Thursday, July 24, 2014

Everything You Want to Know About European River Cruising in One Place

We were novices when we embarked on our first river cruise last year to sail from Antwerp to Amsterdam. Sure, we’ve lost count on how many ocean cruises we have taken over the past two decades and we have sailed on Baltic and Mediterranean voyages, but we didn’t really know what to expect on European waterways inland. As it turned out we enjoyed river cruising and returned to Europe this year to sail again from Paris along the River Seine.

What we needed to know before that first trip has been compiled by my friend and colleague, the connoisseur of cruising himself—the Berliz guide to River Cruising in Europe by Douglas Ward is now available to help navigate the fastest growing segment of the worldwide cruise industry. With riverboats being launched at an astonishing rate, Ward takes an in-depth look at what they have to offer and what travelers can expect from each company and vessel, which he advises should be called “riverships.”

In the guidebook Ward reviews the major river cruise lines and offers reviews and ratings of each rivership in their fleets. The reviews don’t cover every feature, but do hit the important ones—for instance, what the accommodations and public rooms are like and whether there is an elevator on board.

In addition, there is information about the overall experience and what you can expect to see and do along Europe’s major rivers. Ward also anticipates the questions most frequently asked about river cruises and answers them in detail.

If you’re new to river cruises, this is your guide to making the best decisions before booking. Even if you have already reserved your sailing, take my word for it that the chapter on Europe’s Rivers and Waterways is worth the cost of the book. I wish I’d had it before my river cruises for that chapter alone.

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