Europe combines a treasure trove of must-see sights with diverse cultural and culinary experiences. As such, many people that travel to the region like to piece together an itinerary that spans more than one country. There are myriad ways to do this, but one of the most relaxing is to add a river cruise to the mix. After a hectic stay in one of Europe’s bustling cities, they offer a chance to catch your breath while continuing your exploration.
Avalon Waterways has a range of options that visit 11 different countries across the region. You can choose an in-depth exploration of a single country, such as France, or enjoy a serene meander through several. Their river cruises offer an ambience of relaxed luxury and the freedom to tailor your experience to suit your interests.
Two of the most popular European rivers for cruising are the Rhine and Danube. Each of these picturesque rivers, and the cities and towns that lie along their banks, can be explored over as little as four days, although there are plenty of options for longer itineraries too. Choose one as the centrepiece of your European sojourn or as an indulgent form of transport from one part of the region to the next.
A cruise along the Danube offers stunning scenery and an air of romance. Glide peacefully through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary and discover gems such as Passau’s marvellously ornate Baroque cathedral, stroll around Austria’s largest medieval square in Linz or explore the country’s lake region. A highlight of any Danube cruise is the scenery that passes by as you pass through the Wachau Valley. The Benedictine Abbey in Melk offers unmissable views of this picturesque wine region, and the river that winds through it, while Durnstein hosts one of the many ruined castles that dot the hills overlooking the river. In Vienna, it takes little imagination to hear the strains of a romantic waltz as you visit the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Schonbrunn Palace. Enjoy a guided walk through the delightful Old Town of Bratislava and marvel at its gothic cathedral before ending your journey in sparkling Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube.
Active & Discovery on the Rhine
If you prefer more energetic and interactive discoveries, Avalon also has you covered. Avalon’s Active & Discovery cruises offer included excursions that cater to everyone from history buffs and foodies to lovers of art, architecture and more, all at a pace that suits you. This might be a leisurely canal cruise, a culinary walk or even a guided jogging tour. Or perhaps, you would choose to cycle through the Dutch countryside or go paddling in a kayak. Those seeking more hands-on, immersive experiences can create their own masterpiece during a painting class, visit the Chocolate Museum in Cologne or sample regional wines in Eltville. The options are almost endless, adding new perspectives to favourite destinations, like discovering Dusseldorf’s spectacular subway or taking a cable-car ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz. The backdrop to all of these amazing experiences is the scenic Rhine Valley, which offers breathtaking sights at every turn.
Whichever style of river cruising appeals most to you, there isn’t a more relaxing and luxurious way to travel through the heart of countries and experience a range of destinations in a single journey.
Ask your Travel Associates adviser for ideas on how best to add an Avalon river cruise to your next Europe itinerary.