So, you’ve settled on a river cruise for your next holiday. But, you’ve never cruised along a river before…how do you figure out which trip is right for you and your travel companions? Learn a little more about the top River cruise options available and decide from there. With scenic outlooks, relaxing pace, famous landmarks and more along the routes, it’s hard to go wrong with a river cruise. Here’s a list of some of the best river cruises in the world, where you can learn a little more about the destination and what you can expect to see along the way. Read our cruise guide.
As you might expect, a river cruise on the Seine will focus heavily on its famous capital—Paris! Take in the sights and sounds of Paris for the first two days of the cruise before travelling northwest up to Honfluer and the English Channel. Stops can include Giverny, where Claude Monet painted his famous water lily landscape, and Rouen, which is known as the City of 100 Spires for its numerous churches and cathedrals. From Rouen you can head to Normandy for firsthand experiences of D-Day memorial sites and more. Check out Uniworld cruises for more information and different route choices. If you enjoy art, history or the pervading romance of France, choose the Seine for your river cruise.
If this is your very first river cruise, then choose the Rhine River. It flows through four countries (Germany, Netherlands, France and Switzerland), so you’ll get an overview of river cruise life before you try out more obscure or smaller cruises. Rhine cruises that sail between Holland and Switzerland cover a lot of cultural ground over the course of one or two weeks. You’ll stop in Cologne, Germany to see the famous cathedral, then stop in Ridesheim to try the local Riesling wines and on through Heidelberg, Germany with its picturesque small town feel and 14th century University. Another highlight is the stunning Gothic cathedral in Strasbourg, France—another stop on the cruise. Research AMA Waterways’ options to find the river cruise package that fits your needs and embark on your multi-national river cruise!
Pandaw Cruises offers a 7-night Mekong River cruise that will take you through the best parts of Vietnam and Cambodia. Start at Siem Reap where you can visit the towering temples of Angkor Wat all the way through to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. While this route is mostly rural in between, you will still stop in Phnom Penh, which is Cambodia’s capital. You’ll experience floating fish markets, gaze on royal residences, pass through rural villages, and see a French Gothic church on your way. This is a perfect cruise for an adventure seeker and traveller who is fairly fit. If you can climb in and out of basic local panga boats, you’ll be able to participate in the daily excursions easier and reach Mekong’s tributaries and rural shore points.
Perhaps the Nile is the first place you thought of for a river cruise. These cruises are generally shorter than the three mentioned above, and can range anywhere from 4 nights to 10 nights. If you are a lover of antiquities and history, then the Nile River is the place for you. You start out of Cairo, Egypt, and acts as the gateway to thousands upon thousands of years of history. See pyramids from the water, and temples as well. Pass through Luxor and Aswan and experience the best Egypt has to offer along the Nile. Look at Lindblad Expeditions tour packages and fall in love with a Nile River cruise.
Travelling along the Yangtze River is a fantastic choice for anyone. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, laidback traveller, history buff, senior, or a little bit of everything, the Yangtze River has so much to offer a river cruiser. This 6,400 km waterway flows through many of China’s great cities, including Shanhai, Yangzhou, Nanjing, Chongging, and Yichang. You can sail for 3-6 nights and if you choose the Three Gorges tour (Chongging to Yichang), you’ll be treated to the immense and spectacularly beautiful 120km stretch of the Yangtze. Keep your eyes peeled for centuries old pagodas that crop up along the river bank as well! Victoria Cruises is an American-managed company the cruises year-round on the Yangtze and offers a wide variety of river cruise options.
Figure out what you want to get out of your first (or twentieth!) river cruise and then be sure to pick up cruise travel insurance. Nothing protects you from the unexpected, but with an international travel insurance plan from Cover-More Australia, you’ll have Cover-More’s entire expert team at your back. You can get more your cruise travel insurance questions answered here
Image courtesy of Flickr user Robert S. Donovan