a large body of water

Why River Cruises?

With a year-on-year growth of roughly 7%, river cruising popularity is firmly on the ascent. Offering sophisticated urban exploration in luxurious and intimate surroundings; river cruising, particularly in Europe, is proving alluring for a range of demographics.

Eschewing traditional beach holidays and city breaks, many people are turning to river cruises to help them pack more into their precious time away.

Beautiful Exploration

Rather than sitting in traffic exiting the out-of-town airport; river cruising grants you a favourable first experience and glimpse of a new city. Floating gently into the historic cities of the Danube, Rhine or Main provides a chance to really appreciate and absorb the beauty of your surroundings.

With many major cities locating their prized monuments and buildings on the waterways – cruising into port is an exceptional way to quickly take in many highlights in one fell swoop. In fact, we believe that watching a new city arise over the horizon as you enjoy breakfast is one of the great delights of river cruising.

Often arriving in the beating heart of a city, port visits can be invested in exploring the region’s must-see sights and hidden gems. Helping you make the most of a short stay in a city, river cruising can significantly reduce transfer times to landmarks and sites of interest. 

More Port Visits

Without huge expanses of ocean to cross, river cruising can help you visit a large number of ports, cities and countries in an amazingly short time. Creating a blend of peaceful cruising through scenic waterways and cultural city visits, a well-considered cruise itinerary can help cultivate a beautifully balanced holiday experience. 

And there is absolutely no obligation to explore the cities the ships enter – staying aboard and enjoying the cityscape from a quiet vessel is a pleasurable pursuit in itself.

Intimate Surroundings

The term ‘cruise’ carries with it certain connotations, mainly that the vessel will be a mega liner packed with a few thousand guests and revellers jostling over the remaining sunbeds. Fortunately for river cruise guests, they are unlikely to be sharing their holiday with such numbers – with river cruise ships reducing their capacity to just a few hundred.

Partially due to the constraints of sailing on rivers rather than the sea, and partially to create a more personal experience, river cruise ships are traditionally very intimate. With a high crew to passenger ratio, the service levels remain high.

The smaller guest numbers also offers a few logistical benefits. Not only is it easier to get a seat at prime time in a fantastic on-board restaurant, but embarkation and disembarkation days are much simpler than on ocean liners with a few thousand heads to count. 

Inclusive Experience

With inclusive packages available as standard aboard many river cruise trips, the money clip seldom has to make an appearance during the holiday. River cruises traditionally offer significantly more in their inclusive packages than their ocean-faring brethren – giving you greater freedom to enjoy your time on the waters.

From food and drink to exclusive excursions, an Emerald Cruises river cruise provides plenty of extras, at no additional cost - helping you relax, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and stunning waterside locations.