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Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of bookpleasures.com and sketchandtravel.com is pleased to have as our guest, Chuck Lang, who was responsible in the decision to publish Great River Cruises of Europe and the Nile.

Good day Chuck and thank you for participating in our interview.

Norm:

Chuck, please tell us something about Great River Cruises of Europe and the Nile and how did you become interested in this guide?

Chuck:

It is a growing area of travel and we felt that Insight could create a truly unique book on the subject. Many of our readers and travel writers have asked us about a title and we felt the time was right. It is a beautiful and slightly exotic way to travel and the idea of a comprehensive guide seemed right.

Norm:

Could you describe to our audience what river cruises are and where can one join one of these cruises?

Chuck:

A river cruise is a scenic voyage in a floating hotel. The ship stops each day for sightseeing and shopping excursions and sails in the evening or early mornings. This allows the passengers to have maximum time ashore and schedules are set so particularly scenic stretches are sailed in daylight.

Any cruise travel agency offers these and information can be found online. Many have specific English language cruises as they tend to be very international and many languages are spoken on board.

Norm:

If you had to choose eight of the most romantic river cruises, which ones would they be and why?

Chuck:

The variety of places to see and the time of year to travel actually make most of them romantic. The European winters are shorter and less cold than most of the US so a romantic Valentine's Day cruise is quite possible. Vienna, Amsterdam, Prague, Venice are all places you can visit while on a river cruise, each one besides being spectacular to see are all quite romantic.

Norm:

What kind of accommodations and food can one expect on a river cruise?

Chuck:

As the ship travels so close to land at all times the main difference is that each cabin has larger windows, newer ships have balcony cabins. The cabins are similar to cruise ships compact and well-appointed.

The food is truly international with buffet breakfasts, lunches and lavish dinners usually featuring local dishes. There are not specialty restaurants and usually not 24-hour dining as there is so much time off the ship with all the stops.

Norm:

How expensive are these river cruises?

Chuck:

One can find a cruise to fit any budget; they can be as lavish as you like but there are many more modestly priced options. There are 5-star vessels like the Road to Mandalay in Burma and budget vessels catering to younger and independent travelers. Depending on your time and research there are many options.

Norm:

What is the difference between a river cruise and an ocean cruise?

Chuck:

The ocean cruise is more focused on the vessel and river cruises are focused on the destinations. On an ocean cruise the ship is part of the experience and prices depend on the line River cruise ships are lower to navigate the bridges and cannot accommodate spas and theaters. You purchase and choose by the destinations.

Norm:

How do you go about checking the reliability or rating of a particular river cruise and how would you know that a particular cruise is the right one for you?

Chuck:

There are not official ratings as there are thousands of options. Operators rate their ships up to 5 stars. Basically a 3 star is basic and a 5 star is quite luxurious.

You can take advice from a travel agent and read on the net and travel blogs for personal experiences. Another good way to judge is how close to the center of a city that a ship docks. The closer to center of town is a good indication of a quality ship.

Norm:

How safe are river cruises and what happens if you become ill on one of these cruises?

Chuck:

River cruises are very safe and the water is usually rather calm and not as choppy as the open seas. Many ships do not have full-time doctors as they travel so close to shore. They do in more challenging areas such as China or Russia.

If you do become ill there is an infirmary or you are taken ashore to a doctor or hospital. You should always travel with travel insurance as on any international trip.

Norm:

Where can one purchase Great River Cruises of Europe and the Nile?

Chuck:

Anywhere books are sold actually, in most any bookstore or online retailer. If there is any problem locating a copy at retail visit OUR SITE

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?

Chuck:

I would encourage people to consider this as a way to travel. In a week to 10 days you can see 7-10 different countries and it is a uniquely beautiful way to travel.

Thanks once again for participating in our interview.

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