• River Cruising: Europe the easy way

    Cindy Nelson
    There are many ways to see Europe: rent a car, travel by train, take a motor coach tour, or sail on a large cruise ship.  But river cruises are arguably the most convenient and immersive way to visit Europe. So it’s no surprise that river cruising is one of the fastest growing travel trends. With river cruising, you simply relax on the ship, let the crew pamper you, and float to your destination. Because the ships dock in the heart of Europe’s quaintest towns and famous cities, you can step off the ship and immediately be in the heart of activity.

    River cruising in Germany. Photo credit: Avalon Waterways

    European river cruises will take you into the landscape that inspired Van Gogh along the Rhone or through the birthplace of Impressionism along the Seine. Experience the winding Danube in Germany, Austria and Hungary or the Po River in the countryside of northern Italy, or try many other appealing itineraries, including Russia. A European river cruise will show you some of the world’s most interesting and historically significant sites. All with the convenience of being on a ‘floating hotel’ so you don’t need to worry about packing and unpacking to travel to your next city.

    River cruising offers a very intimate travel experience. Most ships hold no more than 200 passengers, are cozy, offer exceptional cuisine and are beautifully appointed. Many staterooms have panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery as you glide by Germany’s castles, France’s vineyards, and Holland’s windmills.  Plus, river cruises are a great value since most excursions at the ports of call are included in the cruise fare.

    The most popular rivers for cruising in Europe are the Rhine and the Danube but they’re not the only options.  The Rhone and the Seine in France, and the lesser known but very scenic Main River through southern Germany, the Elbe River through northeast Germany and the Po River in Italy offer gorgeous landscapes, charming towns and plenty of opportunities to explore the rest of Europe.

    Speaking from personal experience, I can whole-heartedly recommend river cruising as a wonderful way to travel through Europe!

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