Cruise Europe – Unpack Once!

The Rhine River flows  from the Swiss Alps through Germany and eventually flows into the North Sea coast in the Netherlands and is the twelfth longest river in Europe. There are many beautiful castles to see along the way, as well as many vineyards and cathedrals – all in beautiful settings.

River cruises in Europe are a very easy way to see some magnificent scenery and get some great cultural and historical experiences. The Rhine river cruises are not the only options, there are also choices like the Danube river cruise, French cruises or one that takes you through to Budapest and indeed a popular cruise takes in the highlights of Russia. The beauty of the cruise is that it is organised for you and that you only have to unpack once, and not lug your gear around. As with all river cruises you need to select the company that you wish to travel with to ensure that they meet your requirements.

Try to choose a cruise where you are travelling with like minded people, though diversity is a great benefit of travelling. There are always new people to meet and to share stories with. However, if you seek more privacy this is a choice you can make.

Also, make sure to find out what is and what is not included in the package. There is fierce competition between the various cruise lines, and you should introduce yourself to the last minute cruise deals that abound. Most cruises will go out of their way to attract your business, so as George Costanza would say in Seinfeld – you “have hand.” Certainly read as many reviews as you can, but a tip is to ignore the top few and the bottom few reviews, as this is a highly competitive industry where there are often ‘skewed’ comments. Don’t forget that word of mouth is a great tool that should be utilised.

Personally, a Rhine river cruise is appealing as the thoughts of seeing aspects of Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands is attractive, and the scenery is awe inspiring. Make sure that you have extra batteries for your camera and a charger for your devices, though the cruise ship does have its own supplies. I would always expect pleasant staff, well-organised excursions, fine dining, and professionalism.

Some of the highlights of cruises are the optional excursions to see various places like Amsterdam where you can take a canal cruise, or visit Edam. Alternatively, you might well wish to see Amsterdam on your own and there is much to see. Some stunning art galleries, museums, Anne Franks’ house, and the historic red light district.

Other stops can include Cologne, Heidelberg, Rudesheim, and onto the Black forest and more. The cruise will give you a number of options as well as the ability to do your own thing.

A good river cruise will also offer excellent suggestions as well as pre-history, information, cultural highlights to help you organise your time wisely. A cruise though such spectacular scenery is a good way to go.

Photo by justinv on Flickr