean cruiser to be convinced they’ll love river cruising, but I want to give it my best shot. Ocean cruises may have been a popular way to ‘sea’ the world for decades, and for good reason. They’re affordable, convenient and offer travelers peace of mind knowing that everything they need for a fantastic getaway is all in one place. What could be better than that? But perhaps its time to come in from the ocean and take your experience inland on a culturally enriching river cruise.

You might think that the words “inland” and “cruise” are incompatible. Well, let me take the month of May to convince you that a luxury river cruiseline like AmaWaterways will have you re-thinking life on the ocean. AmaWaterways river cruises combine all the comfort and convenience of an ocean cruise with the excitement of European excursions at each port of call.

To all cruise-lovers, perhaps it’s time to shake up the ocean liner experience for an entirely new way to explore the world’s waterways. Let’s talk about why my past ocean cruisers love rivercruising, and why they love experiencing Europe, Egypt and Africa’s iconic rivers with AmaWaterways.

Here are the top 10 reasons we know why, as an ocean cruiser, you will love river cruising, and why AmaWaterways is an excellent first way to experience the world’s most iconic rivers:

love river cruising

1. The Scenery Changes All Day

While ocean cruises take you to countries, river cruises take you through them. You can spend two full days at sea or more getting to a destination, and don’t get me wrong, there is something incredibly serene about endless ocean as far as the eye can see. However, river cruises boast postcard perfect scenes all day, and because of their smaller size , river ships bring you to destinations ocean cruises cannot.

2. A More Intimate Experience

River cruising offers a more intimate setting. While ocean lines can be anywhere from 600 – over 5000 passengers, most river ships range from 144 to 196 passengers. This means that you’ll never have to wait in line, for anything. You have more time to enjoy all of the onboard amenities and experience closer encounters with your fellow passengers and crew. It’s hard not to become fast friends on a river cruise. There are also no tenders, which means you don’t have to waste time getting to and from ports so no more worrying about ‘beating the crowds’ off the ship.

love river cruising
Rouen, France

3. Dive Head First into the Local Culture

Ever get that sinking feeling when you pull into port on one of those smaller, more intimate islands and there are already 4 other gargantuan ships when you arrive? Me too. AmaWaterways lets you get away from the touristy ports and explore hidden gems. Large ocean liner ports can receive up to 20,000 visitors on the same day but with a river cruise, you’ll arrive into port with only a few hundred visitors. Not only will you avoid long lines at your destination, but you’ll also enjoy leisurely excursions at each incredible port of call.  You’ll be able to take in the local culture and history of every unique town that you visit.

love river cruising
Porto, Portugal

4. Take Your Time On Shore

With many departures from the destinations being later in the afternoon or evening, unlike most ocean cruises, river cruises allow you to enjoy local nightlife in select ports of call. Whether you choose an evening walk through cobblestone streets, catch a local show or performance, or savour a cocktail after dinner while listening to a local musician. Being able to immerse yourself in the local culture day and night is far more fulfilling than just popping onto an island for the day.

Durnstein Castle

5. Castle Views

That’s right, castle views from the luxurious comfort of your private balcony. From Amsterdam to Basel, along the Rhine River and in Budapest, Bratislava, Durnstein and Passau on the Danube, there are castles aplenty. And what’s more, you get to throw on some walking shoes, step ashore, and take a wander through the pages of your favourite childhood fairytale.

On-Board Happy Hour

6. 5-Star Reviews

5-star reviews are only earned through 5-star service. River cruises in general have a much higher satisfaction rating than most ocean cruises. And whether you’re unwinding with a glass of wine on the Sun Deck, enjoying the night breeze under the stars, or enjoying an unexpected encounter with kind locals on a meticulously arranged walking tour, you’ll soon find out why AmaWaterways is award winning.

love river cruising
An On-Shore Cycling Excursion is Perfect for Families

7. River Cruises Are Perfect for Families & Groups

One of the biggest misconceptions about river cruising is that they are for individuals of a certain demographic. Not true. I’ve personally booked a number of multi-generational families, from grandparents, to teenage children. The entire family will bond over a range of themed cruises and activities from food to history to countryside excursions. As for groups, AmaWaterways offers the ideal venue, luxury accommodation, superb food and drink and of course, myriad activities and excursions. Some members of your group may choose to take advantage of spa services, or the sundeck pool, or cultural activities, while others may prefer to seek out a quiet space with a book. And mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together again as a family or group.

AMA Waterways, Bordeaux, France

8. Taste the Difference

Whether you’re into wine tasting or local street food, a river cruise provides an exceptional culinary experience both on the ship and at every destination. The onboard culinary team focuses on utilizing fresh local ingredients. Dishes are paired with local wines. There are absolutely no mass-produced meals, nor any basic buffet food when you cruise with AmaWaterways.

9. A Higher Variety of Experiences

Let’s not forget just how diverse every European country is. Some ocean cruises can feel like much of the same over and over. The charming towns and cities perched on the banks are both in close proximity to these iconic rivers, and each port is treasure trove of history, culture, architecture and stories. Guests can choose from myriad experiences like visiting local breweries, hiking to castles, cycling through trendy neighborhoods or visiting museums that highlight the local culture.

love river cruising
Twin Stateroom (Two Balconies)

10.  WorldClass Accommodations

One of the reasons ocean cruisers love river cruising is because river cruise have some of the highest percentage of repeat clients is because of where guests like you get to lay their head every night. Guests love stepping into a luxurious and spacious suite or twin-balcony stateroom that becomes their home away from home for the next 7, 9, or 10 days. Each of AmaWaterways staterooms is tastefully decorated and is river facing. Whether you choose to have a window view, a private balcony, or twin balcony (both a French and outside balcony), you’ll always have a room with a view.

So, there you have it. 10 great reasons why ocean cruisers love river cruising, and why YOU will love cruising with AmaWaterways. Have I convinced you?

Whether you’re planning a special anniversary trip, want to take your group or family on the river, or you want to get away with some very special friends, I would love to help you start laying the groundwork for your first (or fifth!) journey with AmaWaterways. Be sure to visit my Facebook Page to join me for a Live virtual cruise event!