For the traveler, the rivers of Europe offer a heady mix of pastoral beauty, rich culture, laid back ambience and a vibrant culinary experience. The Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Moselle, Danube Delta and the Seine rivers offer stunning river voyages that take you from Amsterdam to Budapest, Amsterdam to Zurich, Nuremberg to Budapest, Budapest to Bucharest, Amsterdam to Tarascon and the less explored Eastern Europe. Whether you are a family with kids, a young honeymooning couple or a simple tourist, the rivers of Europe caters to everyone’s needs. Here are my top 4 picks of luxurious European river cruises.
1) Old Europe on the Danube
This journey from Nuremberg to Budapest via Regensburg, Passau, Linz, Melk, Durnstein and Vienna is a superb trip for virgin river travelers. It takes you on a journey through ‘old Europe’ leaving behind the big Western cities to meander towards the east upon one of Europe’s most romantic rivers. This trip features charming German countryside, Austrian wine country towns and the glittery urban sophistication of Vienna and Budapest.
2) Castles along the Rhine
The legendary Rhine allows you to admire the many stunning castles atop vine covered slopes as you sail effortlessly through the spectacular Rhine gorge. On this delightfully scenic river cruise, one can sample traditional German delicacies, experience the charm of Germany’s medieval towns and villages and encounter Holland’s historic windmills and traditional architecture. The plethora of castles occupying cliff tops and steeply terraced vineyards are the key highlights.
3) Culinary Cruising on the Rhone
This river cruise on France’s most gorgeous river takes you from Lyon, the gastronomic heart of France to the old Roman city of Vienne, from Viviers, the town of ancient homes and unusual cathedrals to Avignon, the city of Popes and finally to the Provencal town of Tarascon. This cruise takes you through UNESCO World Heritage sites, wine country, picturesque villages and the culinary capital of France. This is basically your vino and palate centric voyage.
4) Passau to the Danube Delta across Eastern Europe
The Danube lulls its way down the middle of Eastern Europe from Germany’s south eastern reaches to link the natural and cultural highlights of this region, to Vienna and ancient Belgrade, past Romania’s iron gate, through the passage of St. George and down to the shores of the Black Sea. Beautiful Czech towns surrounded by vineyards, the vibrant city life of Vienna, the decorative embroidery and paprika production of Kalocsa, the palaces of Budapest, unique porcelain factories of Mohacs, the historic town of Pecs, home cooked traditional dinner with a local Croatian family, the spectacular Iron Gate between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains, the Roman fortress town of Svistov in Bulgaria, the UNESCO cultural town of Arbanassi, bird watching at the Danube delta and the Count Dracula experience of Bucharest are the main highlights of this stunning river cruise.
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