Anyone looking for a relaxing break this summer might like to consider the option of a river cruise. River cruises are a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of a country with a quirky spin on a traditional holiday. You can enjoy your chosen destinations at a much slower pace and you don’t have to worry about finding places to eat or accommodation since everything is provided for you.
A river cruise is a wonderful way to experience a new country without leaving behind a huge carbon footprint. Depending where you’re going, you can avoid air travel almost entirely, plus most cruise companies have invested time and money into ensuring their boats are as eco-friendly as possible. Many come with solar panels and water filtration systems to offset any pollution that may be entering the rivers. Obviously you should play your part in staying green, as usual, with towel reuse, recycling efforts and by not wasting food at meal times.
River cruises are very popular in Europe, with destinations across Germany, France and The Netherlands opening up their waterways for exploration. The Rhine and the Danube have long been popular with river cruisers on account of their stunning scenery, romantic castles and numerous cultural port calls.
Cruising the Danube offers passengers the chance to have breakfast, lunch and dinner in Bratislava, Esztergom and Budapest respectively in one day. This 1,795-mile stretch of water cuts through ten different countries and potential cruisers have the opportunity to see all of them in one trip. If that seems a little overwhelming, there are plenty of other options. Cities of note along the way include Vienna, Passau and Vidin. Most of actual travel is saved for night time to make the most of the port of calls, though the more stunning riverside scenery is saved for daytime so it can be appreciated fully.
Similarly, the Rhine makes for a wonderful river cruise destination, with stunning vistas stretching through Switzerland, Germany and The Netherlands. Passengers have the chance to enjoy getting up close and personal with the Swiss Alps, as well as port calls in Cologne and Mainz. The Rhine makes for a great Christmas time cruise, with seasonal markets aplenty. The cities look delightful by night with myriad small lights twinkling along the shoreline, giving the impression that the skies have sunk and you’re cruising through the stars.
Anyone hoping to go a little further afield will be pleased to hear that river cruises are becoming more and more popularoutside of Europe as well. A number of places across Asia and South America are offering river boat cruises along some of the world’s most fascinating water systems. You can now experience the Amazon up close and personal or sail the Ayeyarwady River down to Mandalay. Sound amazing, or what?!
Author Bio: Sarah Hepburn has been a travel writer for over ten years. She loves writing about sunny holidays with a focus on cruises and all-inclusive packages. Her latest expedition was in Europe on a mini cruise along some of the world’s most beautiful rivers.
Image credits: Rhine river cruise, Christmas cruise