It’s undeniable that there is something really special about going on a river cruise. Sure, ocean cruises are great too, but the intimacy of a river cruise is unlike most experiences you can get on the seven seas. The ships are generally much smaller (they have to be!), the environment is quieter and calmer, and there’s a huge emphasis on observing the beauty around you, both on the ship and at ports. If you’re interested in taking a river cruise this year, here are some of the coolest rivers out there to help narrow down your search.
Cruising down the Nile River is, hands down, an unforgettable experience. Itineraries vary, but as you explore the river itself, you can expect stops at jaw-dropping temples full of history and culture, quaint marketplaces full of exotic goods, or stone buildings carved into mountainside. It’s like another world. Of course, this is ignoring the fact that you can use a Nile cruise as a means of checking out Egyptian pyramids and worship areas, but hey, who wants to do something as boring as that, right? The answer is us. And you, too, if you’re not crazy. The river environment itself is just gorgeous, with lush jungle surrounding it. Some riverboats even offer the chance to sleep on the deck at night and watch the stars above you as you fall asleep. Does it get much better than that?
Much like the Nile, this is one of the biggest rivers in the world, and that means it can offer a myriad of different experiences that will surprise and awe even the most seasoned travelers. The amount of wildlife you can see while cruising the Amazon is simply remarkable, ranging from river dolphins to iguanas to beautiful birds. The best way to cruise the Amazon is to ditch the most trafficked spots and go during the wet season. You’ll have access to smaller sections of the river that aren’t normally deep enough for boats, and they’ll get you to incredibly diverse locations that lots of guests will normally never see. Small villages, green islands and more are among the sights you can see.
The Mississippi River may not offer the same sense of adventure as the Nile or the Amazon, but it makes up for it with sheer history. Cruises along this river invoke centuries of art, literature, war and culture, and will leave you with a fresh perspective on America itself. It’s pretty easy to book a cruise that will educate you about the Civil War era, or you can go into relaxation mode and visit New Orleans and sample some of the most delicious food in the country. It’s a great way to reacquaint yourself with a history-filled nation, or to learn about a new place if you’re an international traveler.
While these three rivers are an excellent starting point for someone looking for a different type of vacation from the typical Caribbean sunshine, that doesn’t mean that the other rivers of the world aren’t just as worthy. The Yangtze, the Danube, the Rhine…. The list goes on when it comes to amazing places for river cruises. Really, the choice is yours!