Travel

6 of the best river cruises in the world

Your next cruising adventure should be on a winding waterway.
cruise on river

River cruising has a special charm. There’s a soothing, hypnotic feel about the gentle currents, and something admirable about the water’s steadfast purpose, to go where it’s got to go, and do it in its own time.

The scenery gliding by is a constant stimulation. You’ll wave at kids playing on the sands and at lone fishermen on the shore; smile at the antics of dogs frollicking in the shallows and – in Europe at least – men dozing in deckchairs, exposing their pinkish-white pot-bellies to the summer sunshine they’ve been craving for so long.

cruise on a river

Riverside properties are prime real estate: You’ll see castles, mansions, palaces, church steeples, big merchant warehouses and waterfront restaurants doing a roaring trade; bridal couples and their entourage posing for photos in pretty parks overlooking the river.

There’ll be hustle and bustle, too: Barges and ferries going about their business. Sure, there are fewer diversions on river ships than their big ocean counterparts, but the cosiness makes it more sociable, and you become more attuned to your surrounds.

And when your journey ends, you’ll come away with a greater appreciation of how rivers nourish the land, a broad understanding of the regions you’ve passed through, and in all probability, a sense of nourishment and spiritual enrichment yourself. The gangways are down – let’s go on board.

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