For those only familiar with the rules of big ships, here are three reasons riverboat fanatics come back, time and again, for more.
Forget buffet dining with 2,000 strangers. River cruises average about 200 passengers per boat, so the waitstaff will likely know your name by the end of the first meal (and so will your fellow travelers).
Instead of dance clubs, karaoke, and glitzy Vegas-style reviews, nightlife on river cruises trends toward string quartets, guest lectures on regional history, and staring out at actual scenery, not just a watery horizon.
The dirty little secrets of ocean cruises? They always charge extra for excursions, and beer and wine costs are on par with pro sports arenas. River cruise lines opt for flat fees up front.
River cruising is such a fast-growing trend that there are twice as many new river ships debuting in 2012 than there are traditional big ships. In fact, Viking River is building 6 new ships to accommodate the demand.
I for one thought that this was for the older generation but I was completely wrong in more ways than one. This new way to cruise is for the adventurous. You are docked right into the heart of the city. You walk on cobblestones. You are eating pho, knockwurst and other traditional foods. You are there to really experience the cultures and sounds of the world. This is for the “Bucket List” crowd.