River Cruising v Luxury Barge Cruising

Introduction by Unique Cruises Founder / Director Walter Nand

In today’s blog, we will explore how a Luxury Hotel Barge experience compares with a luxury river cruise.

I have been involved with luxury river cruising since 2005 and after taking my first river cruise from Budapest, Hungry to Nuremburg, Germany, I was hooked. To be honest, until then, I had no interest in cruising at all but that one little trip turned my world around. So why was it so great and how does it compare with Luxury Hotel Barge cruising? Let’s find out….

Unpack Once:

If you have had the privilege of experiencing a luxury river cruise on the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Seine and / or Soane/Rhone rivers in Europe, or in fact if you have ever been on an ocean cruise of any type, you will know that one the best aspects of cruising is that once you board your vessel you only need to unpack once and your floating hotel will take you to multiple interesting destinations. This is the same with a Luxury Hotel Barge cruise – just unpack once and relax for the week.

Photo Credit: Belmond Lilas

Don’t Get Seasick:

Another highlight of river cruising is that you don’t get seasick because river ships navigate inland rivers where the waterflow is usually controlled by a series of locks and you are never out in open water where you can be affected by sea swells. Great news for those who are worried about getting seasick or maybe are simply nervous about being out at sea. Luxury Hotel Barge cruising goes one step further with most cruises gliding down the smaller canals and into the heart of the countryside.

All-Inclusive Holiday:

Most luxury river cruise companies offer an all-inclusive package which includes your accommodation, food, beverages and daily excursions. This is the same for Luxury Hotel Barge holidays – everything is included. One added bonus is that, unlike a regular river cruise on the main rivers, your Luxury Hotel Barge does not cruise overnight which means you are able to spend more time in the local towns or villages.

Photo Credit: European Waterwayd Anjodi

Fewer People On-Board:

Compared with ocean cruising which can have as many as 6,000+ guests on-board, a luxury river cruise only has about 100 – 150 people per cruise (this varies between river cruise companies and different river ships). By contrast the MAXIMUM guests onboard one our Luxury Hotel Barges is 20 guests – with an average of only eight guests per barge. So, you get all the benefits of a luxury river cruise but with only a few people – and if you charter a Luxury Hotel Barge, these will be people you actually know and like….

Dock in the Heart of Town:

It is always a treat when you pull up into a city or town and cam simply walk from your ship int the heart of everything. This is always a delight for luxury river cruise passengers. Luxury Hotel Barge passengers are able to take it one step further as the barges are smaller so can access places the larger river ships cannot go – like docking right at Hampton Court Palace in England.

Photo Credit: European Waterways

Create your own Unique Experience:

It is often said that with any type of cruising you can be as active or relaxed as you like so in this regard you can create your own unique experiences. However, unlike other types of cruising – including river cruising – you still need to work within the constraints of other passengers onboard, limited places to embark / disembark and general scheduling. When you and your family / friends charter your own Luxury Hotel Barge (remember on average there are only four rooms on-board), YOU can choose if you want to pull over, grab a bicycle and go for a ride or if YOU want to spend more time relaxing in the hot tub or if YOU want to take a side-trip to that ‘town over there that looks interesting’. This, of course is all done in consultation with your Captain, Chef, Tour Director and Crew to ensure you are able to truly craft your own unique cruise experience in a safe and comfortable way.

Multi-Generational Holidays:

Imagine being able to spend time with your loved ones – without having to ‘save a table’ or seat on the coach or place in the walking tour – and really relax enjoy the facilities on-board as well as on the excursions. On your Luxury Hotel Barge Charter, you can book for multi-generational family holidays without worrying you will be split up across groups or that the kids will too rowdy for the other passengers. Enjoy YOUR family holiday experience Your way.

Photo Credit: European Waterways

Special Interest Cruises:

This is a growing trend with both ocean and luxury river cruises. But why wait for a date the ocean or river cruise company sets that may not suit your plans. When you charter a Luxury Hotel Barge, YOU can decide if you would like a wine appreciation, art, cycling, golf, walking, culinary or other themed cruise that suits YOUR timing and interests.

Photo Credit: Belmond

So Much More…

Luxury river cruising is still a great way to travel on the main rivers. A luxury Hotel Barge cruise takes it a whole new level.

There is so much more to crafting your own unique experience and we would love to help you so please do not hesitate to contact us, or your local travel professional, to turn your dreams into reality.