River cruises offer the opportunity for a unique and exciting journey through some of Europe’s most beautiful terrain. With the recent European river cruise boom as well as lots of new riverboats and fabulous itineraries on waterways all over the continent, here is a look at some of the best to consider for 2014.
Cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube
The Jewels of Europe River Cruise features 15 days and 14 nights of cruising the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. These key European rivers are connected by a canal, forming a continuous stream from the North Sea to the Black Sea. Departing in Amsterdam, a charming compact city of picturesque canals, you’ll hit up ports in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary, with optional excursions heading into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Your final stop includes the option to relax in the Thermal Baths and Spa of Budapest.
The adventure includes a number of fun excursions as well, such as a private concert at Palais Lichenstein in Vienna and a medieval banquet in Germany’s Marksburg Castle.
The heartland of France
The 7-night A Toast to Provence and Burgundy cruises through the heartland of France. It sails roundtrip from old town “Vieux Lyon,” known as a foodie’s paradise as well as being the home of high quality silk products, and the Basilica of Notre-Dame die Fourviere above the city. From there it moves on to renowned wine regions and villages of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, gradually winding down in Provence where highlights include Roman-influenced Arles and the ancient papal city of Avignon.
Exploring the Black Sea
Spend 12 days traveling from Budapest, Hungary to Bucharest, Romania aboard the Black Sea Explorer River Cruise along the Danube to the Black Sea including seven nights on board the Scenic “Space-Ship” visiting Belgrade, Bran Castle, and the Iron Gate. As a special “Scenic” guest, you’ll even be taken into the home of a local family for a home cooked traditional Croatian lunch, and the opportunity to learn more about how locals live.
This fantastic river cruise will introduce you to some of the most interesting places in Central and Eastern Europe, such as Croatia’s wine town of Ilok and the Hungarian home of paprika, Kalocsa. You’ll also explore the Serbian capital of Belgrade, one of the oldest capital cities in Europe.
A fairytale journey along the Rhine
This exceptionally romantic 8-day adventure allows you to enjoy breathtaking Sleeping Beauty-esque fairytale castles and vineyards along the Rhine River. One of the most enchanting river cruises on the planet, it sails past magnificent castles, lush hillside vineyards and charming towns through The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland. It even includes the opportunity to taste exclusive wines at Castle Vollrads in Germany, take in a Black Forest cake-baking demo and tasting, and more. Rhine River cruises combine history and culture, including the chance to explore some of the oldest historic cities in Germany.
The grandest cruise of all
If you’re looking for the ultimate river cruise of a lifetime, the 29-day Grand European River Voyage is surely the Grand Daddy of them all. Travelers who wish to experience Europe’s past and present all the way from Amsterdam in the west to Istanbul in the east in one incredible adventure, will find that this definitely fits the bill. This journey of a lifetime travels the length of the continent through ten nations and includes 38 shore excursions to give you an in-depth, authentic look at the real Europe. Here you’ll experience the wonders of the Old and New Worlds, from Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum to a medieval theater performance and browsing the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.
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