From landscapes and countless examples of art across generations to battles that would change the course of history as we know it, rivers have been credited for playing a significant role in shaping the flow of Europe’s heritage.
With all sorts of treasure in the form of priceless bits of history and tangible manifestations of their influence on the region, the shores of European rivers have established themselves as a must-visit for any traveller with a knack of history. One of the best ways one could explore every river in the continent is through river cruises.
River cruises provide the most immersive experience possible with Europe’s rivers. However, there’s an overwhelming number of different options to choose from. As unique and exciting as every European river cruise route may be, there are some options that are definitely worth heading over to first before all else.
Here are a few river cruise routes worth considering:
Douro River route
Coursing through one of Europe’s most history-rich countries, the Douro river takes passengers on an immersive tour around Portugal to learn more about its geek-worthy heritage while seeing its beautiful landscapes from all angles.
A standard Douro River cruise starts off from the Northwestern-most point of Spain and sails right into Northern Portugal, where passengers are treated to the area’s 1600s-esque views comprised of lush vineyards and scenic farms. Everyone on board will have the opportunity to visit the vibrant city of Porto to try its world-renown wines and riverside cafes in the lively area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Expect to pass by the various breathtaking regions of Portugal, such as the student town of Salamanca and the country’s traditional villages of Pinhao, Pocinho, and Regua.
Saône River and Rhône River route
If you’re a sucker for stunning scenery, landscapes and settings embedded with romance, and historic villages that are just like the ones you’ve read about in storybooks, then the Saône River and Rhône River route is definitely for you.
Participants are expected to immerse in French flavours, rolling vineyards, and expansive displays of French Art—essentially making it the quintessential route for everything and anything French.
While some options may depend on the scheduled date or the package itself, the standard Saône River and Rhône River route will include all sorts of opportunities to get up-close-and-personal with France, such as the following:
- A culturally-immersive visit to the former seat of Western Christianity at Avignon’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes
- A short tour of Lyon, one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous artistic muses
- Otherworldly gastronomic experiences at Lyon
- A taste of the finest wines in the world in the Burgundy and Beaujolais regions
Volga River route
As one of the most prominent key figures in Russian history, the Volga River and its accompanying tributaries have been regarded as the country-cum-continent’s must-visit natural landmarks for anyone looking to travel Europe by water.
Aside from the fact that it has been recognised and established as the lifeblood of Russia, the Volga River is also a source of amazement thanks to the fact that it is Europe’s longest river. That said, it is a staple on anyone’s water-based itinerary when they explore Europe.
If you’re looking for the best way to familiarise yourself with Europe’s culture and history, then you should explore the historically-dense continent through its expansive list of river cruise routes. You can begin your trip by choosing among the three we’ve mentioned above and prepare yourself for an amazing experience!
If you’re looking to book a European river cruise experience, get in touch with us to see how we can help.