The slow pace and mesmerizing scenery offer total immersion in the culture and landscape.
As I stood on the boat’s top deck, watching the captain ease the vessel out of a lock on a Netherlands canal, I looked up to see black-and-white cows grazing in a pasture by the side of the canal while bicyclists pedaled past on a nearby path. That moment captured the essence of a river cruise: The proximity to the landscape immerses you in the destination from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
River cruising is the cruise industry’s fastest-growing segment. More than 120 new vessels have entered service in the past five years. Last spring, my husband, Paul, and I sailed rivers, canals, and other waterways in the Netherlands and Belgium aboard AmaWaterways’ newest vessel, AmaLea, and discovered 10 reasons why river cruising is on the rise.