How to Plan the Perfect River Cruise in 2023
Planning a river cruise for 2023 is an exciting experience, and with the right preparation, can lead to an unforgettable journey. Here’s your definitive guide on how to plan the perfect river cruise, from researching routes to shopping for tickets and packing for the trip.
Identify Your Destination and Rivers to Cruise.
When it comes to planning the perfect river cruise in 2023, the first step is to choose your destination and the rivers you’d like to explore. Check out some of the most popular rivers around the world such as the Amazon, Rhine, Danube and the Nile—each of which offer its own unique experiences. I have a lot of great articles on these rivers and the river cruise companies that sail them. Learn more by clicking here.
Once you’ve identified your destination and rivers to explore, it’s important to consider things like cost, length of the cruise and when is the best time to go. Prices can vary depending on the season, and some areas may only be accessible during certain times of the year. Researching different companies can also help you get a feel for the type of experience each offers in terms of accommodations, activities, food menus and more. Having a general feel for what to expect can help you narrow down which river cruises might suit you best. My favourite companies include Viking River Cruises, AmaWaterways and Avalon Waterways - though there are many more companies to explore such as Uniworld, Emerald and Scenic.
Pick the Time of Year That’s Right for You.
The time of year you choose to take your river cruise in 2023 can make the difference between a comfortable trip or one that’s too hot or too cold. Depending on where you plan to go and the rivers you want to explore, certain times of the year may be more favourable than others—for example, it’s generally best to visit Northern Europe during the spring and summer months when it’s warmer and there is less chance of rain. Do some research online, ask around, and talk to specialists at local travel agencies to help decide which season is perfect for you.
Depending on the duration of your cruise, it may also be smart to choose a time when the river is at its highest. When rivers are at their fullest, it’s easier for riverboats to navigate shallow areas and get closer to the edges of banks than in normal season flow levels, although too high of waters can prevent river cruises from passing under bridges. Of course, this also means you should take into account any extreme weather patterns that could affect river cruising during different seasons in a particular region. Talk to locals or experienced travellers in the area just to make sure that your time of year is free from significant flooding or ice accumulations that could potentially delay or even divert your route.
Research Available Cruise Lines and Routes.
Once you’ve done your research and chosen the perfect river cruise in 2023, it's time to check out the available river cruise lines. Consider things like amenities offered, price points, activities included in the itinerary, and onboard experiences for passengers. With so many cruise lines offering options for different budgets and preferences–including luxury ships with all-inclusive packages or more basic cruises with a variety of excursions–you’re sure to find something that fits what you’re looking for.
When researching river cruise lines, don’t forget to look at the routes and destinations available. Most river cruises either have one-way voyages with stops in different countries or round trips that simply take you back to your starting point. Make sure to also research the attractions and sights along your route so you can plan ahead and pick an itinerary that will be most enjoyable for you. This step is perhaps the most crucial in planning a successful river cruise!
Book Flights and Check Visa Requirements.
Once you’ve decided on a route, city and time of year for your river cruise in 2023, it's time to book your flight. Depending on the destination, you might need to get a visa before leaving, so make sure to check visa requirements ahead of time. Additionally, double-check that any tickets you purchase are refundable or transferable in case flight arrangements change due to unforeseen circumstances.
You'll also want to look into optional shore excursions you may wish to take during your trip. Tour companies can provide helpful insights as well as booking options and advice on the best times of year to enjoy a particular activity or spot - like wine tasting in Bordeaux or touring the fascinating city of Prague. Taking the time to research these details now will ensure that you get the most out of your river cruise experience.
Consider Splurging for a Suite or Specialty Excursion.
River cruising can be an unforgettable, luxurious experience. For those looking to get the most out of their river cruise in 2023, there are plenty of special touches you can add to your trip. Consider splurging for a spacious suite with all the amenities, or for a specialty excursion that will give you something truly memorable. Cruising onboard a luxury vessel with specialized offerings will make your vacation even more special.
With specialty tours and experiences from hot air balloon rides to private city walking tours, there’s something for everyone. Take a few moments to consider what you truly want in your river cruise experience—which activities you’d like to participate in, whether or not the suite accommodations are worth it for you, and then begin researching the lines and itineraries that best fit those desires. Most of all, enjoy planning your river cruise — with all of these special touches, it offers an amazing opportunity for exploration and relaxation.
Are you looking for more information on river cruising? Why not check out this article - 5 Reasons Why You Should Plan A River Cruise
Already booked? Check out this guide - What to Pack for a European River Cruise
Ready to start planning your river cruise? Click here to get started.