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9 Myths About River Cruising

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

🎧 Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Would you love to have a unique travel experience that combines the luxurious feeling of cruising while exploring in-depth local and picturesque destinations? A river cruise might just be what you’re looking for! What did you just think? That a river cruise isn’t for you? Well, if you’re willing to hold that thought and explore some river cruise myths with me, you just might see river cruises in a whole new light.

Myth 1: River cruising is only for rich people.

Let's start by addressing the idea that river cruising is only for the elite. Yes, of course luxury options exist. That’s where the myth originated! However, there is a wide range of river cruises to suit various budgets. From affordable a la carte options to all-inclusive packages, you can find a river cruise that fits your wallet without compromising on quality or enjoyment. Whether you choose a cozy cabin or a luxurious suite, the experience of cruising along the river will still be delightful and unforgettable.

Myth 2: River cruises are boring—there’s no entertainment.

Some people mistakenly believe that river cruises are tranquil and uneventful. On the contrary, river cruises offer a great blend of relaxation and fun activity. Imagine getting an overview of the the next day’s activities for you to choose from each evening, and then during the day, wandering through cobblestone streets, discovering the local history, enjoying live music performances, learning local dances, or participating in an authentic cooking class (and eating the delicious results, of course). There's something for everyone to keep the adventure going! River cruises offer many entertainment options to suit different tastes and ensure that boredom is never on the itinerary.

Myth 3: River cruises are for old people.

River cruising is understandably popular among older travelers, but it's a misconception that they are exclusively for them. Many river cruise lines cater to a diverse audience, including solo travelers, couples, and families with kids. With a range of activities and excursions, river cruises offer fabulous experiences for travelers of all ages. Families can enjoy special children's programs and onboard activities, while couples can enjoy romantic dinners, or evenings on deck under starry skies. The intergenerational aspect of river cruises also provides a fantastic opportunity for different generations to bond and create lasting memories together.

Myth 4: River cruises are only in Europe.

Europe is famous for its stunning river cruise destinations, such as the Danube or Rhine, but the world of river cruising is not confined to this continent alone. You can explore the mighty Mekong River in Southeast Asia, embark on an adventure along the Amazon, or discover the enchanting Nile in Egypt. Each destination offers unique cultural experiences, breathtaking scenery, and the chance to immerse yourself in a different part of the world, making every river cruise a new and exciting adventure. The options are virtually endless!

Myth 5: You need a passport for a river cruise.

This one goes along with #4. And you definitely don't always need a passport for a river cruise! Some itineraries may require a passport due to international travel or crossing borders, but many river cruises take place right here in the U.S.A. So, whether you're a first-time traveler or need a break from passport-related logistics, a river cruise can still be on the horizon for you. The Mississippi and the Columbia Rivers are perfect examples of fantastic locations you can discover without the hassle of passports and visas. They’re a convenient and stress-free way to experience the joys of river cruising.

Myth 6: River cruises are crowded; there’s no privacy.

You’re kidding, right? River cruises provide a WAY more intimate and cozy atmosphere compared to their oceanic counterparts. With smaller ship sizes, you'll enjoy personalized service, uncrowded public spaces, and the chance to form lasting friendships with fellow travelers. Plus, many ships have spacious staterooms and private balconies where you can relax and unwind in tranquility. There are some great places onboard to enjoy breathtaking views of the passing landscapes. Savor the peace and quiet of the river.

Myth 7: River don’t have flexible itineraries

Some people think that river cruises are too rigid in their itineraries, being so scheduled that there’s no room to explore on your own. False! River cruises are designed to offer a perfect balance of structured shore excursions and free time for independent exploration. You can enjoy guided tours led by knowledgeable local guides, who will tell you about all of the stories and secrets of each destination. Or, venture out on your own, wander through charming streets, and stumble upon delightful cafes, boutiques, and attractions. River cruises offer the best of both worlds—curated experiences and the flexibility to create your own memorable moments. You can even skip the guided tour entirely if you want, and either explore on your own, or just stay onboard and relax! It’s completely your vacation.

Myth 8: River cruising is just for history lovers.

It’s true that history enthusiasts will find plenty to indulge in during a river cruise, but you don’t have to love history to find so much more to discover on a river cruise. Nature lovers will appreciate the breathtaking landscapes, wildlife sightings, and opportunities for hiking or biking. Foodies can savor regional cuisines, vineyard visits, and culinary demonstrations. Art aficionados can explore museums and galleries, enjoying the works of renowned artists up close and personal. Adventure seekers can indulge in thrilling water sports or embark on scenic hikes or biking trips. The possibilities are so diverse! I think that river cruising has something for everyone.

Myth 9: River cruising doesn’t work for active travelers.

If you're an active traveler who loves to stay on the move, fear not! River cruises offer a variety of activities that cater to your adventurous spirit. Go on a bike tour along scenic paths, pedaling through picturesque countryside and charming villages. Hiking excursions to panoramic viewpoints will reward you with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment. Some river cruises even offer kayaking or paddleboarding adventures, navigating the tranquil waters and explore hidden coves. You can immerse yourself in the destinations, get your daily dose of adrenaline, and still return to the comfort and luxury of your floating hotel. River cruising combines the best of both worlds for active explorers, providing such a great blend of adventure and relaxation.

What do you think? Did I hit on one of your misconceptions? Don't let the wrong idea hold you back from experiencing the joys of this unique travel style. Whether you're seeking relaxation, cultural immersion, or thrilling exploration, river cruises have something for everyone. They’re affordable, entertaining, flexible, and active. Let me know if you still have some questions about river cruising; I’d love to have a conversation, and find the perfect river cruise option for you.

And don’t forget: if you’re reading this before October 2023, check out the river cruise I’m inviting you to go on with me: the Seine River cruise in France, from Paris to the Beaches of Normandy, October 14-21, 2023. Click here for more info!


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