Typically, river cruises last for 7, 10 or 14 nights, with some exceptions extending this even longer. However, more options at the other end of the scale are becoming available, allowing first-time cruisers to dip their toe and see if this kind of holiday is for them. These shorter itineraries are also great for anyone with limited annual leave or for any travellers who want to combine a river cruise with a land holiday.
So, if you’re thinking of taking a river cruise for the first time and you’re concerned that seven nights is too long, consider some of the options below.
This four-day round-trip from Passau also visits Vienna, Dürnstein and Emmersdorf for Melk and its fantastic abbey. Time in the Austrian capital can be spent admiring the palatial buildings, following in the footsteps of Beethoven and other cultural greats, or simply putting in the research to find the best Sachertorte amongst the many famous coffee shops.
Although short, the cruise perfectly demonstrates the beauty of the Danube by taking you along one of its most scenic stretches. Between Passau and Linz, the river bends back on itself, creating the Great Loop and a perfect photo opportunity.
Alongside the Danube, the Rhine is the most popular river for British customers and so is a great choice for a taster cruise. This particular itinerary from Avalon Waterways is available in both a north and southbound direction, between Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
Slightly longer than the other options here, it lasts for five days and includes stops in Cologne, Rüdesheim and Koblenz. As well as the chance to marvel at the spectacular Cologne Cathedral, Germany’s most-visited attraction, you will glide right through the heart of the Rheingau wine-growing region, presenting plenty of wine-tasting opportunities.
If you want to go further afield for a river cruise sample, this itinerary from Pandaw can take you along the Mekong through Cambodia. It may seem like a long way to go for just three nights, but it’s ideal if you also plan to explore South-East Asia by land.
Starting amongst the iconic temples and pagodas of Angkor Wat, you will then transfer from Siem Reap to meet the ship in Kampong Cham. Continuing your spiritual journey, you will meet local villagers in Chiro Village and see how the children are being educated with skills in areas like farming, bee keeping and recycling. Then, before you disembark in the capital of Phnom Penh, there’s time to stop at Silk Island to see how the dedicated weavers work their magic. The itinerary is also available in the reverse direction.
For more information about any of the short river cruises above or to learn more about the three and four-night itineraries we can offer, call the team on 0800 028 4272.
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