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Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Announces 12-Day Cruise and Asia 2014 Itineraries

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Announces 12-Day Cruise and Asia 2014 Itineraries


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Along with releasing their 2014 Asia Boutique River Cruise and Tour brochure, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is also introducing a new 12-day Treasures of China & the Yangtze cruise/tour. The luxury itineraries throughout China, Vietnam and Cambodia allow for a more lavish option for discovering the country's history and culture. Along with the cruise, the itineraries will consist of both land and cruising tours along the Yangtze and Mekong Rivers.
Designed by European architects and shipbuilders who specialize in sophisticated marine architecture, those onboard the five-star rated Century Paragon and Century Legend will stay in Uniworld Signature Suites which offer private balconies. Both ships offer two restaurants, two bars, cinema, indoor lap pool with relaxation area, spa, boutique and more. While on land, travelers will stay at luxury hotels like the Sofitel and Ritz Carlton in Beijing, the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and the Intercontinental Hanoi and Park Hyatt Saigon.
"We're delighted to have our new Asia brochure on the shelves," says Guy Young, President of Uniworld. "As with our European cruises, the culinary experience is key, and the combination of cruising and city touring means we can incorporate special regionally-themed meals from a dim sum lunch in Shanghai, traditional dumpling and Tang Dynasty dinner show in Xi'an, hutongs tour with home-hosted dinner, and of course Beijing's signature Peking duck. In Cambodia, a real highlight is the Apsara dance show accompanied by a traditional Cambodian meal."
As part of the Mekong River cruise, guests can cruise the river on sampans (flat bottomed Chinese wooden boats) to make their way through the floating markets or to a village and fish farm. Additionally, the highlighted Asia 2014 Itineraries include: 12-day Treasures of China & the Yangtze, 18-day Grand China & the Yangtze and 15-day Timeless Wonders of Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong. During the 12-day cruise, guests will get to explore China's top sights from Shanghai to Xi'an and Beijing, as well as the Yangtze. Pricing includes the 4-night cruise, 7 nights in a luxury hotel, meals (partial) all transportation and 10 days of fully escorted excursions.
Prices range from $3,999 to $5,999 based on double occupancy. Currently Uniworld offers savings for early birds and those who pay in full all at once. Valid until October 31, the full payment option can save guests up to $1,200 per couple on 2014 Asia cruises, valid until October 31, 2013. For those who are ready to book now for 2014, you'll receive an up to $600 savings per couple on early booking. Valid until January 15, 2014, at the time of purchase only a deposit will be required to reserve your spot.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


River vs Ocean Cruising

For more than twenty years Mel and I have sailed on hundreds of cruises. Until last year all our voyages were all on ocean-going cruise ships. For the first time, we embarked on a different cruise style in 2013—a river cruise from Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam, the Netherlands aboard Vantage Deluxe World Travel’s new River Splendor. This year we sailed on another Vantage riverboat—the River Venture on a splendid round-trip voyage from Paris on the River Seine.

Both river cruises were short preview sailings, but were long enough for us to get a taste of river cruising. Not surprising, our river cruises included many features we have only found on high end premium or luxury cruise ships.

As 2014 comes to a close, we take a look back at the similarities and differences between this fast growing cruise style and traditional ocean cruises.

  • On both, you settle into a stateroom & unpack once
  • Both visit a variety of destinations
  • all food & entertainment on board are included
  • Amenities in accommodations are similar, with private baths, storage, toiletries provided
  • There's a gym
  • An Internet center & WiFi are available
  • Both have lounges for relaxation
  • Both have a main dining room
  • There are libraries on both
  • Lecturers give talks about
    destinations, culture, and topics of interest
  • Good service
  • Both have planned activities, but the program on river cruises might consist of a single page
  • There is a safety briefing before the ship departs the embarkation port
  • River vessels are more compact their scale is smaller
  • Standard accommodations are smaller on river vessels, but space is used effectively
  • River vessels visit destinations the big cruise ships cannot
  • Shore excursions are included in the fare on river cruises
  • There are no splashy production shows, or theater-style show lounges
  • There are no children's programs or facilities on river vessels
  • River vessels don't generally have pools, spas, beauty shops, or a medical center
  • Internet service is free on most river vessels
  • There is no 24-hour food service on river vessels and the menu choices are more limited
  • River cruising is very stable & seasickness worries are nonexistent
  • River vessels have no lifeboats!

While ocean-going ships usually dock at major seaside ports, your river vessel generally docks right in small towns located inland on rivers or waterways. Complimentary guided excursions on river cruises are often walking tours, although you may find yourself taking a coach to a nearby city or village before the walking starts. There are sometimes other for-a-fee excursions offered.

Our river cruises began with a safety meeting that included a demonstration on how to don and secure the life vests located in every stateroom. However, there are no life boats on river vessels as they are always close to land and emergency assistance if it is needed. It was noted that fire is the most serious problem on a river boat (as on an ocean cruise ship) and smoking is limited to only outdoor spaces. Smokers were warned to be careful when extinguishing smoking materials and NOT to throw anything overboard.

As a rule, children are not banned from river cruises, but parents must think carefully about bringing them along. Driven by Baby Boomers, river cruises have boomed in popularity and passengers are older as a rule. Many of them look askance at the presence of young children, although if they are well-behaved that's not a problem if your chosen river travel company allows them.

While river vessel generally have no beauty shop or medical center, helpful attendants at the reception desk can arrange for those services to be available ashore when docked.

One thing we noted on our river cruises that would never happen on a large cruise ship was that we were able to come and go from our vessel without being checked on and off with an electronic boarding pass. When questioned, an officer told me that such stringent security was not necessary on river vessels. Even though we didn't have an electronic boarding pass, we were issued a boarding pass when we turned in our room key at reception before leaving the ship for shore tours. Reception always knew who was on tour and, seemingly, who was on board. However, Mel and I left the vessels several times independently without a boarding pass. Procedure on other lines might vary.

All in all, we enjoyed the camaraderie aboard both vessels—we met many interesting fellow passengers and liked the ease of making friends and joining one another for meals that were all open seating. The single aspect that Mel found lacking was food, specifically that there were stretches between scheduled meal times when only fresh fruit or cookies were available in the main lounge. Of course, cafés were nearby in port. On the other hand, we both appreciated the always-available coffee stations with a variety of complimentary coffees, teas, and hot chocolate, as well as the convenient self-service ice machines.


Watch the video: Venture off-the-beaten path in luxury through Eastern Europe