A river cruise can give you a wide variety of destinations; many more than on the typical Caribbean cruise, where most time is spent sailing and very little time ashore. A cruise on a river lets you really see and feel the history and culture of an area. River cruising is fast becoming one of the more popular ways to enjoy a holiday.

River cruising includes traveling on the rivers and canals of Europe, Asia, North America, and even South America. You can see the greatest cities in the world like Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam in Europe; Cairo in Egypt; and Beijing and Shanghai, China. Most of these cities aren’t available to ocean cruisers.

Step right into the City

On a river cruise the scenery can change every day with different views from every part of the ship; more than just a never-ending view of the ocean.

The docks where these ships moor are often right in the midst of the city so you can step off the boat and within minutes be in the city centre to soak up the architecture, history, and culture of that area. These cruises often include guided excursions or you can opt to explore on your own.

The ships used are made especially for this style of cruising and therefore are smaller and don’t have the extras like a casino or a pool. Most people who choose river cruising prefer the smaller, more intimate ships that can accommodate from 150 to 300 passengers. Making new friends is easy on board.

Those who have converted to river cruising from ocean cruising on enormous mega-ships enjoy not having to wait in long queues to board, disembark, and have a meal.

European Rivers
Europe has many rivers and beautiful cities that make wonderful river cruises.

· Tour the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers. A cruise like this can let you see Holland’s windmills and tulips, the beautiful castles in Germany, the Danube Canal, and the wonders of Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.

· See Southern France from the Seine River and visit cities like Lyon and Avignon.

· Cruising the Elbe River will take your through the beauty of eastern Germany and Berlin and then on to Prague.

· You can also begin a cruise in Paris and travel through the countryside of Normandy to the Normandy beaches.

Asian Rivers
See the highlights of China on a river cruise from Beijing to Shanghai on the famous Yangtze River. You will see the river’s magnificent gorges and the Three Gorges Dam and have a chance to explore Beijing, including the historic Great Wall and Forbidden City.

Amazon Rivers
For those with a more adventurous spirit, you can even find 2, 3, and 5 night cruises on the Amazon River in South America. These vessels are smaller, usually accommodating from 10 to 30 passengers.

There are a variety of different “themes” to Amazon cruises. You can choose a natural history cruise that explores the flooded portions of the rain forest in powered canoes, allows you to see the way the natives of the area live, and gives you time to hike in the rain forest. Some cruises are geared around fishing for Peacock Bass.

North American Rivers
An example of a river cruise in North America is one that travels up and down the Columbia River from Oregon to Washington. You can see where Lewis and Clark looked for the Northwest Passage while traveling through huge deep-water canyons and thickly treed hills.

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