Why a river cruise?
River Cruising – a relaxing way to explore
River cruises can take you right to the heart of a country and are a relaxing and time-efficient way of seeing fascinating cities, historic landmarks and beautiful scenery. Rivers have throughout history been the world’s natural highways, connecting people their cultures and allowing them to trade and transport goods. The history of these peoples have remained along their shores, making a river journey one of the most culturally enriching and rewarding travel experiences you can have.
One of the joys of a river cruise is that once you unpack your hotel travels with you. No need to worry about struggling with a foreign language ( but of course it is always fun to try, and appreciated too by the locals), decipher a map, read a road sign, or even pick up a guidebook and of course there is always something new to see out of the window. A typical river cruise will spend half a day sailing and half ashore. With most operators including interesting excursions in the price it’s a great way for you to get the best of a region, its history and customs. You can of course choose to explore ashore at your own leisure and not join an organised group.
River cruise ships only hold on average 150 passengers making the atmosphere on board cosy and friendly. Most ships all have outside cabins and or staterooms with balconies, so you will have at least one window to take in and admire the view from. With plenty of room outside on the sun decks, you can just relax as your ship reveals to you the ever changing countryside. With comfy bars and restaurants there is always the opportunity to meet and greet new friends and it is surprising just how many people make life longs friendships with someone they met cruising. Great food is of course an essential part of any cruising experience – and river cruising is no exception. Start the day in style with a tasty breakfast, enjoy a spot of lunch, and choose from a selection of tempting dinner options, with new dishes to try every evening.
River cruising is the best way to travel through many of Europe's most fascinating locations. Comfortable and convenient, it offers a great variety of destinations and lets you get in-depth exposure to the culture and history of each region. Both experienced and first-time travellers are discovering the joys of river cruising.
Step aboard. Unpack. Explore, and enjoy.
The romantic Rhine River originates in Switzerland and winds its way through France, Germany and Holland before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Along its banks are mighty fortresses, romantic palaces and ancient homes.
The Rhine Gorge section, a World Heritage Site, is the most famous part of the River Rhine. A cruise gives views of vineyard covered slopes dotted with ancient castles, and passes the famed Lorelei Rock.
At Koblenz, overlooked by the Ehrenbreitstein fortress, the River Mosel leaves the Rhine which continues to Cologne, with its Old Town and great Gothic twin-spire cathedral.
The lower River Rhine then flows through rich farmland to Holland and the colourful cosmopolian city of Amsterdam.
The Moselle, Saar and Ruwer. The Moselle River provides lots of excellent opportunities to soak in the sights of untouched nature, it is a landscape of superlatives. This is where you will encounter one of the most successful blends between a rich, ancient culture and nature, sometimes enchanting and sometimes spectacular. The close proximity to France and Luxembourg has inspired the way of life and the culinary delights of the Moselle-area. Very few tourist areas are able to enthral their visitors with so many different facets
Cruising the Danube is a lesson in history of days gone by when Vienna ruled an empire and, more recently, when the infamous Iron Curtain divided Europe. Now the curtain has gone, and you can explore ancient cities that were mostly closed to the west for more than 40 years.
The Danube flows from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania, passing through or between Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania on the way and a cruise along the Danube river gives you the chance to visit the beautiful and historic cities of Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, Passau and Saltsburg to name but a few.
The Douro is full of unforgettable experiences that may surprise those unfamiliar with this region. Cruise the gorgeous Douro Valley and sample Spanish and Portuguese culture at its most authentic. From Porto, one of Europe's oldest cities, to the traditions and architecture of Salamanca and Vila Real, a Douro river cruise is full of ancient charm, whilst you can also enjoy the wonderful port wines that the area is renowned for. Enjoy a visit to the wonderful, UNESCO city of Porto known for its historic centre, graceful bridges and world-famous port wine houses.
The Dutch Waterways
The Dutch Waterways are the densest network of inland waterways in Europe, with many fed by the Rhine as it crosses the border from Germany into the Netherlands. They work their way across the Netherlands before reaching the North Sea.
A Dutch Waterways river cruise takes you to picture-postcard towns and cities, quaint harbours and fishing villages with rows of brightly painted gabled buildings. Visit the world famous Keukenhof Gardens where the tulips are in bloom from late-March to mid-May, depending on the variety and the weather. The Dutch Waterways boast colourful canals, old wooden windmills, vibrant bulbfields, a rich maritime history, the art of Rubens and Rembrandt and of course delicious cheese!
Many river cruise tours visit Amsterdam with its broad spectrum of recreational and cultural sights that range from fascinating old buildings, like the Oude Kerk, to oddities such as the Hash Marihuana Museum. Museums are the main tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Everyone knows the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum, but there is much, much more. Amsterdam has over fifty museums which attract many millions of visitors every year.
The Seine is France’s second-longest river flowing for 776 km (482 miles) from the Paris Basin in the north of France and crosses the green countryside of Normandy before emptying into the English Channel at Le Havre. No trip down the Seine would be complete without first enjoying Paris, “The City of Lights” It probably has more familiar landmarks than any other city in the world as well as numerous parks, museums and galleries. It is also one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres.
A cruise along this gently flowing river to the Normandy coast is a voyage taking you through some of France’s most scenic countryside. Including farmland and meadows, historic towns and sleepy villages.
Russia's imperial waterways, for so long closed off to the west are now open and enjoyed by a growing number of travellers. Experience the real Russia as you cruise along the intricate network of rivers, canals and vast lakes transporting you through rolling countryside, dotted with farms, villages and towns that are characterised by onion domed churches and cathedrals. Experience the expansive beauty of rural Russia on tours which journey from the Russian capital, Moscow, to the glittering city of St. Petersburg.
Sail along the Volga and discover the Golden Ring cities, whilst cruising Europe’s two largest lakes and the Volga-Baltic waterway make this trip one extraordinary journey.
A cruise along the Russian Waterways takes you through an amazing country once shrouded in mystery.
Ancient and mysterious let the Nile transport you back in time. Witness the land of the Pharaohs and its fascinating history. Cruise the magical Nile River and discover why there are fewer places on earth that conjure up the mystique and magic of this ancient river, lifeblood and cradle to one of the world's greatest civilisations. The great Egyptian Pharaohs such as Tutankhamun and Cleopatra used the Nile to travel up and down their kingdom, you too can gaze in wonder at the host of historical sites and ruins that lie along its ancient shores, including the Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx. Karnak one of the world’s largest temple complexes, Luxor boasting a rich legacy of temples, tombs and monuments, Edfu and The Temple of Horus dedicated to the falcon headed god and the mystical Valley of the Kings, the incredible burial site and royal cemetery for 62 Pharaohs.
A true journey of a lifetime.
One of China’s must-see sights, the Yangtze River is the third largest in the world and one of its most famous waterways. The spectacular mixture of history, culture, engineering feats and scenery is unsurpassed. The Three Gorges of Qutang, Wu, and Xiling, are the most famous attractions along the Yangtze River, spanning from Eastern Sichuan to Western Hubei and are some of the most dramatic gorges in the world.
Explore ancient cities, admire spectacular scenery and absorb the rich culture. A cruise on the River Yangtze will certainly make for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Discover Venice one of the most iconic cities in Italy and Its rich heritage on a cruise along it’s canals and Lagoon. Immerse yourself in Venice's artistic history on beautiful buildings. The Venetian Lagoon and the Piazza San Marco will leave you with some unforgettable moments, but the beauty and uniqueness of Venice make this the most breath-taking experience of all. Don't forget to admire the striking view over the most famous quarter of La Serenissima, with the Basilica and the Palace of the Doges. Heading north you will encounter a myriad of romantic islands: Murano and its virtuoso glassmakers, Burano, the island of lace makers, or Torcello, whose Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta is one of the finest examples of Byzantine style.