December 17, 2017

Dreaming of a European River Cruise

The other day I received an email from Viking River Cruises that got me thinking.  The subject of the email was “Where would you go?” and now I’m dreaming about which European River Cruise I would most like to enjoy!

I’ve never been on a river cruise for more than a day but have to admit I am intrigued by them. The friends and relatives I know who have taken river cruises have all returned with rave reviews.  Without fail they have enjoyed the educational and cultural aspects along with the views and social camaraderie!  One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about the day cruises I’ve taken on some of Europe’s greatest rivers- Seine, Rhine, Thames and Danube – are the spectacular view you get from the river.  What could be better than arriving in Europe’s cities in the same manner as the discovers of yesterday?

So where is my dreaming taking me. . .

Portraits of Southern France 

Saone river at Lyon France

Saone river at Lyon by Jack

Gliding along the Saône and Rhône rivers from Chalon-sur-Saône to Avignon includes beautiful vistas, wonderful medieval villages of the Burgundy region and the splendor that is Provence. I’ve never been to this part of France but when you combine medieval villages, Roman ruins, history, cathedrals, cobbled street and scenery that has inspired artists like Van Gogh, well how could you go wrong?!  Add in the wine and cuisine this region is known for and you’ve got a winner.

Portugal’s River of Gold

Porto Portugal

Porto by Benjamin Dumas, on Flickr

Slowly floating along the dramatic Douro River in Portugal would offer a unique glimpse into this wonderful region. After having a chance to visit Lisbon, the cruise starts in Porto which, in my opinion, is one of the most picturesque cities in the world.  The cruise offers an opportunity to view a region that some say is still unspoiled!    Along the way glimpse vineyards set on steep hills, castles, Baroque architecture, UNESCO Heritage cities and sites as well as Gothic cathedrals.  Oh and don’t forget the food and drink the region is known for including Port and regional wine!  Yes, I think the magical Douro would be a perfect setting for my first river cruise.

Vineyards & Vistas 

Aschaffenburger Schloss along the Main River Germany

Aschaffenburger Schloss along the Main River by Carschten

The Vineyards & Vistas cruise sails along the Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers in wonderful Germany! Yes I’ve been along the Moselle and have enjoyed day cruises on the Rhine.  I’ve even been to Bamberg, Rudesheim and Trier, so why would this cruise interest me??  I LOVE the Moselle and crave to return so I can further explore this river and the surrounding small villages that are bursting with the wonderful wine of the area. Dotting the banks of the Main River are small quaint villages such as Miltenberg, which is a city that calls me! All of these rivers are full of castles, cathedrals, medieval towns, Roman ruins, history and Baroque palaces.  Plus there is also the German cuisine I love so much and cities famous for their Beer!

If I were going on a River Cruise, it would be one of these three options.  Now it’s your turn …

Where would you go on a European River Cruise?

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  1. Shalu Sharma says:

    I would love to go on one of these river cruises. The Saone river at Lyon looks very beautiful at night. Those German rivers looks quite beautiful as well.
    Shalu Sharma recently posted..How to book train tickets in India?

  2. What a wonderful article Debbie and gorgeous pics too. It is my dream to sail down the Rhine during the holidays to visit every Christmas market along the way!! Oh, how this article just ignited my wanderlust once again with wonderful thoughts of Christmastime in Europe!
    Jeff Titelius recently posted..London and Paris on Your First Holiday in Europe

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I agree, cruising through the Christmas markets would be a grand adventure! You know I would love to visit the German Christmas markets but I would also love to spend the entire holiday season in Germany. One of these years . . .

  3. Michaela says:

    I must have been hiding under a rock! I had no idea that a river cruise could last for more than a day! A European river cruise seems to be something that could get a bit addictive. Amazing views, good food and access to beautiful scenery? It would be a powerful drug for a hopeless romantic like me!
    Michaela recently posted..AWEsome Photo Highlight: South Dakota

  4. jan says:

    Having just been to Lisbon, I would have to choose the Portugal cruise. I would love to see Porto and more of the countryside.
    jan recently posted..Fantastic Friday – Mud Walls

  5. inka says:

    I’d opt for Portugal. Definitely something different.
    inka recently posted..A botched masterpiece in Naxos/Greece

  6. Oh, I’d love to go on a European river cruise. I’d prefer that instead of the regular cruises. There are so many places in Europe I’d like to see, it’d be difficult to choose. And the food, I’m hungry just thinking about it.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Getting Married in Jamaica

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’m with you, the large cruise ships just don’t seem intriguing to me. I think I like the intimacy of the river cruises.

  7. Lynne says:

    I too dream of a river cruise – mine includes some of the old cities of eastern Europe – Budapet, Prague …
    Lynne recently posted..Badge of Honour

  8. Steve says:

    I’ve only been on the full size cruise ships, and I look at the size of those rivers and wonder how small the boats must be to fit comfortably down them. The convenience of being able to step off right in the middle of things though, probably outweighs the lack of size a river boat would need. Germany looks like it would be a lot of fun to me, although it would be hard to cruise past those castles without imagining firing canons at them.
    Steve recently posted..Shopping While Traveling – Tips from Mrs. MKTS

  9. I’m sure you know where my vote’s going, Debbie? We didn’t do it the conventional way- as ever we were saving pennies- but we just might in the future. I would love to see the bit we missed and cross over the border to Salamanca. Here’s our version:

    I would love to do the South of France one, given a pot of money. Like you, I’ve never been.
    Johanna Bradley recently posted..Sunday Post : Surroundings

  10. Marlys says:

    Totally agree with Leigh. Cruising down the Moselle is the most picturesque with the castles perched on the hills. Crossing fingers that your dream become reality!
    Marlys recently posted..Ghosts Of London Past

  11. Jan Ross says:

    We went on a wine tasting cruise in Germany last year with AmaWaterways last year and it was wonderful. We loved docking in the middle of a town and stepping out on a main street. And the food was absolutely great!
    Jan Ross recently posted..Victorian Village Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Arriving in the middle of town is one of the things that most intrigues me! Plus I can already see myself on deck enjoying coffee or wine as the scenery passes before my eyes 🙂

  12. Oh, now you’ve got me daydreaming about a river cruise, too. I’d love to take any of these. I enjoyed a day cruise on the Neckar River in Germany not long ago. The scenery of the countryside and castles was just amazing.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I’ve never been on the Neckar river but am sure its beautiful! One of my biggest regrets was not having time to enjoy a cruise on the Havel in Potsdam.

  13. Leigh says:

    The bit of the Moselle River that I saw years ago was gorgeous and I love the wine of that region so I’d be quite happy to spend some time cruising on a boat through here. Most cruises don’t interest me but I think there’s an intimacy on a river cruise and the ability to get on and off easily that I find appealing.
    Leigh recently posted..Bryce Canyon’s Rim Drive at Sunset

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