April 11, 2013 | By Collette Peck
1. Don’t forget your bathing suit, even in colder months. After a long bike ride, a soak in the heated pool or jacuzzi feels wonderful.
2. Book well in advance, up to a year. These cruises are very popular not just with individuals but with corporate and affiliate groups. Booking a group often results in lower deposits and often a shipboard credit.
3. Keep in mind that cabin sizes – even suites – may be smaller than on traditional ocean ships. The river locks and bridges dictate what size these ships can be.
4. Bring a small backpack and lightweight rain jacket, especially for biking.
5. Leave the cocktail dresses and ties at home – river cruising isn’t formal.
6. Be clear about what’s included: Excursions may be, but soft drinks, bottled water, or tips may not. It’s important to know in advance, as each line is different.
7. If you’ve been to Europe, this is a great way to see it from a different perspective and visit cities you might not otherwise.
8. River cruises are perfect for anyone worried about seasickness – there’s absolutely no feeling of movement on Europe’s rivers.
9. International clients should be aware that most guides and staff are all English-speaking.
10. If you want to see the Christmas markets, a Danube river cruise is the way to do it. From late November until Christmas, every town has one, so you can explore a variety of markets.