Even ten years ago, river cruises were a niche holiday activity reserved for those with a special interest in a destination. Today, however, they replace many high-seas cruises every year as the vacation of choice for hundreds of thousands of guests.

We looked at the unique benefits of river cruises as well as the habits of today’s top travelers to learn more about the success river cruises has been conducting over the past five years.

In just five years, river cruises have gained popularity. Passengers flocked to boats that crossed some rivers in Europe and Asia in such large numbers that the sector recorded annual passenger growth of 10% – a figure that exceeds the industry’s annual average of 7%.

According to MarketWatch, passengers flock to European river cruises. Excursions across the rivers of the continent were one of the most popular trips of 2013 and, for the first time in recent history, hit cruises in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea.

The most popular European cruise destinations are the Danube, which offers passengers a unique view of the culture and wildlife of Central Europe, and the Rhine, which passes some of Germany’s most famous castles and historical destinations.

The goals are remarkable and the most experienced unbeatable. However, why have river cruises only recently gained popularity? We believe there is a mix of travellers ‘ changing tastes and a renewed interest in Europe’s cultural destinations.

Unlike deep-sea cruises, river cruises are not exclusive shows and on-board enjoyment, although they are sometimes offered. Instead, it’s about seeing the best was a destination has to offer, often up close, so passengers can see wonderful destinations from a new perspective.

After all, there is much more to see on a river than on the sea. Ocean cruises market their eye-catching cabins and amazing facilities, while river cruises aim to visit a breathtaking new part of the world.

This obviously does not mean that current cruisers are neither modern nor technologically comfortable. With wireless internet access and a variety of cabins to choose from, today’s river cruises are as comfortable – and as comfortable – as their offshore counterparts.

Was kicked out the window, but happens a little differently. Instead of the vastness of the ocean that visitors can enjoy on traditional cruise ships, Shearing’s best European holiday river cruises feature the continent’s best cultural hotspots, historic destinations, and incredibly beautiful landscapes.

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