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5 Differences Between River Cruising And Ocean Cruising

10th July 2014

It’s fair to say that cruising isn’t for everyone. However, the industry is still on the rise and one area of it is expanding quicker than any other. River cruising has seen a boom in recent years as operators strive to add more ships to their fleet, upgrade the ones they already have in operation and make new and exciting destinations available to the cruising community. And this all means that more and more people are falling in love with the idea of holidaying on a cruise vessel.

For people who feel that ocean cruising isn’t for them or those that have tried it and didn’t really enjoy it, river cruising can offer and very different (and possibly more favourable) experience. Here are five differences between the two which may highlight river cruising as a much more attractive option.

More Destinations –

On some ocean cruises around the Mediterranean or Baltic regions, you may well see quite a few different ports during your trip, but this still often includes a lot of time at sea. River cruising, on the other hand, will allow you to see many more destinations within one holiday and give you more time off the ship to explore these new places.


A Rhine river cruise, for example, will provide you with a different port every day (sometimes more) as you sail through a host of European countries including The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.

Less Chance Of Seasickness –

One of the biggest things that might put someone off taking a cruise is the thought that they may spend the majority of the trip trying their best to hold down their last meal. But whilst seasickness can be a frustrating issue when heading out into the oceans, the chances of it troubling you on a river cruise are drastically reduced.

Some highly susceptible travellers may find themselves still feeling a bit queasy, but the majority of people find that the calmer, flatter waters found inland cause no problems at all. This obviously means you’ll spend far less time looking for the nearest toilet and far more time enjoying your holiday.

Fewer Passengers –


One of the most daunting things about most ocean cruises is that you will be sharing the open waves with thousands of other people. The mere thought of spending an extended period at sea on a busy cruise ship is enough to make some people feel anxious; a far cry from the relaxed state you would hope to find yourself in.

However, whilst the largest liners can hold in excess of 5,000 passengers, river cruise ships generally have a much more modest capacity of between 100 and 150. This tends to create a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere and gives you much more of a chance to explore all of the ships amenities.

Closer To The Action –

The size of river cruise ships (and the fact that you are sailing inland) mean that whenever you make a scheduled stop you are already right in the heart of the action. You will be able to get off the ship swiftly and without hassle, before stepping straight into the town centre of your latest destination. This obviously means you won’t have to travel far to see all the things on your sightseeing list and therefore you won’t feel like you are always pushed for time.

Conversely, large cruise ships often dock in ports outside of town; leaving you having to wait in line to exit and then catch a transfer to the major sights.

Better Views –

Amadeus Balcony

Because of the sheer size and layout of an ocean liner, many of the cabins are inside; meaning you don’t even get a window, let alone a view of the passing scenery. This can often lead to people feeling claustrophobic and increasing the chance of seasickness. Obviously, you can upgrade to an outside cabin or balcony suite but this will undoubtedly bring the price up.

When taking a river cruise, all of the cabins will have outside views; eliminating the confusing choice between different grades and offering you a guaranteed view of your fantastic surroundings.

Whether this is just the beginning of your love affair with river cruising or the two of you have been in a mutual relationship for some time; we have plenty of great options for your next holiday. And anyone who feels that cruising is not for them should perhaps see if rolling on the river has a better chance of floating their boat. Give our team a call on the number at the top of your page or contact us online.

These Shorter Itineraries Are The Ideal Introduction To River Cruising

31st March 2020
If, when things are back to normal, you’re thinking of taking a river cruise for the first time and you’re concerned that seven nights is too long, consider some of the options below.

The Best Natural Sights On A European River Cruise

24th March 2020
Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the ship to enjoy breathtaking points of interest. Sometimes the river itself is what everyone wants to see.

Celebrate Women’s History Month By Following In The Footsteps Of These Remarkable Figures

10th March 2020
Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout March in the UK and USA, presenting the perfect opportunity to commemorate some of the most influential females in world history. Why not follow in the footsteps of the great figures listed below?


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