River cruising is one of the best ways to see the world and gives you an insight into places you may have never thought of visiting before.
With so many cruises available it can be hard to know just which one to choose. However, one of the simpler questions you need to ask yourself is whether you want an exotic or European cruise? We have holidays running throughout the year on many of the major rivers across the globe.
If you are looking to stay closer to home, the Rhine, Danube and French Riviera are potential destinations while further afield Southeast Asia boasts the captivating Mekong River with much to be discovered. So which will you choose? Our guide will help inspire your decision.
Europe has a huge wealth of waterways ensuring you a memorable break. Cruising along the likes of the Rhine, Elbe or Danube provide opportunities to visit some of the most picturesque cities the continent has to offer.
Take the Rhine, for example. This huge river is the lifeblood of Germany - flanking great industrial powers such as Dusseldorf and Cologne. However, it starts its journey in northern Holland before making its way into Germany and eventually to Austria and Switzerland. Cruises in this region highlight the majesty of these cities and the European countryside.
Most cruises of the Rhine begin in Amsterdam, famed for its canals, before setting sail to explore all the Rhine has to offer. There are stop-offs to visit Cologne and its incredible architecture, namely the Dom and the Hohenzollern Bridge, the latter forms the main entrance to the city. Most trips also take in the Rhine Gorge before ending in the hugely historical city of Nuremburg.
The benefit of a European cruise is that you are able to avoid long-haul flights. As most journeys begin in central Europe, flight times should be around three hours maximum, depending on your destination. This also rules out any form of jetlag, so you feel raring to go as soon as you step on the boat. There are also more options for shorter breaks with four and seven day cruises around Europe.
Above all, a river cruise around Europe is an excellent way to experience multiple destinations, admiring historic cities and enjoying the picturesque river views.
An exotic cruise has an added sense of adventure. Travelling to regions such as Southeast Asia, India and Africa offers a step into the unknown, but can also turn out to be the best decision you have ever made.
Choose a river cruise along an iconic waterway such as the Mekong or Nile. These river cruising experiences vary greatly from European cruises and provide unique chances to experience a completely different culture. Many people consider an exotic river cruise to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Sail down the Mekong River and see the famous sights of Phnom Penh in Cambodia or stay in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) prior to your cruise. These cruises offer you experiences you simply do not get when on a European cruise.
Heading to the likes of Southeast Asia and Africa can be a lot of travelling but the memories will last a lifetime. You could even incorporate the cruise as part of a much larger holiday and do a bit of exploring yourself. The stories will no doubt impress your friends back home for years to come.
Browse our Exotic River cruise deals - Egypt, Mekong, Yangtze, Burma