River cruising and ocean cruising is like comparing apples and bananas – they are two totally separate things.  But it's been gaining in popularity over the past few years, for these reasons:

  • It’s a far more intimate experience, with only several hundred passenger total, rather than thousands.
  • You don’t get seasick, because you’re not on a rough ocean, and you’ll see land every day of your trip
  • There’s more included, from drinks to food to excursions
  • Some are more for adults, and some are geared to family and multi-generational travel.

While they seem to have a reputation for “older” travelers, the average age of a river cruise guest has come down to about 45 years old.  Other travel companies have partnered with river cruise companies to enhance the traveler experience.  River cruise itineraries can have special emphasis with photography, wine, beer, religious themes or any other common interest.  Most river cruises are in Europe, but some are now going to Southeast Asia, China, Africa (Zambezi, Nile). More are going to US rivers such as the Mississippi and Columbia and Snake.  Finally, you can always add land components to the cruise, either pre or post.

Here are the most popular cruise companies:






Crystal and Tauck

American Cruise Lines, American Queen and Victory


I also review a few travel news stories and preview next week's episode, culinary travel.

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