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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Top 5 River Cruise Lines and their Most Popular Destinations

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River cruising has captured the imaginations of the world’s vacationers and it’s easy to see why. As the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, there's nothing like a river cruise to give you a close up view of a country’s landscape, culture and people. Almost every continent now boasts of at least one river that supports cruises.

If you love ocean cruising, you’ll love river cruising. In fact, the largest segment of river cruisers is past cruise customers. On a river cruise, you'll spend less time getting there and more time being there – and you’ll be in the center of it all. Step off the ship and you’ll usually find yourself already in the heart of a local town, with waiting restaurants, shops and local culture. Think of river cruising as a land tour on a ship.

Discover exotic destinations the large cruise ships simply can't reach. Cruise ships designed for rivers are smaller than ocean-going cruise vessels and typically hold 90-240 passengers. Designed to fit through locks and under bridges, river cruise ships can go where large ocean cruise ships simply cannot travel. Though smaller, these ships do not sacrifice comfort or luxury.

River cruises usually last from seven to fifteen days, offering plenty of time to see and plenty of things to do along the way. Some itineraries can last up to three weeks or longer. Browse through all the pages of our river cruises content and discover your next cruise. There is bound to be something for every traveler within the large number of river cruise itineraries available today.

Africa is an intriguing continent like no other destination. From its rivers teeming with wildlife, sweeping plains, primordial craters and towering mountain peaks, the continent’s natural beauty and incomparable diversity impart an appeal few can resist. The rivers of Africa support an array of exotic game, plant and bird life, including one of the greatest concentrations of elephants on the continent. Experience a safari like no other aboard a River Cruise.

One of the oldest civilizations on earth, China is a land of history, spirituality and great beauty. River cruises on the Yangtze through China are journeys through time, from small villages to bustling modern cities. Visitors who travel with on a river cruise will see the such great cities as Beijing and Shanghai, the ancient wonders of Xian, and the spectacular Three Gorges region of the mighty Yangtze River.

A cruise along the Nile River will show travelers most of Egypt, because most of Egypt’s cities, towns, temples and monuments are located very close to the life-giving Nile. The vast majority of Egypt’s estimated 76 million people live near the Nile’s banks and delta, where the only arable land is found and where trade can be conducted up and down the river. The country’s major cities, like Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria are all located on the river as well. This means that about 99% of the country’s population is using less than 6% of the total land area—all along the Nile.

Whether your river cruise sails you along France’s scenic Saône, Seine or Rhône Rivers, you'll pass some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer. Explore the famed region of Burgundy and the lavender fields of Provence. thread your way through the orchards and field-a-bloom in Normandy. Visit Gallo-Roman ruins in both Vienne and Arles. Walk the cobbled streets of Arles to see how it inspired Vincent van Gogh. Or visit the historic Papal Palace in Avignon, “City of Popes.” Whether travelers possess an appreciation of the arts and fine wine, or rolling hills and time-tested architecture, the gentle roll of the rivers of France provide a relaxing rhythm to any French discovery.

Away from the hustle and bustle of busy highways, the waterways of the Galapagos Islands meander through beautiful landscapes stopping at many ports allowing you to explore well-known cities as well as small towns and villages. Consisting of 13 large and hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of South America, the Galapagos Islands are home to some of the world’s most fascinating animal life. Onboard your river cruise you'll encountering giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions, lizards, and a whole host of diverse bird species. As you explore these remarkable volcanic isles firsthand, you’ll discover the wildlife that inspired Charles Darwin.

Each of its major rivers has played a role in Germany’s cultural and history. The Danube was used for transport long before the expansion of the Roman Empire. Today, many river cruise vessels and international ships travel the Danube River. The Rhine is also an international river, shaped by modern technology to enable cruise ships to navigate its waters. The Elbe River, on the other hand, is a predominantly natural river; its course has been little altered to accommodate cruise and shipping vessels. No matter which river you choose for your Germany river cruise, an enchanting cruise adventure awaits you. When you step onboard a river cruise, your breath will be taken away by the magic that separates you from everyday life on dry land.

Cruise the Douro River, taste a variety of local wines from village vineyards, including Port wine, the region’s sweet fortified wine. Feast on a traditional meal with wine quinta overlooking the Douro Valley and enjoy a traditional Spanish-style lunch complete with a flamenco show. Along the way, uncover a land of genuine beauty and breathtaking charm, and meet warm-hearted, friendly people with welcoming open arms. This hidden gem is for those seeking to explore an unspoiled river valley with lovely vistas, storied towns, and lively cities. True wine connoisseurs and food aficionados will enjoy indulging in the region’s celebrated Port wine and local cuisine.

Once shrouded in mystery, today Russia and its inland waterways welcome you with open arms. Cruise along the mighty Volga from Moscow to St. Petersburg and tour such landmarks as Moscow’s Kremlin and Red Square, Catherine’s Palace and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Enjoy a spectacular voyage through the heart of Russia along its colorful and historic waterways. Explore bustling and excitement-packed Moscow, the enchanting Golden Ring cities of Uglich, Kostroma and Yaroslavl, and discover Europe’s two largest lakes, Onega and Ladoga leading to St. Petersburg, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, spread over 101 islands and 66 canals.

Vietnam is a country known for its compelling history, lush landscape and fast-paced lifestyle. Its identity has been defined by incessant turmoil. Having overcome colonial occupation and weathered many wars, Vietnam is awakening from its economic slumber and is on a path to becoming one of the world’s fastest growing economies. This resilience is a testament to the pride and indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people and their culture. Though the Vietnamese are proud of their independence and national pride, they are very receptive to visitors who appreciate all that their country has to offer.

Cruise on Europe's newest and most state-of-the-art river cruise ships with the AMAWaterways fleet of 9 vessels and get set to enjoy every second of your vacation. Offering a full program of daily included shore excursions, as well as entertainment and educational options, it is always your decision to either join the excursions or to relax onboard and let the wonderful scenery float by. The ships feature state-of-the-art public areas with great art work, new amenities and services, exquisitely decorated staterooms and gourmet dining; all of which provide an unparalleled cruise vacation.

Whether you're looking to vacation with an emphasis on wine-tasting and vineyard visits, experience the unique taste of Europe with visits to historic shops and markets synonymous with traditional culinary specialties or simply enjoy the amenities on board -- AMAWaterways is the ideal river cruise for you. They pride themselves on setting the standards in European river cruising.

When you step on to an Avalon river cruise, your breath will be taken away by the magic that separates you from everyday life on dry land. You'll glide past imposing medieval castles, lush riverbank vineyards, and remarkable ancient wonders on your European river cruise. Every gentle bend of the river reveals another fascinating sight as your luxurious river cruise ship winds its way through scenic landscapes, delivering you right to where many of Europe's most celebrated cities were born.

Vacationers cruise internationally for different reasons. Some go to learn about new cultures, some for inspiration and enrichment and others for a stress-free getaway. From adding distinct destinations and abbreviated cruises to Avalon's vacation portfolio to creating themed travel and pre- and post-cruise combination opportunities, this river cruise line has put together more than 120 all-inclusive experiences to fit luxury and budget-focused travelers, Boomers, GenXers and families wanting to experience Europe, Egypt, China, Southeast Asia and the Galápagos Islands.

Every detail of a Tauck River cruise is taken care of so you connect ashore with people, places, and cultural traditions - shore excursions are well-choreographed with exclusive cultural experiences, many of them private for Tauck guests only. Plus, virtually every river cruise expense is included in one up-front price on Tauck river cruises; all shore excursions are included, dining onboard and ashore, and all gratuities are also included.

With no more than 118 guests aboard Tauck's riverboats, you'll receive exceptional personalized attention and service throughout your journey.

Tauck's uncommon access and exclusive cultural experiences ashore along European waterways – the Rhine, Danube, Main, Rhône and Moselle rivers – connects you with each place you visit... and ancient civilizations take on new meaning on our Egypt and China trips along the River Nile and the Yangtze River. Experience river cruises – and river cruising – at their best...

Over the years, Uniworld has worked tirelessly together with their sister company, Red Carnation Hotels—an award-winning collection of five-star luxury boutique hotels—to elevate the standard in river cruising with unparalleled quality and service. This close partnership between these two luxury tastemakers results in an uncompromising guest experience.

After one night in your magnificent riverview stateroom, you’ll understand why sailing with Uniworld is truly the best way to see the Old World. As you sip your morning coffee, admire the sun rising from your picture window or French balcony you can breathe in and prepare ready for another exciting day of excursions. As the sun sets, a certified Global Master Chef leading a professional culinary team in the preparation of gourmet cuisine will be ready to offer you a meal filled with delicious fusions of style, unique culinary creations, and tastes inspired by the regions of your itinerary.

When you cruise with Viking you sail with the world’s leading river cruise company, and you enjoy the rewards of more than 175 years of heritage and a level of expertise second to none.

Inspiring destinations, beautifully crafted itineraries, expert tour guides, luxurious ships, fine cuisine, excellent service, remarkable value—their success is defined by all these things, and something else, too: personal attention to every detail.

At Viking, they never forget that looking after you is why they have become the world’s favorite river cruise line, and why their guests return to cruise with them again and again. If you have experienced the pleasure of traveling with Viking, then you will appreciate what makes a river cruise with Viking so special. And if that experience is still ahead of you, then it is one you are sure to enjoy.


Other Top Destinations


North America

(Including Hawaii)

Anaheim - Arizona - Atlanta - Atlantic City - Austin - Bangor - Bar Harbor Maine - Beverly Hills - Big Island, Hawaii - Boston - Branson - California - Canada - Charleston - Charlotte - Chicago - Cleveland, TN - Columbus - Dallas - Daytona Beach - Deer Isle, Maine - Denver - Disneyland - Disney World - Florida - Foxwoods Casino - French Canada - Ft. Lauderdale - Ft. Myers Beach - Halifax - Hawaii - Hollywood - Honolulu - Houston - Indianapolis - Iqaluit - Kauai - Kennebunkport - Key West - Kissimmee - Lake Buena Vista - Lake Tahoe - Las Vegas - Los Angeles - Macon, GA - Maine - Manhattan - Maui - Mazatlan - Memphis - Miami - Miami Beach - Mohegan Sun Casino - Montreal - Myrtle Beach - Nashville - New Brunswick - New Orleans - New York City - Niagara Falls, NY - Niagara Falls, Canada - North Conway, NH - Nova Scotia - Oahu - Old Orchard Beach - Orlando - Panama City Beach - Philadelphia - Phoenix - Plymouth, MA - Portland Maine - Quebec City - Reno - Rockland, Maine - Saint John - Salem Ma - San Antonio - San Diego - San Francisco - Seattle - Sherbrooke - South Beach - South Padre Island - St. Petersburg - Stonington, Maine - Tampa - Times Square - Toronto - Tucson - United States - Vancouver Canada - Virginia Beach - Waikiki - Washington D.C. - Yarmouth, Nova Scotia


South America