If the big ships leave you cold, but you still want that ship board feeling – River Cruising could be just the thing for you! Smaller and more intimate than ocean going cruise ships this experience is something new and different on some of the most famous rivers in the world.
My experience was in Europe with Australian Pacific Tours on their new ship the “Amadante”. In fact APT own 9 riverboats that cruise the Rhine and the Danube, as well as the Russian and Egyptian Waterways. There were about 150 passengers and with a central lounge, and open dining, you make friends very quickly. APT is an Australian company, so most of the passengers are Australian and they make great travelling companions, easy going and lively, very important at such close quarters!
The evening entertainment was very low key, an onboard pianist, and local entertainers throughout the cruise to add variety. One evening it was a traditional German group complete with accordion and lederhosen, on another an entertaining demonstration of glass blowing (with a visit to the shop the next morning!), a string quartet the following night, and a grand finale stage show from the staff who we came to know very well by the end of the trip!
Scenically the journey was beautiful and interesting. We passed pretty villages, fairytale castles and travelled through many locks – there were 34 on my journey! There were bicycles on board – something different…. take a bike instead of the boat between some places – the cycle routes follow the river so you don’t miss anything. The cycle paths were flat so the riding was easy – no busy roads to cross and no traffic to negotiate. I cycled 35km between Wertheim and Miltenberg, and even had a picnic box for lunch….and yes, I could walk the next day!
And here’s another advantage, rivers flow through cities, the boats are small and able to moor very close to the city centre so, you can hop off the boat and be in the hub of great sights, and shopping within minutes! What a great way to see Europe, a truly wonderful experience – why don’t you try it?
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