|Budapest's Palace overlooks the Danube River from the hills of Buda.Click for larger pic|
RIVER CRUISING GUIDE
Here are the basics on the geography and attractions of Europe's navigable rivers. (Note: Rates quoted below are cruise-only, per person, double occupancy.)
- Runs through four countries: Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
- Castles! The Rhine Valley has more castles than any other river in the world; also ruins of hilltop fortresses; terraced vineyards running up gentle slopes.
MOSELLE AND MAIN RIVERS:
- Tributaries of the Rhine, these are narrower rivers.
- Terraced vineyards, hilltop castles and fortresses, wine villages.
- Runs through eight countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria--from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.
- Austria's scenic Wachau Valley, old world charm and elegance in Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava. Music lovers like this route for the many opportunities to attend concerts in the major towns. The most unusual itinerary here is Peter Deilmann Cruises' trip all the way on the Danube from Passau, Germany, to Constanta, Romania (10 nights, from $4,545).
- A 106-mile long canal connecting 2,200 miles of waterways across 15 countries, from the North Sea to the Black Sea. The Main-Danube Canal and the connection between the Rhine, Moselle and Main Rivers create a huge array of itinerary options, such as Peter Deilmann Cruises' 14 different itineraries, from seven to 15 nights, on the Rhine and Moselle Rivers and the Main-Danube Canal. A common route is a 14-night cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest; from $2,598 on Uniworld and from $2,798 on Viking River Cruises.
- Flows through eastern Germany and the Czech Republic.
- Features: Castles, art and architecture; the cultural centers of Prague, Dresden and Meissen.
WATERWAYS OF NORTHERN EUROPE: Through the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Tulip Time" cruises are quite popular here. Another intriguing itinerary is Uniworld's exclusive 14-night Brussels to Berlin itinerary (from $2,698).
RHONE AND SAONE RIVERS:
- River cruises sail on both of these for one-week trips between Lyon and Provence.
- Fine cuisine in Lyon; Roman ruins and the art of Van Gogh in Arles; the art of Picasso, Renoir, Chagall, Braque and Matisse in Provence;,the Palace of the Popes in Avignon; the wines of Beaujolais and Burgundy. SEINE RIVER:
- Seven-night cruisess between Honfleur and Paris, where river boats dock at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.
- Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny, Mont St. Michael, Rouen and the D-Day Beaches. Both Uniworld and Viking River Cruises offer combination packages of cruises on the Rh"ne and Sa"ne and on the Seine, transferring passengers between the different ships by bus. PO RIVER:
- Italy's longest river, flowing through the northern heart of the country from Venice to Cremona.
- Seven-night cruises visit highly romantic Mantua, the old university town of Padua and Verona, the setting for "Romeo and Juliet." DOURO RIVER:
- Flowing from Spain through northern Portugal
- Deep cleft gorges; villages, vineyards and orchards of almond and citrus trees. Sights include Salamanca, Spain's ancient center of learning, manor homes, and the medieval alleys of Porto.
- VOLGA, SVIR AND NEVA RIVERS: Cruises along these rivers and other waterways take travelers through Russian history from St. Petersburg to Moscow. A highlight of this cruise is the "Golden Ring," the cities of Uglich, Kostroma, Yaroslavl. Formerly homes to the aristocracy, these cites have fine architecture.
- YENISEY RIVER: This flows through Siberia, taking travelers to the Arctic Ocean and remote areas of beauty. Viking River Cruises has a 17-day package that includes a 10- or 11-night cruise on the MS Anton Chekhov and time in both St. Petersburg and Moscow; from $2,298.
- DNJEPR RIVER: From Kiev to the Black Sea though the Crimean Peninsula. Highlights include a Cossack rodeo performance, a Navy concert in Yalta and an evening show at Odessa's Opera and Ballet Theatre. Fourteen nights on Viking River's MS General Lavrinenkov from $1,598.
RIVER CRUISING GUIDE
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