Slow down the pace with a river cruise

mark-2184-luxuryrivercruise_grownups_articlewk2_600w_3With wide open vistas to admire, resort style ships to explore and a salty sea breeze continually kissing your skin, ocean cruises are a certain kind of special. But what about when you crave a different kind of journey? Something more elegant, more exclusive and more personal.

Cue river cruising, a concept that reimagines contemporary cruising as you know it. Unlike ocean liners, river cruise vessels are purpose built for gliding along smaller waterways. This means they can unlock access to a host of boutique destinations, as well as riverfront capitals.

Another major difference is the fact that you’ll be immersed in a boutique style environment. If you find the thought of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas a little overwhelming, river cruising slows down the pace and turns up the luxury. Small yacht style ships guarantee an intimate experience, backed by personalised service that’ll make you reconsider the definition of attentive.

Intrigued? To give you a taste of what river cruising is all about we’ve put together an overview of our two favourite lines that have us utterly enamoured with river cruising. Warning, you may want to drop everything and book yourself a river cruise.

Whether you want to discover Europe’s rich cultural canvas, explore the remote villages that dot the Mekong or throw back time in the ancient cities of China, India and Myanmar, APT will take you to places that no ocean liner could ever dream of. Every voyage is led by an expert APT Cruise Director who’s on hand to enrich your journey at every twist, bend and bow of the river.

For example, sail from Budapest to Amsterdam on APT’s luxury Magnificent Europe and you’ll be treated to a host of Signature Experiences. You’ll get to dress up to the nines for a romantic dinner at Germany’s Namedy Castle, ride the rails of the Majestic Imperator through the Austrian countryside and attend a private classical concert at City Palace in Vienna. And with all-inclusive sightseeing you’ll never have to think twice about whether to splurge on a shore excursion.

The ships themselves are built to capture the spirit of their homeports which means you’ll get to live and breathe your destination. Step aboard the RV Ganges Voyager and you’ll be treated to exotic décor, private panoramic balconies and an exclusive atmosphere that rivals the likes of India’s finest hotels. Not to mention the lavish East India Dining Room serving up a kaleidoscope of creamy kormas, buttery naans and everything in-between.

mark-2184-luxuryrivercruise_grownups_articlewk2_600w_5Crystal River
Powered by an unrivalled new fleet of five all-suite river yachts, Crystal’s river voyages elevate the concept of luxury cruising to the next level. They’ve been purpose built to traverse the grand waterways of Europe, which means you’ll experience the Danube and the Rhine in utter luxury. All backed up by private butler service for every suite. Fancy a mimosa with breakfast? Maybe you’re craving a sunset glass of bubbly? With Crystal, all you have to do is ask.

Every journey is distinguished by overnight stays in port and cultured onshore experiences which means you’ll get to truly immerse yourself in each destination. From the colourful windmills of Holland and the fairy-tale villages of Germany to the castle-strewn hillsides of Austria and the grand fortresses of Slovakia, Crystal is all about showcasing the legendary capitals and enchanting landscapes of Europe’s majestic waterways.

Wireless internet, luxe Egyptian linens and designer toiletries ensure you retreat to a sanctuary every evening. When you feel like a breath of fresh air you can relax on the sun deck, enjoy a custom blended cocktail at the Crystal Cove Bar or savour award-winning cuisine at Nobu’s legendary Silk Road restaurant.