When planning my own or others family vacations, I often struggle with whether to move around from place to place and try to see as much of a destination as possible or to pick one spot and stay there—slow down and settle in. Recently, I’ve discovered an awesome 3rd option—river cruising! You have a beautiful “home” for the duration of your trip and move from one interesting place to another all without having to pack and unpack, lug suitcases and gear, or worry about transfers and finding your next hotel. Stress free and exciting!
River cruise ships are not the same as ocean cruise ships which can carry thousands of other travelers and where much of the activity is ship board. We are talking many fewer fellow travelers and your days are spent exploring the destination just as you would from a hotel. It’s just that your hotel moves and has an ever-changing view from your balcony!
Once at port, you have a lot of different choices of excursions ranging from biking, hiking to culinary and in-depth cultural experiences. You can be as active or as relaxed as you want. Most river cruising happens in Europe but you can also cruise the Chobe River in Botswana, the Mekong Delta and the Amazon!
Some people have the idea that river cruises are not kid-friendly but this is definitely not the case. Most river cruise companies welcome children (some have adjoining cabins for more room) and there are sailings in Europe specifically for families with several operators.
So when you just can’t decide between keeping on the move and staying put, consider doing both!