(This is a guest post by Gloria Mabery.)

COVID-19 has probably messed with your travel plans, and you may be stuck at home, daydreaming about what you’ll do when things loosen up a bit. If this sounds like you, one of the things you should be considering is a river cruise. Whether you decide to go on a Vietnam river cruise, or any of the thousands of other options available, there are many reasons that make this a great idea. Let’s not waste time and dive into them.

1. A river cruise is perfect for solo travel

One of the main differences between an ocean cruise and a river cruise is the amount of people on board. With a river cruise, you’ll seldom go over 200 passengers, which is actually great. Those kinds of cruises come with plenty of activities for everyone, from people who travel in groups, to solo travelers. And to further sweeten the pot, those activities are meant to bring people together.

Even as a solo traveler, you’ll find yourself constantly talking to others, whether it’s over dinner, or when you’re enjoying one of the shore activities. You’ll meet new people, and you’ll enjoy the entire experience.

River cruise in Hunan China

River cruise in Hunan China. Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash.

2. The service is brilliant

Considering that you don’t really have too many people on board, the staff is able to dedicate more attention to each passenger individually. Within a day or two, they’ll know you by name. Give them a couple more days, and they’ll know how you like your coffee and how many ice cubes you want in your whiskey.

To some extent, they’ll make you feel like you’re on a cruise all by yourself. The staff is really attentive, and this is another one of those things that makes a river cruise preferable to an ocean cruise, where you’re “just another passenger”.

3. There is always something to do on a river cruise

A river cruise is never boring. Since you don’t spend your days out on open water with nothing around you, you can enjoy an interesting view any time you step out on the balcony. Whether it’s a tropical rainforest, or a floating village you’re passing by, you’ll get to see a lot of things you wouldn’t otherwise.

We already mentioned the shore excursions, one of the highlights of a river cruise. If you’re cruising through a rainforest, for example, you’ll visit wildlife reserves and tropical villages that are otherwise unreachable. If you opt for a more urban river cruise, you’ll visit cities and explore their surroundings as part of an organized tour. This is brilliant because you have experienced local guides showing you everything you need to see, without wasting time on unnecessary trips.

4. You get a much better value

Without discussing prices, which vary greatly depending on your specific situation, it’s undeniable that a river cruise provides much better value than an ocean cruise. Unlike the latter, where you pretty much have to pay extra for everything, a river cruise affords you an experience that you could call all-inclusive.

River cruise on the Mosel River

River cruise on the Mosel River. Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash.

While the shore excursions are flexible, and you can sometimes cancel or modify them, many things on the ship are included in the price you pay. We’re talking about the dinner, soft drinks, beer, wine, and more. Most of the river cruise providers will get you free coffee at any time during the day (or the night), and some will even include a free drink or two outside the regular meal times. Oh, and free Wi-Fi is almost always included, too. All things considered, you won’t be spending too much money outside of what you pay for the cruise itself. This is quite a contrast to the constant selling you’d experience on an ocean cruise.

5. Your health is safer on a river cruise

Considering everything that’s going on in the world, safety is a pretty big concern, especially with a cruise where you have a lot of passengers on board. And this is another reason why a river cruise is much safer in this regard than an ocean cruise. Not only do you have a lot less people on board, but most of the operators still offering those cruises are more than careful when it comes to respecting the safety standards.

All cabins are cleaned and sanitized regularly, and the staff follows strict protocols to make sure everyone on board is safe. You’ll also get daily crew health checks, so any and all health concerns are being addressed and monitored.

At the end of the day, provided you opt for a reputable provider, you should be good to go, and stay safe!

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