River Cruises offer great experience and quality for value
Recent travel trends have noted that in 2009, travellers are looking for trips that are not only affordable but that offer an authentic and personal experience.
In today's market, river cruises offer exactly what travellers are looking for: a one-of-a-kind, small-scale personal experience for excellent value. Rolling hillsides, countryside landscapes, visits to rural portside towns - river cruising offers a completely different experience of its destinations than regular cruising allows.
Travel with TripAtlas.com this week as we take you into the world of River Cruising and explore the Yangtze River in China, the pyramids along the Nile in Egypt, a Russia re-inventing itself along the Volga River, and the charming beauty of Europe's seaside towns and cities.
Love to cruise? Read more about Why You Should Cruise this Year or take a look at the stunning Top 10 Portside Cities of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Top River Cruise Destinations
Western, Central and Eastern Europe along the Danube, Saone & Rhone Rivers, Moselle & Rhine Rivers and the Douro River
Europe is by far the most popular destination for river cruising because it offers a unique and intimate way of experiencing Europe's greatest cities, rural towns and countrysides.
Travel along the Danube River that will take you through Central and Eastern European destinations from the Black Sea to Belgrade, Kalocsa, Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg and Frankfurt.
Cruise along the Seine in northern France, the Saone and Rhone Rivers through southern France's stunning countryside; along the Elbe, Moselle and Rhine Rivers through colourful Holland, Germany and Switzerland; or along the Douro River in Portugal and Spain.
Ukraine - Kiev, Odessa, Istanbul and Yalta along the Dnieper and the Black Sea
The Dnieper River travels through central Ukraine from Kiev down to Odessa and the Black Sea to Istanbul, Turkey and Yalta, Crimea, one of the most charming portside resort cities in the world featuring Swallow's Nest, a mock-medieval castle that stands overlooking the Ai-Todor cape of the Black Sea.
Russia - St. Petersburg and Moscow along the shores of the Volga River
Follow in the waves of the Czars and discover classical Russia along the Svir and Volga Rivers from St Petersburg to Moscow, passing by destinations like Svirstroy, the fairytale Kizhi Island, Goritsy and Uglich.
Another popular Russia river cruise follows along Russia's "Golden Ring," the name of a region once known as Zalesye that had a prominent role in the spread of the Russian Orthodox Church. Along these old untouched Russian cities, you'll find an array of 12-18th century homes, cathedrals and monastaries. The route begins in Moscow, winds around Uglic and Yaroslavl south along Lower Volga towards Kostroma, Kazan, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Saratov to Volgograd (or Stalingrad).
Another popular itinerary including Russia begins in Copenhagen, Denmark and sails through the Baltic Sea to Visby, Tallinn in Estonia, Pushkin and St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm.
Egypt - Alexandria, Giza, Cairo, Luxor and Aswan along the Nile
Visit the land of the Pharaohs and King Tut along the Nile River by river cruise. Hop on and off for shore excursions to see the Sphinx, the Great Pyramids, to go for a camel ride through the desert and to discover the stunning archaeological wonders of this ancient and deeply mysterious civilization.
One of the most popular ways to explore Egypt, river cruises along the Nile often travel from Luxor to Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo to Aswan and Abu Simbel. Flights are usually chartered from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan or Abu Simbel back to Cairo. Land trips or day trips from Cairo to Alexandria, Sakkara and Memphis are also popular by train, bus or private coach.
Some tour operators also offer Egypt River Cruises along with a short haul flight to Jordan.
China - Along the Yangtze River to Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Three Gorges
China is one of the world's most fascinating destinations today. Likewise, river cruises along the Yangtze River in China are becoming more and more popular. Yangtze River Cruise tours often include a sweeping tour of China's major cities in and around the Yangtze but it's also possible to find tours that take you along the river course.
Most river cruise tours in China begin in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong. Other Chinese cities often included in tours but are visited by plane include: Xian, to Lhasa in Tibet, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangshuo and Guangzhou.
Yangtze River cruises travel between Chongqing as the western-most point and Shanghai as the eastern-most point. From Chongqing, river cruises travel east past the Three Gorges and the new Three Gorges Dam to Yichang, through to Wuhan and to Shanghai, passing by Yellow Mountain and Nanjing. River cruises are available between any of these major points.
Find a River Cruise Company to Book Your River Cruise Holiday
Examples of River Cruise prices are listed in USD.
Tauck (www.tauck.com) is another leader in European river cruises. An 8-day cruise along the Danube through Holland and Belgium starts at $3,040 for cruise and airfare.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters (www.cruiseshipcenters.com) offers a range of river cruise options from companies like Uniworld River Cruises and AMA Waterways.
AMA or Amadeus Waterways (www.europeanwaterways.ca) offers river cruises through most of Europe's rivers and canals. A 9-day river cruise through Holland and Belgium is offered starting at $2000 for cruise only.
RiverCruiseTours.com (www.rivercruisetours.com) is a division of the Atlas Travel Network and offers a number of river cruise itineraries at a range of prices. A 9-day Christmas Cruise in Germany starts at $1,709 for cruise only.
Uniworld River Cruises (www.uniworld.com) travel to Europe, Russia, China and Egypt with a bit more of a luxurious spin. A 9-day Parisian Winter Holiday goes for $1,999/person for cruise only.
Viking River Cruises (www.vikingrivercruises.com) is offering some great deals for its 2009 river cruises, up to 40% off to Europe, Russia & Ukraine as well as China. At regular price, an 8-day Southern France voyage stats at $1,899 for cruise only.
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel.
Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlife