What Does Each European River Have To Offer?
There’s no doubt that Europe is the most popular region for river cruising, but with so many different waterways to choose from, how do you know which one to choose? Whilst there will be an unmistakable European feel along each of these rivers, they all have their own highlights and each would be suited to people with certain interests. Here is what the most popular European waterways have to offer.
Rhine – Castles and Wine
The section of river between Koblenz and Wiesbaden, known as the Middle Rhine, is littered with medieval castles and history. As you look up at the tall gorges, remnants of how the towns along the river were protected can still be seen and many can be visited too. Some of the castles are still well-preserved, whilst others have fallen into ruin, but all are impressive.
As well as being rich in medieval history, the towns and villages along the Rhine are flowing with delicious wines. Places such as Boppard, Bacharach and Rudesheim are nestled amongst vineyards and offer plenty of chances to taste the local produce.
Danube – Captivating Capitals
If you’re looking for a river cruise that visits big destinations and offers the chance to enjoy big attractions, then the Danube is for you. There are no less than four capital cities dispersed along the waterway, namely Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade. Along with these, you will get the chance to explore other major cities such as Salzburg, Passau and Linz.
A full Danube River cruise will take you through a variety of different countries and allow you experience a wide range of cultures. Carefully selected shore excursions invite you to experience the beauty of the Wachau Valley, the charm of Regensburg and the history of Novi Sad.
Douro – Port Wine
Whilst it is important to point out that there is much more to a Douro River cruise than port wine, the region’s famous tipple is definitely one of the highlights and biggest reasons why people choose to explore this waterway.
From Porto to Salamanca and back again, you will learn about the entire port-making process, discover how new laws laid down by the Douro Wine Company brought fortified wine to the fore, and enjoy tastings at some of the many ‘Quintas’ (wine estates) along the river banks.
Belgian and Dutch Waterways – Windmills and Tulips
It may seem cliché to suggest that you’ll see windmills and tulips on a river cruise through Belgium and the Netherlands, but that is exactly the case. Throughout the spring, the fields adjacent to the rivers are awash with spectacular colour as the tulips come into bloom for a short period of time. Cruises at this time of year are very popular and should be booked well in advance. They also typically include a visit to Amsterdam’s famous Keukenhof Gardens.
Luckily, the historic windmills aren’t quite as fleeting. Some have been converted for modern use, whilst others stand as a reminder of an industry of the past. Either way, they are mesmerising to look at and a quintessential part of exploring the Belgian and Dutch Waterways.
Rhone – Gourmet Delights
France is generally a great destination for foodies. As well as the Rhone, there’s the world-renowned wine region of Bordeaux, providing Michelin-starred restaurants and iconic wine estates via a trip along the Gironde Estuary and Garonne River. Rhone River cruises, though, have the advantage of sailing through the beautiful region of Provence.
Along with Lyon, which lies just outside but is also a gourmet paradise, cities such as Arles and Avignon are home to fantastic restaurants and local food markets. Whether you want to try some of the regional wines or sample a traditional Provençal ratatouille, your trip is sure to tickle those taste buds.
Hopefully, this information will help you better decide which European river is suited to you. In all honesty, though, you can’t go wrong with any of these fantastic choices. Call and speak to our team today and they’ll help you find the perfect option.