European River Cruising: A 2011 Travel Trend

| January 17, 2011 | 6 Comments

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Getting off the beaten track and visiting Europe’s smaller villages by river boat is predicted to be immensely popular in 2011, especially during spring, according to Australia’s Herald Sun, which named European river cruising a top travel trend for 2011‎. If Europe is a destination option, the endless options for places to go for vacation can be a little overwhelming.

rhine castle European River Cruising: A 2011 Travel Trend

Images along the Rhine Valley—cruising Koblenz to Bingen. Photo by Dave F.

Writes the Herald Sun’s Nick Perry: ”River cruising allows people to see Europe’s countryside at their own pace, with the added benefit of not having to pack and unpack bags every time you visit a new country.” River cruises are a great way to explore and not have to worry about hotels and meals, too.

Top Travel Trend in 2011

This is good news for operators such as Viking River Cruises. Viking, founded in 1997, has pretty much cornered the market for English-language cruises on European and Chinese rivers according to the venerable website Cruise Critic.

viking sun European River Cruising: A 2011 Travel Trend

The Viking Sun.

According to the operator, Viking cruise ships offer luxury accommodations and gourmet cuisine, along with comfortable, spacious rooms. The company has been recognized by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the world’s ‘Top 10 Small-Ship Cruise Lines’.

Rhine River Cruise

For those keen to see beautiful scenery and architecture of Europe, a Rhine river cruise can be particularly appealing. The Rhine flows through six countries—Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands—before flowing into the North Sea at Rotterdam. It is also one of the longest (at about 1,233 km) and most important rivers in Europe. A cruise along the Rhine provides instant access to the cultural sights, history, art and architecture of Europe, while offering all the amenities of a floating five-star hotel—gourmet food, great wines and superb service.

More Castles than in any other River Valley

Cruising the Rhine is highlighted by numerous castles and castle ruins—unmistakable features of the Rhine landscape dating back to the Middle Ages. Their founders were feudal overlords, who built them with one simple function—to protect their lands from marauders and predatory neighbours. For example, along the Rhine Gorge—the 35-mile stretch of river between Bingen and Bonn also known as the ‘romantic Rhine’—there are more castles than in any other river valley in the world. Consequently, it’s been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

rhine castle again European River Cruising: A 2011 Travel Trend

Images along the Rhine Valley. Second day of cruising Koblenz to Bingen. Photo by Dave F.

The shores of the Rhine also play host to vineyards, wine villages and orchards—and picturesque islands dot the rive itself. In addition to enjoying beautiful vineyard views along the cruise, many river cruise visitors take pleasure in sampling the region’s justly famous wines. Traveling on a river cruise is the ideal way to experience the Rhine’s natural beauty, rich culture and fascinating history.

Conclusion

As experienced and first-time travellers discover the joys of river cruising, it is becoming one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry. With more itineraries and better, newer river cruise vessels, European river cruising is especially poised for a boom. 2011 is going to be a great year!

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Comments (6)

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  1. Robert says:


    River cruising is definitely on the rise in recent years.It’s a change from traditional cruise on the open seas! Good article, thanks.

    • Daniel says:


      In China — while cruising the Yangtze River — we discovered that river cruising is quite possibly the best way to travel. It’s comfortable and convenient and offers a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way. It often provides in-depth exposure to the culture and history of the area you’re cruising.

  2. Gray says:


    I took a day cruise down the Rhine many years ago. It seemed like there was a castle around every turn in the river. It was summer, and the countryside was so beautiful. I’d love to take one of these cruises.


  3. Great content! I’m actually thinking about taking my fiance on a cruise. The only thing is that I have no idea what the prices are and what cruise or river to choose. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate it.

  4. Eleazar says:


    Compared to the traditional open sea cruise, I think river cruise would be way less expensive. It’s also a nice option for taking a vacation. You’ll be both close to nature and get to find more time relaxing.

  5. Cayole says:


    We are a travel agency booking cruises and we have actually saw an increase in interest in river cruises from our clients. Of course, Viking takes most of such clients in Europe.

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