header print

10 River Cruise Experiences We Highly Recommend

When people hear the word "cruising," they usually think of a large cruise ship traveling long distances over the ocean. However, if you're looking for a more intimate cruise experience with your significant other, there are other options available that you may not have considered. River cruising is one such option that has gained popularity in recent years. Though the ships used for river cruising are smaller than those used in traditional cruising, you can still enjoy breathtaking views and visit interesting cities. Here are the top 10 recommended destinations for river cruising worldwide.
Click on the photos to see them in full size

1. River cruise on the Douro in Porto, Portugal.

River cruise on the Douro in Porto, Portugal.
The Douro River is not as well-known for sailing as other European rivers, but this doesn't mean it's not worth visiting. It's simply less famous because it's not as frequently talked about. Departing from Porto in Portugal, you can go on various cruises of different lengths, ranging from one hour to almost a full day. Depending on your chosen route, you'll discover ancient churches and castles, spacious wineries, and medieval villages. Additionally, week-long cruises are available that start and end in the same location.

2. Mississippi River from St. Louis to Louisville

Mississippi River from St. Louis to Louisville
The Mississippi River is the fourth-longest river in the world, and flows through the heart of America, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Tourists can experience the old-fashioned style of ships with pedal wheels of steamboats, which can make them feel like they have traveled back in time. The river offers a range of routes, including between major cities such as St. Louis and Louisville, and cruises that showcase plantations and historical sites like the Battle of New Orleans (1815). The duration of the cruise can vary from a few hours to three weeks or more.

3. Backwaters of Kerala, India

Backwaters of Kerala, India
Although they are not technically rivers, the water canals in India, particularly in the state of Kerala, offer a remarkable and enchanting cruising experience. Kerala is renowned for its exceptional ecosystems, which are sustained by a mixture of fresh canal water and saltwater from the Arabian Sea. There are various boat styles to choose from, but the Kettuvallam boat is highly recommended as it is a traditional vessel with a natural material roof and is crewed by locals.

4. Volga River - Moscow/St. Petersburg, Russia

Volga River - Moscow/St. Petersburg, Russia
The Volga River, which is the longest river in Europe, serves as Russia's national river and plays a significant role in transportation, irrigation, and hydraulic energy. The Volga Valley, which the river flows through, is known for its fertile agricultural lands and natural minerals. To explore this region, one can take a cruise from either Moscow or St. Petersburg, passing through some, if not all, of the eight cities that make up the Golden Ring of Russia. This unconventional way of traveling allows tourists to witness the beauty of ancient and modern Russia.

5. Cruise on the Rhine River, Germany

Cruise on the Rhine River, Germany
It is not surprising that sailing on the Rhine River is a very popular activity in Europe due to its vast size and passage through several countries including Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. The stretch between Koblenz and Bingen in Germany is considered by many to be the most beautiful, featuring stunning landscapes, ancient castles, medieval cities, wineries, and charming towns that seem to be straight out of a fairy tale. While a half-day excursion is possible, longer cruises that span up to a week and a half and cross borders into other countries are also available. In Asia, the Mekong River offers a similar experience for sailing enthusiasts.

6. Mekong River, East Asia

Mekong River, East Asia
The Mekong River is a significant waterway in Asia that flows through six countries, namely China, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Exploring this river will allow you to witness breathtaking landscapes, both modern and ancient, and depending on your starting point and itinerary, you may visit popular destinations such as Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex or the floating markets in southern Vietnam's river delta. In summary, sailing on the Mekong River is highly recommended to experience the diverse facets of Asia.

7. The Danube, Europe

The Danube, Europe
Sailing on the Danube is a dream for many when it comes to the second-longest river in Europe, and it passes through 9 different countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine. Each of these countries is recommended for going on a river cruise, as it passes through the most beautiful capital cities in all of Europe, so it is recommended to choose routes where you can also reach those that are worth a visit, such as Budapest in Hungary, Vienna in Austria and Bratislava in Slovakia.

8. Sailing on the Yangtze, across China

 Sailing on the Yangtze, across China
The Yangtze is the third-longest river in the world and is the longest in Asia, with some of China's most famous cities and some of the country's most impressive and iconic landscapes along its path, including ancient temples and even abandoned and mysterious ghost towns. It is also home to some of the country's unique animal species, including the Chinese alligator and the Chinese river dolphin. The length of the cruise will depend on the route you choose and usually ranges from 4 to 13 days.

9. Amazon River, Manaus, Brazil

Amazon River, Manaus, Brazil
Tourists and researchers alike are fascinated by the Amazon River, which still holds many secrets waiting to be discovered. While in the past it was only for the brave to explore, nowadays, it's much safer and easier to navigate. Amazon vessels range from modest to luxurious, with some even offering rooms with air conditioning and large windows for optimal viewing. The sailing routes primarily run between the ports of Manaus and Belém in Brazil, but smaller ships can also reach Iquitos in Peru, with stops in less developed areas. 

10. The Nile, Egypt (Luxor to Aswan)

The Nile, Egypt (Luxor to Aswan)
Sailing on the Nile River is considered the best way to explore Egypt's ancient glory as the country developed around the river banks. Currently, there are over 400 cruise ships available to choose from, offering diverse options in terms of the vessel, route, and duration. Some ships even have additional amenities like pools and spa rooms. The average length of a cruise ranges from 3 to 7 days, with the most recommended route being the one that goes from Luxor to Aswan.
Next Post
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
Continue With: Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy