The Danube and Rhine remain the most popular rivers and home to some of the most exciting European cities like the Hungarian and Austrian capitals Budapest and Vienna on the Danube and the German cathedral city Cologne on Rhine.
However, interest in more exotic locations is growing fast, with Myanmar’s Yangon River offering the opportunity to see breath-taking temples, amazing jungle countryside and colonial remnants of the country’s past when it was known as Burma.
Although river cruise ships are much smaller than ocean vessels and have fewer onboard facilities, many people enjoy the more personal atmosphere of being able to recognise most of the people travelling with them.
“These smaller cruise ships offer a greater level of intimacy,” explains CruiseDeals.co.uk Marketing Manager, Ian Crawford.
“Their size also makes them incredibly versatile, allowing river cruises to explore corners of the world that have otherwise been unreachable by cruise ship.”
The most impressive vessels include Viking’s Viking Rinda, carrying 190 guests and featuring an observation lounge, organic herb gardens and an on-deck putting green.
While on Avalon’s Avalon Myanmar, a maximum of 36 guests can experience floor-to-ceiling windows in each of the bedrooms, alongside a scenic open-air lounge.
Eighteen new river cruise ships are expected to have been launched by the end of the year, an overall increase of more than 10 per cent.
“It’s rare to find a trend within the cruise industry that is as popular with first timers as it is with cruising veterans,” says Crawford.
“River cruising is ideal for first time cruisers who are wary of trying one of the larger, ocean ships.
“It’s also the perfect choice for more experienced cruisers who are eager to try something new and experience a different kind of itinerary.”