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WHAT TO EXPECT
A river cruise offers the convenience and luxury of an ocean cruise combined with the in-depth experience of a land tour, plus the personal freedom of a river cruise. Step aboard. Unpack once. Explore, and enjoy.
For many travelers, a journey along the river is just the right pace for getting the lay of the land. Sitting on the top deck of a ship under brilliant blue skies, you gaze on fabled landscapes dotted with castles, villages and vineyards. A flight of stairs down, and you have all the amenities of a modern hotel — restaurants, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, spas, internet access and comfortable staterooms.
Itineraries range from seven to thirty days in length. Consider cruising March through May or September through December, when the crowds are thinner and airfares may be more reasonably priced than during peak periods.
Cruising from one destination to the next often takes place at night while passengers are sleeping, but also most cruises also sail during at least part of a day, giving passengers an opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The majority of meals are served on board in the restaurant or, where available, in alternative dining areas like the smaller aft lounge or on the top deck. In some ports of call, meals will be at restaurants or other dining venues, allowing for late-evening strolls into town and the enjoyment of local shore side entertainment.
Daily sightseeing is included with local guides who are true experts in the history and culture of their areas. Their in-depth knowledge is invaluable as it allows you to learn so much in the short time available.
Some river cruises overnight in ports and cruise during the day; others cruise during the night and tie up in port during the day. Both approaches allow for dinners ashore and late-evening strolls into town.
Prepare to step ashore in fairy tale towns and fabled cities, immerse yourself in contemporary culture, and learn something about the history of the towns along the Continent's greatest rivers, or prepare to be steeped in the exotic sights and sounds along the fabled rivers of China and Southeast Asia.
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