River Cruise Destinations

Off-board adventures at ports of call can be as amazing as being on board the vessel. For each river cruise in Europe there is a distinct set of things to experience and see. Extreme adventurers, fans of history, and people looking for first-hand experience in local ways of life will all appreciate the options presented to them. ship-1578528__340.jpg You will gather boundless insights into Europe’s lively cultural centers, its historic treasures as well as its charming vistas.

TravelingVvoyaging on these smaller, well-appointed riverboats, ideal for docking in town centers, close to the main sights, is a fine way to celebrate Europe’s most luminous ports. The rivers of France offer up some of the world’s most well known places. Paris is one of the most gorgeous cities in the world, Provence delights the senses, Normandy is fascinating for the history that took place on its coasts, Bordeaux is a mecca for wine enthusiasts, and foodies will love the famed gastronomy of Lyon. The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the richest places in Europe, are as lovely as its well-known wine region and picturesque ports.

Hunt for truffles in Périgord and create your own particular blend of Cognac at the Camus distillery. The coast town of Arcachon in southwest France is famous for its delectable oysters. Taste Saint-Émilion, Médoc and Sauternes near their celebrated ”terroir”.

Whichever river you select for your trip through France – the Gironde, Seine, Rhône, or Dordogne -- the country’s intriguing history, spectacular art, and delicious food culture will delight. Anyone who loves visiting ancient forts and tiny medieval villages will enjoy traveling down the Elbe River through the Czech Republic and Germany. Wine lovers will love a trip on the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which flows through the region in Germany best known for its production of the Riesling grape.

In Central Europe, Danube River cruises take passengers to alluring Old World cities like Budapest where you can soak up the steam in a classic banya (thermal baths) or Vienna where you can learn the waltz, a dance which gained popularity in the ballrooms of the Austrian court. Austro-Hungarian cuisine will impress food lovers, while people that like to visit places that do not see as many travelers can go to one of the many charming smaller cities like Passau or Bratislava.

Visit Russia as never before on waterways of the Tsars where you’ll notice the swirling onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the stout towers of Moscow’s Red Square. Russia’s Hermitage Museum is the second largest museum in the world, and the building itself is also stunning and awe-inspiring.

A visit to the kommunalka will give you a first-hand understanding of how families lived commune-style in the Soviet era, while a stop at the gorgeous Peterhof Palace will give you fascinating insight into Peter the Great’s daily life.

In addition to its world-famous caviar, Russia has quite a few other delightful traditional dishes you should sample: blini pancakes, solyanka, borscht, and pirog. The chronicle of the Dnieper River was very much impacted by Ottoman, Mongol, Greek, Cossack, Tatar, Jewish, and Russian forces.

There are excellent museums and ancient churches to tour at various places along the way as well as imposing Soviet-era structures, or for a lighter experience get tickets to an entertaining local dance or musical show. Sail the Douro River in Portugal to the thriving cosmopolitan city of Lisbon, with its newly invigorated neighborhoods of art galleries, cafes, and shopping areas. Take in a performance of traditional fado singing, then over dinner savor the local culinary delights and delicious wines, including the region’s famous Port. A designated UNESCO site, the Douro River Valley was in addition the first demarcated wine appellation in Europe and the world.

Explore Nordic wonders by sea, then visit highlights of the legendary Rhine River. Start in Bergen, a historic city where the Vikings landed, then go to the charming village of Flåm and the nearby fjords, historic Kristiansand, and the more vibrant modern cities of Stavanger and Olso.

From the coastal village of Skagen, Denmark, sail the North Sea to Amsterdam, and on to explore Holland’s famous windmills in Kinderdijk. In Germany, taste local beer and visit the stunning ancient cathedral in Cologne or take a tour of the imposing Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lovely Middle Rhine should be high on your list, with stunning old forts, breathtaking churches, charming towns, and fascinating history.

The Black Forest in Germany is known for its lush forests, pampering spas, and enchanting villages; France’s Strasbourg is home to a stunning Gothic cathedral; and Basel, Switzerland is famous for having the country’s largest fine arts museum.

cook-islands-3998261__340.jpg The things that you do on land should be just as exciting as all the fun you will have onboard. Take advantage of your time at each and every port of call to truly experience its unique activities and sights. Every cruise ship is developed to be its own unique creation, just as each destination along the route is a unique and one-of-a-kind place.

Vacationing along Europe’s Famous Rivers

Experience the voyage of a lifetime cruising along Europe’s most famous rivers. From the rivers Rhine, Danube, Volga, Douro, and Dnieper to the Loire and the Elbe, cruising along these legendary waterways is the perfect way to travel. Although these ships are smaller in size, they are no less luxurious or technologically advanced, and offer high-end amenities, fine dining experiences, and interesting off-ship programs. These aspects provide an ambiance that is high-class yet intimate and peaceful.

The itineraries allow for the most possible amount of time to be spent at ports of call. These excursions allow travelers to get an inside look at the daily life of the locals at each place. Discover first-hand the customs and history of each intriguing European city you visit. Put your finger on the pulse of the continent’s remarkable cities and discover it through the stories revealed by its artists, history and culinary delights.

River Cruising Popularity Increasing

There is a well-known saying that the road best travelled is actually a river. More and more travelers are opting for a river cruise for their getaways. Every year this kind of travel has more features and amenities.

Travelers have gone on cruises for generations, but these days river cruises are getting to be a more frequent travel option, since some passengers prefer not to travel in open seas. Tourists from all over the world go to Europe for cruises, as they offer something for every sort of individual.

In addition, river cruises provide some advantages over ocean cruises. They allow guests the opportunity to get a greater and more in-depth view of many places. Boats that traverse rivers are usually much smaller than the traditional ocean cruiser, adding to the intimacy of the experience. The biggest river vessels have under 200 passengers and with the smaller size comes a higher staff-to-guest ratio and increased attention, so it becomes a very personal experience.

Rest assured that the pleasure of river cruise vessels is not at all jeopardized by the more modest sizes of the ships when compared to the size of ocean cruisers.

Many top boats, for example, spoil guests with decadent spas, lovely outdoor swimming pools, panoramic windows to see the views, and private balconies off their rooms. go-pro-1478810__340.jpg Travelers love how hassle-free and convenient river cruising can feel.

Someone will wait for you at the airport and take you right to the ship. At destinations, you simply walk off the boat and into town – no waiting in lines to go to shore. You only have to unpack your luggage one time, and each day you will wake up in a new place. Ship designers in Europe have also gained from the increased number of cruisers going through.

Existing boats sometimes need to be fixed or reconditioned, and new ships are being built all the time. The market has been requiring that the standards for river cruise lines become more and more deluxe. Not only are these vessels expected to be more contemporary and deluxe, they must also be state-of-the-art in terms of technology.

The increase in demand is making ship contractors fight to keep up at times. River boats are being built in a technique that is friendlier to the ecosystem than in the past, as are ocean vessels. Some of the most recent developments are particulate filter systems, water and energy-saving techniques, consistent elimination of waste, and recycling as well as shore-based power supply for the ships. Shore-based power components are an especially eco-friendly achievement for the river cruise industry.

These allow the ships to shut down the majority of their engines while lying at berth, which results in a significant reduction in nitrogen emissions. But river cruises have many more benefits than those. Since river cruises move at a comparatively slow speed, passengers have more opportunities to see and participate in the local cultures along the way.

As you cruise on the Danube you might get the occasion to see gypsy traditions come to life at a Hungarian dance performance, or in France savor the regional food and wine with a chef who invites you to a local market beforehand to pick out your own fresh seafood or produce.

River cruises definitely allow you to be more integrated in local cultures.

Someone who gets seasick will like river cruises a lot more than they will ocean cruises. There is practically zero potential of getting seasick on a river because they don’t have waves and the relaxing, slow float doesn’t rock the boat. In addition, there is almost always land on both sides of the ship for those who might be a bit fearful of open expanses of water.

Exploring a country or region by river helps guests to get an intimate view of the sights without having any stress or discomfort. With the greater global demand for river cruises comes a broader range of people signing up.

Week-long cruises tend to have younger passengers while retired folks have time for longer voyages. At one end of the spectrum are fun, family-friendly cruises while at the other end are the more stylish, lavish cruises with spas and other indulgences desired by adults.

One more thing to keep in mind when scheduling a cruise, whether it be a river cruise or an ocean cruise: it’s a great idea to purchase travel insurance. There are certain non-refundable payments required when scheduling a cruise in advance, and this will cover you.

With so many awesome perks, it’s no wonder that river cruises have grown to be such a popular way to travel and discover the world.

We will certainly be seeing that momentum continue for a very long time.

How are Ocean Cruises Different from River Cruises?

Although river cruises and ocean cruises are alike in many aspects, you will see some significant differences as well. In general, ocean liners are bigger in size and have added amenities in each stateroom.

Thanks to their more substantial size, they are also able to hold a lot more travelers. Since river ships hold fewer guests, passengers tend to get to know each other better and frequently build lasting friendships.

As opposed to ocean cruises, which are quite often traveling in open sea for days at a time, river cruises almost never sail a single full day at a time. Travelers typically wake up every day in a new location. While river cruising, you can also enjoy an ever-changing mural of breathtaking scenery from your ship, so the trip itself becomes part of your discovery.

Anyone concerned about being seasick will like the smooth sailing and shallow waters of a river cruise, as well as the fact that solid ground is usually visible.

That said, ocean cruises typically have more upscale features including gyms to work out, more of a selection for dining, and excellent live shows. new-zealand-2492599__340.jpg But most river cruises offer inclusive value, meaning your Wi-Fi, water, alcohol and included excursions are covered in the price.

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