As the year progresses, thoughts slowly turn to spring and summer breaks. This year, river cruises along the Amazon, Moselle or Danube; the Rhone, Yangtze or Irrawaddy are high among the list of favourite vacations.
Unlike sea cruises, cruises on the Dordogne, Garonne or Nile do not just take passengers to varying countries, they take them into them. River cruises like those following the flow of the Rhine, Seine or Volga, for instance, have itineraries to suit any preference, from wine tasting or city visits to exploring fairy-tale castles or the ruins of ancient civilisations.
For 2014, cruise operators have come up with a few brand-new options. The first is a cruise along the River Tisza, which was only recently opened to allow international navigation. Rising in the Ukraine, the Tisza crosses the Great Plain of Hungary before joining the Danube in Serbia.
CroisiEurope now offers nine-day Tisza cruises. Scheduled to depart from Budapest in May and June, these cruises will take passengers across vast stretches of one of Europe’s largest meadow land regions, the Hungarian Puszta. Costing from just £1,165/ person, the cruise also includes a visit to Hungary’s famous Tokaj wine region.
Another river cruise off the usual beaten track is offered by Noble Caledonia. The company’s vessel, the Johannes Brahms, is set to follow the Oder’s path along the border between Germany and Poland towards the Baltic. Starting in Berlin, the seven-day cruise will sail to Szczecin, Poland, then visit the historic Pomerania region of Germany before moving on to the Usedom and Rugen islands and finally visiting Hanseatic Stralsund. Prices start at £1,795/ person, and departures are scheduled for May and September.
Light Blue Travel and the American Queen Steamboat Company are offering exciting cruises following the Lewis/ Clark expedition’s (early 1800s) final stages along the Rivers Columbia and Snake. While specific details were not available at time of writing, passengers can expect to sip celebrated wines and see an abundance of wildlife. The eight-night trip from Portland, Oregon to Clarkston, Washington State (or vice versa) on the American Express, a paddle-wheel steamer, will cost £3,495/ person. Departures are available from April to September.
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