Our cruise experts share some top tips for river cruises…

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When to go

“European river cruising flourishes between April and October when destinations spring to life. There’s a focus on Dutch waterways in early spring when the bulb fields set a beautiful backdrop. Then attention moves to the Rhîne, Danube, Douro, Moselle, the French waterways and all other rivers for the rest of the summer season. And there’s the Christmas markets.”

Look out for themed cruises

“River cruising is very much about the destination – whether it’s a Russian voyage or a cruise on one of the great European rivers – such as the Danube, which can take you through nine different countries. So check out the excursions. You may have a penchant for gastronomy or perhaps you love visiting gardens? See if there’s a ‘themed’ cruise which appeals or particular shore excursions that cover your specific interests.”

From Andy Harmer, the Director of Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland

How is it different to an ocean cruise?

“River cruises get to the heart of a country’s culture – unlike ocean liners they can moor in the centre of inland cities. Meals are all-inclusive and they tend to have intimate one-sitting dinners. Gyms might be smaller and evening entertainment modest, but making friends in the lounge or sun deck is easier when there are fewer than 200 passengers. Staterooms are often smaller than at sea, but increasingly luxurious.”

From Deborah Stone, an award-winning cruise writer and Contributing Editor for Cruise International

Shore excursions

“Some river ships dock twice in one day giving access to two destinations in a short space of time. Organised shore excursions are usually inclusive, and a good idea if the port of call is unfamiliar. Don’t feel you have to go on every excursion – choose the tours that suit you best.”

From Julie Peasgood, a TV Presenter, travel expert and Contributing Editor for Cruise International 

*Brought to you by Titan in partnership with Uniworld

Read How to Choose your River Cruise

Read Top 10 Tips for a River Cruise

Read the latest issue of Cruise International in shops now

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