Wide River with Ship

In this  blog post, we cleared up some differences between taking  a river cruise versus an ocean cruise. Here are 5 additional differences to further expand on this!

The intimate ambiance of a river cruise is unparalleled. The amenities are fantastic, and the proximity to the shore and the spaces these ships can dip into are unmatched, which is why the demand for this mode of cruising continues to flourish. And here are 5 of the top reasons why:

1. Cheers! 

Many river cruise lines include wine and beer with lunch and dinner (some only with dinner), into the price of your cruise. If you desire an alcoholic beverage outside of these meal times, they are available for sale, and for these moments some lines offer the option of purchasing a beverage package. Unlike with an ocean cruise, bringing wine onboard from a  port visit is no problem. If you’d like to enjoy that bottle of wine purchased ashore, there may be a corkage fee, but some river cruise lines won’t charge you at all. Check with your river cruse expert if this option interests you!

Also, if you choose not to drink alcohol, soft drinks are complimentary as well.

2. Additional Hydration

Tea, coffee, and bottled water are available 24 hours at the coffee and tea bar. Even specialty coffee is included, so help yourself! Bottled water is also replenished each day in your stateroom as well.

3.  Adventure!

Daily excursions including tours and shoreside activities led by a knowledgeable guide are included! If you want to venture out and explore on your own, you’re more than welcome to do that as well, it’s your vacation! Some cruise lines have bicycles aboard their ships that you can go explore with, and then you can meet the riverboat at the next port of call if you wish to. There are also additional excursions aside from those included available for a fee.

4. Atmosphere & Ambiance

With smaller ships, meaning a lesser amount of passengers, you won’t find yourself waiting your turn to embark or disembark. You get through the lines for food and drink much faster, and lines are just virtually non-existent. It’s intimate enough to make new friends and mingle if you desire, but spacious enough to enjoy the way you please.

5. Keep Connected!

WiFi is a staple on most river cruises, is available throughout the whole ship, and is included in the price. Now keep in mind, it may be spotty at times, which you could also expect on an ocean cruise (you are out floating on water, after all). Your best bet is to try logging in at hours when the ship is least busy with activity (early morning or late night), and you may notice a speed difference.


Depending on the river cruise line, there is much more than these 5 things included! The lists can be endless! Feel free to leave us any questions in the comments about any specific ship or itinerary that you are eyeing, and you can always call us at (800)578-1479, 6 days a week to speak with a River Cruise Specialist!