Growing in popularity every year, river cruises make for one of the best ways to travel. With all the luxury of an ocean liner, but with a much more intimate ambiance, a river cruise lets you get up close and personal with some of Europe’s finest locations. There’s no skirting around the edges on a river cruise, they take you down some of the world’s great waterways and straight onto the heart of some of our finest cities. To make sure you get everything you can out of your cruise we’ve compiled some of the best hints and tips, so read on…

Image by Belhaven2011, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY SA 2.0)

Tips for an Unforgettable River Cruise:

Try to Pack Lightly

Always good advice on holiday, packing light is essential on a river cruise. While large luxury liners have an abundance of space and plenty of down time that requires packing a few more things to stave off the boredom, river cruises stop frequently and are a little more cramped. This means the extra suitcase of books and gizmos can probably stay at home. River cruises also don’t usually have formal nights, so you can leave the suits and dresses behind, too.

 Image by Thomas Depenbusch, used under Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Prepare for all weather

No matter if you are traveling in the heart of summer, it is wise to prepare for changeable weather. A cruise covers a lot of distance so the weather at one end may be much different than at the other, and evenings above deck will usually be chilly. A plastic poncho is a wise investment for any showers, and packing an umbrella is always good idea.

Read the itinerary in advance

Most cruises publish their itinerary beforehand. This gives you the opportunity to plan what you will be doing and what you will be seeing. It also gives you the chance to skip on any excursions you don’t fancy and makes sure you don’t miss any that you do.

Take plenty of cash

Chances are that the countries you’ll be visiting use more than one currency. With this in mind, make sure you have at least some cash for each of the different countries you’ll be stopping off at. The ship’s reception desk will have some currency available, but this will be limited and potentially more expensive. Don’t get caught short by making sure you have a few notes for each stop off.

Be aware of the route

The beauty of a river cruise is that the landscape is constantly changing. However, this does mean that if you are not careful you can miss some of the most scenic sights. Make sure you have a rough idea of where you are and the riverside locations you don’t want to miss. The crew should be on hand to help remind guests of the unmissable sites on route, but make sure you’re not caught short.

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