For newlyweds looking to travel to Europe on the honeymoon, a river cruise option may come up in the research when looking into options. It sounds like a great choice: you unpack once, and the boat takes you to the highlights of a country, a region, or even a wide swathe of the continent. So how do you know if it's right for you? First, answer these questions:
1. How do you feel about traveling with people who are older than you?
The average American honeymooner is in her 20s or 30s — the average river cruiser is in their 50s, 60s, or 70s.
Result: If the answer is "Fine by me!" keep reading.
2. Do you have your own itinerary in mind?
River cruise itineraries are determined by the flow of the river. While there is some busing to nearby sites, the majority of what you see on these trips is in cities and towns based on or close to the river's edge. So, if you know what towns you want to explore, and some of them are pretty far inland, you may be better off on your own.
Result: If the answer is "no" keep reading.
3. Do you know which sites you want to visit?
River cruises tend to dock in a different town each morning, and then passengers are led on a guided group walking tour or allowed to explore on their on by bicycle. If you're looking to a general introduction to a region, this is a great way to leave the planning to someone else, and be given more context then you would have if you traveled alone. However, if you know exactly what museum or what restaurant you want to head to in each place, you may do better exploring independently by train or rental car.
Result: If the answer is a "no" keep reading.
4. As a couple, are you very social?
River cruises tend to carry from 150 to just under 200 passengers, a size that fosters camaraderie. Passengers tend to get to know each other as the week progresses, sharing meals and meeting for after-dinner drinks. For those who prefer privacy and anonymity, this could feel like an imposition.
Result: If the answer is a shrug or a "yes" keep reading.
5. Is nightlife important to you?
River cruises tend to be rather sleepy affairs after dark. The main event is dinner, followed by drinks in the lounge with a singer, pianist, or other entertainer performing for the group.
Result: If the answer is a shrug or a "not really" keep reading.
Congratulations! If you got this far, you should definitely consider a river cruise for your honeymoon.