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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Weller

"I Didn't Expect This..."

As you recall, I have been traveling through Europe on a river cruise. On just one seven-day sailing I visited scenic location in three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. The pace was leisurely, the passing scenery included pastoral, industrial, morning sunrises, and fall-colored vineyards and forests. My goals for this trip were relaxation, education, enjoyment and connection. Travel is exhilarating!

Back to the cruise…an unforgettable experience. If you take a vacation that doesn’t leave a lasting impression, then what’s the point, right? You probably expect me to be biased in favor of a trip I planned fro myself, and perhaps you are correct. To protect you from my inevitable one-sidedness, I will present here the opinions of some of my fellow travelers, for whom this was a first-time experience.

Everything is included: - “I didn't expect this. I am surprised at the all-inclusive nature of river cruising - tours, meals, the tastings, the ‘sip and sail’ happy hour every evening.” I thought there would be hidden extra expenses.” “I like that it's so much like an all-inclusive luxury vacation - everything is bought and paid for and that sets me at ease for the whole trip.”


- "All the passengers have dinner at the same time. Full course meals three times a day, but there are other dining options I can choose if I wish. - “The feeling is luxurious, but intimate.” - “They gave attention to my food sensitivities.” - “The food is delicious! Meal presentation is totally five-star and these chefs are top-notch." - "I didn’t have to stand in line at a buffet – I was served at every meal.”

- “The dining room is much more intimate than I expected, and the waitstaff is so warm and welcoming – they remember my name!”

Immersive tours:

- "The tour guides are local and well-versed. Ours shared the personal experiences of his family in WW2, and the town’s historical floods through the centuries." - “Having the retired town manager as a tour guide was priceless.” - “I enjoyed having choices of how and when I can be active. I can bike, walk, or do the fitness classes."

- "The tours are so varied: we had culinary, wine tasting, history, shopping…”

- “I’ve sailed on ocean cruises, and with so few passengers on river boats, I meet people and I see them again and again. We get to know each other, have conversations, share meals, I see them in the morning at coffee or in the lounge. That’s almost impossible on an ocean cruise of several thousand people.”

- “I thought river cruise passengers would be ‘old’ people but I am pleasantly surprised to meet young couples, friends, groups, and even singles."

- "I really didn't want to do this; our friends told us to give it a try, so we came with them and I really am enjoying myself"

My favorite things about river cruising? They're easy. I really enjoy the slow, relaxing glide down a peaceful, lazy river; It's almost mesmerizing. I enjoy that the idyllic pastoral scenery can be interspersed by stunning panoramas of historic architecture, or towering skyscrapers and modern riverfronts. You can't get lost on the ship. You can fill your phone with unforgettable memories of exciting tours during the day - a day that leads to an evening's haute cuisine meal, followed by a night on the dance floor or entertaining performances by local talent, some with noteworthy careers. Passengers can choose to have a quiet day or a busy one - your vacation, your way. You even have a choices outside of Europe if you prefer to explore Southeast Asia, North and South America, or Africa.

What would you like on YOUR river cruise? Fine or casual dining, or both? Exploring on foot, on two wheels or four? A spacious suite? A butler? Pyramids, castles, elephants, cathedrals or Ankor Wat? Think of a river cruise as a platform or a jumping-off point into the history, culture, cuisine, architecture, sights, and daily life of the cities and towns along ancient routes that played a pivotal role in the development of society. So the big question is...which river will you sail first? Tell me on our consultation call.

'til next week.


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