Go on a river cruise and you’ll be able to take in a whole range of sights from majestic wildlife to fascinating cultural attractions from the comfort of a luxury boat. To find out more about five of the best river cruises in the world, read on.
As the longest river in the world, cruising up the Nile can offer you a fascinating insight into ancient Africa. While the waterway crosses through a number of countries, it is perhaps most closely associated with Egypt and as you travel from Aswan up to Luxor you’ll be able to learn more about the ancient civilisation.
One place that you should definitely stop by on your cruise is Thebes. Here you’ll get the chance to explore the Karnak temple> complex (photo), which is more than 2,000 years old. A wide range of monuments and tombs can be seen here; however, it is perhaps the precinct built in dedication to chief Egyptian god Amun-Re that will be most captivating.
Continue your journey up the Nile and you’ll come across the Luxor Temple. Built to host the Festival of Opet, an ancient event which saw a statue of Amun-Re paraded down the Nile, here you’ll also find an array of historic statues and attractions, including an effigy of Ramesses II and the Abu el-Haggag mosque.
Travel a little further north and you’ll come to the Valley of the Kings, which contains more than 60 royal tombs, including that of Tutankhamen. From the comfort of your boat, you’ll be able to see a wide range of wildlife, including small fishes and Nile crocodiles which grow up to 16 feet long.
Starting in Germany, you’ll have the chance to explore the beautiful riverside town of Passau before continuing your journey to Salzburg, Austria. Visit the city’s old town district and you’ll be able to take in some beautiful Baroque architecture and learn more about composer Wolfgang Mozart who was born in the city.
Continue your cruise and you’ll pass through Vienna and Bratislava before arriving at your final destination of Budapest, the Hungarian capital (photo). The city is set across both sides of the waterway and you’ll find a range of captivating attractions in each.
These include the neo-gothic parliament building and the world’s largest thermal water cave system, while the dozens of geothermal springs located here mean you’ll find a range of spas where you can go for a soak.
The fact that the Danube crosses through so many countries means that you’ll be able to see a wide range of wildlife, with white pelicans, beavers and tawny owls among the creatures you may have the chance to see.
More than 100 species of fish can be founded in the waterway, so look over the side of your boat for a chance to spot the Danube salmon, the Balkan loach and the Black Sea salmon.
As one of the world’s largest waterways, there’s a range of countries you can take in on a tour of the river, including Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Your cruise is likely to pass through Brazil, where upon your cruise ship mooring up you’ll be able to interact with local tribes and learn more about how they survive in the rainforest.
Among the many creatures you might get to see during your Amazon cruise are monkeys, tropical frogs and freshwater dolphins, some of which are an unusual pink colour, and you can also go on nature hikes and fishing excursions during your trip.
Among the many interesting destinations that you’ll be able to take in during your trip are St Louis, Memphis and Nashville, a city that is synonymous with country music.
However, it may be New Orleans that really catches your interest. A melting pot of different cultures, here you’ll be able to sample Cajun and Creole cuisine before exploring the French Quarter and watching jazz bands.
Perhaps one of the most popular stop-off points on a voyage of the waterway is the Chongqing Zoo. The largest zoo in south-west China, here you’ll be able to see hundreds of different kinds of animals including pandas, giraffes and tigers.
Other sights to be seen include the Fengdu Ghost City and parts of the Great Wall of China, while you may also be able to explore the bustling cities of Shanghai or Beijing.
With so many fantastic places to explore, a river cruise can be a fantastic way of seeing the world!