The one presentation I was able to attend at my cyberspace AAA travel trade show, “Europe is Closer Than You Think” was the one by Uniworld Grand River Cruises. As I watched a slide show from the comfort of my home-based office, the presenters talked about what the cruise ship company offers and then answered participants’ questions.
For people who would like to tour Europe, but are afraid of the costs, a river cruise has some advantages. Since you sleep on the ship and meals are covered, that takes care of worrying that you could end up spending much more money than you had planned. Wine comes with dinner and is included in the price. The ship also is your transportation. That cuts down on the wondering about how much getting from place to place will cost you. Since at each stop, local entertainment comes on board, you won’t have to spring for entertainment tickets either.
One of the things the presenter mentioned is that such a trip also cuts down on the hassle of needing to pack and unpack at each destination. There are 5 to 8 hours at each port, but you could stay longer at the city where the cruise starts or ends. Just arrange for your flight to arrive a few days early or leave a few days late.
Another feature I like about Uniworld Grand River Cruises is that there are experts who give tours of the places on the shore excursions and the admission to the places on the tour are included in the cruise price. You won’t be dinged over and over again when you want to maximize your experience. On board the ship, there are programs as well, or you can chill out.
Another plus about these cruises is that the ships are not big so you’re not traveling with huge crowds of people, and because the ships are small they can travel where large ships can’t. Cities are not the only stops–so are small towns and villages.
There are several itinerary options. Here is a link that leads to the page of European river trips. The company also offers trips in Egypt, China , and Russia. There’s a trip that cruises the Black Sea and takes in Ukraine and Turkey.