I know, I know, people hear the word "cruise" and think of virus outbreaks, even before the COVID pandemic and what happened on that ship in early 2020. I absolutely believe in listening to scientific research and evidence, and I also believe that cruises (ocean or river) have always been clean and safe places to be. Post-COVID, I believe they will be even cleaner and safer, and even the air you breathe while inside will be safer.
Also, when most people hear the word "cruise," they think all cruises are created equal, and a mega ship with 5,000 passengers and water slides comes to mind. Those are great for those who love them. However, there are lesser known luxury ocean cruises like Windstar, Crystal, Regent, and Oceana, which have much smaller ships and offer very high end service and accommodations.
Enough about ocean cruises. This is about river cruises! This is why I think they're a great idea, especially in 2021:
All-Inclusive Vacation--this makes budgeting so easy. People are often shocked by the "sticker price" but are forgetting that this includes luxury accommodations, exquisite food (it's so good!) & drinks, transportation between several countries, and tours in each port.
Worry-Free Vacation--Not only is budget not a concern while traveling, but there is no need to worry about getting around. If you go to Europe, you probably want to see more than one city or country. While getting to the train or airport can be part of the fun, that is very stressful and worrisome for some people. During this time of COVID restrictions, it will be very comforting to have locals to guide you and keep you safe and within local guidelines.
Low Occupancy--River cruises typically carry less than 200 passengers. According to AmaWaterways' website, they are cutting that in half as they begin sailing again. Also, crowds in Europe will be much less in 2021 than they were before COVID. Those crowds are likely to grow as time passes.
Always Near Land--Unlike being out in the middle of the ocean, when you're on a river cruise, you're never far from a port. This is comforting in case of a medical emergency or if an evacuation is necessary. The companies I partner with, such as AmaWaterways, will take good care of their passengers, and I fully trust that.
Overall Safety--With current precautions, vaccines and testing will be required for nearly anyone traveling to Europe, and this will be even more true regarding river cruises. The included tours, which are excellent small group tours, typically take place outside and really provide an excellent variety of experiences in any port.
Bonus Reason: Airfare is currently pretty low to Europe!
I cruised on AmaMagna in December 2019/January 2020 and celebrated the New Year while on the cruise. It was a spectacular experience, which I wrote a blog post about here. I also created a couple of YouTube videos--one was specifically about my cruise, and one was a chat with Jazzmine Douse, who works in sales at AmaWaterways. The second video was titled "River Cruises Aren't Just for Old White People," because after my experience, I realized that they really are an excellent option for people of all ages and backgrounds.
In October 2021, I will said again with AmaWaterways on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam. It visits such places as Alsace, Cologne, and Heidelberg along the way, and you can do a pre-cruise extension in Lake Como, Italy. Amazing! Please contact me if you would like to join this sailing or any others! Visit my AmaWaterways site here.
As a travel advisor (or travel agent) in Atlanta, Georgia, I am ready to serve clients' needs: flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, all-inclusive resorts, custom itineraries, and more!