Enjoy an Intimate Cruise on Portugal’s “River of Gold”

If you’ve ever browsed the options for river cruising in Europe, chances are your attention was drawn to the most popular cruising destinations, probably the Rhine, Rhone, or Danube Rivers, which certainly offer plenty of wonderful sights. However, another European river has stepped in and stolen a bit of the thunder from the others – Portugal’s Douro River, otherwise known as the “River of Gold.”

The Douro is the third-longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, with its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province. From there it flows across north-central Spain and Portugal, eventually reaching its outlet in Porto, the second-largest of Portugal’s thriving cities, home to about 2 million residents and boasting an ancient city center that’s dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trip along this river offers passengers a chance to see plenty of notable sites and breathtaking landscapes at a leisurely pace while being pampered by outstanding staff members to are eager to cater to your wants and needs. (more…)

Celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas on a European River Cruise

115023174Tired of doing the same old thing during the winter holiday seasons? Many people get stuck in a rut when it comes to celebrating the holidays. So, if you’re up for doing something new and different this year, think about spending Thanksgiving or Christmas floating down the Rhine or one of Europe’s other great rivers on a cruise that will surely make your holidays memorable.

European river cruises are ideal for singles, couples, or groups of adult friends or family members who are keen on spending the holidays together but want to try something a little different than just gathering around the table for the traditional celebration. They allow you to experience holiday traditions of a different culture and provide the opportunity to get away at a time of year when you might be more likely to stay home. In addition, experiencing Europe in November/December is entirely different than at other times of the year as the cities and towns are filled with holiday cheer and river cruises let you get close to the festivities.

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Top 10 Reasons to Take a European River Cruise this Fall

136256057If you’ve been fortunate enough to travel on some of the world’s best luxury cruise lines, you’re no doubt familiar with the joys of shipboard life. Comfortable accommodations, excellent service, great food and wine. All of those are part of cruising with a reputable line that puts their passengers’ happiness first.

Sea cruising is wonderful, there’s no doubt, especially aboard the luxury liners, but have you ever considered something even more intimate, like river cruising? Cruising along the rivers of Europe is an unforgettable experience for a number of reasons, 10 of which we’ve listed below. So, if you’re thinking about a new and exciting autumn European vacation this year, read carefully!  (more…)

Summer is Ideal for a Historic Cruise along the Rhine River

159269858If you like the idea of being shipboard during all or part of your European vacation but prefer intimate experiences to that provided by those humungous new ships that accommodate 3,000+ passengers, perhaps it’s time to investigate the idea of booking a river cruise.  Such cruises provide luxurious accommodations, exemplary service, and – usually – like-minded passengers, all aboard a vessel that gets up close-and-personal with the sights along the way.

While there are many options for river cruises in Europe, one of the loveliest routes available takes passengers along the spectacular Rhine River, past mid-sized cities and small towns in Switzerland, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Rhine River cruises are among the most popular offered by companies such as Viking and Avalon, and you’ll find that the journey is enjoyable from spring through autumn, offering amazing scenery from the time the buds first appear until the trees begin to turn the colors of fall.

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Take a Grand European Tour with a River Cruise on the Danube

Danube Schloegener SchlingeSouth America has its Amazon. Egypt has the Nile. The U.S. Midwest loves its Mississippi River. But when it comes to sheer beauty, nothing quite compares to Europe’s beautiful Danube River. The subject of a waltz by Johann Strauss and a major player in centuries of literature, the lovely Danube River is the second-largest on the continent, stretching some 1,780 miles and passing through 10 different countries.

The Danube River begins quietly in the Black Forest town of Donaueschingen and eventually empties into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta. Along the way, you’ll encounter more than two dozen islands and pass through in excess of 100 cities and towns. Travelers along the Danube can spot hundreds of species of birds, dozens of variety of fish, and plenty of breathtaking flora.   (more…)

Avalon Waterways Offers Top-Notch Inclusive River Cruises

Tourboat on Rhine RiverIf your cruising adventures have been limited to large ships out on the vast ocean, many cruise aficionados will tell you that you’ve truly missed the best that cruising has to offer. River cruising – that is, small ship cruising on the exciting rivers of the world – is a much more intimate experience, conducted by cruise lines that know lots about personal service. One of those small ship cruise companies is the wonderful Avalon Waterways, a line that’s been around long enough to know the ins-and-outs of the perfect river cruise.

Part of the Globus family of travel brands, Avalon Waterways offers river cruises that give discerning travelers the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the cities, towns, and villages that they encounter along the way. That’s the beauty of a river cruise vs. an ocean cruise. And Avalon seems to know how to do it all quite well, offering “themed” cruises for those interested in art, cooking, wine, specific types of music, history, politics, and more, as well as the Avalon Choice® program, which allows potential passengers to have a strong hand in the design of their cruise vacation.

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