A River cruise is a voyage along inland waterways, often stopping at multiple ports along the way. Since cities and towns often grew up around rivers, river cruise ships frequently dock in the center of cities and towns.
River day cruises
River day cruises are day excursions ranging from 30 minutes to a full day. They can be from boats carrying as little as 10 people to the thousands. Such a cruise is typically based in a city with a river flowing through the centre (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bangkok) or an area of natural beauty on the Rhine  and on the Thames. Some popular locations include:
- Europe: Amsterdam, Budapest, Cologne, London, Paris
- Asia: Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Malacca, Kuching, Singapore
- America: New York, New Orleans, San Antonio
- Africa: Luxor, Cairo
These are river cruise ships with accommodation facilities.
According to Douglas Ward, "A river cruise represents life in the slow lane, sailing along at a gentle pace, soaking up the scenery, with plentiful opportunities to explore riverside towns and cities en route. It is a supremely calming experience, an antidote to the pressures of life in a fast-paced world, in surroundings that are comfortable without being fussy or pretentious, with good food and enjoyable company."
The differences between river and ocean cruises:
- The ships are smaller because of the size of the river. Most of the ships hold between 90 and 250 passengers but there are exceptions. The atmosphere is more intimate and friendly.
- The river cruise provides a unique way of seeing the country's interior.
- Land is always in sight and there is always something to see.
- Unlikely to get motion sickness.
River cruises is now a major tourist industry present in many parts of the world.
- Europe: Rhine, Seine, Danube, Volga
- Asia: Yangtze, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Ganga, Brahmaputra
- Australia: Murray
- Africa: Nile
- America: Mississippi, Peruvian Amazon
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- "Boating at Cliveden". National Trust. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- "Bangkok River Cruise Tours - Bangkok Tours & Day Trips". Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- "The Top 18 Rhine River Day Cruises Tours | Viator". www.viator.com. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- "Boat trips on the River Thames - River Thames". www.visitthames.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- Ward, Douglas (2007). Insight Guide to Great River Cruises. Insight Guides. p. 15. ISBN 978-981-258-397-0.
- "The ultimate guide to river cruises". Retrieved 2016-06-24.