Rhine River Cruising
River cruising had experienced a dramatic surge in popularity prior to 2020, but then the Covid pandemic dealt a major setback to the entire industry. However, based on the enthusiasm for travel we have observed, relaxed travel restrictions and diminishing anxieties related to Covid, river cruising appears to be poised to regain its momentum in 2023. My husband and I, and close friends of ours for 50 years, were fortunate enough to take a Viking River Cruise in the spring aboard the Viking Edjir.
Our Viking river cruising experience was great! The food, entertainment, and excursions were all top-notch. Our friends and a couple of others had some mobility issues, so Viking organized a special group to accommodate them on our shore excursions. What a nice touch!
We chose Viking’s Rhine River Getaway cruise, which started in Amsterdam and ended in Basel, Switzerland. The itinerary was really special, with stops along the way in Kinderdijk Netherlands (known for its windmills and other ingenious technologies created in the 18th century to control flooding); Cologne, Koblenz, Rudesheim, and Speyer Germany (all of which displayed their own unique character and charm marked by ancient ruins, medieval castles, and rich histories); and Strasbourg, France (located along the border of France and Germany which lends itself to a lively mix of cultural influences). Wrapping up in Basel, Switzerland was also very interesting because Basel sits at the point where French, German and Swiss borders all meet. My favorite part of the entire journey was the day we got to the castles. It was a beautiful day and we were able to sit out on the deck with a glass of wine, listening to classical music, and seeing a castle around every bend.
I’ve done several cruises during my career as a travel advisor, including big ships with over 3,000 people, sailing ships, and expedition cruises. This was my first time on the longships doing a river cruise and I must say I can see why so many people love river cruising. Some of the things I like best about river cruising are no large crowds, a very casual atmosphere, no jackets, ties or reservations for dinner, and no sea sickness! If any of you are ready to jump onboard and experience a river cruise, just give us a call at Avant Travel and we will be glad to help!