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River Cruising: Five Things You Need To Know

With So Many New Ships, Will the Rivers Get Overcrowded?

Yes and no. The most popular rivers will become busier, but the increased capacity isn't expected to lead to overcrowding, at least not yet. In some cases, river cruise lines are adding ships in new regions which are not currently serviced regularly by other lines.

Is it Worth the Money?

A river cruise includes your accommodation (onboard the ship), your transportation to each destination (by ship), all your meals (onboard and packed lunches), some drinks (including wine at dinner), and, in most cases, daily tours and excursions.  If comparing the cost of a river cruise to the price of an ocean cruise or another package tour, keep in mind what is -- and isn't --included  in each option. River cruises are typically the most inclusive option, which can make them excellent value.

What's All the Fuss about River Levels?

All river cruise lines are subject to the same issues caused by changes in water levels, and occasionally this may mean that a ship cannot pass through a particular stretch of the river. In this situation, passengers will be taken between two points by bus, rejoining their cruise after the problem area, or change to a different ship. It's unfortunate, but unavoidable. 

Isn't River Cruising for Old People?

Yes, and younger people, too. Typically river cruises have attracted an older demographic -- however, this is changing as operators and agents target promotions to attract a younger market.  It should be kept in mind however, that a river cruise is all about the destination and scenery and typically, the entertainment is simple, dining can be fairly regimented, activities for kids are limited and although you'll usually find a bar onboard, there may be only one.  

About Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic ® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 100,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world's largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 74 million unique monthly visitors.* TripAdvisor, Inc.'s travel media brands include,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, July 2012

Cruise Critic and The Independent Traveler are either trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. TripAdvisor is a trademark of TripAdvisor, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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