Which European River?

The rivers of Europe have been defining boundaries and connecting empires for millennia. A source of transportation providing navigators to travel between cities and conquerors between countries. The main provider of water, the European rivers have also played a key role as the center of human existence as the means of transferring goods and services. 

As a perspective river traveler, your goals are probably to explore the countries, reach the capitals, and immerse in the regions you travel through as you watch the changing landscapes of the world scenically pass you by.  

So now for the tough decision, choosing a European River to cruise:

Danube – The second longest river in Europe, once a primary trade route dating back to the Roman Empire. The Danube River meanders through ten countries in central and southeastern Europe before reaching the Black Sea. 

Capital cities located on the Danube are Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade.

Interests for cruising on the Danube are; music, ancient, medieval, and World War history and architecture, Imperial cities, gardens, gastronomy, forests, hiking, and biking trails. Perfect for active travelers interested in visiting multiple countries.

Dordogne/Garonne – These rivers transport you through the renowned wine regions of Bordeaux. From the namesake capital city of Bordeaux on the left bank and world-famous Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of the Medoc region. Into the Libournais region on Bordeaux’s right bank the home of the Merlot-based reds of St. Emilion and Pomerol. 

The capital city of the region is the city of Bordeaux, the prime center of the left bank and heart of the Bordeaux region. Libourne is the wine-making capital of the right bank. 

Interests for cruising in Bordeaux; architecture, historical chateau, gardens, museums, and biking trails are all present here, but the primary focus is gastronomy. 

Douro – Scenic cruising along the UNESCO Douro river leads you into the small towns and villages centered around the growth and vinification of Port wine in the heart of the scenic Douro Valley.

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and is considered the capital of the North. You will travel through many small towns and villages throughout the Douro Valley.

Interests for cruising the Douro; scenic cruising, historic farms (Quintas) gardens, museums, and hiking trails are all present here. The primary focus of this region is Port wine. A slow and relaxed pace, this is the perfect itinerary for first-time river cruisers. 

Rhine – The second longest river in Central Europe has played a prominent role as a key waterway since the Holy Roman Empire. She flows from the base of the Swiss Alps into northeastern France, through scenic Germany, and into the Netherlands.

Amsterdam is the only capital city on the Rhine. However, you will pass through the iconic cities of Strasbourg in the Alsace region and many storybook towns and villages throughout Germany. 

Interests for cruising on the Rhine are; art, Roman, medieval, and gothic history and architecture, castles, forests, scenery, wine, beer, foodies, hiking, and biking trails. Perfect for active travelers looking for traveling into multiple countries or Germany intensive*.

*Note: For additional German concentrated itineraries, the tributaries of the Rhine, the Moselle, and Main rivers offer additional picturesque scenery and German wine regions.

Rhone/Saone – Travel the Saône river through the Burgundy wine regions of central France and into the historic regions along the Rhone river in Provence. Visit historic sites, while sampling the Rose’ wines of Provence, classic reds of the Rhone region and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines of Burgundy. 

Lyon where the Rhone and Saône rivers converge is the capital city of the Rhone-Alps. Other towns of interest are Arles, Avignon, and Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. 

Interests for cruising on the Rhone and Saône are; art, Roman, medieval, and French history and architecture, chateau, cathedrals, picturesque scenery, wine, food, and biking trails. Perfect for active travelers and wine lovers.

Seine – The most famous river in France travels from Paris through the Ile de France into the Normandy department in northwestern France where the river meets the English Channel. This historic river has witnessed the Vikings, Romans, Knights Templar, Joan of Arc, Napoleon, and both the Allied and Axis forces during the World Wars. 

Paris, your starting or ending point is the primary capital city on the Seine. With options for visiting Caen, the capital of the Normandy Department, and Rouen the former capital of Normandy.

Interests for cruising on the Seine are; art, Roman, medieval, French and American history, cathedrals, gastronomy, and biking trails. Perfect for first-time cruisers and travelers interested in visiting Paris.

If river cruising is at the top of the list for a traveling experience, you will enjoy the boutique luxury hotel experience. A high staff-to-guest ratio enhances the personal experience. The warm onboard staff makes you feel at home and like family. 

Providing an almost all-inclusive travel experience you arrive for your journey with confidence and focus on making new memories. BucketList Travel Advisors can assist you with planning the perfect river cruise experience.