One of the most relaxing things you can do is to take a riverboat journey, breathing in the scenery and seeing exciting places along the way. So get ready to set sail as we now look at the recommendations for 7 top river cruises. Enjoy!
1. The Nile, Egypt
One of my personal favourites, perhaps because of my fascination with ancient Egypt, sailing down this river is the perfect way to see the legacy left behind by the Pharaohs. The Nile, famous for being the longest river in the world, runs through a staggering eleven countries including Sudan and, of course, Egypt. Most boats run from Luxor to Aswan where you can experience the wonders of the Pharaohs on daily excursions. Don’t miss Luxor Temple and the famous Valley of the Kings. Oh and remember your Egyptian costume for the boat party on the final night of your trip!
2. The Amazon, Brazil
Are you an adventurous type? If so then a trip down the second longest river on the planet is definitely for you! Most cruise ships sail between the ports of Manaus and Belem in Brazil, a 1000 mile stretch of river accessible to bigger ships. However, if you are more intrepid take a smaller boat to be able to venture upstream and uncover the wonders of the Amazon rainforest in remote Peru. I’ve been told that swimming with pink dolphins is one of the highlights!
3. Mississippi River, USA
Step back in time and take a traditional steam boat on one America’s longest and most historic rivers, made famous by Mark Twain’s 19 Century novel ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. Stop off to enjoy many fascinating and charming river cities along the way including New Orleans, Chattanooga and Pittsburgh. There are a range of cruises to choose from including one on the recently refurbished paddle steamer, American Queen, which looks very grand. Just relax and let the world go by for a week!
4. The Rhine, Germany
The longest river in Germany is a popular spot for cruises. The beauty of sailing along this river lies in the fact that you can travel through Germany, Holland, France and Switzerland, whilst viewing medieval castles and picturesque cliffs along the way. The scenery is stunning and don’t forget to sample the wine from the variety of vineyards that you pass by (I hear the Riesling is very good)!
5. Volga River, Russia
The appeal of a river journey through Russia is that you are able to sail between two of its finest cities: Moscow and St Petersburg, linked by the largest river in Europe. Your itinerary should include seeing The Kremlin and even a ballet (a much recommended added extra). This river journey will take you through beautiful scenery, crossing lakes on the way to end up visiting the wonderful city of Petersburg, where the famous Hermitage museum is situated. An art lover’s dream!
6. Mekong River, Vietnam
This river runs through Vietnam, Laos, Burma (Myramar), Thailand and China. A cruise on the upper Mekong is more adventurous, where navigation is trickier but includes incredible stop-offs like Laos. The lower Mekong is much more popular with larger boats and if you take this route take time to see Ho Ch Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam and the magnificent celebrity of the temple world, the Angkor Wat, in the Cambodian jungle.
7. Yangtze River, China
This 4,000 mile long river links some of China’s best cities, including Shanghai, Chongging and Yichang, where you can explore the famous Three Gorges. This is a beautiful place to visit. Look out for the ancient pagodas next to the river as you cruise along. A great tip is to combine a three to six night river voyage with a longer trip to see the rest of the wonders China has to offer.