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4 Amazing River Cruise Destinations

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River cruising is becoming more popular every year. Once the domain of retirees, river cruise ships are fast becoming more modern and more luxurious, attracting a new wave of younger couples, solo travelers and even families to try their first river cruise.

Which River Cruise Line is the Best?

It’s more about the destination.

New ships are being built each year, packed with new features such as electric bikes, cinemas and even silent discos. However, one thing which remains relatively constant is the itineraries on offer. So, if you’re considering a river cruise for the first time, which of the world’s waterways should you choose?

Here are some of the best to give you some inspiration.

1. The Rhine

The mighty river Rhine flows from its source high in the Swiss Alps, through France, Germany and Holland. One of Europe’s most famous rivers, it’s the ideal place to take a scenic river cruise. From the comfort of a deckchair on the sundeck, you can cruise through the Rhine Gorge and spot medieval churches, historic castles and beautiful countryside dotted with fairy tale towns.

river cruise destinations

Ports of call along the Rhine include the German cities of Cologne, Koblenz and Heidelberg. Strasbourg is a fascinating French city influenced by French and German cultures.

2. The Danube

A mammoth river, the Danube courses through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries before it reaches the Black Sea. As the river is so long, you’re likely to see only a small section of it on a river cruise. Two cities which feature most regularly on Danube river cruise itineraries are Budapest and Vienna.

river cruise destinations

The Danube flows through the heart of Hungary’s capital city, Budapest, splitting it into two sides – ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’. Here you’ll find stunning architecture such as the Neo-Gothic parliament building and the Hungarian State Opera House. Austria’s capital city, Vienna, meanwhile has a history which dates back to pre-Roman times and some delicious local cuisine to sample.

3. The Nile

The longest river in the world, the Nile has many wonderful sights along its banks, as well as lovely year-round sunshine. Nile cruises are once again growing in popularity after troubled times in recent years, making 2020 a great year to take a Nile cruise. 

river cruise destinations

No trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to Giza’s ancient pyramids and sphynx. In the city of Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is well worth a visit. On a Nile cruise, you’ll also visit Luxor and Aswan, where you can see more temples, ancient tombs and museums.

4. The Mekong

The exotic Mekong river winds its way across Southeast Asia, passing through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.  A river cruise is the best way to easily travel into the heart of many of Southeast Asia’s enchanting towns and cities.

river cruise destinations

Cambodia’s Siam Reap is the gateway to the UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat temple complex which dates back to the 12th century. In Vietnam, Hanoi is a popular destination. Here you can visit historic temples and museums as well as enjoying modern city features and shopping areas. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is also accessible from the Mekong and offers plenty of cultural experiences in Vietnam.

So, whether you want an exotic river cruise to a far flung destination or a European river cruise for just a few days, there are plenty of rivers and countries to choose from.

Choose a luxury river cruise line like Emerald Waterways and you can relax, knowing that everything is taken care of throughout your holiday. With a choice of guided shore excursions in every port of call, you can create your own adventure, visiting the places that interest you most.

river cruise destinations