From the Danube to the Elbe, Europe is filled with great waterways to explore. Here are some of the best.
River cruises offer that great advantage of taking you to places a seagoing vessel won’t. More often than not, you cruise your way right into the centre of some of the best cities in the world.
Sailing on rivers gives you all the enjoyment of inland travel and you have the option to stop at multiple destinations and discover those beautiful but hidden places, villages, towns and cities that you otherwise would have missed.
It’s also almost unheard of anyone getting seasick on inland waterways as there are no waves and travel on rivers is gentle.
Just once in a while you may feel a bit of rocking when another boat passes by and you wave at each other.
Inland travel is also convenient and cost effective. You unpack just that once before you stop at all the destinations along the way.
Cost effective because your accommodation and food is usually included in the ticket and most of what you will explore will be on foot each time you disembark.
Lunch by the riverbanks, walks along the many towns you will stop at and dinners on your boat will make you want to relax and explore much more than you usually would.
If your cruise carrier allows it, it is more than worth your while to take along your bicycle to sightsee more than you would on foot during the stops or look for bike rentals.
In this miniseries we’ll take you through some of the best waterways, beginning with Germany.
There are three long and fascinating waterways in Germany along the Rhine, Danube and Elbe rivers. Of the three the Rhine is the most extensive and is not limited only to Germany.
From the heights of the Alps the river cuts through Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
The Rhine River Waterway
Taking a cruise along this waterway you will see some of the most delightful places in Germany.
The entire length of 65 kilometres between Koblenz to Bingen am Rhein is recognised as a world heritage site. Along the way you will see 60 small towns, terraced vineyards and the ruins of castles.
There are many other charming and pleasing places to see including Frankfurt, Rudesheim, Lorely, the city of Worms famous for its cathedral, Mannheim, the Pfälzer Wald forest, the spa town of Wiesbaden,the city of Koblenz and another UNESCO heritage area of Braubach and Boppard with its Roman fortifications.
The Danube River
This great river flows via the Black Forest region of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine and then into the Black Sea.
The 600-plus kilometres on this river in Germany will take you through Dillingen, Donauwörth, Günzburg, Ingolstadt, Kelheim, Neuburg, Passau, Regensburg and Straubing.
In addition to all the towns it’s the natural Bavarian landscapes, the wetlands, the many historic centres, the UNESCO world heritage site of Regensburg is not to be missed and the natural gorge of Donaudurchbruch which will all take your breath away.
Another one of Europe’s major rivers is the Elbe which stretches over a thousand kilometres and flows through the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Germany.
Traveling on this river in Germany will take you through several major destinations including Berlin, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Magdeburg, Wittenberg, Meissen and the Sandstone Mountains of the Elbe.
While traveling inland on rivers there’s just no hurry, you get to everywhere one step at a time.
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