When it comes to river cruising, leisurely travelling down one of the many European rivers remains the most popular choice - these voyages provide a constant change of scenery as they pass through major cities, towns and rural villages.
A river cruise along the Danube can take you through nine countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine, giving the opportunity to explore the rich cultural legacies of Central Europe's ancient heart on the way to the Black Sea. Across Germany the Rhine dominates the landscape all the way to the Netherlands, while the Rhone and Moselle rivers, twisting through Central Europe are two of the most scenic on the continent. Finally the Douro sweeps dramatically through northern Spain and into Portugal, past steep valleys and terraced vineyards before arriving at the Atlantic.
The Rhine is one of the most important rivers in Europe, flowing through Germany, France and finally the Netherlands and Amsterdam. One of the appeals of the Rhine is that along the route you can discover many different countries and cultures andall the while you need to unpack only once. The Rhine dominates the German landscape and it is here that the river encounters some of its main tributaries, such as the Neckar, the Main and, later, the Moselle. Some of the cities to be found along the Rhine are Basel, Strasbourg, Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Rotterdam whilst one of the most famous stretches of the river is in the wonderful Rhine Gorge, a steep-sided valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Moselle starts in the western slope of the Ballon d'Alsace in the Vosges mountains and flows through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. The Moselle is best known for its beautiful scenery and also for some of the wines that are famously made along its banks - most well-known is the German Mosel wine region, and the most famous wines produced here are the Riesling and Elbling. Towns along the Moselle River include Épinal, Toul and Metz in France; in Luxembourg:Schengen and Wasserbillig in Luxembourg and and in Germany, Trier, Cochem (where you will find the famous Reichsburg Castle) and Koblenz.
The famous River Danube originates in the Black Forests of Germany and flows through ten countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania before reaching the Black Sea. The scenery varies considerably along the route and includes medieval monasteries perched on hills, fairy-tale castles, many vineyards and chocolate box towns and cities. And it is the towns and cities that proivde much of the colour and excitement of the Danube - Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade - indeed the Danube has more capital cities on its banks than any other river and it is often this variety of cities mixed with stunning scenery that accounts for much of its popularity.
The Douro is one of Europe's most charming rivers, full of history and romance, cutting a dramatic path through Spain and northern Portugal as it sweeps through a landscape of steeply sided valleys, themselves classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, unspoilt villages, and terraced vineyards, finally ending at the Atlantic near the historic city of Oporto. A river cruise on the Douro combines the unmistakable scenery of any trip to the Iberian Peninsula: rural, unspoilt villages and towns with restored Palaces, baroque buildings and picturesque fishing villages and sweeping landscapes, combined with the chance to visit two of the greatest cities in the region - Porto and Salamanca.
France's Rhone River is a perfect setting for a great river cruise as it flows through wonderful wine regions like Burgundy and Provence, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and beautiful valleys and towns. The Rhone starts its 500-mile journey to the Mediterranean in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva, before flowing though south-eastern France. At Lyon, which is the biggest city along its course, the Rhone meets its biggest tributary, The Saône. Beyond Lyon the Rhone heads into one of the most beautiful stretches as it flows through Provence.