With its magnificent castles and churches, colourful pubs, charming villages, cobblestone streets and medieval town squares, it’s no wonder that Australians find much of the ‘Old World’ so captivating.
One of the best ways to experience the wonders of Europe and let it all unfold in front of you, is a river cruise.
Here are five reasons why this style of holiday should be on your travel wish-list.
1. The relaxing pace
Europe’s great rivers generally flow at a languid pace meaning you’ll never have to endure the rolling ups and downs that often come with an ocean cruise. Gliding quietly and effortlessly passed scenic villages and rural pastures, each day is met with a new and interesting destination.
With easy riverside access, the key sites are usually just steps away from the ship. Explore grand European cities like Amsterdam, Munich or Vienna at your leisure, or hop on the organised coach tours right from the dock.
2. Unpack once
Travelling by air or by coach, means staying in a different hotel with each new destination. This isn’t the most relaxing way to travel and can cause holiday fatigue with all the packing and bag dragging that comes with shifting hotels.
On a river cruise, such hassles are non-existent because your accommodation travels with you! Board your ship, unpack once, and voila, your time can be spent enjoying the beautiful sights of Europe; not to mention, the service and amenities on board.
3. All-inclusive pricing
One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise, is its all-inclusive pricing model. So what does that mean exactly? All-inclusive pricing means that virtually every aspect of your trip is paid for in the fare that you pay upfront.
Most river cruise companies use this pricing model, so that you can relax, without the worry of having to carry your credit card or cash for everything you do. Expect your meals, (most) drinks, tours and tips to be covered.
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4. Fascinating tours
One of the reasons river cruises have become so popular is because of their immersive tours. Sightseeing tours led by expert local guides, bring the history and culture of a place to life.
Some cruise lines even offer special functions, such as dinners, concerts and other performances, in historic landmarks typically off limits to other travellers. Tours often incorporate the food and wine of a region, with tastings or lunch included in the experience.
5. Luxury ships
It’s not just the attractions on shore that make river cruising so tempting. Luxury river cruise companies are as celebrated as much for their onboard cuisine, as they are for their culturally immersive shore tours.
More like floating boutique hotels than cruise vessels, you can expect river ships from these companies to offer first-class comfort and top-notch amenities. The food too is gourmet, and the all-inclusive aspect provides a dining experience free from extra charges like ‘specialty restaurant’ cover charges on many ocean ships.
River Cruise Lines in Europe
As an alternative river cruise …
For something different, consider a canal river cruise through Burgundy. Rich and refined, Burgundy is as elegant and enticing as the fine wines it produces.
But this tour shines a more voluminous light on the famous French region where the food and wine are but an accompaniment to the other great attractions found here. Think grand palaces and picture perfect hamlets – access enabled by the canal networks only a barge can navigate.
BOOK YOUR EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISE HERE?