If you want to see the true soul and personality of a country, head into its heart. Our River Collection meanders into the center of fascinating cultures, grand palaces, acclaimed museums, historic sites, and quaint cafes and boutiques. Nurse a refreshing Vinho Verde on the Douro, a bold glass of Cabernet along the Gironde, a dry Chardonnay on the Seine, or a sweet Riesling on the Danube. Pedal a bike through Ghent and tour Avignon’s Papal Palace. Attend a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, discover the roots of Protestantism in Wittenberg and spoon caviar onto your blini pancakes along the Volga. Which river cruise will you choose?
One of the great rivers of Europe, the Danube is the second longest on the continent and flows through 9 countries. Walk in the footsteps of history in the medieval Bavarian streets of Nuremburg, buy a local trinket at the market in the center of Vilshofen, and admire the Gothic and Italian Baroque wonders of Passau. Explore the contrast between modern glass and steel buildings and the traditional architecture of Linz, visit the amazingly preserved medieval Czech town of Cesky Krumlov and sing in joy at the sounds of Salzburg’s musical legacy, birthplace of Mozart.
Explore the winding mountain roads of the Austrian Lake District, visit the glorious Benedictine Abbey at Melk, buy some apricot liqueur, and stroll the cobbled streets of Dürnstein. Enjoy an after-dinner wine tasting in Weissenkirchen, hike up to Bratislava Castle, and learn how to prepare stuffed potato ravioli from a local chef. In Vienna, bike through Donaupark and ride to Klosterneuburg Monastery, or discover the elegance of Vienna at its storied Opera House, the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, Parliament, Town Hall, Vienna University, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Graben, and the renowned Spanish Riding School.
Save your energy for Budapest with its spectacular views from Matthias Church, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion. Visit intriguing Belgrade, and enjoy a Yugoslav Civil War tour of Vukovar followed by a trip to Vidin Castle in Bulgaria. A Danube cruise is a classic journey into the heart of Europe.
Flowing 766 miles north through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France, and Holland, the Rhine is perhaps the most famous of Europe’s rivers. Treasure a twilight cruise through colorful Amsterdam’s narrow homes lining the canals and a stroll through the Middle Ages among the buildings of Begijnhof. From Cathedral Square, admire Cologne’s splendid Gothic cathedral and in Koblenz, head ashore for a stein of beer made exactly as it has for centuries.
Cruise through the overwhelming natural beauty of the Rhine Gorge with its castles and fortresses perched high above the placid river. In Rüdesheim, taste the fruits of a vintner’s labor, soar above the streets on a gondola to Niederwalddenkmal Statue or go for a leisurely bike ride alongside the river. Spend a fascinating evening among the shops and taverns of Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse, see a 49,000-gallon wine cask in Heidelberg, and explore one of Germany’s oldest cities in Speyer
In Strasbourg, the capital of France’s Alsace region, amble through the enchanting La Petite France neighborhood, and in Breisach, sample a sweet Riesling and bike through the Rheinau woods. Explore the medieval old town center of Basel around Marktplatz, visit the 16th-century, red-sandstone Town Hall and take in the view from the 12th-century Gothic cathedral which shelters the grave of the 16th-century Dutch scholar Erasmus.
DORDOGNE, GARONNE, GIRONDE, MOSELLE, RHÔNE, SAÔNE AND SEINE RIVERS
The many winding rivers of France reveal a country more fascinating, refined, and welcoming than you ever imagined. Gaze down upon Paris from the resplendent Eiffel Tower and relish an impromptu lunch of baguettes, brie and chardonnay on the steps of Sacré-Cœur. Sip the sensational white wines of Cadillac, the rich Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignon of Pauillac, and enjoy a Grand Cru Classé wine tasting in Liborne.
Go for a bike tour of Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world, and visit the beguiling home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet in Giverny. Stand in gratitude upon Omaha Beach in Normandy and in awe at the spot where Joan of Arc was martyred. Explore the hilltop ruins of Richard the Lionheart’s Château Gaillard, climb historic Fourvière Hill in Lyon, attend a wine tasting paired with chocolates at Le Château de Tournon, and tour Avignon’s Papal Palace.
ELBE AND MAIN RIVERS
Many cruises on the Elbe begin in magnificent Berlin and end in beguiling Prague. Along the way, tour a palace built by Prussian king Frederick the Great, discover the roots of Protestantism in Wittenberg at Martin Luther’s House and St. Marien’s Church, and learn how porcelain has been made by hand in Meissen since the early 1700s. Comb through Frauenkirche in Dresden, rebuilt after the bombings in World War II, and in the Green Vault view a stunning array of precious gemstones. Cruise among the other-worldly rock formations of the Saxon Switzerland region, visit Hradčany Castle in Prague and admire the glass dome atop the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin. Though often incorporated as part of a Rhine or Danube cruise, the Main River has its own glittering cultural pearls, such as the famed 13th century Leaning Tower in Kitzingen and the Residenz Palace and gardens in Würzburg.
Explore the cobblestone medieval streets of Porto and then leap ahead several centuries at the Museum of Modern Art in the Boavista area. Savor a wine and cheese tasting at Quinta de Avelada and discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Guimarães. Tour the majestic Mateus Palace in Régua, make a pilgrimage to the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios in charismatic Lamego, and enjoy the impressive gorges cradling the Douro river valley. Navigate the labyrinthine street of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, a 16th century town perched on a hilltop, and pop into a local market in Spain’s Vega Terrón.
Ride a gondola along the canals of Venice and steal a kiss under the Bridge of Sighs, shop for glass treasures on Murano, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at a café overlooking the city’s lagoon as the moon glimmers like a promise kept. Bicycle along Chioggia’s beaches, attend a pasta-making workshop in Bologna, and sip a glass of local Chianti as the Po River winds through northern Italy’s stunning countryside. Be sure to add in a trip to the designer boutiques of Milan and the ancient ruins of Rome before or after your voyage.
NEVA, SVIR, AND VOLGA RIVERS
Walk across the vast expanse of Red Square, gaze at the crenellated walls of the Kremlin, and ride subways with stations so ornate they appear to be museums. Onion-domed cathedrals abound in Russia’s capital but the best views of Uglich, founded in 1148, are from your ship on the Volga River. Learn the legend of Prince Yaroslavl the Wise of Kiev, who established his namesake town more than a thousand years ago. Tour Kuzino’s fabled Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and stride among the buildings of Ishi’s Open Air Museum of Architecture. Spoon caviar on to your blini pancakes and discover the legacy of Communism with a visit to a Soviet-era kommunalka.
Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.