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Updated: Feb 1, 2022

If you’ve cruised on a large ocean ship in the past, you might wonder what there is to do on a river cruise vessel. While there may not be an all-night dance club or casino, you will enjoy ample options for how to spend your time.

When you’re not out on an excursion in a port of call, you’ll be enjoying the many amenities offered on the ship, as well as breathtaking views from the top deck. With a smaller number of passengers on board, you’ll have more time to enjoy the amenities in a more personal way.

Interested in what a typical day may look like on your river cruise? Most river cruises offer the below amenities (at a minimum) for you to take advantage of throughout the day.

Fitness Center & Classes

Each ship offers a fitness center to help you stay active between excursions. And if the treadmill isn’t your preference, there is also a professionally trained Wellness Host offering daily classes. Start your day with a yoga session on the Sun Deck, a spin class on the back of the ship, or a light stretch class, and set the tone for a relaxing day.

Award-Winning Meals

Enjoy coffee and the breakfast buffet each morning, light lunches and refreshments throughout the day, and exquisite meals prepared with locally sourced ingredients for dinner. Specialty restaurants are offered on most cruises as well, offering culinary experiences you’ll love.

Need more convincing? Unlimited wine, beer, and soft drinks are also offered with each meal.

Salon & Spa

No vacation is complete without a bit of pampering. The spa onboard offers massages throughout the day so you can relax on your own schedule. With fewer guests onboard you won’t have to fight for an appointment.

Feel like going out for the evening while we’re in port? Let the stylists at the salon give you a new look or simply help you look and feel your best before heading out.

Top Deck

You may not choose a tropical cruise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relax and enjoy the sun on the top deck. Ships have a heated pool (some with a swim-up bar for optimal enjoyment) or a jacuzzi, perfect for relaxing any tired muscles while cruising past the countryside of Europe.

Feel free to come back out when the sun goes down. As you cruise past larger cities, the views of bridges full of lights or cathedrals lit up under the stars are extraordinary. And when it’s not pool weather, curl up with a blanket and a hot drink as you glide past the castles of the Rhine Gorge or take an early morning run around the track.

Quiet Spaces

Aside from your stateroom, you can often find a variety of nooks to curl up with a book or get some work done in one of the ship's public areas.

Evening Entertainment

River cruise ships offer nice spots to hear a lecture, enjoy some local entertainment, celebrate holidays, sip a nightcap, or simply enjoy the company of your shipmates. There are also times you are in a port of call and can venture off the ship at your leisure to enjoy a night out.

And, as for the Excursions

Regardless of which cruise itinerary you choose, you’ll have a variety of excursions to choose from. Activity level varies to suit your preference for the day and bikes are available on the ship for you to take into town. There is even a tour option for “late risers” if you’d like to take advantage of your lush bed and catch a few extra zzzs.

During some stops, you may prefer a mild hike; on others, wine tasting or touring a Kölsch brewpub. Alternatively, you may wish to take on some free time with your group and explore the city. Some of my clients’ favorite days are strolling through the cobblestone streets of obscure cities, feeling out the local culture.

On a river cruise, you’ll say goodbye to your standard routine and hello to outdoor activity, fine dining, and relaxation. My goal is to match you to a luxurious but affordable vacation experience that is both comforting and adventurous.

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