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Travel Europe in Luxury by River Cruise

Travel Europe in Luxury by River Cruise

CRUISES, LUXURY TRAVEL

Sometimes it’s hard to pin down just one destination to visit. The canals of Venice and restaurants of Burano both seem appealing, so why not visit them both? A luxury cruise combines exploring numerous cities and the scenery which joins them, all the while enjoying a level of comfort which is worth holidaying for alone. If you choose the right cruise for you, you’re left with an unforgettable way to enjoy Europe.

When you’re picking a hotel, you don’t opt for any old run-of-the-mill establishment. You pick the one with opulent surroundings which you’ll never want to leave. River cruise ships are no different. These days, vessels comprise on-board swimming pools, fitness centers and a fancy restaurant to top it all off. Once you’ve settled in, you’ll sail between enriching cities. Alongside that, you won’t have to worry about unpacking until your flight home – sounds like a win-win, no?

​A river cruise in Germany​

Image by Gerritt Burow, used under CC License 2.0
Image by Gerritt Burow, used under CC License 2.0

Germany is a thriving nation with more than its fair share of medieval ports and villages. On top of that, its waterways are among some of the finest in Europe. The Danube, Rhine and Elbe all provide an exquisite way to navigate the country’s luscious forests and mountains. Connecting cities such as Berlin, Hanover and Bremen, they’ll give you a unique insight to German culture.

When the boat is anchored, step inland to taste traditional Bavarian dishes such as skirt steak or suckling pig. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, dining on-board is a sure-fire way to indulge in luxurious dishes – all just a short walk from your cabin.

​Travel through Mediterranean countries​

Image by Emilio, used under CC License SA 2.0
Image by Emilio, used under CC License SA 2.0

The beauty of Europe lies in its diversity. Other popular cruise routes offer an entirely different take on the continent, in countries such as Spain and Portugal. Venture down the Guadalquivir River from Malaga, skirting over the Portuguese border before you moor on Spanish soil in Seville. The allure of taking a country-crossing cruise such as this means your holiday will cater for both culture, and cuisine. Stopping in Malaga you’ll have the chance to visit the Pablo Picasso museum, stock up on tapas, before sunning yourself by the quaint Portuguese town of Alcoutim a few days later.

​Discover Portugal on a river cruise

Image by wiseguy71, used under CC License SA 2.0
Image by wiseguy71, used under CC License SA 2.0

River cruises in Portugal don’t stop there, however. Another favored route starts in Lisbon, a cultural hotbed in its own right. Discover the Castle of St George, which was home to Portuguese kings between the 12th and 16th centuries. From the harbor, you’ll see the Monastery of the Hieronymites, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting here will gift you an insight to fine Portuguese architecture which you’ll cherish long after your travels. The city is also a good starting point to reach other riverside cities like Coimbra, linked through the picturesque Douro Valley.

​On-board facilities

Throughout the day, take a deckchair and immerse yourself in scenery with a cocktail by your side. Thanks to the small size of most rivers, there’ll never be too many fellow travelers on-board. Evenings here entail musicians and comedy acts, with plenty of opportunities for socializing with passengers should you wish.

Photo by Carmen Edelson
Photo by Carmen Edelson

Europe is blessed with incredible scenery and wholesome culture. River cruises provide the perfect way to see these, and when you’re reclining in a lavish vessel it makes for an unparalleled way to do so.

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

35 Comments

  1. sophie
    February 15, 2017 at 3:58 am
    Reply

    I have experienced this in Portugal with my family last year, and It is totally fair to tell that enjoying the beautiful scenery is more fun because of the service provided by the cruise. Looks like you also had a great experience multiple times. With whom did you go on it with? Cheers

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      We did a Viking Danube River Cruise this past fall and it was amazing.

  2. Travellingdany
    February 18, 2017 at 4:47 am
    Reply

    So far I’ve only cruised around Amsterdam and a few tiny Greek islands. I tend to get seasick all the time! Yet the Portugal cruise would be so beautiful!

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Oh no! River cruises aren’t that bad though when it comes to seasickness, right?

  3. anna
    February 18, 2017 at 6:09 am
    Reply

    A river cruise is a great way to combine sightseeing and luxury! We’ve done a few in Asia but would love to explore some of the ones you mentioned here! Thanks for sharing.
    anna recently posted…How to Find Cheap Flights to Anywhere: Our Secret WeaponMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 19, 2017 at 11:09 am

      You’re very welcome, Anna! Sounds like you love cruising as much as me. Asia would be great.

  4. Gokul Raj
    February 18, 2017 at 6:21 am
    Reply

    River Cruise is something I would love to try out. I have booked one in Thailand. Leaving in 2 days.
    Gokul Raj recently posted…‘What-if’ situations bugging a First Time Solo TravelerMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 19, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Sounds great! Hope you have an amazing time 🙂

  5. Nisha
    February 18, 2017 at 10:58 am
    Reply

    It was a great pleasure reading your post and it was nostalgia for me. I think almost every country we have been to in Europe , we have taken a boat ride or dinner cruise. It is incredible that in many places the two banks of the river belongs to two different countries .

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 19, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Sounds like you’ve seen a lot, Nisha!

  6. Mel and Marcus
    February 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm
    Reply

    We really want to try the Portuguese river cruise down the Douro Valley. Beautiful views and wine tasting, perfect to us!
    Mel and Marcus recently posted…A Slow Travel Break To AustriaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Portugal is also on my bucket list when it comes to river cruising. So many great places to see along the way.

  7. Allison
    February 18, 2017 at 7:33 pm
    Reply

    I’ve done two ocean cruises I the past so I think I would really enjoy a river cruise through Europe. I’ve always wanted to go to Portugal so that would be at the top of my list.

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

      We have also been on several ocean cruises with the family. My husband and I went on our first river cruise last year, and it was wonderful. They really know how to take care of the passengers, and the food was amazing.

  8. Kevin's Travel Diary
    February 18, 2017 at 7:52 pm
    Reply

    I have never been on a cruise nor a river cruise, this article has sucked me in and now I’m looking at this cruise. thanks for sharing.
    Kevin’s Travel Diary recently posted…Somaliland – A Place To Find Peace And HospitalityMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:07 am

      We went on a river cruise last year, and loved it! I really enjoyed floating through the rivers and seeing the beautiful scenery along the way.

  9. Jenna
    February 19, 2017 at 5:06 am
    Reply

    I’ve always wanted to take a European river cruise. Watching the pretty scenery roll by out your window would be a perfect way to relax on the ship! And I like how there aren’t as many people on a river cruise as there are on a traditional cruise, too!

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

      The ship we were on had 175 passengers, and our room accommodations were spacious and very comfortable. We met very nice people on our cruise.

  10. Sandy N Vyjay
    February 19, 2017 at 8:20 am
    Reply

    The best thing about a river cruise is the views of the skyline of a city. The approaching lights and activity of a port of call must indeed be an exciting feeling. Cruising around elegant Europe is on a different level altogether.
    Sandy N Vyjay recently posted…How We Stole Some Time in Tantalizing ThailandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

      I agree, the views of European towns from your balcony window is just magical.

  11. Amelie
    February 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    Reply

    That’s such an interesting idea. I’ve done loads of cruises in Asia, but for some reason do all of my Europe travel overland. Most definitely a new perspective to explore 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 20, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Definitely a new perspective! Cruising through Asia would be lovely.

  12. Kerri
    February 20, 2017 at 5:26 am
    Reply

    Cruising in Europe is so popular now but it’s great to see one in Portugal which is often not what you see, I am not a fan of open sea cruising but I would definitely be interested in this.
    Kerri recently posted…The many faces of the river – a photographic journey through the Mekong DeltaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 20, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Yes, river cruising is lovely! And so is Portugal 🙂

  13. Rhonda Albom
    February 20, 2017 at 5:45 am
    Reply

    I have not yet done a river cruise (only ocean cruises). I would like to cruise the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Fun Statues Around the World: Oversized and UndressedMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

      That would be a stunning part of the world to cruise, Rhonda! Good choice 🙂

  14. Stacey Veikalas
    February 20, 2017 at 6:22 am
    Reply

    We have taken short day trips in Europe but never a full on river cruise. This looks amazing we might have to give it a try!
    Stacey Veikalas recently posted…Wine Tasting in Montepulciano – A Wine Lover’s DreamMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:10 am

      River cruises are very laid back, and a wonderful escape for Adults.

  15. elisa
    February 20, 2017 at 7:59 am
    Reply

    I don’t do cruises but my parents travel like this once a year and they enjoy it a lot and I also get a nice feedback from them. Actually they met some nice people in a couple of them and now they all book together the following one.

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 20, 2017 at 10:04 am

      How nice! It’s definitely a great way to meet people.

  16. G&D Blog
    February 20, 2017 at 6:42 pm
    Reply

    Wow. Luxury at its finest. My hubby and I planning to do cruising, too. This is actually a great way to see different places. And this Luxury Cruising that you had in Europe, makes us want to do it. Thanks for sharing this. 😀

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:12 am

      We really enjoyed our river cruise through the Danube river this past year. We got to see many sights, and visited several cities along the way that I would of never even thought of stopping to see.

  17. Christine Maguire (@thetraveloguer)
    February 21, 2017 at 7:05 am
    Reply

    River cruises are such a great way to see a city from a different perspective, and more relaxing than a bus!

    • Carmen Edelson
      February 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Every day on our river cruise we stopped in these charming little towns along the way. It was one of my favorite things about the trip.

  18. Carol Colborn
    February 22, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    Reply

    I know a river cruise is the best way to travel Europe…but it’s so expensive!

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