Cruises are at their most popular, and tours around the Mediterranean, around the Caribbean and around the Nordic countries, for instance, are some of the best loved trips currently available on the market. While touring around Europe on a big cruise liner does give you the option of visiting a good number of major cities, there are often days at a time when the boat does not dock, during which time it can feel as though you are not really seeing Europe so much as the sea all around Europe.
Finding a More Immersive Tour of Europe
As an alternative, driving through Europe and embarking on some European river cruises along the way offers the best of both worlds. Not only can you spend hours floating along some of the most beautiful waterways in the entire world, you can also get on and off very frequently, visiting not only some of the biggest, most memorable and most stunning cities in countries such as France, Italy and Spain, but also smaller, less commercial locations. This means discovering places that are off the beaten track that very few other tourists have seen before, which can make your holiday all the more memorable.
Experiencing Iconic Culture in a New Way
Some of the most popular European river cruises are those that follow the Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers. For those who are interested in the rich history of Germany, Amsterdam and Switzerland, the Rhine river cruises offer views of spectacular architecture as well as the opportunity to explore tiny towns situated on the banks of this stunning body of water. Alternatively, traveling along the Main river can take you off to the Danube and the Moselle rivers giving you great access to Luxembourg and France. These river tours, therefore, not only offer you a brilliant way to see Germany, but also to visit some of the most stunning countries in Europe, all whilst experiencing similar luxury to that offered on cruise liners.
There are even river cruises specifically aimed at wine lovers. River cruises up and down the Rhone and Saone rivers are very popular for connoisseurs of rich red wine from Burgundy and subtle shades of white wine from Provence, for instance. These cruises take you right into the heart of these two top wine-making regions of France and offer a lot more besides, including visiting the famous and breath-taking Lyon and Vienne where you can see the incredible Roman temple built in 25 B.C.E. in honor of Emperor Augustus and his wife.
Early Arrangements Yield Greatest Savings
If you decide to take a European river cruise or rent a car in Europe to travel around the mainland, it is wise to book well in advance for the best prices. Also make sure to check whether you need to find hotels at each of your destinations and whether you can spend as long as you want in certain locations. Some river cruises are more strict than others, so it is also worth working out whether the itineraries are exact and cannot be deviated from or whether they allow you the freedom to come and go as you please.