Top Tips For Your First River Cruise

River Cruises are becoming ever more popular and are now top of many people holiday bucket list. But if you have never experienced river cruising before, the whole concept can be confusing and that’s before you start searching through the many itineraries!

Considering your first river cruise but unsure where to start? Follow these useful hints and tips & if you have any further questions do not hesitate to get in touch!

Determine Budget

Be realistic and decide how much you would like to spend - let’s be honest, you don’t want to get carried away looking at those you cannot afford!

Book Early

Everybody loves a good deal and the odd bargain – unlike ocean cruises, there are rarely last minute offers. In fact, river cruises often sell out months in advance, especially the popular cabins. Ever heard the saying, the early bird catches the worm? Most river cruise operators offer an ‘early booking saver fare’. So book early for the best rates & to secure a cabin of your choice!

Choose A Destination First

River Cruising has a great focus on the destination, they take you right to the heart of iconic cities and immerse you in culture! Decide which river and cities you would love to explore & a selection of dates you are available to travel – This will narrow down the various options of river cruise operators & make your choice of operator a lot simpler. Most river cruise lines operate similar itineraries, they often compete on shore excursions, and one may offer a more ‘exclusive’ or in-depth insight into a city than another. Which do we believe to be the best river cruise line? Find out here.

Consider A Themed Cruise

From arts and impressionists cruises, to wine themed cruises and even knitting or golf focused cruises, there are many options available and they are great for meeting people with similar interests!

Check What’s Included

Most river cruise operators boast an ‘all-inclusive’ fare, however the amount included varies from one operator to another.
Included in most river cruise fares…
- Accommodation
- All meals on-board
- Tea and coffee facilities
- Beer, wine & soft drinks complimentary with meals
- Most shore excursions

Some river cruise operators also include…
- Complimentary beer, wine & soft drinks throughout the cruise
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Personal butler service
- Airport transfers
- Gratuities

Booking Transport & Air Travel

Booking your air travel through your travel agent & the cruise line is a massive time-saver, it’s far more convenient and it provides a sense of security. If there are, for any reason, delays or cancellations, the cruise operator will be aware and will assist in resolving the situation as quickly as possible. Plus, there are sometimes special offers such as flight upgrades if you book through the cruise operator.

Consider A Pre Or Post Cruise Stay

Not only will this help you to adjust to the new time zone, but you have a couple of days to explore an iconic city that you may not be visiting during your cruise. They are perfect for enhancing your experience and lengthening your holiday!

Things to be aware of whilst on-board…

- Be aware of set sail times – be back on board in plenty of time as the ship will leave without you!
- Dress code – smart casual – no formal nights… click here for further information regarding the dress code.
- Navigation realities – It is possible that your cruise can not reach every port of call if the ride is too high or too low – unfortunately this can be unpredictable. A tide too high can stop a ship from getting under the low bridges!

River Cruising With Kathy & Mark


Wondering what to expect on a river cruise? Click here and find out what we think.

Not sure what to pack? Click Here for some tips and a list of essentials!

Looking for a great deal? Visit www.rivercruising.co.uk to find the right River Cruise for you!

Think I’ve missed something or want to know more? leave a comment, let me know!


Come back soon. Jess Nuttall - RiverCruising.co.uk