5 Reasons Why You Should Experience the Magic of a River Cruise

May 25, 2022 | Frances Gertsch | Stewart Travel Group

Hello, fellow wanderers! As one of Stewart Travel Group’s Trusted Travel Advisors, I am here to spill the secrets of an extraordinary travel experience: river cruises. Buckle up: we are about to embark on a journey that combines opulence, authenticity, and the joy of exploration. Get ready to fall head over heels for the idea of planning a river cruise as we reveal the five reasons why we think you should experience the magic of one of our favourite ways to travel. 

Your Floating Boutique Hotel 

Picture this: A floating sanctuary nestled upon tranquil waters, boasting beautiful accommodations, unrivaled amenities, and impeccable service. River cruises offer the epitome of luxury. Your boutique hotel travels with you throughout your vacation. Gone are the days of cramped cabins and impersonal lodging – here, you'll revel in spacious staterooms adorned with plush furnishings, panoramic windows, and private balconies. Each room is meticulously designed to provide the utmost comfort, ensuring you wake up to breathtaking views and a sense of tranquility.

Moreover, the onboard amenities rival those of the most exclusive resorts. On some ships you can Indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, dive into the refreshing pool, or sweat it out at the state-of-the-art fitness center. Your every desire is catered to by an attentive and professional crew, committed to ensuring that your journey is nothing short of perfection. From personalized concierge services to round-the-clock assistance, they anticipate your needs and strive to exceed your expectations. Prepare to be pampered like royalty as you immerse yourself in the lap of luxury.

A twin-balcony stateroom on board the AmaSonata, which we will be sailing on the 2023 Melodies of the Danube river cruise. (Photo: AmaWaterways)

Local Tastes and Flavours

Prepare your taste buds for an epicurean adventure like no other! River cruises are a haven for culinary enthusiasts, where gastronomic delights await at every turn. Imagine savoring delectable dishes crafted by world-class chefs, inspired by the bountiful flavors of the regions you traverse. Each meal is an artistic masterpiece, celebrating the local cuisine and sourcing fresh, seasonal ingredients.

From sumptuous breakfasts to gourmet multi-course dinners, every dish tells a story of the destination you're exploring. Feast on succulent local seafood, relish the delicate spices of Asian fusion cuisine along the Mekong, or delight in hearty stews and aromatic cheeses while cruising through the heart of Europe. The culinary experience is elevated with perfectly paired wines, hand-selected to complement each flavor profile and enrich your voyage, and often sourced locally.

Each guest on board an AmaWaterways river cruise has the opportunity to dine at the Chef's table once per sailing. AmaWaterways is a member of  La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, a prestigious international gastronomic society dedicated to fine cuisine and one of the oldest and largest food and wine societies in the world. (PHOTO: AmaWaterways)

The Heart of the Destination

One of the most remarkable aspects of river cruises is the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the very heart of the countries you visit. Unlike ocean cruises that dock at distant ports, river cruises allow you to dock right in the heart of charming towns and vibrant cities, offering unrivaled access to cultural treasures and hidden gems.

Step off your floating sanctuary, and you'll find yourself in the midst of bustling markets, grand cathedrals, and quaint cobblestone streets. Saunter through local neighborhoods, engage with friendly locals, and soak up the authentic atmosphere that is often missed by traditional travelers. Whether it's exploring the vineyards of Bordeaux, strolling through the historic streets of Vienna, or savoring fresh flavours at the local market, each docking location promises a captivating adventure that will leave you breathless.

An AmaWaterways ship sailing through the heart of the city. (PHOTO: AmaWaterways)

Satiating the Curious Traveller

Calling all curious souls! River cruises are a treasure trove of knowledge and an opportunity to satiate your thirst for exploration. Whether you're an avid history buff, a culture enthusiast, or a culinary connoisseur, these voyages offer a wealth of experiences that cater to all interests.

Knowledgeable guides, well-versed in the nuances of each destination, accompany you on your journey. Unveil the layers of history as you walk the same paths as ancient civilizations, discover architectural marvels, and unlock the secrets of iconic landmarks. Engage in captivating lectures, workshops, and demonstrations that provide insights into the local customs, traditions, and artistic heritage of the regions you visit.

Moreover, river cruises often feature immersive excursions that go beyond the usual tourist trail. Take part in wine tastings at family-owned vineyards, learn to cook traditional dishes from local chefs, or embark on guided nature hikes through breathtaking landscapes. Immerse yourself in the fabric of the destination, forging connections that will last a lifetime and leaving with a deep appreciation for the world's diverse cultures.

You can personalize your experience in every port of call with AmaWaterways' menu of shore excursions that are included in your cruise fare. (PHOTO: AmaWaterways)


One of the most appealing aspects of river cruises is their inclusivity. These voyages are designed to cater to a wide range of preferences and abilities, ensuring that everyone can partake in the extraordinary experiences they offer. Whether a river cruise that is hosted by one of the Trusted Travel Advisors at Stewart Travel Group or a cruise you take in the care of the expert Cruise Director on board, you will always be cared for and included. 

Luxury river cruises provide a welcoming environment that is both accommodating and accessible. Whether you're traveling solo, as a couple, or with a group of friends and family, you'll find an array of stateroom options to suit your needs. Additionally, the onboard facilities are designed to be easily navigable, with elevators and ramps ensuring that travelers of all mobility levels can move around comfortably.

Moreover, river cruises foster a sense of community, where passengers from diverse backgrounds and cultures come together to share their love for travel. Engage in stimulating conversations, forge new friendships, and create cherished memories with like-minded individuals who share your passion for exploration.

Ama means "love" and on every AmaWaterways river cruise you'll feel the love from staff and make incredible connections with fellow guests. (PHOTO: AmaWaterways)

There you have it, dear travelers—a glimpse into the enchanting world of river cruises. From the boutique hotel experience on the water to the culinary feasts, immersive cultural encounters, and inclusive atmosphere, these voyages are an ideal choice for those seeking a truly extraordinary adventure.

So, why should you plan a river cruise? Because it offers the perfect blend of opulence, authenticity, and discovery. It is a voyage where luxury meets exploration, where you can immerse yourself in the heart of the countries you visit and unlock the secrets of their history, culture, and cuisine. Let the tranquil waters carry you on a journey that will ignite your senses, broaden your horizons, and leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Now, my fellow wanderers, it's time to pack your bags, prepare for the voyage of a lifetime, and let the river guide you to the extraordinary experiences that await. Bon voyage!

Stewart Travel Group has four hosted river cruise experiences available in 2023 and 2024: 

Reach out to your Trusted Travel Advisor to learn more.