When it comes to booking a holiday, more and more of us are opting for a cruise. Cruise holidays offer you the perfect way to relax and soak up the sun in destinations you’d often only see on magazine covers.
In recent years, a more ‘concise’ type of cruise has become very popular; the river cruise.
River cruising offers you the chance to cruise through a country, soaking up its vast cultures & still have time on board your boat to relax and enjoy some entertainment.
Because a river cruise isn’t the first type of holiday you might think of, we’re going to take you on a tour of five of the best river cruises around the world – which should help you decide where to go!
Note: These cruises are not listed in any particular order and I advise further research on each destination to ensure you select the right holiday for you.
The Yangtze – China
Starting with a few nights in Shanghai, your river cruise will usually begin with a flight over to Wuhan, where you’ll be transferred to the Yangtze hub. The highlights of this river cruise holiday in China is the Three Gorges; Xiling, Wuxia and Qutang. You’ll be left in awe as you stop off at the Three Gorges Dam and Chongqing – which is home to some of the liveliest markets in the country.
The Danube – Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany
This is one of the longest river cruise holidays you could go on and one of the best… you’d certainly soaks up a lot of European culture along the way! The Danube, at 1,800 miles long, is your water bed for a week or two. You’ll often start in Hungary (Budapest, to be precise), then head through to Bratislava and into Austria to enjoy its principal cities – Vienna and Salzburg. To top things off, you’ll also sail through the Wachau Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site… get the cameras ready!
The Amazon – Brazil
Arguably one of the most diverse and impressive rivers our planet has to offer, the Amazon in Brazil is a great destination for an unforgettable river cruise. You’ll often find yourself hopping on and off the boat at cities such as Santarem – where the River Tapajós intersects the mighty Amazon – or even Boi-Bumbá, where you can enjoy a folklore festival every June. No matter where you stop, you’ll be in store for some fantastic cultural experiences – and memories you can take home and share with your friends and family.
The Nile – Egypt
Just like the Amazon, a river cruise on the Nile will leave you speechless. Sailing between Luxor and Aswan, you’ll take in sights such Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Valley of the Kings and Nefertari’s tomb in the Valley of the Queens – which is something of a ‘bucket list’ cultural experience for many of us!
The Douro – Spain and Portugal
Finally, we head back to Europe for a sun-soaked river cruise down the Douro, through Spain and Portugal. As you gently float through historical villages and towns, you’ll get the chance to visit countless vineyards and orchards, sampling fine food and wine along the way. One of the most popular parts of a Douro river cruise is the visit to Porto – Portugal’s ‘second’ city and home to the drink, you guessed it, port – so get your glasses ready and toast to a great cruise on the Douro!