Real Travel

River Cruises and Diverse Destinations

Off-board adventures at ports of call can be as amazing as being on board the vessel. A different array of activities comes with each European river cruise.

Explore Europe from its beautiful waterways and unlock whole new worlds at the heart of your destination city.

Extreme adventurers, fans of history, and individuals looking for first-hand experience in local ways of life will all enjoy the choices available to them. You will gather limitless insights into Europe’s lively cultural centers, its historic treasures as well as its picturesque scenery. Diverse impression You won’t miss a thing since these luxurious cruise liners are agile enough to stop in the smaller ports of call nearest the main tourist sights and centers of town.

Famed Rivers of France

The waterways of France offer up a number of of the world’s most celebrated destinations. From its splendid Bordeaux region and gastronomic Lyon, to historic Normandy and picturesque Provence, not to mention fabulous Paris, France features something for everyone. Aquitaine, once upon a time one of Europe’s most formidable kingdoms, boasts gorgeous vineyards, farmland, and forested areas as well as picturesque ports of call. Périgord is home to the legendary Camus Cognac distillery, where you can create your own personal blend, and offers truffle hunting for adventurous food lovers.

The coast town of Arcachon in southwest France is distinguished for its delicious oysters.

Taste the delectable red blends crafted in the famous wineries of Saint-Émilion and Médoc or sample the decadent sweet wines of Sauternes. Regardless of which French river you choose – the Seine, Dordogne, Gironde, or Rhône – you will be able to enjoy France’s distinct food and wine culture and well as its art, history, and other traditions.

Historied Rivers of Central Europe
Anybody who loves seeing ancient forts and tiny scenic villages will enjoy cruising down the Elbe River through the Czech Republic and Germany.

Wine enthusiasts will love a trip on the Mosel River, known as the Moselle in France, which traverses the region in Germany best known for its farming of the Riesling grape. In Central Europe, Danube River cruises carry passengers to intriguing Old World cities like Budapest where you can soak up the steam in a customary banya (thermal baths) or Vienna where you can learn the waltz, a dance which gained popularity in the ballrooms of the Austrian court. Austro-Hungarian cuisine will delight food lovers, while people that like to see places that do not see as many visitors can go to one of the many charming smaller cities like Passau or Bratislava.

The Waterways of the Tsars

Enjoy Russia as never before on waterways of the Tsars where you’ll notice the swirling onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the stout towers of Moscow’s Red Square.

Art enthusiasts will enjoy the spectacular Hermitage Museum in Russia, which is the world’s second most extensive museum. Envision Peter the Great luxuriating in massive Peterhof Palace, then see how many different families shared living space at a Soviet-era kommunalka. Russia has some luscious culinary specialties which you will want to try out when you are there: borscht, pirog, solyanka, blini pancakes, and perhaps the most distinguished, caviar. The Dnieper River tells a complex story that consists of Greek, Mongol, Tatar, Ottoman, Cossack, Jewish and Russian sections.

Stop to see lively performances of local dance or music, tour fascinating museums and historic places of worship, or check out structures from the Soviet days.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley
In Portugal you can travel the Douro River to the capital city, Lisbon, with its charming old town and thriving newer parts with trendy restaurants, bars, and cafes.

Wine lovers will want to stop in the picturesque vineyard region to taste local wines, while the typical foods and fado singing will be a delight for all. Not only is the Douro River Valley a designated UNESCO site, it was also the very first wine denomination in the world to get demarcated.

Nordic Wonders
Explore the lush Nordic region by sea, then move on the the renowned river Rhine.

Begin your tour in Bergen where the Vikings once set foot, knowing that ahead of you lies the stunning beauty of the fjords and the neighboring village of Flåm, the ancient wood buildings of Old Town Kristiansand, and finally Stavanger and Olso with their modern cultures and lifestyles. Art enthusiasts will want to stop in Denmark’s coastal village of Skagen, once summer home to the legendary group of Scandinavian artists known as the Skagen Painters, as well as Amsterdam to view the many masterpieces there, before heading to Kinderdijk to see the charming windmills of Holland.

The fabulous sights & tastes of Germany along its riverways

In Germany, sample local beer and visit the breathtaking ancient cathedral in Cologne or take a tour of the magnificent Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Explore the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and striking scenery of the Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pamper yourself in the decadent spas found in the Black Forest of Germany; visit the splendid Gothic cathedral in multicultural Strasbourg, France; and tour the illustrious art museum in Basel, Switzerland. Your experience off the vessel should be just as absorbing, fun, and indulgent as your time on board.

Dive right into the distinct aspects of each interesting place along the way.

Your cruise ship is a work of art, and in much the same way, every single destination is its own artistic creation made from history and heritage.

Sailing Europe’s Storied Rivers

Discover the finest of Europe’s historical waterways by boat. Navigating rivers like the Loire, Elbe, Duoro, Rhine, Volga, Danube, and Dnieper is a memorable vacation experience.

Size doesn't matter.

While river ships need to be small enough to get through these waterways, they can be similarly luxurious, with world-class dining, modern technology, live entertainment, and unforgettable local excursions. These features create an ambiance that is elegant yet intimate and serene. Trips are set up in a way that affords guests ample opportunity to spend time at each destination.

These excursions allow travelers to get an inside look at the daily life of the residents at each place. Experience the continent’s remarkable cities and discover them via the stories revealed by its artists, history and culinary pleasures.

What Makes a River Cruise Different from an Ocean Cruise?

There are both similarities and differences between ocean cruises and river cruises, so it is beneficial to learn about both when determining which is ideal for you.

In general, ocean liners are bigger in size and have additional accommodations in each room. Given their larger size, they are able to accommodate many more people on board. The smaller scale of river ships means fewer voyagers, but more potential to get to know fellow travelers, often leading to lifelong friendships.

As opposed to ocean cruises, which are quite often voyaging in open waters for days at a time, river cruises pretty much never sail a single full day at a time. Travelers typically wake up each day in a different location.

Since the landscape outside the ship is constantly changing, the feeling of discovery becomes part of the discovery.

For those without sea legs, river cruises have the advantage of smooth trekking, shallow waters and the gift of land that’s always in sight. Yes, ocean cruises tend to offer other upscale amenities like fitness centers, multiple dining options and a wide array of live entertainment. But nearly all river cruises offer inclusive value, which means your Wi-Fi, water, alcoholic drinks and included excursions are covered in the total price.

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