Top 6 Cultural River Cruises

Recommend an exciting destination or themed cruise for culture-loving clients

Viking Cruises1 VIKING RIVER CRUISES – RUSSIA VOLGA & RUSSIAN WATERWAYS

The BBC’s recent adaptation of War and Peace triggered an interest in all things Russian. See some of the sights featured in the series, and much more, on Viking’s12-night Waterways of the Tsars Moscow to St Petersburg itinerary. From the Kremlin and Red Square to the opulent Catherine Palace and treasure-filled Hermitage museum, the cruise brings Russia’s unique culture to life. Other highlights include the quaint Golden Ring towns of Yaroslavl and Uglich that played a key role in Russian history. vikingrivercruises.co.uk

Chindwin river2 PANDAW – BURMA CHINDWIN RIVER

The Chindwin River that flows down the western side of Burma is the quietest, and the largest, tributary of the Irrawaddy. Pandaw pioneered river cruising in Burma and its small teak ships, influenced by the colonial vessels of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company, reach stretches of the Chindwin inaccessible to larger vessels. Sailing past rural landscapes scattered with pagodas and Buddha statues, the 10-passenger Kalay Pandaw stops at remote villages where western visitors are a novelty and giggling children follow groups like the Pied Piper. pandaw.com

Loire river3 CROISIEUROPE – FRANCE THE LOIRE

CroisiEurope made a splash by launching the Loire Princesse, which uses paddlewheel technology to negotiate the notoriously shallow waters of the Loire, previously out of bounds to hotel boats. The five and seven-night round-trip itineraries sail out of Nantes, where Les Machines de L’ile is a fantastic regeneration of the old shipyard inspired by science fiction author Jules Verne, complete with a giant wooden elephant that sprays water over unsuspecting passers-by. The city’s art trail includes intriguing installations located along, and even in, the river. croisieurope.co.uk

Music 4 TAUCK – EUROPE MUSIC ON THE DANUBE

Hit the high notes and follow the footsteps of musical giants such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bartok, Schubert, Liszt, Strauss and Haydn on an 11-night trip through the heart of Europe, which includes a seven-night cruise. Taking in Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Bratislava and Budapest, cruises are accompanied by Tauck’s “maestros”. The music experts and performers lead excursions and enrich the onboard experience with interactive workshops, seminars and performances on the Blue Danube – the most musical of rivers. tauck.co.uk

Avalon cruises5 AVALON – EUROPE JEWISH HERITAGE

Selected sailings on Avalon’s Danube Dreams itinerary, from Budapest to Prague, explore the formation of Judaism, visiting landmarks, monuments and museums significant to Jewish history. The Jewish heritage cruises include a visit to Budapest’s Great Synagogue, the largest in Europe, with an adjoining museum, and a walking tour of Jewish Vienna and Prague’s Josefov Jewish Quarter with expert local guides. Most poignantly, clients can visit the wartime ghetto of Terezin, where tens of thousands of people died during Nazi occupation. avaloncruises.co.uk

European Waterways 6 EUROPEAN WATERWAYS – FRANCE ART ON THE CANAL DU MIDI

Families and groups of friends can brush up on their painting skills with a six-night cruise on the 10-passenger hotel barge Athos. Available exclusively for charter, the art-themed cruise sails from the fishing port of Marseillan to Argeliers. Suitable for accomplished artists or beginners, the beautiful scenery of southern France provides plenty of inspiration and the onboard guide will point out the best spots to paint a lasting memory, such as the four bridges of Beziers and the panoramic view over the Collegiale cathedral in Capestang. gobarging.com

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