River cruising has fast become a popular way to tour some of Europe’s most treasured cities. Calling a luxurious suite aboard modern and intimate ships full of world-class amenities home, dining and being entertained as they sail to new and exciting destinations each day.
With so many options available, it’s hard to settle on just one. Each river offers a distinct personality and landscape; whether it’s the Rhine (often heralded as the Romantic Rhine) dotted with medieval castles, hillside vineyards and quaint towns; the Seine, Saone & Rhone rivers of France, offering superb wine tasting opportunities and visits to many historical points of interest or the mighty Danube River, which offers a glimpse into many fascinating cultures passing through up to 10 countries along the way. To help make the decision that little bit easier, here is some insight on the best river cruise destinations that Europe has to offer...
The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe and the main artery on the continent stretching at 2,860 kilometres long. Rising from the Black Forest mountains and flowing south to the Black Sea, the river rages through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania just to name a few. This gives visitors the chance to discover the diversity and rich history of so many of Europe’s cultural gems.
Pitstops dotted along the cruise include UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bamberg and the medieval 14th century Old Town Hall built on the middle of the Regnitz river, which can only be accessed via two bridges.
Visitors will also fall in love with the magical city of Vienna, home to the finest music and art ever created and spend time in grand Budapest, one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities offering a vibrant art scene and traditional coffee house culture. Budapest is packed with famous attractions such as Fisherman’s Bastion, which offers incredible sweeping views of the Danube River, and the Parliament Building and Chain Bridge, which beautifully illuminates the Danube and the most photographed of the eight bridges in the city.
The Rhine River boasts some of the most incredible vistas, with its banks lined with ancient castles, sprawling vineyards, historic towns and breathtaking gorges that wind through the picturesque European countryside.
Starting in the Swiss Alps, the river flows through the Rhineland before spilling into the North Sea in the Netherlands. Some of the highlights on the Rhine include:
Amsterdam and its network of canals and classic architecture
Cologne, a city buzzing with cafes, bars and shopping opportunities and famous for its gothic twin steepled cathedral
Rudesheim deep in the Rhine Valley, known for its lush vineyards and famed Riesling wines
Strasbourg, with its canals and half-timbered houses perfectly blending both German and French culture.
The Seine, Saone and Rhone
Cruise along the rivers of France and soak in the exquisite countryside, ancient Romanesque architecture, monumental war heritage and world-class wine and cuisine.
From Paris, the romantic ‘City of Light’, the Seine River carries visitors through Northern France to the upper Normandy region, visiting Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny and the infamous beaches that played host to the D-Day landings in 1944.
Alternatively, the Saone and Rhone rivers flow south, snaking through the Burgundy region past vivid lavender fields, rolling hills sprinkled with vineyards and ancient Roman ruins sparkling with the Provençal light that inspired the likes of Van Gogh and Picasso.
No matter the direction or destination, France is a country that boasts bountiful treasure, grandeur and beauty to discover.
With over 50 different cruising options available, Avalon Waterways has the perfect itinerary to suit your needs. So, go where your dreams take you! 2017 and 2018 cruises are out now with special offers available. For more information visit click here.