European Luxury River Cruises

Discover the Rhine Jewels on a River Cruise!

Travelling along the majestic Rhine River can be an amazing experience, and even better when sailing on a river cruise ship.

Not as big as a cruise liner but just as luxurious, a river cruise ship has that added benefit of a more relaxed, intimate experience.

In fact, just the type of surroundings you would want when exploring the vast waters of the Rhine and the magic that hits you at every turn.

 

You can begin a journey wherever you want on the Rhine but starting in Amsterdam and ending in Basel is also a good choice.

The marvelous places to discover on the way will stay with you forever!

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Amsterdam is always a good way to start any journey with its picturesque canals filled with world-class museums, theatres and cafés.

In fact Amsterdam has over 50 world-class museums – including the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk museums – wow!

From Amsterdam you can travel on to CologneGermany’s largest, oldest but most modern cities.

 

 

 

Cologne is famous for its magnificent UNESCO World Heritage listed Kölner Dom Gothic Cathedral which stands almost 160 metres high.

You can also explore its twelve Romanesque churches and the historic centre of the old city, with its colourful houses and delightful town hall.

A visit to the modern art exhibition at Ludwig Museum is also a must before a mesmerizing  journey to Koblenz. 

 

 

Koblenze is a 2,000 year old town situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. 

Once there, you will find the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress which was part of the Prussian defences against the French in the 19th century, it was later used as a headquarters for the American military during WWII.

Next, you can sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge, passing countless castles and vineyards as well as the famous Lorelei Rock – a truly mystical and magical place!

Following that, you could make your way to the wine making town of Rüdesheim, and then board the Winzerexpress mini-train to Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Instrument Museum.

Further upstream is the town of Mannheim which is located at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. This city was a pivotal place during the invasion of Germany by the Allies in WWII, and has also long been associated with inventions in industry including the world’s first compact diesel-powered car built by Karl Benz in 1923, and the first rocket plane built by Julius Hatry in 1929 – fascinating!

Even further along you will come to the  beautiful and magical Black Forest region of Germany, steeped in wonderful fairy-tale tradition.

 

 

There, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit Germany’s largest Cuckoo Clock which is a remarkable 12 feet wide, 10 feet high and 3 feet deep.

You could also try  to sample the perfect Black Forest Gateau that is abundant there!

End your amazing journey with  Basel’s beautiful riverbanks as your backdrop, and the wonderful experiences still fresh in your thoughts, something to indulge in for another day!

 

 

Relax the Riviera Way!

Ever fancied experiencing the magical charms of the Moselle and Rhine Valleys, with their majestic river bends, imposing castles and picture perfect postcard villages?

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Always wanted to see the astonishing Heidelberg and half-timbered Strasbourg, iconic cities like Cologne, the natural beauty of the Black Forest and the outstanding Swiss Alpine scenery?

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Or indulged in thoughts of the Danube River savouring the delights of Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg, Esztergom and Budapest?

 

 

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Lovers of France may want to experience the spectacular Rhone Valley and take in its world renowned Burgundy vineyards, the enchanting wildness of the Ardèche gorges and the sun-kissed hills of Provence.

 

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On the other hand, the Seine takes you to romantic Paris through timeless impressionist countryside to medieval Rouen, historic Bayeux and the D-Day Normandy beaches.

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Germany’s Elbe river snakes through  historic Berlin, baroque Dresden and enchanting Prague.

 

 

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If Portugal takes your fancy, then there’s the dramatic Douro to explore, with Oporto and Salamanca just waiting to be discovered.

 

 

 

Amsterdam and the Dutch bulbfields combine a rich mediaeval history with world-class art and breathtaking floral displays.

 

 

 

The best way to see all the above?

Well, you can’t beat a river cruise, and more importantly, you just cannot beat a Riviera river cruise

The reason I know is that I am a travel consultant and can see for myself which cruise line is the most popular at any given time!

At the moment Riviera is leading the race and it’s not hard to see why.

 Published in June 2013, the most notable Which? Magazine voted Riviera Travel one of the UK’s finest Holiday Companies and awarded them their coveted

‘Recommended Provider’ status. Late last year, they improved their ranking in the ‘Guardian and Observer’ Travel Awards, achieving second place in the ‘Best

Large Tour Operator’ category and in the prestigious ‘Telegraph Travel Awards’ were voted their second ‘Favourite Escorted Tour Operator’ and second

‘Favourite River Cruise Operator’ – wow, like I said, takes some beating!

 

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One of Riviera’s outstanding ships!

 

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Standard cabin!

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Bar area!

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Even a gym for those wanting to keep their fitness levels up!

 So Europe is waiting and Riviera Travel can’t wait to show what all the fuss is about and provide you with the most memorable holiday you will ever experience!!

A river cruise to inspire the creativity of ‘the arts’.

Broadly speaking, ‘the arts‘ can be described as the culture of human creativity which includes both the visual arts (drawing, painting, architecture etc), the performing arts (music, dance, theatre etc) and the literary arts (poetry, creative writing etc). I’ve dabbled in a few of them in my life, in particular painting, writing and poetry, and find the satisfaction it provides once completed almost exhilarating.

An example of my work.

However, a problem that quite a few people involved in the arts experience is inspiration or lack of it which can obviously interfere with their creative production. I was having this problem earlier in the year when I needed to provide some work for a literacy course I was working on. The harder I thought, the blanker my mind became. It was as if my creative mind had decided to shut down or become extremely shy to say the least.

What I needed was an experience that would activate some creativity combined with some relaxation as the past few months had been exhausting with one thing or another. I’d heard from one of my friends that a trip along the Rhine River was one of the most beautiful and inspiring experiences anyone could have. Although money was tight, I began to think seriously about some kind of tour along this river and began to ask around and also find some reviews.

Just one part of the Rhine River.

Another friend of mine suggested I go on a river cruise tour along the Rhine as they had done previously. They thoroughly enjoyed it and some reviews I went on to look at raved about it. One in particular stood out , it was called  Uniworld Castles along the Rhine and I managed to find it and book it through Rivercruisetours.co.uk. The ship you sail on is called the Uniworld SS Antoinette and well deserves the label ‘Super Ship’.

As soon as I stepped onto the SS Antionette I new it was going to be a good experience as the staff fell over themselves to help you. The Cruise Manager was attentive, and all the staff spoke English. The accommodation was fantastic and the food delicious. There was on board local entertainment and even a cinema!

Example of a stateroom suite.

Le cinema! The beautiful cinema.

The itinerary was amazing as the ship traveled through Basel, Breisach, Kehl,  Germersheim, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam. I also had no shortage of inspiration as the beautiful ship took me to fascinating medieval wine towns, wonderful castles and  majestic cathedrals.

I can understand now why people are so amazed by this beautiful and majestic place. Apparently Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Schubert and Wagner idolized it in their music,Turner captured it in his paintings and Byron, Dumas, Hugo and Heine mentioned and celebrated it in their writing. I think I will now follow suit and let the inspiration flow in my writing.

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