In this video you're going to discover the nine best places to go on a river cruise. I'm Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. River cruising is a great way to travel and you travel in small ships, largely everything's included, including drinks food and excursions – and it's a fabulous relaxed way of seeing parts of the world. I'm going to talk about the nine best places to go.
First of all the Rhine. This is the most popular river cruising destination in the world. The river is a 900 mile long river. It starts in Switzerland and eventually empties into the North Sea and passes through six countries: Austria, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The reason the Rhine is so popular is it is just steeped in beautiful scenery and phenomenal history.
As you pass along the Rhine you pass fairytale castles, beautiful vineyards. A big part of the Rhine, which you pass through on a river cruise, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it's called the Upper Middle Rhine Valley. It's a beautiful part of the world and it's basically between Rudesheim and Koblentz, and you pass magnificent castles, beautiful scenery.
The Rhine is a great place to go on a river cruise and there's a huge amount of choice. Now the second incredible River to go cruising on is the Danube. The Danube is a very long river.
It's over 1,800 miles long and is the second longest river in Europe after the Volga. It passes through an incredible eight countries. It starts in Germany and ends in the Black Sea and it passes through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia and finally the Ukraine.
The most popular stretch is between Germany and Hungary so starting around about Passau and ending in Budapest in Hungary. On this cruise you see phenomenal scenery, you pass you loads of locks and you visit fantastic places including Melk where there's an incredible cathedral, Lintz, Vienna, Salzburg – so really iconic and famous places. Again many many of the river cruising companies will offer cruises along the Danube. The next great river to cruise is the Rhone. This is one of France's most magnificent and mightiest of rivers.
The Rhone is perfect for people who love food and drink, because it passes through really the gastronomic and winemaking heart of France . On a Rhone cruise you're going to cruise through places like Burgundy and Provence. You're going to visit places like the city of Leon, which is the gourmet capital of France. Some of the historic places visited is the fortified city of Avignon. The reason though that many people go on a cruise on the Rhone is because of the food and the wines. The next great river to cruise is the Douro, which will take you through Portugal and Spain.
The Duoro Valley is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is not as well-known as many of the other rivers. Most of the cruises will start in Porto and will wide its way along the Duror, normally any back to Porto.
On the Duoro you're go past lots of very picturesque vineyards and many villages. The Duoro is really popular with people who either done the Ryan done the Danube what is the other parts of Europe. My fifth suggestion on one of the best river cruises in the world is the Loire in France. The reason that this is fantastic is it's one of the quietest rivers for river cruising.
It's a very shallow river so it's quite difficult to navigate, so CroisiEurope created a very specific ship which has paddle wheels on either side to be able to go down the Loire. So what you'll find on the Loire is CroisiEurope is the only main river cruising company there, and it's absolutely magnificent because you go to visit incredible Chateau, you see beautiful scenery, historic towns. It is much less commercial than many of the other rivers which are very busy. My next suggestion is the Seine in France that cruises between Paris and Honfleur, which is down on the coast near the Normandy landing beaches.
The Loire is a really great river cruise if you want to see some of Paris, because often the cruises will include some time to see Paris at night, you'll get a chance to visit Versailles, you will go through beautiful French scenery down to Honfleur and particularly if you're interested in history and the Normandy beaches, there's some great excursions. There are many options of places to cruise on rivers in Europe, but I want to take a look at some of the other rivers of the world which I think are amongst the best for river cruises that you can do. The first of those, and one of the most popular and growing ones, is the Mekong River. The Mekong River will take you to Vietnam and Cambodia. Many of the big European river cruise operators operate on the Mekong.
The three big city highlights include Siam Reap, Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City. Although many people go on the Mekong River to see the Angkor temples and particularly the beautiful temple of Angkor Wat. One of the excursions is normally going to the big sprawling temple at sunrise, and you get to see the sunrise above the temple and then go and explore it. On these cruises there's lots of cultural immersion, so a chance to really understand the culture of Vietnam and Cambodia like visits to markets and, of course, some of the incredibly beautiful temples. The river cruise boats tend to be slightly smaller than ones in Europe, a little bit more nimble because the nature of the river.
Now my next suggestion is the Nile. This is one of the oldest forms of river cruising going right back to the days of the Pharaoh. The Nile is an incredibly long river, it's over 4,160 miles long. The river cruises on the Nile tends to focus on a 120 mile stretch between Luxor and Aswan Dam and this is really the most important part of historic Egypt.
In Luxor you get to see the Valley of the Kings and other significant finds, and then you basically cruise down to the Aswan Dam with great excursions where you can go and see some of the very significant sites there. The Nile is a magnificent place to cruise. It's very historic cruising in the beautiful small river cruising boats. The best time to go, because it gets incredibly unbearably hot in Egypt, is around about Christmastime so between November through until about January/ February.
Another place to go cruising is along the Mississippi River in the United States of America. The Mississippi River is a magnificent historic River and the river cruises explore the old history of the south: the Civil War, slavery and also just taken the beautiful scenery of the old plantations. For those of you who are fans, you can also on many of the cruises go to Memphis and of course visit Graceland (Elvis Presley's home). There are two big companies that cruise the Mississippi which are the American Queen Steamboat company and the American Cruise Lines and they operate those big old traditional paddle steamers with the big wheels at the back.
Of course there are many more rivers of the world that you can go cruising, and all the time companies are finding more and more rivers. It's a beautiful way to go and see the world. It's quite intimate, the boats by their very nature are small, it's quite a leisurely approach and most of the river cruises are pretty all inclusive. So you'll find your accommodation, your food, your excursions are normally included. It's a great way of immersing yourself and seeing parts of the world.
Those are in my view the nine best river cruises in the world. If you liked the video I'd love it if you gave a "thumbs up" and a "like" but very importantly please subscribe to Tips For Travellers and you'll get much more travel inspiration, advice and tips with a new video posted every single week.