Win a copy of River Cruising in Europe (contest ended)

August 18, 2014
River Cruising in Europe

Congratulations to Mike Vogler, of, winner of the new Berlitz book, River Cruising in Europe.

New Berlitz book on river cruising provides a great overview of the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry.

As one more testament to the growing popularity of river cruising, last month Berlitz Travel published the first edition of River Cruising in Europe (July 2014) by cruise guru Douglas Ward. According to Ward, there has been a 10 percent rise in river cruise bookings per year every year since 2008. While recently researching an article on this topic, I learned that between 2013-2014 alone, AMA Waterways, American Cruise Line, American Queen Steamboat Company, Avalon Waterways, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, and Viking Cruise River Cruises all added new river ships to their fleets.

Attractions of river cruising

For a number of reasons, it makes sense that river cruises would be popular with the over-50 traveler:

  • They are a convenient and easy way to travel, allowing passengers to visit multiple cities (and often multiple countries) without packing or unpacking or worrying about hotels or ground transportation.
  • They allow travelers to visit cities and small towns close up, often docking near or at the town center.
  • Many companies are moving towards more inclusive pricing models so the costs are far more predictable and less of a hassle than a similar land vacation might be if someone was traveling across borders on their own.

What’s in the Berlitz book

The new guide reviews more than 280 river ships and makes a great read for anyone planning a cruise or wondering if they would like to take one. It offers an overview of what to expect in terms of different companies, different ships, and different itineraries and then rates many of the ships using the same system Ward has used before to rate ocean-going vessels. There is also a section in the book that explains barge cruising.

5 Things you may not have known about river cruising

Although a great reference guide, the book is succinct and interesting enough to read from cover-to-cover. Some of the tidbits I found especially interesting:

  • Rivers are gender-specific. Some are feminine and others are masculine, depending on their characteristics.
  • Although companies are constantly raising the ante in terms of improved food and wine offerings, you aren’t likely to find “room service” on river ships.
  • Ward clears up terminology that might be confusing. He uses the term “river ships” to describe the vessels that cruise rivers; reminds the reader that cruise ships are ocean-going and can carry boats but a boat can’t carry a ship; and explains that the term “boat” describes vessels that are typically privately owned or rented for pleasure. (I’ll probably continue to call them “riverboats.”)
  • For worrywarts, although river ships can run into foul weather, none has ever capsized in Western Europe. In July 2011, an overloaded river ship did capsize in Russia, resulting in multiple deaths.
  • River cruising isn’t always disabled-friendly. Aside from visiting many towns with cobblestone streets, only a few river ships have wheelchair accessible cabins and river ships sometimes berth side-by-side at the dock making it difficult to disembark for someone with limited mobility.


In addition to providing me with a copy of the 256-page River Cruising in Europe for review, Berlitz is offering a free copy for one randomly selected reader of More Time To Travel (Retail value – $19.99).

The most popular European waterways include the Danube, Rhein, Elbe, Rhone, Seine, Po and Douro Rivers.

To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling which river you would most like to travel on by riverboat river ship. The contest winner will be announced here on September 6, 2014. (Sorry, this offer is limited to U.S. addresses only.)

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I would love to cruise the Danube. We looked into river cruising a few years ago, but ended up on a DIY trip instead. I would love to read this book to help me figure out which one I should go on!

  • Reply
    Marilyn Jones
    August 19, 2014 at 12:46 am

    This looks like an excellent book for anyone planning — or dreaming about — a river cruise!

  • Reply
    Brittany Ruth
    August 19, 2014 at 3:34 am

    I’d like to travel on the Danube because I live near it!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I have been wondering about a cruise on the Danube. Sounds wonderful.

  • Reply
    Pierre Rondeau
    August 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    I think the Douro, should be a very interesting place to visit on a ship.

  • Reply
    Judy Colbert
    August 19, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I’d like to cruise all of them, but Danube first.

  • Reply
    August 19, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I would love to cruise the Rhine! Castles and cute German villages!

  • Reply
    August 19, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    What? No room service! I’m kidding, Irene. I never knew that about rivers being gender specific! That is fascinating. I would love to go on a European river cruise and for my #1 Bucket List trip to Germany I would hands down choose the Rhine first 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2014 at 12:47 am

    This looks like THE book for information on River Cruising. I’ve always wanted to cruise The Danube with the ‘Blue Danube’ ringing in my ears!

  • Reply
    Camille Hoheb
    August 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Wow! What a great resource! DANUBE! DANUBE! DANUBE!

    Congratulations on your new book. I bet it was a lot of fun to research and write.

    Best Wishes!

  • Reply
    Linda Dini Jenkins
    August 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I’d take any of them, but as a devoted Italophile, I’d start with the Po. I didn’t know cruises on the Po were even offered! I obviously need this book!

  • Reply
    Tina P. Stumpf
    August 22, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    Hi, I would like to take that fabulous EAGLE CREEK ADVENTURE 4 WHELL CARRY ON, too San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico and on a visit
    to my family in Berlin, Germany and many other places yeahhhh!!!!!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    As a photographer, European river cruising is my dream… to capture the views from the distance, nearby and as they pass. To be able to visually document as a pst/present/future experience- see historic parts of the region, step into the towns of today and envision what these cities will become in future days. I’ve never been on a cruise, but I love the water as it has and endless ability to change… with light, speed, weather… and enhance photos.
    I’d love to learn about what kinds of cruises there are, so that I am ready to book the moment I have more time to travel.

  • Reply
    Cacinda Maloney
    August 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    I am thinking the Rhine!

  • Reply
    Tallulah Scribbles
    August 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    I would like to go on a Douro River cruise. I imagine that it is a lovely way to see Portugal. Visiting ports of call largely unchanged for centuries and sampling the local cuisine and wines sounds amazing. #swoon

    I wouldn’t sneeze at a Danube, Rhein, Elbe, Rhone, Seine, or Po river cruise either. 😉

  • Reply
    August 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I would love to cruise on the Douro River!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Merlet
    September 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

    I would love to travel the Rhine and see Germany. Looking forward to reading the book.

  • Reply
    Elena G
    September 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I would like to take the Rhine river cruise to see castles in Germany and windmills in Holland.

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