In last week’s post, we talked about the trend toward longer river cruises, longer than seven days, that is. Nearly all of the major river cruise companies now offer long cruises, with some itineraries approaching two months in duration. Two months? That wouldn’t bother our reader Linda at all.
“I could stay on a river cruise for months,” she exclaims. “I love them! It’s my first choice in travel. Have been on seven with AmaWaterways and have told anyone who will listen how wonderful they are. No crowding, no herding, superb service, interesting land excursions. And no nickel and diming you.” Linda adds that she is now a pensioner and can no longer justify the expense of a river cruise, but she is grateful for the time she had on the rivers. “Thankful for my memories!” she writes.
Readers like Linda responded positively by a ratio of 34 to 0 when asked the question, Do river cruises longer than 7 days/nights appeal to you? We were surprised by the enthusiasm. We suspected that there would be naysayers, but “No” got zilch. A handful responded “maybe,” some because they were solo travelers who said it depended on the single supplements.
A few people raised the cost of long river cruises as an obstacle. AmaWaterways’ Autumn Edition of its 2023 Seven River Journey starts at $25,499 for 46 nights. Despite the rising cost of river cruising, our surveys show that readers continue to see river cruising as a good value. “It is the only way we travel in Europe these days,” answered one survey respondent. “It’s the perfect way to see beautiful scenery and experience the culture.” There were a few naysayers, but their reasons weren’t about the value; rather their concerns were about water levels and such.
Somewhat surprisingly, the majority of respondents in last week’s survey said they prefer river cruises spanning three weeks, with some preferring 30 days or more on the rivers.
It makes sense, the reasons for which are best articulated by our readers. Here’s a sampling of why they prefer long river cruises. Some comments have been edited for clarity or brevity.
- No downside except for cost
- I feel that it’s not worth the long commute for less than 10 days.
- Yes, of course. However, pricing is becoming prohibitive for even a week when air and pre and post arrangements are considered.
- I have never been on a river cruise but it is something I dream about if I ever could afford it. The longer the better in order to fully embrace the experience and have a total immersion into the history and cultures of other countries.
- 15 days were good for me . Longer might be all right if the boat was sailing most of the time and not just at dinner time like the Paris to Cannes cruise.
- Since flying to Europe from the U.S. West Coast is so draining, I want to be there from 2 to 3 weeks. I’d be good with adding extension hotels at either end to make a 2 week cruise into a 3 week vacation. I prefer having the cruise company arrange all the transfers and accommodations.
- 14-15 are about max because of our dog. There are more ports of call on a 14-15 day river cruise.
- When crossing the ocean and such a long flight, the long cruise would be a better value as well as being able to see so much more on just one trip, versus 2-3 trips.
- We did 15 days and I didn’t want to leave.
- Seven days isn’t worth the trip from Tucson. Weve taken several 2 week trips and this last summer took a 26-day trip on Vantage from Koln to Bucharest. It was great even though we’d seen some of the places on earlier trips.
- Seven days is too short, given the investment made in jet-lag.
- Never have been on a river cruise I have been on many ocean cruises. I could definitely see myself on a river cruise for a few weeks. Would love to do the Seven Rivers one.
- Love to travel and love the convenience of a moving hotel.
- Presently seek out longer cruises. Seven days is toooooo short.
- Unpack once – plus a relaxing experience with smooth sailing, great service, delicious food, friendly travelers, wonderful scenery, exciting stops, and convenience when in port.
- Flying from the United States to Europe for only seven days is simply not worth it. We always take the longer river trips by Grand Circle Travels and/or Overseas Adventure Travels.
- There is nothing better than a river cruise. You get to see the beauty of Europe or any where else, but you are not dealing with large crowds on the ship, and you can relax and unpack once.
- Because 7 days flies by way too fast!!
- The overhead per day of cruising is reduced, both for time and cost.
- It depends on the cost and I am a single traveler.
- I like the pace of a river cruise. I like new sites every day and getting to know the people on the ship. We did the Amsterdam to Budapest cruise with Viking. We made some very good friends while on the ship and still keep in contact with a couple of them.
These comments make us eager to river cruise again. And when we go, you can bet, we’ll be on the rivers for longer than seven days.
I’ll be hosting an extended barge trip in April, and I purposely wanted back-to-back trips so that my guests would have the option of 14 days on board, with a break in Dijon between barge trips.