Saturday, March 16, 2019

TRAVEL

By Marie Nieves

Travel in Style
The Five Best River Cruise Destinations in Europe 

Budapest, Hungary (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)



Do you want to soak up European culture and gorgeous sites, but don’t feel like treading the streets? Book a cruise and enjoy your exploration trip from the comfort of your deck chair! But, Europe has so many amazing cruising destinations to offer from East to West. If you simply can’t make up your mind, here are the five best river cruise destinations on the Old Continent. 


Danube—Budapest, Hungary

The most common starting or ending point for all the Danube cruises is the Hungarian capital of Budapest. So, feel free to hop on board in this amazing city with a long history and rich cultural heritage. Your Danube cruise will take you between Budapest and Vienna, the busiest part of the cruise, but you can easily go further and venture up towards Czech Republic using the Danube’s tributaries. On an extended multi-day cruise, you can even reach Germany, connect to the Rhine and go all the way up to the Netherlands! However, the stretch from Budapest to Vienna is all you need to see to get mesmerized by Danube. 



Budapest, Hungary (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)



Garonne River—Bordeaux and Gascony, France

If you want to be blown away by 18th-century architecture, charming vineyards and gorgeous nature, make sure to book your cruise on Garonne River through Bordeaux and Gascony. Bordeaux is very famous, especially among wine lovers, but Gascony seems to be a well-kept secret of France. This region is almost completely unspoiled and brimming with lazy hills and charming countryside and won’t leave anyone indifferent. Garonne itself is welcoming and perfect for relaxing cruises, especially if you consider luxury barge hire that offers ultimate comfort. These little floating hotels are air-conditioned and equipped with all you need for a comfortable and pleasant cruise—some even have bikes on board for you to use when you stop to explore your destinations. 



Garonne River, France (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)



Moselle River, Germany 

A big Rhine tributary, the Moselle River runs from French Vosges Mountains to central Germany, and if you decide to take this river for a ride, prepare to be met with a galore of historical delights (this is Joan of Arc territory). The Moselle also flows through breathtaking Alpine scenery speckled with castles, vineyards and picturesque medieval towns and villages between Germany and Luxembourg. Make sure to take a tour of the Eltz Castle above the Moselle River and have a wine tasting at the vineyards of Zell. 



Moselle River, Germany (Photo courtesy of Pixabay) Click to enlarge



Amstel River, Holland 

This gorgeous region is best visited in spring when the colorful tulips are in bloom and windmills are lazily turning in the sun. Start your Amstel cruise from Amsterdam (it’s very easy to reach by plane or train from neighboring countries) and take your time to see the city before you embark on your Amstel adventure. Your cruise will take you through many historic cities and towns and beautiful scenery. Make sure to visit Gouda and try their famous cheese before you wash it down with some Ketel One vodka from the oldest distillery in Holland. Another must is visiting a flower auction in Aalsmeer! Get there early to catch the full vibe of the place. 



Amstel River, Holland (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)



Thames, London, United Kingdom 

Most people who step on a boat on the Thames do so during their sightseeing London excursion. However, this iconic river has so much more to offer! It flows through more than just London—actually, all but 25 miles of the river are suitable for cruising. The Thames flows and winds through eight counties of England until it spills into the North Sea. On your cruise, you will get to see London in a new light, but also explore destinations like Windsor, Reading and Oxford. 



Thames, London, UK (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)



These destinations will definitely satisfy your taste for sailing and teach you plenty of things about Europe and European lifestyle. You’ll certainly want to come back and try out another European cruise!





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