12 Differences Between River and Ocean Cruises You Need to Know

POV: As an avid cruiser, you’ve been on every ocean cruise there is. And while you always have a great experience, you’re starting to wonder what *else* is out there.

Today, I’m giving you 12 differences between river cruising and ocean cruising so you can decide for yourself whether it might be time to give river cruising a shot.

Less Passengers = No Lines

〰️ Because there are fewer passengers on a river cruise (no more than 200) compared to an ocean cruise (thousands!), you’ll never have to wait in line to grab coffee first thing in the morning, have lunch at the buffet, or go through security to step off the boat to explore.

More Crew + Personalized Service

〰️ River cruises usually have a 3:1 crew to passenger rate, meaning there will always be staff available to help you with whatever you need. Staff will learn your name and preferences, and will take every opportunity to impress you!

Locally-Sourced Food

 〰️ River cruise chefs carefully plan and curate the meals they cook , so you can expect to feast on local cuisine that’s grown and harvested just miles away from where you enjoy it. This is not something you’ll ever find on a mass-market ocean cruise ship!

Excursions are Included

〰️ River cruises are very inclusive and often include prepaid excursions, meaning you won’t have to spend extra money on activities—leaving you with more money to spend on food, souvenirs, and other fun stuff.

You’re Always Near the Action

〰️ River cruise ships are MUCH smaller than ocean cruise ships, so they dock right in the heart of a city. As soon as you step off the boat, you’re walking distance from shops, restaurants, and more without having to rent a car, find a taxi, or ride a bus or train.

Management is Always Available

〰️ The hotel manager and cruise manager both sit at a desk so you can easily find them if you have a question or need something throughout your trip.

Affordable Laundry Service

〰️ Pack light for your river cruise because, with such a small number of passengers, you can easily and affordably launder your clothes and get it back quickly and safely (which isn’t always possible on an ocean cruise!)

Free Wi-Fi

〰️ Rest assured that you can stay connected with your loved ones back home, share pictures of your trip along the way, and check your emails or catch up on work if you need to.

No Rush and More Rest

〰️ River cruises are more calm and quiet than ocean cruises. There are no scheduled activities or set times for breakfast or dinner. Ships also spend longer time docked in the port so that you can enjoy your trip the way you want to without feeling rushed.

Luxuriously Cozy Cabins

〰️ Your cabin is meant to feel like home! It’s designed to feel cozy, warm, and welcoming while still having that elevated, luxurious feel. You have a TV, luxurious bedding, and a spacious balcony to enjoy as well.

Attentive Cruise Managers

〰️ If you  arrive early though a pre-cruise adventure (check out  my email from 2 weeks ago if you need a refresher!), you get to meet your river cruise manager! Cruise managers are carefully-selected, multilingual hospitality experts whose sole job is to ensure that your trip is everything you want and more.

Accessible Cruise Documents

〰️ You don’t have to break a sweat stressing about visiting a foreign country! As soon as you book your river cruise, you’ll receive an electronic packet with everything you need to know about your trip, including answers to frequently asked questions, your departure city, names of ports, your onboard information, emergency numbers, and much more so you never have to worry! 

Your next step on this worry-free journey is to schedule a free 15-minute call with me so I can help you plan the perfect river cruise for you and your loved ones! I’m here to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Are there any big milestones coming up in the next year that you’re excited to celebrate?

A river cruise is the perfect way to break away from the same ‘ole, same old and start a NEW TRADITION everyone in the family will enjoy.

Celebrate the next big event in your life with a special trip you and your loved ones will remember for the rest of your lives.


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