Monday, July 11, 2011

The Advantages of Touring Europe by River Cruise

A European River cruise is being recognised by an increasing number of people as one of the best ways to explore much of central Europe. The river cruise holidays provided by operators like Avalon Cruises can provide excellent access to the famous food, wine and culture of different regions of countries like France and Germany. What’s more, many of the popular European river cruise routes take in several countries, as is the case with a trip along the Danube.


A river cruise along the Danube can provide an introduction to countries like Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. The ability to visit some or all of these countries in just a couple of weeks, while unpacking your luggage only once, is one of the major advantages of the European river cruise.


River cruise boats can provide luxurious accommodation and fine dining facilities just as you would expect of a luxury ocean going ship, but in a more intimate environment. With hundreds, rather than thousands of passengers on board, you’ll get a better chance to get to know the crew, and your fellow passengers, if you so desire. Crucially, when you disembark from the boat in the afternoon or evening, it will not be in the company of a horde of thousands.


Travelling by river cruise most often means that you disembark right in the heart of towns and cities, as the basis of wealth and development in so many settlements is based around a close relationship with major rivers. Contrast this with the inconvenience of arriving in an airport, which will more often than not be on the outskirts of town. Flight delays, baggage problems and waiting for transfers are a standard part of modern air travel, after which there is the time taken by the transfer journey itself, followed by checking in to your accommodation. Add to this the expense of air travel, transfers and multiple hotels and B & B’s, and it soon becomes apparent that it is not only far more comfortable and stress-free to tour Europe by river cruise, but also more cost effective.


Several antipodean friends have visited over the last few years, with the determined intention of ‘doing Europe’, only to find that a whistle stop tour by plane results in mainly experiencing airports, taxis and accommodation, with just a few hours spent actually exploring the place. If only they had been able to book a river cruise!


The standard European river cruise will provide guided tours for most of the places visited, allowing you to make the most of limited time and see the major tourist attractions. Since you will be in the company of no more than a few hundred fellow passengers, it is also easy enough to escape the throng, and enjoy the excitement of exploring a little part of Europe yourself, far away from beachside tourist traps.

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