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RIVER & SMALL SHIP CRUISES CAN TAKE YOU ALMOST ANYWHERE
Both are sure to be your most rewarding vacation choice!



 

How are you doing on your "Bucket List"?
I would hazard a guess that most of you saw Jack Nicholson’s entertaining movie, “The Bucket List.” For many, it memorialized — or, should I say... crystallized our thoughts and wishes regarding our need to travel and experience different lands and cultures.

whether you call it… "bucket list," "wish list," "to do list," or even the “honey-do list,”  — it all boils down to the fact that we "pre-boomers" and "boomers" are not getting any younger. I enjoy using the term “people of age” when referring to those of us with lots of energy, a great kindred spirit, the will to do it all, and who just happen to be north of 55. If you’re like me, age is merely a number with a finite ending point. My wife and I do have our own personal “list” of places and things we want to do. Don’t you? I bet you do!

I think most of us who are “of age” look at travel differently now. We kind of look at it like our “birth right,” not as a privilege. You know... we’ve worked hard to get where we are, probably don’t feel as compelled as we used to about leaving everything to the kids — and of equal importance, WE see travel as a way to rejuvenate our spirit while enjoying and experiencing all those places we’ve added to our “bucket list.”

It's time to update your bucket list, and start enjoying the incredibly rewarding experiences of a river or small ship cruise.
Today’s modern river cruises and small ship cruises can take you on journies that you may have only dreamed of... A journey back into ancient histories (Mekong river cruise), biblical times (Egypt river cruise), discovering your “roots” (Europe river cruise), exploring the immense beauty of the rivers and coastal waterways of North America with close-to-home adventures, and so much more.

No matter which region, river or coastal waterway, river or small ship you choose, you'll sail aboard state-of-the-art ships in comfort and style that is unmatched by other modes of travel! Many people who've enjoyed traditional “deep water” ocean cruises and then experienced a river or small ship cruise know how much more enjoyable, rewarding, affordable, and memorable those exciting cruises can be.

So, what gets your heart going when viewing a TV show on Europe or other, more exotic destinations? Or, sets your toes to twitching when reading about a part of the U.S. you really want to get to know better?

Well, let's start with Europe... Is it the history and plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; spectacular and evocative scenery; the food; the wine; or, the people and their myriad cultures? Or, is it merely your need to be rejuvenated and feel the urge to sit at a sidewalk café on a cobblestone street and watch the world go by? Well, it’s all there waiting for you!

A luxurious Europe river cruise can take you effortlessly from Amsterdam all the way to the Black Sea and Istanbul, taking in 2000+ years of history as you float serenely down the Main, Rhine, Danube, and Moselle rivers. Or, if you want to experience the culinary excellence, vintage wines, and lavender fields of France — then the Dordogne, Seine, Saône and Rhône river cruises are for you. But we can't stop there. Just think of Portugal's amazing Douro river valley cruises with its quaint hillside villages, steep, grapevine-clad terraced mountains, food and famous port wines to explore and revel in.

If you’re family roots, like mine, are in Eastern Europe, you can cruise along the majestic Danube to Budapest, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and even Bulgaria with stops along the way in places like medieval Salzburg or picturesque Vienna. What about Prague, the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, or the captivating but lesser known city of Bucharest? We haven't even talked about Russia yet... how about an incredible Volga river cruise visiting the onion domed cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow’s Red Square, or the exquisite St. Katherine's Palace in St. Petersburg. Is your bucket lis getting longer? Mine certainly is!

Let's talk a little about the more exotic destinations. Have you traveled extensively through Europe and now look toward the East and ancient, mystical Southeast Asia for your next exciting travel experience? You’re in for a treat as you travel back in time some 5000 years ago to places most of us are the least familiar with: China, Tibet, Thailand, VietnamCambodia, and Myanmar (previously known as Burma). Imagine your sense of history as you walk upon China’s Great Wall, stand in the Forbidden City, wonder at the lush gardens of the Summer Palace, or be awestruck as you view the incomparable terra cotta warriors of X'ian. And, of course, you'll experience the incomparable Yangtze River. Or, maybe the mighty Mekong River is for you. Floating through the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia on a Mekong cruise, you’ll touch five countries, each with their own fascinating histories of ancient empires and religions. And now, finally, the dreamy Irrawaddy River that winds its way deep into the heart of the mysterious, least-known country of Myanmar, is open to the world and waiting to embrace you with a warm and friendly welcome! Whatever your choice, a cruise in China or Southeast Asia — you can’t go wrong!

Perhaps you've always wanted to ride a camel past an Egyptian pyramid. Wouldn’t that make a great blog post to friends back home? Now you truly can walk in the footsteps of the Pharaohs on a Nile river cruise where Cleopatra and Ramses once reigned, but do it in the air-conditioned comfort of a deluxe river cruise ship.

Time to circle back and talk a bit about close-to-home river and small ship cruises in North America. Talk about some great cruises! There's is so much to explore about our own beautiful and incredible continent that we just can't cover it all in this article. But, here's a taste...

Paddlewheeling on ole' Miss - Yep! our grand old Mississippi River offers 8 to 23 day river cruise voyages from New Orleans to St Paul visiting ports from the antebellum south and civil war battlefields to the heartland of America. You can also take exciting, authentic paddlewheeler cruises on the Columbia & Snake Rivers and discover the path Louis & Clark forged to open up the West.

If you've never seen a Fall folliage display in the northeastern states, we highly recommend an 8-day Fall Folliage cruise on New York state's Hudson River. Truly a maginficient site to behold with shimmering golds and dazzling reds and oranges reflecting off the deep blue of the Hudson!

Our coastal waterways. WOW! There's so much to choose from: On the east Coast — the St. Lawrence Seaway, New England's islands and harbors, Chesapeake Bay, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast intracoastal waterways including Florida's rivers. On the West Coast — Puget Sound & the San Juan Islands, Southeast Alaska. For a more indepth review of river and small ship cruises in North America, please read our article on North America cruising.

For additional, in-depth reviews and coverage of the various regions and rivers of the world you can visit aboard a luxurious river cruise ship or state-of-the-art small ship, please read our Regions, Rivers, and Cruise Line Review sections.

Are you a first time river cruiser? We’ve earmarked several value-packed itineraries that would make an ideal first river cruise... click here to view these fabulous cruises!

 

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