Historically, the Rhine and the Danube were two of Europe’s most important highways. Now they’re Europe’s most popular rivers for cruises – and rightly so. With ancient cities, historic landmarks, charming towns and scenic vine-clad valleys galore, they’ve got it all. For example, TUI River Cruises' European Icons itinerary will take you on a journey down the mighty Rhine, which flows from Switzerland through Germany and the Netherlands, gliding you between a variety of European cultures and landscapes.
You can be sure of plenty of pretty places as you float with Baroque palaces, fairy-tale castles, medieval villages and rolling vineyards. The mighty Danube flows 1,770 miles southeast from the mountains of Germany’s Black Forest through a staggering ten countries to the Black Sea. It winds through a dazzling array of landscapes such as Austria’s bucolic UNESCO-listed Wachau Valley, just west of Vienna, and many big-hitter city sights.
Some of Europe’s lesser-travelled waterways are equally enchanting. The tranquil Moselle, a Rhine tributary, meanders past pretty little villages and vertiginous vineyards, while cruises along the Main, which branches off the east of the Rhine, venture through thick forests and past quaint Bavarian villages.
Chartering the myriad waterways around the Netherlands, meanwhile, is a fascinating insight into the country’s unique geography and culture. Take the Dutch Delights itinerary on board TUI Isla to appreciate the history and scale of its great canal-threaded centres such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and the Hague.