See the sites from a different perspective
You may be too young to remember that old song. But, like many songs of yesteryear, it was about romance. Well, traveling the world on river cruises is still romantic today, but also full of history. Rivers were the freeways long ago and much of commerce in Europe still goes down the rivers. For the traveler, it is an easy way to see the interior of many countries. You unpack once, your meals are prepared for you, someone makes your bed and cleans the bathroom and you get to have a live history lesson.
Where do these cruises go?
- Many countries in central and southern Europe
- United States
- Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos
What are the vessels on these rivers? For the most part they are barge-like vessels-long and flat so they go under bridges. One part are the cabins and the other part are the public rooms. In France you can rent small self-drive barges on the canals. These come with bicycles. Tie up anywhere, ride into town and get your cheese, bread and wine and you are set. The barges come in various sizes so take a family or some friends.
Let’s look at some of the more common rivers in Europe. From Amsterdam on the Rhine connecting to the Main through Germany connecting to the Danube though Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. That whole stretch takes 30 days but the sights are wonderful. Everyday you are in a different city with a tour guide visiting the major sights. Or you can break it up into smaller segments.
Holland at Tulip Time is beautiful. Starting in the cosmopolitan city of
Amsterdam, visiting the little villages of Hoorn, Enkhuizen, Veere, Middleburg and the port of Rotterdam as well as the diamond city of Antwerp ending in the Unesco city of Bruges in Brussels. A trip full of charm and history with many exciting tours including Keukenhof Gardens to see the picture-like acres of flowers.
The legendary Rhine and Moselle Rivers from Amsterdam to Basel with its ancient villages, vineyards and castles. The enchanting Danube from Budapest to Passau will enchant you with the hilltop villages and regal cities. Always stopping for tours of these. Visit Eastern Europe along the Danube to the Black Sea. Cities long hidden are now open for touring. Their ancient archeology, charming villages with tours most every day. A river cruise during November and December will be highlighted with stops at
Christmas markets. Celebrations, music, and arts and crafts are everywhere. Adding on pre or post stays in other cities away from the river make these trips memorable.
Looking North to Russia a cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow or visa versa on the Volga, Svir and Neva Rivers is the best way to see Russia. No hassling with visas and their restrictions. The cruise line takes care of that. You get priority touring to sights that you would have to wait hours to get into. There is safety staying with the tour group that might be an issue if you were on your own.
In Portugal cruise the beautiful Douro Valley from Lisbon to Porto. Old world flavor through the vinyards, natural beautiy and history.
France has one river, the Rhone. Cruise from Ares to Chalon-sur-Saone. You are crusing through the heart of Provence and Burgundy. Go a few days early and stay in Marseille with a rental car and travel the coast. Then stay a few days after and take the train to Paris. That is a 3-4 day “must see”.
Cruising the Nile in Egypt. Most definitely the Nile was the highway in Egypt. There are many classes of river boats on this river. All the way from bare basic to 5* luxury. You definitely need an expert to help sort it all out. All the major sights are stops along the way. Then there are add ons that are “must see”.
In China the Yangtse River is the only cruising river. This is not a long cruise so adding pre and post must be included. The sightseeing in China is old, but there is wonderful shopping in Beijing and Shanghai. Or add on Hong Kong and Macau. You will need someone who has been there to give you the best information.
The United States has some wonderful rivers for cruising. The main waterway north and south is the Mississippi River. Many tributaries from her are the Ohio River, the Cumberland River, the Tennessee River and the Illinois River. You can cruise on a barge, must like the ones in Europe, on any or all of these river. From 4 to 10 days will take you through the heartland of the US in comfort with history around every corner.
On the West Coast of the US, you have small ships that take you into the Columbia and Snake Rivers with the history of Lewis and Clark who explored all the way from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. Fascinating history of this great land. Sail from San Francisco into the wine country of Napa Valley with stops along the way at award-winning vineyards.
Let’s not forget the amazing river cruise on the Amazon River in South America. There are many ways to see this huge waterway with it’s rain forest and vast assortment of wildlife and sea life. This is a wild and tropical place, far from the cities and population.
Call me to give you the best River Cruising experience of your life. Cruise & Tour Planners is the expert on river cruising around the world.