European River Cruises Not to Miss

As Monet’s garden starts to bloom and the Danube starts to take on a dreamy springtime hue, the European river cruise season kicks into gear for 2018. Running from April to October, the shoulder season before the summer throngs are the perfect time to glide along the historic banks of the continent. From the striking landmarks lining the green Seine to the imposing castles along the River Rhine, European cruises abound with scenic sights and historical significance. We look at the best European cruises to consider for those looking to leap into a new setting this spring…

  • AMA Waterways…for Dutch Spring Blooms

    Smaller numbers on the ship., cabins boasting not one but two balconies, complimentary bicycles for buzzing around the city – all these are excellent reasons to pick AMA. Being a member of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs means that fine dining coms as standard and wine is poured freely with every meal.

    One of the finest spring cruises must be the Tulip Time 7-night sail around the Netherlands. Splashed in color, soaked in art history, studded with windmills, cheese and waffles – it’s a trip that cracks open one of Europe’s most underrated spots. The Grand Danube Cruise is another one to watch – taking you along every turn in the historic river, through the iron gates and to the sunflower shores of Bulgaria and Bran’s Castle in Romania.

  • Avalon…for the Romantic Rhine

    Avalon are renowned for offering the most all-inclusive benefits aboard their beautiful river ships. From the simple things like Wi-Fi and wine to scenic onshore excursions, you get bang for your buck with this brand. The small touches like private transfers from your home to port, award winning staterooms with balconies and active programs that include enchanting activities like painting classes and oyster tasting make Avalon stand out from the crowd.
    Their romantic Rhine trips take you beneath the shadow of the Swiss Alps, to the bistros of Le Petit France and to the dramatic ruins of Heidelberg’s Castle before hitting up Cologne and ending in the charming canals of Amsterdam. Epicurean lovers will also adore their 11-day tour of Burgundy and Provence, for days sightseeing in Paris, sipping and swirling in Chateauneuf du Pape and walking in Van Goughs footsteps in Arles.

  • Uniworld…for La Dolce Vita

    As a boutique river cruise company, Uniworld seem to be collecting rave reviews with every ripple. With 40 years beneath their belt, they include everything – from gratuities to transfers and access to top shelf liquors on their open bar. Every ship takes on a different design – but often the emphasis is on celebrating the splendor of Europe. Expect oil paintings, antique furnishings, and lavish productions when it comes to gourmet dinners. The company also proudly boast the highest ratio of staff to guests ensuring that no want goes unnoticed.

    Their Gems of Northern Italy river cruise will take you down the sweeping canals of Venice to private tours of St Marks Basilica, and to wondrous wine pairing in Valpolicella. Their Jewels of Spain and Portugal is a heady exploration of the exotic south, from the gardens of the Quinta Aveleda to the sword forged city of Toledo.

  • Viking…for Grand European Grace

    Leader of the pack when it comes to cool European river cruises, Viking are the best for those wanting a bright and breezy cruise with all the mod cons. Their long-ships are adorned in clean lines and neutral colors in traditional Scandinavian style. Rooms are soaked in light and while suites are compact – they boast balconies for sipping your morning coffee while winding down the drama of the Fjords. The best thing about Viking is their perfectly tailored programs brimming with customizable choices to suit your own interests. From art and history lectures on deck to vintage wine pairings and folklore music shows – you choose how to spend those hours in-between sightseeing.

    Their Grand European Tour spans over 15 days but takes you from Budapest’s café culture to the castles of Germany, the green parks and flaky pastries of Vienna, and the rich dark art museums of Holland. The Viking Fjords tour is another highlight – blending ocean and river you can traverse the sights and sounds of Germany and Holland before taking the passage to the waterfalls and bright islands studding the mountain flanked fjords of Norway.

No matter which European port of call is tempting you out of your routine this spring, Luggage Forward’s luggage shipping service can ensure all your bags arrive onboard without a fuss.

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