There are a host of great new river cruises to take you on all manner of voyages of adventure in Europe and beyond.
And now is the time to book for this year and next.
So, don’t delay, check out these fantastic ideas.
Join Star’s maiden voyage from Amsterdam for a one-week Tulip Serenade cruise departing on April 12, 2019
Sniff out some French truffles
Go truffle hunting with a friendly hound, create your own blend of cognac with the help of a master distiller and taste Saint-Emilion, Medoc and Sauternes wines right where the grapes are grown. On a seven-night Chateaux, Rivers & Wine cruise from Bordeaux you’ll sail to ancient villages and famous vineyards on the Gironde, Garonne and Dordogne. Viking Forseti’s zigzagging course on the three rivers gives time to explore Bordeaux with its gleaming new Cité du Vin – a museum and a centre of wine. Departures are from March to October. vikingcruises.co.uk, 0800 319 6660.
Fairytale castles of the Rhine
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is well-known for its fleet of four traditional ocean ships sailing all over the world from UK ports. New for this year, the British line has a programme of river cruises, aboard 156-passenger Brabant, sailing on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle until November.
For example, the seven-night Valleys & Mountains of Germany cruise departing from Nuremburg on May 31, calls at the beautiful Franconian town of Bamberg as well as Wurzburg, where the baroque palace has glorious rococo interiors. You’ll be captivated by fairytale castles on crags as Brabant sails past the Hasseberge Mountains and through the Lower Moselle and Middle Rhine Valleys en route to Cologne, where the magnificent Gothic cathedral soars over the city. fredolsencruises.com, 0800 035 5242.
New for this year, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has a programme of river cruises, aboard 156-passenger Brabant, sailing on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle until November
Go truffle hunting with a friendly hound on a seven-night Chateaux, Rivers & Wine cruise from Bordeaux
The treasures of the Rhone
How about a round of golf on the Grand Avignon course with fabulous views of Mont Ventoux, a hike in the Camargue National Reserve – home to black bulls, white horses and pink flamingos – and a guided bicycle tour around Lyons? Or is a gentle steam-train ride through the Ardeche Mountains and a chocolate-making demonstration more your scene?
You can be as active or laid back as you like on Rhone Treasures cruise between Arles and Lyons, where a choice of excursions and activities is included in the fare.
One night everyone is invited to a banquet at L’Abbaye de Collognes near Lyons, with a menu created by ‘pope of gastronomy’ Paul Bocuse. On another evening there is a cocktail reception at Grignan Castle, surrounded by lavender fields and vineyards. Seven-night cruises depart from May to September. aptouring.co.uk, 0800 046 3002.
The new Lower Danube Waltz cruise aboard Emerald Dawn next year ends with an overnight stay in Belgrade
The RV Indochine II will sail from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital of South Vietnam
Hungary for some culture?
Perfect for second-timers to the Danube, the new Lower Danube Waltz cruise aboard Emerald Dawn next year will take you back to Vienna and Budapest to explore the museums, monuments and elegant cafés in more depth.
Then you will continue eastwards, to less-visited stretches of Europe’s second-longest river. From Mohacs, the last town in Hungary before the Danube meets the Croatia-Serbia border, you’ll visit Pecs, founded by the Romans. The next day a Croatian family will be your hosts for lunch in Osijek. Have your binoculars ready sailing towards Novi Sad in North-east Serbia: you’ll pass islands thick with vegetation and rich in birdlife.
The cruise ends with an overnight stay in Belgrade, where you can take a guided bike ride around the capital. Departure is on August 3, 2019 for seven nights. emeraldwaterways.co.uk, 0808 115 6269.
Book now to be among the first on board new ship Amadeus Star making its debut next spring. Join Star’s maiden voyage from Amsterdam for a one-week Tulip Serenade cruise departing on April 12, 2019.
The Camargue National Reserve in France is home to pink flamingos
Sailing on Dutch and Belgian waterways you’ll glide past fields of tulips and photogenic windmills. A variety of excursions include a visit to Keukenhof Gardens, where millions of bulbs will be in bloom, city tours of medieval Belgian beauties Ghent and Bruges, and a tour of the Airborne Museum at Hartenstein dedicated to the Second World War battle of Arnhem. amadeus-rivercruises.co.uk, 0800 035 6411.
Magic of the Mekong
You’ll appreciate the largest swimming pool on any cruise boat on the Mekong River aboard RV Indochine II sailing from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital of South Vietnam.
What could be more refreshing in a tropical climate than a cool dip, than a fresh fruit cocktail in a deck chair on your return from excursions ashore?
Your guides will take you to ancient temples of Angkor Wat, floating markets, old French colonial towns and on a bullock cart ride to see a pagoda in the jungle.
A ten-night trip including two nights in a hotel in Siem Reap and an eight-night cruise starts on September 12 this year. croisieurope.co.uk, 020 8328 1281.
Go wild on the Rhine
New cruise line U by Uniworld has two ships called simply The A and The B offering a very different style of cruise on the Rhine, Main and Danube.
These vessels – with their matt- black exteriors and sleek monochrome interiors – stand out because they are designed to appeal to millennials who wouldn’t touch a conventional river cruise holiday with a barge pole.
So, expect to enjoy bar-hopping ashore, local celebrity DJs on board until the small hours, Instagram-worthy brunches and adrenaline-pumping excursions such as rock climbing, kayaking and blokarting (like go karting but with a sail).
An eight-day Rolling On The Rhine cruise stays three days in Amsterdam and calls at Haarlem, Cologne, Bonn and Frankfurt. Departures from June to September. ubyuniworld.com, 0845 678 5656.
The article "From truffle-hunting to tulips, serving up the very best river cruises for you" was originally published on http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travelsupplement/article-5709315/From-truffle-hunting-tulips-serving-best-river-cruises-you.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490