Any conversation about river cruising tends to start with mention of the Rhine and Danube. While they are the most popular European waterways, they are certainly not the only rivers in Europe. Portugal’s Douro has become hugely popular in recent years and Russia is a fascinating country best-seen on a river cruise. There are also lesser-known waterways in Germany, Spain and Italy.
An increasing number of cruise lines feature the Douro, which rises in Spain and winding 125 miles through dramatic and lush green landscapes until it reaches the Atlantic in Porto.
The once fast-flowing waterway has been tamed by dams, including the cavernous 115ft-deep Carrapatelo lock, which is the deepest in Europe. Douro cruises showcase the scenery and will appeal to wine-lovers with visits to famous-name port houses.
Although the Elbe is one of Germany’s most economically important rivers, with the country’s largest port of Hamburg situated 68 miles from its mouth at the North Sea, it remains relatively unexplored as a river cruise destination.
Rising in the Czech Republic’s Krkonose Mountains, and winding through open landscapes, cruises include the fascinating and contrasting capital cities of Prague and Berlin.
Spain has long been the UK’s most popular short-haul holiday destination, yet it isn’t the first country that springs to mind when you think about river cruising. However, it offers a one-of-a-kind waterborne experience on the Guadalquivir, Spain’s second longest river.
One ship, built to sail along the Atlantic coastline into Portugal’s Guadiana river when conditions allow, offers cruises on a 50-mile stretch of the Guadalquivir from Seville.
Venice is the jewel in the crown on Italy’s longest river, which is only navigable along a 60-mile stretch.
Peaceful sailings take in gorgeous medieval cities such as Ferrara and Mantua and intimate barge cruises are available along the Canal Bianco that runs next to the river.
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Cruise Trade News March 2023 Digital Edition
With what seems to be unrelenting speed, we are fast approaching Easter and yet another milestone in the year.
We wanted to mark this time with something special and as with our annual Christmas cruise advent calendar, something that will provide a little added cheer to your day-to-day jobs. So, with plenty of fanfare, we are launching our first Cruise Trade News Easter egg hunt, in collaboration with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.