The image of leisurely cruising down the waterways of Europe has captivated me for some time, so I certainly didn’t need any convincing when Johnny Jet posted about the chance to win a European river cruise. However, if you’re not familiar with river cruises or a bit stuck on the cheesy image of the ocean cruise industry, here are my top five reasons why a Scenic River Cruise is the vacation you didn’t know you desperately needed:
1. Private balconies
It’s just not a proper vacation if a balcony, patio or al fresco dining aren’t involved! Scenic’s extra large “Space-ships” provide plenty of room to stretch out inside your cabin, but I have a feeling I’ll be spending most of my on-ship time in the left third of the above photo, relaxing and taking in the phenomenal scenery. Traveling in cooler weather for something like the Christmas Markets River Cruise? The balconies have button control full glass enclosures for cozier contemplation of the sights.
2. Complimentary beverages
Oh, and meals, activities, airport transfers, excursions, butler service(!!), gratuities…almost literally everything is included. But let’s get back to the beverages. From your room’s mini bar to champagne breakfasts to drinks at the bar (regional wines or craft beers, anyone?), it’s all on the house, all day long. I’ll take a mimosa on the sun deck, please!
3. Free Wi-Fi
You should see the look of panic in my boyfriend’s eyes when I suggest vacationing somewhere without internet access! If you’re similarly inclined, you can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on making your Facebook friends green with envy over all the sightseeing, relaxing, eating and drinking you’re doing–sans the huge price tag that frequently accompanies Wi-Fi in Europe.
4. Fit for a Foodie
I can’t be the only one who plans my trips around dining options and feels seriously let down upon having to settle for sub-par food on vacation. Luckily, Scenic offers a wide variety of fantastic formal and informal dining options on ship, revolving around fresh local produce and highlighting regional specialties.
They’ve got you covered on land as well, providing one of a kind experiences like dining in an historic castle or with a local family. And in case you missed it while I was raving about beverages, everything is included, so you won’t have to waver between the dinner you really want and the one that would be kinder to your bank account.
5. It’s All About You!
Let Scenic worry about planning (and budgeting for) once in a lifetime sightseeing excursions, seeking out amazing local cuisine, navigating customs when moving from country to country, arranging for ground transportation in the local language, and seeing that everyone is tipped, just to name a few. All you’ll have to do is stroll on board, unpack once–no matter how many countries you visit on your cruise– and call for your butler.