Ask This When Planning a River Cruise

When planning a river cruise, there are many things to keep in mind that may be different than other trips. Many river cruises stop quite frequently, and boats are often smaller than the gigantic ocean liners that larger cruises use. Make sure you’re prepared by asking yourself the following questions when confirming all your details. Taking a few minutes to check everything can save you from major headaches while on board, giving you more time to relax and enjoy your beautiful surroundings.


  1. AskThisWhen on June 15, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Do I need a visa?

    Before embarking on your cruise, make sure that your passport allows you entry into all of the countries that you are visiting. Citizens of Canada and the USA don’t require a visa to enter anywhere in the European Union other than Istanbul, Turkey. However, if you are taking a river cruise in Asia, South America or Africa, you may need to do some digging on your Department of Foreign Affairs website to make sure that you will be able to enjoy all the cruise stops.

  2. AskThisWhen on June 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    How many cities will our boat dock at?

    Each river cruise has its own itinerary of activities and often will have a specialized focus — like architecture, food and wine, or even Christmas Markets! Make sure you’re prepared by checking out guidebooks or information on each city before boarding the ship. The concierge on board should have basic information on the city, as well as activities that are available to cruise guests, but planning your own activities and sights to see will make the trip perfectly suited to your needs.

  3. AskThisWhen on June 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    What clothes should I bring on my cruise?

    When going on a river cruise, you should prepare for any variety of weather. Even if you take a cruise in the height of summer, being prepared for wet, windy, or cold weather can ensure that you never miss a day of activities. A foldable plastic rain poncho is easy to pack, and can be a lifesaver! Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, as some places may not have even sidewalks or roads. As well, if you want to enjoy fine dining restaurants on land or aboard the ship, you will need to bring smart-casual or even formal wear.

  4. AskThisWhen on June 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    How will I pay for things aboard the ship?

    Before you depart, make sure that you are aware of what currencies are used onboard your ship. Many cruise ships will accept Visa, Mastercard, or debit cards aboard, but not all of them. Some ships even offer cashless cruising, where everything can be charged to a card that is linked to your room’s account. Before departing, make sure that you have a stock of currency from every country that you will be visiting. This can save you money in the long run, as the exchange fees are often exorbitant aboard the ship, and your first thought when going ashore shouldn’t be finding an ATM terminal.

  5. AskThisWhen on June 15, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    What amenities are available aboard the ship?

    Nowadays, many river cruise ships are equipped with all the amenities that you would find in an on-shore hotel, like high speed Wi-Fi, laundry service, libraries, hair salons — even dance clubs! Every effort is made to keep cruise guests relaxed and entertained while on board, including bringing on local artists to perform at night, and ensuring that the kitchens have access to the freshest local food. However, cruise guests should check with the cruise website and information packet before departing to see what amenities are available with their package. For example, some cruises offer ATMs aboard the ship, while others don’t. Make sure you’re aware, so you can plan ahead.