Whenever someone mentions Christmas, the first thing that springs to mind is a gathering with your family, at home. You have gifts, you have the holiday atmosphere, and it’s all in all a great time of the year. However, that’s pretty traditional, and many of us actually want to replace that with something a bit unconventional.
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If you’re one of those people who want to swap that traditional Christmas atmosphere for something else, you might want to consider a Christmas river cruise. For example, you could visit the Komodo national park, or have a tour on the Amazon or Mekong rivers. When it comes to river cruises in Asia, it’s usually the months from October to May that are best, due to the rainy season that may affect your experience.
So, what can you expect from a river cruise? Why is it a good alternative to a traditional Christmas? Let’s find out.
You get to visit a lot of interesting places
When you think about a cruise, many people’s first thought is the ocean. And while there’s plenty of things to do on an ocean cruise, an ocean cruise mostly consists of long days spent out on the open water, with occasional stops to visit popular port destinations.
With a river cruise, things are a bit different. The rivers mean that you’ll be near land most of the time, and you’ll be able to visit a lot of locations as you go. You’ll actually spend quite a lot of time visiting tourist locations, from national parks to interesting cities and safari locations. You will get a lot of time to spend there, as river cruises are more focused on that instead of you spending time on the boat itself.
Another thing with river cruises is the fact that most (if not all) of the excursions you can attend are completely optional. You often even have multiple choices, so you can decide what you want to do with your time. Or, you can just take a nap if you’re tired.
You will meet a lot of new people
The other main difference between an ocean cruise and a river cruise is that with river cruises usually use much smaller boats, and there’s less people on them. However, they’re also more crowded, and you’ve got a lot more opportunities to interact with the other passengers on the cruise. Not only do you run into people all the time as you’re walking around the boat itself, but the activities on the ship are made to keep you hanging out with people.
For example, you’ll find that formal dinners and events on the boats will put you on a table with others you don’t know. The buffet and bars are often made in such a way that you have new people around you at all time. This is a major reason why many people opt for river cruises, especially solo travelers who want to expand their group of friends.
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However, it must be said that for people that don’t have a good tolerance for crowds, this might actually be a con. You might not be able to avoid that couple that insists on you having dinner again, and you’ll have to put up with that.
You will be away from the typical Christmas craze
While some enjoy all the Christmas atmosphere where everyone is in that Christmas mood, it’s no secret that others actually don’t find it that attractive, and would rather avoid that crowd if possible. If you’re one of those folks that actually want a break from that craze, a Christmas river cruise can be the perfect vacation for you.
Aside from visiting new places and meeting new people, you will have plenty of time to spend on that boat in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you want to chill in your cabin or have a glass of good wine in the ship’s restaurant, you will enjoy every moment of the cruise.
You get to have a vacation without the stress of organizing one
The paradox with vacations is that they do offer relaxation, but organizing them is pretty stressful. When it comes to river cruises, all you need to do is choose an itinerary, pay, and show up on embarkation day. That’s it. You can also choose optional excursions and activities, but you don’t have to.
You do get the benefits of a vacation – time away from home, new places, new people, a relaxed atmosphere on the boat, but those hours of booking your accommodation, making an itinerary yourself, and then worrying whether everything is going go according to plan are all gone. All you’ve got to do is show up and enjoy!