For centuries, Europe’s majestic rivers have carried travellers for many reasons – to explore, trade and sometimes, conquer. Steeped in history and culture, these aqueous arteries connect the continent’s greatest and most renowned destinations, bridging the past with the present, flowing through some of the world’s most stunning scenery. From picturesque countryside to historic landmarks, enjoy a different perspective on a variety of destinations in style and luxury.
What could be a more perfect choice for your next holiday than a Danube river cruise? Springing up in the town of Donaueschingen in Germany’s Black Forest, this great waterway flows southeast for 1,785 miles connecting 10 countries, before emptying itself into the Black Sea at Sulina in eastern Romania. It also flows through four national capital cities - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade - more than any other river in the world. Gliding peacefully between its famous and endlessly enchanting river banks, you’ll experience for yourself the calm delights that inspired “the beautiful blue Danube” of Johann Strauss’s immortal waltz and lullaby. Music is everywhere on the shores of the river Danube – from the wild genius of Mozart in Salzburg, to Beethoven, Brahms, and an entire family of Strausses in classical Vienna. The history made along this river is unparalleled to any other in Europe, so why not enjoy a cruise along it and make amazing memories of your own?
The age-old banks of the Douro remain as enchanting as ever, covered as they are with peaceful terraces where olives, almonds and grapes are cultivated much as they always have been. How can such a picturesque river valley - with its dramatic cliffs, lush hillsides, medieval walled villages and fine vineyards - remain so relatively undiscovered? How can so few others have enjoyed the sensation of basking on a sun deck in the spring or summer as the unmistakable chirping of crickets and the fragrant scents from the surrounding hillsides pervade the warm evening air? You’ll feel that your Duoro river cruise is a true revelation, taking you deep into one of the most unspoilt corners of Europe. For 70 miles of the Douro’s 557-mile length, the river forms part of the national border between Spain and Portugal. Its narrow canyons made it a historical barrier for invasions, and an enduring cultural and linguistic divide. On your Douro river cruise you’ll see the very best that both sides of this fascinating river have to offer. There are plenty of wonderful sights to satisfy your eyes, and many fantastic tastes to satisfy our taste buds.
Offering both historical beauty and stunning scenery, our Portugese river cruises and Spanish river cruises have something for everybody.
What better way to discover Paris and northern France than on a river cruise on the incomparable Seine? As well as showing you all the delights of the iconic, romantic capital, our Seine cruise will take you on this enchanting, gently flowing river all the way to where it meets the sea at the English Channel. The landscape changes endlessly as you glide through the heart of historic Normandy. Medieval castles and stone bridges give way to chalk cliffs, verdant green countryside, cider orchards, half-timbered barns and wooden farmhouses. Steep forested hills that give sanctuary to deer and wild boar make way for country estates and pretty villages. Sweeping bends reveal huge cathedrals and tranquil abbeys. Paris is everything you imagine it to be - and even more.
One of Europe’s largest and most famous rivers, the Rhone winds its way from the Alps through Lake Geneva and into France, lazily curving through beautiful landscapes until it meets the Mediterranean at Camargue. Experience the delights of southern France with one of our Rhône river cruises, taking in the vineyards of Burgundy, the charms of Lyon and Vienne, and the incredible history of Avignon and the Pont du Gard.
Travelling 766 miles from the Swiss Alps to Rotterdam in The Netherlands, the majestic River Rhine is truly one of Europe’s greatest international waterways. Enshrined in the culture and literature of the six countries through which it passes, no other river in the world has so many old and famous cities on its banks. From the comfort of your first-class floating hotel, your Rhine river cruise will transport you effortlessly through the most enchanting landscapes that change constantly from the gentle and placid to the most sheer and dramatic.
The twists and turns of your cruise on the River Rhine are endlessly fascinating. One moment you’re gliding past dense forests or towering valley sides that soar to more than 1,000 feet, crowned by the precarious ruins of castles that once extracted tolls from passing mariners. The next moment you’re passing steep vineyards where world-famous Riesling or Gewürztraminer wines are produced. Then there are the pretty waterfronts of riverside towns, delightful stone quaysides, spectacular locks and Oxbow lakes - long deserted by the river flow - that form wonderful havens for bird life.
Literally meaning 'The Low Countries,' almost half of the Netherlands once lay under water. On the delta of three major rivers - the Rhine, Maas and Scheldt - the country owes its existence to the conquest of water through astonishing feats of hydraulic engineering. From the 16th century windmills were used not just to keep the land dry but also to drain entire inland lakes. With around half of the country still at or below sea level, the fertile, pancake-flat stretches of land known as polders are bisected by a network of drainage ditches and canals which control the water table beneath huge open skies – while miles of protective dunes protect the long coastline to the west and north. The towns and villages of the country's twelve provinces are often picture-perfect places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals and church spires - each one often a profoundly separate place with its own distinct identity.
What a stunning choice the Moselle is for your river cruise holiday. Twisting and turning like a blue ribbon, it meanders sedately along one of Germany's most beautiful valleys. It sets a pace that will feel entirely natural as you revel in watching the riverside sights glide serenely by - towering castles, verdant hills and picture postcard villages. First cultivated by the Romans, the Moselle is one of Germany's most spectacular wine regions. Your Moselle river cruise will take you past terraced vineyards on craggy slopes that rise up at impossible gradients – with one at 68% claiming to be the steepest in Europe. Some of the best Riesling grapes are grown here just as they have been for centuries. Cochem, for example, with its castle crowning a mound covered in vineyards, was once the very centre of the Moselle wine trade. Bernkastel, full of fine and ornate half-timbered houses, is still home to the “Pointed House,” a dwelling built by a Moselle vintner in 1416.
To cruise the River Main is to experience quintessential Germany at its very best; a truly picture-postcard landscape of perfectly medieval villages with quaint timber-framed houses set against a backdrop of rolling hillsides, dotted with ancient castles awaits along the banks of this magical river. Quietly winding its way across Central Germany, over wide plains and through lush valleys before meeting up with the romantic Rhine at charmingly pretty Mainz in the very heart of the country’s wineland region, this is the longest river located entirely in Germany.
After decades of planning and construction, the Main-Danube Canal finally opened in 1992 which connects the Main and the Danube Rivers. Beginning in the beautiful city of Bamberg and ending in Kelheim on the mighty Danube, this engineering feat allows both passenger ships and smaller commercial vessels to travel between the North and Black Seas.