Old World, New Way
Is a European river cruise right for you? Take our personality test
TRADERS HAVE navigated
Europe’s rivers for centuries, but vacationers are increasingly enjoying these routes. You can
travel through the shallow waters
of France, Germany, and Austria
(among other countries). So are you
ready for a river cruise? Ask yourself:
ARE YOU A …
; Hare or tortoise? River cruises
are ideal for those seeking slower-paced trips, says Nancy Yale, owner
of Cruise Resort & World Travel in
Fairfield, Connecticut. They have
fewer passengers (the average is 100
to 300) than ocean cruises do, so you
won’t feel rushed in large groups.
; Unathletic traveler or outdoor
enthusiast? Excursions on river
cruises can include physical activity.
Peter Deilmann Cruises (800-348-
8287; deilmann-cruises.com) has
theme trips that appeal to nature
lovers, from cyclists and gardeners
to hikers and golfers. And both AMA
Waterways (800-626-0126; amawater
ways.com) and Uniworld (800-733-
7820; uniworld.com) offer free bicycles for a quick shoreside pedal.
; Spring breaker or mature vacationer? River cruises typically appeal to those over 50 who’ve seen
tourist attractions and want to delve
into the countryside, says travel
specialist Jamison Bachrach, owner
of Wandering Puffin in Plymouth,
Minnesota. But river cruises have
fewer onboard amenities than
ocean cruises do, so don’t expect
midnight buffets or casinos.
; Spendthrift or smart shopper?
Excluding discounts and airfare, and
depending on the ship and itinerary,
expect to spend $200 to $300 per
day. That price may seem high, but
it covers your stateroom, gourmet
meals onboard, and excursions.
; Homebody or adventurer? Plan
on walking during trips, and expect
to participate in cultural activities.
For example, many cruise lines, including Avalon Waterways (877-380-
1535; avalonwaterways.com) and
Uniworld, boast winetasting excursions in regions such as Burgundy
and Provence. —Laura Daily