Rollin' on the river: Your guide to river cruises

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(Source: Rosanne Coloccia) (Source: Rosanne Coloccia)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

I got the idea for this blog from happening upon an episode of “The Bachelor”...is that wrong? And it wasn’t the handsome guy or handful of beautiful women; it was the setting. A river cruise!

Once considered the vacation choice of older travelers, or experienced cruisers, the most popular river lines have done an exceptional job of opening the market wide, from adventure travelers and families, to singles - and The Bachelor!

[RELATED: 21 places to go in 2018]

Want to do yoga while cruising down the Danube? Take a Wellness cruise! Want to sample local wines while cruising on the Rhine or Moselle? How about a Wine cruise? I myself have done a “Tulip cruise,” sailing the waterways of Holland and Belgium - one of the best, most relaxing vacations I’ve ever experienced - and am looking forward to experiencing the glittering charm of a Christmas Market cruise this December (and you can come with me)!

In addition to the Rhine, Danube, and Moselle, you can also cruise Seine, Soane, Main, Rhone, Portugal’s Douro, Russia’s Volga, the Mekong, the Yangtze - and in 2019, even the Ganges! Southeast Asia cruises have proven extremely popular, often selling out a year in advance!

Another point in favor of river cruising - you are often docked overnight right in the heart of some of the world’s most famous cities! Unlike an ocean cruise, where you’ll often have to dock about an hour or so away from your chosen destination, a river cruise puts you right in the heart of the action, so to speak.

[READ MORE: How to choose your cruise]

And for those who think river cruising only offers low key city tours or pretty scenery excursions, popular river line AmaWaterways has had bicycles on board since their inception, offering passengers the ability to ride from town to town, or simply explore the charming ports on two wheels. They also offer Wellness cruises, featuring top deck yoga while cruising down the river, and a variety of fitness classes and presentations by a variety of health and wellness experts.

Avalon Waterways is also offering “Active Discovery” cruises, which will offer excursions such as a jogging tour of Amsterdam, or a canoe trip on the Danube. They’ll also offer their travelers memorable excursions where they taste locally produced cheese and beer at an ancient abbey, or take an early-morning stroll through Vienna, to a quaint cafe.

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On the surface, a river cruise is not an inexpensive proposition, but when you factor in all it includes - comfortable accommodations, all meals, on board entertainment, wine with lunch and dinner, shore excursions in each destination - it is a highly cost-effective one. Your travel agent also has access to a wide variety of special rates, including Viking River Cruises’ famous 2-for-1 offers! In addition, many river cruise lines off deep air discounts from time to time throughout the year. Keep your eyes open, your calendar handy, and you’ll be ready to take advantage of the terrific values!

[RELATED: Top 10 most romantic cities]

If you want to learn more about river cruising in general, and the specifics on the Christmas Market cruise on the Danube I’m putting together for mid-December, contact me at Rosanne@preferredtravelservices.com and I’ll put you on the list for our March 21st event, with AmaWaterways, at the 16th Street and Camelback location of Total Wine & More.

River cruising can be as relaxing or adventurous as you make it and is a fantastic way to see the heart of country. Hope to see you there!

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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