The average ocean cruise liner carries approximately 3,000 passengers whereas the average number of passengers on a river cruise ship is just 150. This means a more intimate experience for you. With its intimate nature, river cruises don't often favour families with young children. There are no go kart tracks, water slides, or laser tag. There is no broadway style shows with big production values. You can expect a low key evening with entertainment that showcases the day's destination. River Cruising tends to be an upscale adult experience.
Less people means that the galley needs to prepare less meals, which translates into better tasting, fresher food for you. During the day, it's not uncommon to see the chef in town buying that evenings ingredients from local markets. There tends to be only one dining room filled with delicious food, great wine, and newfound friends.
Smaller ships means that space is at a premium. Cabins tend to be smaller, however ship engineers have cleverly made the most of the space they have. There are no inside cabins and some ships offer a balcony which is a premium on an ocean liner.
Unlike the big ships, getting on and off of a river cruise ship tends to be a breeze. Come and go as you please, just make sure that you are on board before the departure time.
River cruise ships tend to do their sailing at night to maximize your time in port. Don't worry though, the cruise lines know that in demand sites, such as the Rhine Gorge are not to be missed. They will sail during the day when necessary. Your team has many years of experience and will not let you miss a thing.
Like their ocean faring counterparts, river cruising offers excursions to enhance your experience. However, some river cruises do offer these excursions at no additional cost.
Most importantly, river cruises often dock in the heart of the city, and are able to visit local towns and villages that the massive ocean liners simply cannot access. You are immersed immediately into the local culture.