River Cruising

I’m currently cruising the European Rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest so here are some travel hacks.


As you can see from the above photo it was a bit of a grey day in Amsterdam when we boarded the boat.

But as our Cruise Director, Roland, says “There is no bad weather: just a bad choice of clothes.”

A good jacket, and every cabin has an umbrella, . . . so no worries.

N.B Generally the further you get from the oceans the better the weather.


With River/ Canal Cruising its likely that there will be some adjustment to schedules.

On the narrower rivers and canals the amount of traffic can make a difference to the timing, especially when there are lots of locks.

Sometimes either too little, or too much, water mean that traffic is prevented from moving on the river.

The best advice I can give is to chill.

The Captain, and the Cruise Director, however will work with other ships and coach operators to ensure that you get the best chance to have a memorable holiday.

On our cruise a damaged lock mean’t that we had to change ships.

The faster coach transfer, across country, meant we were able to spend additional time at two of the ‘ports’.

Cabin Location

For this cruise we had a cabin on the second of three levels on the port (left) side of the ship.

Next time we will probably pay extra to have a cabin on the higher level as the additional 2-3m of height makes it easier to see over the canal/river banks.

We will also aim to choose a cabin on the starboard (right) side as it gives a bit more privacy when the ship is docked. (except when another cruise ship pulls up alongside)

Time on Ship, or Time on Shore?

If you are on a one way river trip the direction can make a difference.

Going upstream the ship will be going slower so you might find yourself on the boat longer.

Going downstream the ship will be able to go faster so the time ashore may be longer.

Explore Instead of Eating

On a river cruise it’s unlikely you will go hungry with three large meals and snacks; so if you really like exploring it might be worth skipping a meal.

A couple of times a meal was served while we were in port, but we got off the ship and had another couple of hours for sight seeing.

Friends or Acquaintances?

Some people like to make friends with other couples early in the cruise and stick with them, eating meals together.

For us we try and meet as many different people by dining with different people at each meal.

It’s really up to you.

Disclaimer I haven’t been paid, or received any benefit from this post.

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