Allowing you to get up close and personal with your favourite cities, a river cruise should definitely be on your cruise bucket-list. Many of the world’s most interesting destinations and landmarks are accessed via a river sailing, and cruise lines have designed smaller and more intimate ships especially to follow these routes, a truly magical experience.

Depending on the destination, river cruise deals can often be had for very little cost, although there are other luxurious options awaiting those who want to make a splash. Either way, river cruises are popular with those who enjoy city breaks or Christmas markets, but can also lead you to forgotten corners of exotic locations.

Why choose a river cruise?

River cruise holidays come with plenty of advantages. It’s the perfect excuse for a mini break and the chance to enjoy the comfort of a more traditional, intimate ship which will become your home away from home during your delightful journey. River cruise ships ooze charm and luxury, allowing you to admire your destination in style! Much like their larger sisters at sea, you can expect mouth-watering cuisine and exciting entertainment to make your sailing one to remember.

Pricing is usually a little lower than ocean cruises, and river cruises in Europe also serve as a great way to get into the innermost cities of the continent. Cameras at the ready because with this kind of sailing, the best scenery at sea is right in front of you – culture and history buffs will be in their element.

River cruise lines and ships

Experts in river cruising, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are ready and waiting to provide you with the ultimate cruise experience. Savouring some of Europe’s cultural hot spots, find yourself sailing down the River Danube for Budapest and Hungary or explore the wonders of Amsterdam onboard the iconic Brabant. The world’s oldest cities await!

The biggest name in the river cruising today is the multi-award winning Viking Cruises. The longboat cruise ships specialise in cruises that educate as much as inspire, frequently taking in stops at Amsterdam, Bucharest and towns dotted along the Rhine. However, trips along the Nile or China’s Yangtze River are some of the more specialised voyages to choose from.

Meanwhile, Avalon Waterways works alongside the communities it visits in styling its ships. Avalon Siem Reap, for instance, has authentic interiors designed by Asian craftsmen to suit its voyages in rivers in that region. More classic river cruises use more neutral style, and each ship benefits from panoramic windows and international dining options onboard.