SEVEN SCENIC STRETCHES ON THE RIVERS OF EUROPE
Well sure, all river cruises are scenic and who can resist the iconic sites of the Parliament buildings in Budapest lit up at night, or the glow of the Cathedral in Cologne, or sailing the Seine in Paris? With stops in small towns, fairytale villages, and cities, opportunities to bike, hike and walk, museums, wine tasting, and seeing historic cultural landmarks, it's easy to love a river cruise and find PLENTY to do.
But ...sometimes the best part of river cruising is watching the incredible scenery as you float down the river. River cruise lines often sail at night, but sometimes the scenery will dictate when daytime cruising occurs and it's usually when you have a morning or afternoon free of excursions. These times are worth savoring, whether you enjoy them from the sundeck, the lounge, or your stateroom balcony.
1 - Rhine Gorge - Germany, France
A UNESCO World Heritage site, this stretch of the Rhine River between Rudesheim and Koblenz has been terraced with vineyards for over a thousand years, along with 40 hilltop castles and fortresses. As you enjoy folklore such as the story of Lorelei Rock, the legendary cliff said to distract sailors with the mesmerizing song of a maiden, you'll have an amazing viewpoint on your ship to see this jaw-dropping scenery.
2 - Wachau Valley, Austria
Another UNESCO site, the Wachau (pronounced "VAH-kh-ow") is an area of the traditional wine growing along the Danube between Melk and Krems renowned for its stunning landscape, which is dominated by rolling hills and terraced vineyards. Well-preserved medieval towns like Durnstein and the famous Baroque Melk Abbey are top sights to visit. The apricots of Wachau are used in a variety of dishes, from traditional apricot dumplings to jams, cakes, and other desserts.
3- Douro Valley, Portugal
As the river flows through the heart of the wine-growing region, passengers are treated to magnificent views of steeply terraced vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. You'll likely stop in Pinhão and Peso da Régua, where you can sample local wines and enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine. Since the Douro River is only navigable in the daytime, you're in store for a lot of daytime scenic cruising on this itinerary.
4 -Iron Gates, Romania, Serbia
Located on the lower Danube, the river narrows as it winds through a series of magnificent gorges between the Carpathian and Balkan mountains on the border of Romania and Serbia. This spectacular natural wonder is renowned for its sheer limestone cliffs that tower over the river, creating a breathtaking sight that is both imposing and beautiful.
Photo courtesy of AmaWaterways
5 - Moselle River Valley, Germany
The Moselle, also known as Mosel in German, meanders through steep slopes covered with lush vines. The river originates in France, crosses Luxembourg, and flows for 195 km from Trier to Koblenz in Germany. Its route is slow and winding, revealing captivating landscapes at every turn. These include hillsides draped with vineyards, charming medieval villages with colorful half-timbered buildings, hilltop castles in various states of decay, stylish Jugendstil villas, and ancient wine storehouses.
6 - Provence, France
One of the most scenic river cruise sections in France is the stretch of the Rhone River that flows through the heart of Provence. This region is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and delicious cuisine, all of which can be experienced on a Rhone River cruise. As the ship navigates the river, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the rolling hills, lavender fields, and charming villages that dot the countryside.
7 - Waterways of The Netherlands
Here, you'll float through the Dutch countryside, passing by charming villages and windmills. This region is known for its idyllic scenery, with fields of vibrant tulips and daffodils in the spring, and picturesque landscapes dotted with sheep, cows, and quaint farmhouses year-round. These waterways take you through the historic cities of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Rotterdam, offering stunning views of the cityscapes and canals, as well as the iconic architecture, such as the windmills of Kinderdijk and the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.
Let me know what most appeals to you and I'll help you find the perfect river cruise!