Destinations

European River Cruises Are Exploding in Popularity

April 5, 2013 by

European River CruiseEuropean river cruises are becoming a popular way to see Europe. It’s relaxing because you don’t have to pack up as you move to your next destination.

Instead, you travel aboard your floating hotel while sitting on an outdoor deck as you cruise along the waterway viewing ancient castles and charming villages.

Advantages to Cruising through Europe

Much of ancient Europe sprouted up along rivers like the Rhine and Danube. A European cruise is a great way to take in some of the smaller, historic towns like Salzburg, Arles, Bruges, and Basel.

While the ships for these river cruises are small and only accommodate 150-200 passengers, they feature a long list of amenities like fitness centers, spas, coffee bars, Internet centers, libraries, and onboard pools. Guest staterooms are often furnished with comfortable hotel-style beds, TVs, entertainment centers, and other posh amenities.

Meals are included in the price of the cruise and are often gourmet fare.

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

Popular European River Cruises

With the popularity of European river cruises exploding, you’ll find a host of options available. If you’ve never cruised, you may want to stick with some of the big names to be assured of quality since your ship will be your hotel throughout the duration to your trip.

If you aren’t sure whether or not a river cruise is for you, consider a shorter trip with a two- or three-day itinerary. This is a great way to determine if European river cruises are for you. Here are a couple examples of shorter river cruises and what you can expect.

Strasbourg to Koblenz: This three-day cruise sets sail from Strasbourg early in the morning with breakfast served aboard the ship. This European river cruise carries passengers by charming towns and sights of interest including the famous cathedral of Speyer, and notable ports of Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Worms, and Mainz.

The ship arrives in Rudesheim around 4:00 in the afternoon where cruisers can enjoy an optional excursion to the musical instrument museum, wine tasting, and a ride on the miniature train before returning to the ship for dinner and dancing.

The following day, the ship travels along a beautiful stretch of the Romantic Rhine, past castles nestled amid vineyards and the Lorelei Rock. Lunch is served before disembarking in Koblenz.

European Cruise Speyer

Lyon to Martigues: This cruise boards in Lyon at 3:00 before cruising south. The following day, the ship arrives in Avignon around 2:00 in the afternoon where passengers can visit the ancient citadel Palace of the Popes.

Onboard activities include a dinner and gala while cruising to Arles. The following morning guests enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Camargue and stroll through the charming town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. There is a chance the stopover in Martigues could be replaced by Port Saint Lous du Rhone depending on availabilities at the mooring port.

Other river cruise ideas include: Rhine River Castle Tours, Amsterdam to Budapest, Arles to Lyons, Paris to Normandy and this just scratches the surface of all the places you can cruise. For more information, a free brochures for 2013 and 2014 are available online.

Photo credits: Fion N., roger4336, Shadowgate



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