select - River Cruise
Written by Oryx
With river cruise companies offering newer ships and better itineraries than ever before, its the perfect time for a holiday afloat. Here are four great itineraries for riverine passengers.
Volga River, Russia
This epic journey takes travellers across northwest Russia on a route that links Moscow to St Petersburg via the legendary Volga River and a series of canals and vast lakes. Along the way, historic towns, beautiful churches, remote monasteries, and towns full of bustling markets are among the attractions. For many, a highlight is St Petersburg, where shore excursions allow exploration of this lovely city, where pastel palaces are framed in canals and Russia’s dramatic history comes to life.
Distance: 3,568 km
Flight Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Frequency: 12 flights a week
Mekong River, Vietnam
Ten-day adventures along the Mekong River allow cruisers to take in Ho Chi Minh City and the culture and passing scenery of Vietnam, and often include a side trip to the World Heritage temple ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The passing scenery offers rainforests, rice paddies, and mountains, while the riverbanks are a never-ending spectacle of village life, market bustle, and public ferries.
Distance: 5,268 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
Frequency: 4 flights a day
Danube River, Germany
While many people associate the Danube with Austria and Hungary, it actually rises, in southern Germany, passing a somewhat overlooked corner of Bavaria that is dense in history. A first stop for cruise ships is Regensburg, with its staggering Gothic cathedral, 12th-century stone bridge, and cafés filled with tempting pastries. In contrast, downstream Passau is a baroque delight, almost entirely rebuilt in 1662 after a fire. The flamboyant, wedding-cake town in pale green and peach sits on an outcrop of rock overlooking the Danube, baroque towers and turrets reflected in the waters.
Distance: 4,305 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Frequency: 2 flights a day
Yangtze River, China
Travel the Yangtze River between Shanghai and Chongqing and you can take in 5,000 years of history and admire its scenery of misty mountains and deep gorges frequently referenced in Chinese poetry and painting. It’s also the chance to admire modern Chinese marvels, such as the colossal Three Gorges Dam hydroelectric project. With fewer size limitations on ships than in Europe, Chinese river cruising also allows for more spacious accommodation and plenty of onboard luxury.
Distance: 5,413 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a week