River Cruise: The rivers of Europe in four fantastic trips
4 to try
River cruises are the in-fashion floating holidays, with an intimacy in both the ships’size and destinations.
Soak up Mediterranean landscapes and local wine on a cruise along the Douro (above). On board a luxury Riviera Cruise vessel, you'll glide through dreamy scenery skirting the Portuguese-Spanish border, from the cliffs and vineyards of the Douro Valley and the sandstone glow of Salamanca. The wine-focused itinerary is a treat for lovers of port and Moscatel de Favios wines, but culture also abounds in the cafés and churches of traditional villages along the way. Prices from €1,559pp for an April 13 departure, including flights, full board and excursions.
Get there: travelbroker.ie
The River Danube
Ply the waters of the legendary Danube and visit four European countries on one grand adventure. The Melodies of the Danube cruise celebrates the beguiling landscape and cities of Central and Eastern Europe that have inspired musicians and artists for centuries, with cathedrals, cafés and castles of Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Munich, among others on the itinerary. Prices from €2,499pp for seven nights, including flights.
Get there: sunway.ie/rivercruise
Celebrate the coming of spring with a cruise through the famous tulip fields of the Netherlands. A perfect 10-day cruise for lovers of gorgeous scenery, good food and medieval cities, Viking River Cruises combines the canals and culture of Amsterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk and the cobblestoned charms of Antwerp and Bruges. There's plenty to tempt the palate too, with tastings of Dutch cheeses and Belgian chocolates included along the way. Price from £1,645/€2,337pp for an April departure from the UK.
Get there: John Galligan Travel (jgt.ie)
The Rhone Valley
Cruise the Rhône and savour the best of France on an eight-night itinerary bookended with stays in Lyon. Your four-star floating hotel will travel through some of the country's most cherished wine-making regions, from the Maconnaise in southern Burgundy to the Rhône Valley. Additional stops in Arles and Avignon add Provençal charm. Prices from €1,749pp including flights, transfers, full board, accommodation and excursions.
Get there: traveldepartment.ie
PS. Paris & The Seine
Imagine a visit to Monet’s home, fine French dining and endless scenery along the Seine. Cruisescapes.ie has a four-night cruise from €1,219pp, including flights, transfers, full-board and excursions.