Both river cruising and ocean cruising feel somewhat similar in terms of traveling experience. You are on a body of water, floating across the giant oceans around the globe, from one destination to another. Yet, the similarities do not match when it comes to the facilities, amenities, and extravagance of ocean cruises.
There are apparent differences between the two. Ocean cruises might look more expensive in terms of their grandeur and magnificence. Still, river cruises take the prize away when it comes to being expensive.
Ocean cruises are pretty standard among people. More footfall is seen on these large ships as compared to river cruises. Therefore, the best river cruises in the world are less common and thereby become a little on the expensive side.
When it comes to comparing their prices, as we have already stated, river cruises turn out to be more expensive than ocean cruises. Fare for river cruises includes most of the things that are extras on regular ocean cruises. And considering today’s times, almost everything on an ocean cruise is “extra,” unless you are traveling on one of the super-luxurious ocean cruise lines.
Perhaps, the biggest reason why the best river cruises in the world are more expensive, even when they are not as grand and luxurious as the ocean cruises: Economies of scale.
On an ocean cruise, you will find almost 6,000-8,000 passengers everywhere, waiting in line for food, bathrooms, lifeboats, and what not! However, you will only find between 100-200 people on a river cruise at the most. Now, since river cruises will not resemble ocean cruises in terms of the food and groceries they are sticking upon, their prices tend to go a little on the higher side than ocean cruises. River cruises do not have the storage to stock up on resources by the container, which includes food and drinks. And they often end up making the overall cost more expensive.
The food on river cruises is locally sourced, making it fresher, healthier, and sustainable. This benefits the health of passengers and the local farmers of the area that the cruises are visiting. So, the next time you eat a tomato on a river cruise in Prague, remember it is not from your own country!
Another reason why the best river cruises in the world are on the expensive side is staffing costs. River cruise companies pay their employees better salaries than the employees on an ocean cruise. This staff hands you those pretty napkins when you are on board. The employees on river cruises are paid extra for the effort put in by a small number of people doing almost everything as ocean cruises do for you. So, paying the extra wage does end up in the overall cost!
There are multiple other reasons why some of the best river cruises in the world will cost you extra compared to ocean cruises.
1. River cruises offer you some of the best rooms. Now, since most river cruises are newer in terms of construction, they provide better and luxurious services than ocean cruises. A few river cruise ships came out in 2017, and the latest innovations and decor trends are taking the cost of river cruising on the higher side.
2. You are offered better services overall on a river cruise than on ocean cruises. Considering the ratio between a higher number of staff members and a lower number of passengers, you are bound to get better and more personalized services than ocean cruises.
3. Food quality is amazingly better on river cruises than on ocean cruises. This is not because the produce and grocery are freshly sourced. Still, the food is prepared craftily for only a handful of people, with love, unlike preparing fast food items for 6,000-8,000 people with minimal quality, served in the ocean dining halls. Therefore, the quality is kept in mind as an integral aspect, thus raising the overall fare for river cruises.
4. River cruises boast exotic itineraries, often to places where bigger ocean cruise ships cannot go. So, instead of only seeing the primary cities and towns around the coastal regions of your desired destinations, you get to see and experience the locations like a local. River cruises offer you the intimacy of some of the most extraordinary sites inside a country, thereby raining up the overall costs. You will never see the Amazon and the surrounding regions so intricately with ocean cruises or even the Mekong or the Ganges.
5. In almost all cases, river cruises come loaded with shore excursions and a gazillion things to do. At every port, there is a walking tour and other similar locale-friendly tours and activities, with adequate professional help, that you and your loved ones are going to enjoy. So, the next time you travel on a river cruise in European waters, don’t forget to explore Europe like a local.
6. Beer and wine will overflow during lunch or dinner on a river cruise, unlike an ocean cruise. The staff on a river cruise love to roll out the best of the best in the dining room, which is something people do not want to miss.
7. You do not have to wait in long lines to embark or disembark on your journey aboard a river cruise. You do not have to wait and board many flights to reach your river cruise ship in time. Usually, these cruises start their journeys from the middle of the cities and towns, so you can relax and reach in time without the extra hassle. The same goes for shore excursions. The excursions usually happen in locations where you can quickly get off the ship and reach well in time.
8. River cruises offer its passengers plenty of room onboard for fine dining. There will always be a seat for you at the dinner table, so you do not have to wait or fight around to get your much-deserved space. This extra-special treatment raises the cost a bit for river cruises and offers you a great experience.
9. River cruises are great when it comes to medical emergencies, unlike an ocean cruise. When onboard a river cruise, you are almost always just a few hundred feet away from the land, and medical facilities will always be nearby. So, if you feel sick, you can reach medical staff in time, unlike an ocean cruise, which leaves you stranded in the middle of a massive ocean with rigid itineraries.
10. For better traveling experiences, the best river cruises in the world always have something extra to offer! You will always find friendly, interesting people on board. Of course, it will be a win-win for introverts and shy people because they will have fewer people to be bothered with! You will not encounter too many annoying people onboard, often giving you the much-needed relaxing vacation time! However, if you are a people person and love making friends, you will not be disappointed either. River cruises are a fantastic place to find like-minded people. For the duration of your journey, you will have a traveling friend bonded to you for a lifetime. PS: Some people often end up finding their soulmates onboard, so keep an eye out!
Yes, river cruises do end up costing a bit more when compared to ocean cruises. But they offer you the kind of experience that no other ship or boat can. Once you start river cruising, you will never want to look back. You will keep wanting to repeat the experience over and over again. This is the magic the best river cruises in the world have on people!