River Cruise Month

European River Cruise photo

Idyllic European River Photo – taken by Bill Edwards

by Don McCann

More river cruises are booked in July than in any other month of the year and most of those bookings are for sailings far into the future.  “So what is it about river cruises anyway?” you might be asking.  One of the best features of river cruising is the very issue which begs advance bookings.  You see most river vessels only hold from 130 to 190 guests, so it makes for a wonderful ambiance onboard, but makes inventory scarce unless you plan AHEAD!

So since now is the time many are thinking (or should be thinking) of river cruise reservations for next year, we thought we’d remind you that we have a separate site exclusively for river cruises.  Take a look and contact us with any questions and/or your preferred dates for a reservation……….RiverCruiseEscapes.com .

Tauck River Cruise in Southern France

Tauck River Cruise in Southern France, photo by John Lane

Something Different

Douro River Cruise

by Bill Edwards

Looking for something different next year?

Consider a rivercruise on Portugal’s Douro River.  While it’s not exactly a forgotten part of Europe it is certainly one less traveled by most Americans and is “off the beaten path” compared to cruising the Rhine, Danube and the rivers of France.

Who will enjoy this cruise?  Those wanting to discover a well-kept secret, a region with spellbinding natural beauty and cultural heritage.  And wine connoisseurs will certainly enjoy indulging in the region’s most celebrated beverage, Port.

Douro River Cruise

The beautiful valleys and vistas of the Douro River

Although a Douro cruise sets a pretty leisurely pace, there are some wonderful experiences along the way.  Most packages will begin or end in Lisbon with time to explore this city which launched a host of renowned navigators, including Vasco da Gama.  On the way from Lisbon to Porto (via motorcoach) a stop is made in Portugal’s 3rd largest city, Coimbra, to visit one of the oldest universities in Europe.  The rivercruise portion of the trip begins in Porto, birthplace of Henry the Navigator and longtime hub of the Port wine trade.   Along the way visits are made to some of the big port-growing dynasties, and folkloric music and dance performances add to the cultural immersion of this region.  Another highlight is to visit Salamanca, nicknamed the “Golden City” for it’s sandstone buildings that give it a golden glow.  This town across the border in Spain, boasts monumental churches, and a historic university attended by one very famous Christopher Columbus!

AMA Waterways, UniWorld and Viking River Cruises are all excellent choices for exploring this unique area.  Their ships generally carry just slightly more than 100 guests so hence the need to plan NOW for next year!

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