Seasonal European River Cruising
Hannah Logan talks about her favourite time to take a European river cruise, as well as discussing other seasonal sailings you may wish to take.
Leaves turning deeper shades of reds and yellows, pleasant temperatures to comfortably explore new places on-foot in different port-of-call every day, less condensed towns and cities after the peak summer months are just a few reasons to take a river cruise in one of my particular favourite times of the year: autumn.
The passing scenery on any European river cruise can be spectacular for a number of reasons. The Rhine Gorge with castles nestled in the hillsides, the Wachau Valley region with rolling vineyards along every bend of the river, dramatic views of the Iron Gates along the lower Danube River – these are just some that look even more radiant in autumn.
Sitting up on the Sun Deck, 360-degree views make it the number one viewing platform to take in the scenery and tranquillity of a river cruise. With chairs and sun-loungers available in full sun and shade, it makes it an ideal place to rest and unwind. Many river cruise lines have heated pools for you to take a refreshing dip; packing swimwear is not just an option for those cruising in peak summer months.
As we now approach winter cruising, the ever-changing scenery takes a different view. European cities begin to be beautifully lit with festive cheer. You can layer-up and visit Christmas Markets in abundance, sipping mulled wine with the smell of roasting chestnuts adding to the cosy atmosphere. River cruise ships have wonderful festive touches which lead you nicely into the excitement of this season. Cruises operating over Christmas and New Year allow you to celebrate on board with a wonderful atmosphere, learning European Christmas traditions and tasting some seasonal food. Seeing in the New Year with new travel companions you have met on board also makes for exciting plans.
Springtime in Europe is just as magical, as the first blooms appear and the signs of winter passing become evident. The Dutch and Belgian Waterways is an itinerary that only operates for a short time frame of six weeks from the end of March. You can visit the impressive Keukenhof Gardens with over seven million bulbs planted in an array of multi-colours. For those interested in gardening, many river cruise lines have special hosts to add value to a cruise at this time of year, where you can discover more about your favourite pastime and join presentations to learn about climbing plants, autumn and winter colours, and photography.
No matter what time of year you opt to explore the European waterways, the season will provide you with ever-changing scenery, making it a memorable sailing along your chosen river. Call us on 0800 954 0064 and we’ll help you decide the best time to take your cruise.