If you can, always arrive early for your river cruise. If you can, get to your starting destination a few days early. I recommend 2-3 days but if you can only do 1, that’s OK.
This tip is not just for a river cruise, I recommend adding a few days for ANY trip you do. River cruise, ocean cruise, land tour, etc…
Benefits of arriving early:
- There’s no doubt that you’ll be starting in a wonderful city. Spending some extra time there will be magnificent. Explore the city, do some of the things that are not part of the tour, venture out of the city to do something different. Your travel advisor can give you some recommendations here.
- It will help you get over jet lag for the start of your trip.
- Flight delays are unpredictable. Weather, mechanical issues, airline strikes, can affect your flight. I’ve seen them all happen! By leaving earlier, you minimize missing the start of your trip. Most of the time you’ll be meeting your tour guides and fellow travelers over dinner on the first night and you don’t want to miss that!
In addition, you’ll be ending your river cruise in different spectacular city. If you can add another couple days on the end of your trip, I always recommend that as well. You’ve traveled a long way, why not make the most of it.
Here are some ideas:
- Prague – Although Prague is not on a river, it’s a short bus or train ride from cruises that start or end in Germany on the Danube River. Almost all river cruise lines offer pre or post cruise stays in Prague and they offer transfers to make it easy.
- Amsterdam – One of the most popular river cruise itineraries are on the Rhine River. Many either start or end in Amsterdam. This is an excellent city to spend a few extra days!
- Vietnam and Cambodia river cruise on the Mekong River – Add some time in Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap.
- Ski the Swiss alps when starting or ending your Rhine River cruise from Basel.
We certainly don’t have to keep it just to the cities that start or end your river cruise. It’s super easy to fly from one city to another in Europe.
- Experience London or Paris then hop on a flight or train to start your Rhine River cruise in Amsterdam.
- One of my favorite countries in the world is Italy. Spend some time in Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice… Uniworld has a river cruise starting in Venice on the Po. Or hop on a short flight to your starting tour destination.
- I’ve added a few days in Thailand as it’s just a short flight away! Add a stay in Krabi, Thailand at the end of your river cruise to soak in the sun at some of the most beautiful beaches. And the Thai food is the BEST I’VE EVER HAD!
There are MANY options! As a travel advisor, I can offer some fantastic recommendations and help plan your trip from A to Z…