The great thing about river cruising is that all the planning is taken care of for you and you don’t have to worry about finding a hotel or thinking of things to do. You won’t have to worry about spending several days at sea because you’ll visit a new place pretty much everyday.
River cruising is increasing in popularity, with destinations like Europe, the Mekong and the Mississippi experiencing a resurgence in bookings.
Most of the major cruise lines such as APT, Evergreen Cruises and Viking are launching new ships this year so there is plenty to look forward to.
Unlike ocean cruising, river cruising gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the cultures of the places you are visiting.
The wine aficionado
The place: Bordeaux, France
The river: Garonne and Dordogne
Tell me more: Bordeaux is France’s wine capital and is filled with numerous vineyards and the opportunity to sample some of the region’s best wines.
Don’t miss: The exclusive wine festival in Bourg which is held annually and sees travellers enjoy live music, an assortment of food stands and all the wines that Bourg has to offer.
Make it happen: AmaWaterways’ Taste of Bordeaux (Wine Cruise) 7-night sailing which departs between July and November 2022. Prices start at $4,808 per person.
The place: Arles, France
The river: The Rhone River
Tell me more: The Rhone river played an important role in the history of French culture. The cruise will take you through Lugdunum, Lyon, Vienne and the incredible Roman cities in Provence including Arles and Glanum.
Don’t miss: Massalia which is a historically important site and was founded by the Greeks in 600BC; and sits east of the Rhone River on the Mediterranean coast of France.
Make it happen: Andante Travels’ Exploring the Archaeology of the Rhone 9-day itinerary departs on several days between September 2022 and August 2023, with prices starting from $5,649.
The history buff
The place: Memphis to New Orleans
The river: The Mississippi River
Tell me more: The all-American crew will share their knowledge of the region’s culture and history. When you’re in Memphis you’ll have the opportunity to visit music history museums, Sun Studios and a tour of Elvis’ Graceland mansion exhibits.
Don’t miss: The port of Vicksburg which was important during the Civil War. You’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in the history of Vicksburg National Military Park.
Make it happen: American Cruise Lines 7-night Lower Mississippi River Cruise departs on several dates between May 2022 and December 2022; and then February 2023 until December 203, with prices starting from $6,112.
The art lover
The place: Paris, The Loire Valley, Ancenis and Chateaux of the Loire Valley
The river: The Loire River
Tell me more: The Machines of the Isle of Nantes is a gallery that recreates the imaginary world of the renowned writer Jules Verne.
Don’t miss: The Belle Epoque theatre in the Chateau de Brissac. The theatre was home to many plays, including those by Henri Bergson, and had a massive influence on playwrights and movie directors.
Make it happen: CroisiEurope’s 7 day, From the Chateaux of Chambord and Chenonceau to the Loire Valley sails between June and September 2022, with prices starting from $3,349 per person.
The place: Vienna
The river: The Danube River
Tell me more: You can visit the Nuremberg WWII sites that will serve as a reminder of the pain caused by the National Socialist regime in the second world war, or visit the Artstetten Castle which was once home to Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination led to the start of WW1.
Don’t miss: An evening of classical music in the Palais Liechtenstein that features the timeless music of Mozart and Strauss, while enjoying a glass of fine Austrian wine.
Make it happen: Scenic’s eight-day Gems of the Danube itinerary is sailing on several dates between June and October 2022 with prices starting at $4,995 per person.
The people person
The place: Kampong Cham, Cambodia
The river: The Mekong River
Tell me more: Kampong Cham is home to the Twin Holy Mountains of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey. The many temples and pagodas are still used during traditional Khmer festivals. Visit the Kamgong Cham and Chong Koh villages where you will learn about the self-sustaining practices of the residents.
Don’t miss: Phnom Phen, Cambodia is a waterfront capital where you can explore the city on a cyclo, a mode of transportation that providers Cambodians with an income source and travellers with an exciting way to get around. The Tuol Sleng detention centre is a former high school where thousands of victims of the Khmer Rouge were killed.
Make it happen: Viking’s 15-day Magnificent Mekong interary is sailing between August and December 2022, with prices starting at $6,495 per person.
The garden lover
The place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
The river: Dutch and Belgian Waterways
Tell me more: Tulips may as well be the national flower of the Netherlands given their popularity. A family that has been growing tulips for generations will welcome you into their tulip farm where you can admire the beauty of the tulips.
Don’t miss: Tulips were first introduced into the Netherlands in 1593 by Flemish botanist Carolus Clusius. The Keukenhof Gardens showcase over seven million tulips on almost 80 acres between the middle of March and May. Many flower shows are held or you can take a romantic stroll through the gardens.
Make it happen: AmaWaterways’ seven day Tulip Time itinerary is sailing between March and April 2023, with prices starting from $2,049 per person.
The novelty seekers
The place: Budapest, Amsterdam, Cologne
The river: the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, Rhine Gorge and Main Danube Canal
Tell me more: You’ll visit five countries over 16 days and will be taken on tours in the historically significant Nuremberg and Regensburg, one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities.
Don’t miss: Cologne, Germany, which is a 2,000 year-old-city that is known for its Gothic architecture. You can admire the twin-spired cathedral on a guided walk.
Make it happen: Avalon Waterways’ Magnificent Rivers of Europe itinerary is sailing from May until September 2022, with prices starting from $7,347 per person.
The grand voyager
The place: Vietnam and Cambodia
The river: Mekong River
Tell me more: Immerse yourself in the culture of Hanoi over the seven nights you’re there. You can familiarise yourself with the traditions of the Black H’mong people in Sau Cha village and visit the 500-year-old village of Bat Trang which is famous for its pottery, or admire a water puppet show.
Don’t miss: The Marble Mountains which is a group of five marble and limestone hills in the Ngu Hanh Son District in Vietnam. The mountains can be accessed by walking through caves and tunnels.
Make it happen: APT’s 25-day Vietnam and Cambodia Grand Tour is sailing between September and November 2022 with prices starting at $12,995 per person.
The want-it-all type
The place: Cologne, Germany
The river: Rhine and Danube River, Main-Danube Canal
Tell me more: Salzburg is a musical city and was home to Mozart. It was also the set of the movie The Sound of Music. A group of performers will wow you with their stage show, Best of the Sound of Music and Salzburg Show.
Don’t miss: The Alkmaar and Schermerhorn villages which are home to traditional windmills that date back to the 16th century.
Make it happen: Scenic’s 15 day Jewels of Europe itinerary sails between June and November 2022 with prices starting at $6,995 per person.