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Six of the best European river cruises

4th July 2011 Print
Six of the best European river cruises

River cruising offers the perfect way to enjoy some of Europe's most iconic sights and events without having to check into and out of hotels; you only unpack once and your luxurious accommodation moves with you, while dining is done to gourmet standards.

Here is award-winning cruise operator, AwaWaterways' six, top-tipped river cruises for 2011 - 12.

1. Celebrity wine cruise : One of the most popular river cruises of 2011 will be AmaWaterways' 14th November `Romantic Danube', hosted by one of TV's celebrated food and wine experts, Jilly Goolden. Jilly will mingle with guests, present wine tastings and join shore-side excursions to share her passion for wine in a fun and informal atmosphere, with all the creature comforts of a luxury river cruiser and gourmet dining.

The 7 night Blue Danube Wine Discovery cruise departs from Vilshofen to Budapest on 14th November and costs from £1376, which also includes all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

2. Garden lovers cruise : Keen gardeners can enjoy free entry to Germany's top horticultural show (BUGA 2011) on a choice of seven night Rhine cruises during the summer of 2011. The show completely takes over the riverside town of Koblenz until October 16th 2011, filling the squares and streets with floral displays and colourful horticultural exhibits. Entry to the show will be included as one of a range of complimentary excursions on the many AmaWaterways river cruise itineraries that call throughout the summer. The seven-night Enchanting Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel costs from £1763pp departing on July 31st 2011.

3. City break cruise : Three of Europe's most spectacular and historic cities are included on AmaWaterways Legendary Danube cruise. Visit Austria's capital, Vienna, with its superb museums and galleries, the Slovak capital of Bratislava, with its historic castle and Medieval streets and the Hugarian capital, Budapest, divided by the mighty Danube.

The seven-night Legendary Danube cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest, taking in Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, departing 7th August 2011 costs from £1,763 per person.

4. Jewish Heritage themed cruise : Trace the Jewish heritage of the Danube on a choice of three river cruises departing in August and November 2011, each with a selected daily touring programme of Jewish Heritage excursions that include synagogue visits, Jewish districts, museums, monuments and other landmarks of significance to Jewish history, led by knowledgeable guides. Highlights include a special visit to the tomb of Chatam Sofer, the famous rabbi, a visit to Oscar Schindler's house in Regensberg, and Room 600 at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. Passengers will also visit the Jewish Museum, Judenplatz and Old Synagogue, Sigmund Freud House (outside), Jewish Cemetery and Jewish Quarter in Vienna.

The7-night `Jewish Heritage' Blue Danube cruise between Nuremberg to and Budapest, departing November 18th 2011, costs from £1376 per person.

5. Christmas market cruise : Get into the Christmas spirit on a luxury river cruise that takes in Europe's spectacular and atmospheric Christmas markets, with ample time in the markets in Nuremberg, Regensburg and Vienna, and, for Advent with a Hungarian flavour, Budapest. Browse stall after stall piled high with gifts and decorations, enjoying the festive scent of gingerbread, sizzling sausages and spicy mulled wine, then return laden with goodies to a luxury river cruiser teeming with atmosphere and festively adorned with Christmas trees, garlands, colourful lights and swags, to enjoy carolling performances by the crew, hot spiced mulled wine and festive entertainment.

A seven-night Christmas Time cruise on Amalyra from Nuremberg to Budapest, departing November 27th 2011, costs from £1,375 per person.

6. Blooming good cruise : Holland's bulb fields are as legendary as its windmills, clogs and Edam cheese. Experience the magnificent tulip carpets and flower displays at their best on a spring time cruise from Amsterdam through Holland and Belgium when the bulbs are fully in bloom. Take a trip to the Keukenhof Gardens to see millions of tulips create a dazzling carpet of colour and enjoy the cities of Ghent, Antwerp and Amsterdam, all from the luxurious decks and staterooms of a river cruiser.

AmaWaterways seven-night Tulip Time cruise round-trip from Amsterdam costs from £1,404 per person, departing in March and April 2012.

All AmaWaterways cruises include full board during the cruise; free-flowing selected wines with dinner every night; bottled water; a full daily programme of guided excursions; onboard cultural entertainment; and port taxes. Cruises in Europe on all Ama ships on the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers also include use of the line's revolutionary Infotainment system in every stateroom; which included complimentary Internet and WiFi Connection, and bicycles to use in port. Flights and transfers can be arranged at additional cost.

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Six of the best European river cruises