INLAND
WATERW
AYS


North America

Think paddle steamers winding their way along the Mississippi, the brilliant music and nightlife of New Orleans, Cajun and Creole cooking and historic plantations. You’ll visit Memphis, one of the mid-south's most vibrant cities known for blues and barbecue, glide past the Gateway Arch Riverfront in St. Louis, and see Hannibal, hometown of the famous author Mark Twain and his character Huckleberry Finn. Or head north to cruise the St Lawrence river in Quebec, Canada, through majestic scenery and do some wildlife spotting.


South America

The experience of adventure meets luxury has made South America one of river cruising’s most desirable destinations. The mighty Amazon originates in Peru, and the Amazon Basin is a vast ecosphere the size of Western Europe, which means exotic scenery and fascinating wildlife, the likes of which you’ve never encountered. From the comfort of your ultra-luxe cabin, you’ll see untamed rainforests as you sail by, and shore excursions will see you meet indigenous tribes of the region and sample cuisines you’ve never tried before.


Europe

Europe is the quintessential river cruise destination. From Christmas markets and castles to glowing fields of Dutch tulips, when you think of river cruising, you think Europe. As you glide through myriad waterways – Europe has more navigable rivers than any other region in the world – every town and city beckons with hundreds of experiences, from conducting an orchestra in Vienna to lunches and dinners hosted by the aristocratic owners of castles and chateaus. You can focus on the great restaurants and fine wineries, or stay active with cycling tours and golfing. Something to know about European river cruising: the locks mean all the ships are the same size, even though their unique designs and technology means they offer different benefits (pools, spas, balconies, larger suites, restaurants).


Rhine It’s the river on which most new cruisers start and, at 1233 kilometres in length, boasts more castles than any other. The Rhine runs through some of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany and the Rhine Gorge is renowned for its beauty. The most popular Rhine cruise is a one-week sailing between Amsterdam and Basel, or vice versa.


Danube This is Europe’s second longest river, after the Volga, and perhaps still owes a little to Johann Strauss for its fame. It flows through 10 countries and past such landmarks as the Black Forest in Germany and the Black Sea in Romania, as well as through many famous cities. The most popular itineraries are one-week sailings between Budapest in Hungary and Passau in Germany. Budapest, divided in half by the Danube and spanned by the landmark 19th-century Chain Bridge, is packed with history and culture.


Rhône Another of Europe’s major rivers, the Rhône rises in the Swiss Alps and passes through Lake Geneva and Southeastern France before it arrives at the Mediterranean Sea. If you like food and wine, this is the river for you, as it sails through France’s food heartland of Provence and Burgundy.


Seine This river flows from the east of France, through Paris and out into the English Channel. The start of a cruise on the Seine, in Paris, provides passengers with some of the best views in town of Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower (make sure your line offers these, as some dock elsewhere). You usually get one night in Paris with a guided tour taking in the main sights, plus free time to shop and dine, before departing on your journey through the gorgeous scenery toward the Normandy coast. You’ll pass through Rouen, known as the City of a Hundred Spires due to its many towering churches, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. Seine cruises almost invariably offer full-day excursions to D-Day landing beaches and wartime cemeteries.


Douro Portugal’s Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic in Porto, home of port wine, is now a major cruise destination. There is only one itinerary: a 200-kilometre, seven-night sailing from Porto to Vega de Terron, where the river becomes un-navigable, back to Porto. Most cruises begin or end with an overnight stay here in this UNESCO World Heritage city. The Douro contains five locks through which river ships pass, including the landmark Carrapatelo Dam, Europe’s deepest lock. No night-time navigation is permitted on the Douro, and ships that sail it are smaller and more intimate.


Elbe This river runs from the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea, starting and ending in Berlin and Prague, usually with a night in the city at either end. There is also the beautifully restored city of Dresden; the town of Meissen, known for its fine porcelain; and Wittenberg, home of the Protestant Reformation.


Egypt

Following some violence in the region, river cruising in Egypt has been reduced and few lines still offer this exotic itinerary. However, the colourful bazaars, temples and, of course, pyramids are the reward for those following in Cleopatra’s footsteps. The most common cruises are four- or five-day journeys between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.


Russia

Eleven of Russia’s 20 largest cities are on the banks of the Volga, Europe’s longest river, which flows to the Caspian Sea. Voyages on this route go from the capital of Moscow to St Petersburg, a jaw-dropping, beautiful city of five million people, gold-domed palaces and enormous cultural heritage. For cruisers who like history, culture and art on a slightly less-touristed part of the region, a Russian river cruise is a no-hassle way to see some of the finest cities in Europe. There are many good lines now operating these waterways, but watch out for older ships that don’t have the same facilities as newer vessels.


India

With the growth of river cruising along the Ganges, it is now an easy and stylish way to explore one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Several of the major lines – including Travelmarvel and Uniworld – now offer luxury cruises alongside excellent local operators such as Exotic Heritage Group. This is an elegant way to see some of the grandest scenery anywhere in Asia, with easy shore excursions to palaces, towns, bazaars and museums. Travelling from Calcutta you’ll see Mother’s Teresa’s house, terracotta temples, palaces and bustling cities. It is believed that a dip in the holy Ganges can wash away all your sins, so you’ll see pilgrims on the banks of the river or standing waist deep in the water offering flowers, sweets and the ashes of their dead. In the country’s southwest, the stately thatched-roofed houseboats that sail the backwaters of Kerala offer a very different cruising experience, and the Indian government is developing these waterways to offer more river cruising, trekking, wildlife safaris and river rafting. The best time to go is October to March for lower temperatures and humidity.


China

China’s mighty Yangtze River takes in this amazing country’s best and biggest cities. The itineraries, which usually run between Beijing and Shanghai are stunning, and feature Xian, Chongqing and the world-famous Three Gorges dam project which will amaze you with its sheer spectacle. Make sure you travel with a company providing good English-speaking guides (lines from Australia are best). They will offer some great experiences such as tai chi lessons, Chinese cooking classes, calligraphy and silk embroidery classes.


South East Asia

Asian river cruising is now one of the hottest, most vibrant destinations for Australian and New Zealand cruisers, with the Mekong (Vietnam and Cambodia) and Irrawaddy (Myanmar) offering an amazing array of luxury journeys. From food tours to cultural immersion experiences that let passengers stay with local families, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar have been burnishing their cruise offerings. And to good effect. Many Australian lines now own and operate ships on these rivers – and the competition means there are some great offers.


River cruising has opened up otherwise troublesome destinations to book and navigate, making the breathtaking beauty of the temples along the riverbanks, the friendly people and delicious food easy to experience. The Mekong is the world’s twelfth longest river and runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. There are some fabulous itineraries, particularly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. On the Irrawaddy, you can travel from Yangon to Mandalay, taking in the golden-domed temples on the riverbanks and royal palaces and monuments of a country just recently woken up to tourism.

INLAND
W
ATERWAYS

North America

Think paddle steamers winding their way along the Mississippi, the brilliant music and nightlife of New Orleans, Cajun and Creole cooking and historic plantations. You’ll visit Memphis, one of the Mid-South's most vibrant cities known for blues and barbecue, glide past the Gateway Arch Riverfront in St. Louis, and see Hannibal, hometown of the famous author Mark Twain and his character Huckleberry Finn. Or head north to cruise the St Lawrence river in Quebec, Canada, through majestic scenery and do some wildlife spotting.


South America

The experience of adventure meets luxury has made South America one of river cruising’s most desirable destinations. The mighty Amazon originates in Peru, and the Amazon Basin is a vast ecosphere the size of Western Europe, which means exotic scenery and fascinating wildlife, the likes of which you’ve never encountered. From the comfort of your ultra-luxe cabin, you’ll see untamed rainforests as you sail by, and shore excursions will see you meet indigenous tribes of the region and sample cuisines you’ve never tried before.


Europe

Europe is the quintessential river cruise destination. From Christmas markets and castles in the air to glowing fields of Dutch tulips, when you think of river cruising, you think Europe. As you glide through myriad waterways – Europe has more navigable rivers than any other region in the world – every town or city beckons with hundreds of experiences, from conducting an orchestra in Vienna to lunches and dinners hosted by the aristocratic owners of castles and chateaus. You can focus on the great restaurants and fine wineries, or stay active with cycling tours and golfing. Something to know about European river cruising: the locks mean all the ships are the same size, even though their unique designs and technology means they offer different benefits (pools, spas, balconies, larger suites, restaurants).


Rhine It’s the river on which most new cruisers start and, at 1233 kilometres in length, boasts more castles than any other. The Rhine runs through some of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany and the Rhine Gorge is renowned for its beauty. The most popular Rhine cruise is a one-week sailing between Amsterdam and Basel, or vice versa.


Danube This is Europe’s second longest river, after the Volga, and perhaps still owes a little to Johann Strauss for its fame. It flows through 10 countries and past such landmarks as the Black Forest in Germany and the Black Sea in Romania, as well as through many famous cities. The most popular itineraries are one-week sailings between Budapest in Hungary and Passau in Germany. Budapest, divided in half by the Danube and spanned by the landmark 19th-century Chain Bridge, is packed with history and culture.


Rhône Another of Europe’s major rivers, the Rhône rises in the Swiss Alps and passes through Lake Geneva and Southeastern France before it arrives at the Mediterranean Sea. If you like food and wine, this is the river for you, as it sails through France’s food heartland of Provence and Burgundy.


Seine This river flows from the east of France, through Paris and out into the English Channel. The start of a cruise on the Seine, in Paris, provides passengers with some of the best views in town of Notre Dame Cathedral or the Eiffel Tower (make sure your line offers these, as some dock elsewhere). You usually get one night in Paris with a guided tour taking in the main sights, plus free time to shop and dine, before departing on your journey through the gorgeous scenery toward the Normandy coast. You’ll pass through Rouen, known as the City of a Hundred Spires due to its many towering churches, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431. Seine cruises almost invariably offer full-day excursions to D-Day landing beaches and wartime cemeteries.


Douro Portugal’s Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic in Porto, home of port wine, is now a major cruise destination. There is only one itinerary: a 200-kilometre, seven-night sailing from Porto to Vega de Terron, where the river becomes un-navigable, back to Porto. Most cruises begin or end with an overnight stay here in this UNESCO World Heritage city. The Douro contains five locks through which river ships pass, including the landmark Carrapatelo Dam, Europe’s deepest lock. No night-time navigation is permitted on the Douro, and ships that sail it are smaller and more intimate.


Elbe This river runs from the Czech Republic through Germany to the North Sea, starting and ending in Berlin and Prague, usually with a night in the city at either end. There is also the beautifully restored city of Dresden; the town of Meissen, known for its fine porcelain; and Wittenberg, home of the Protestant Reformation.

Egypt

Following some violence in the region, river cruising in Egypt has been reduced and few lines still offer this exotic itinerary. However, the colourful bazaars, temples and, of course, pyramids are the reward for those following in Cleopatra’s footsteps. The most common cruises are four- or five-day journeys between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan.


Russia

Eleven of Russia’s 20 largest cities are on the banks of the Volga, Europe’s longest river, which flows to the Caspian Sea. Voyages on this route go from the capital of Moscow to St Petersburg, a jaw-dropping, beautiful city of five million people, gold-domed palaces and enormous cultural heritage. For cruisers who like history, culture and art on a slightly less-touristed part of the region, a Russian river cruise is a no-hassle way to see some of the finest cities in Europe. There are many good lines now operating these waterways, but watch out for older ships that don’t have the same facilities as newer vessels.


India

With the growth of river cruising along the Ganges, it is now an easy and stylish way to explore one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Several of the major lines – including Travelmarvel and Uniworld – now offer luxury cruises alongside excellent local operators such as Exotic Heritage Group. This is an elegant way to see some of the grandest scenery anywhere in Asia, with easy shore excursions to palaces, towns, bazaars and museums. Travelling from Calcutta you’ll see Mother’s Teresa’s house, terracotta temples, palaces and bustling cities. It is believed that a dip in the holy Ganges can wash away all your sins, so you’ll see pilgrims on the banks of the river or standing waist deep in the water offering flowers, sweets and the ashes of their dead. In the country’s southwest, the stately thatched-roofed houseboats that sail the backwaters of Kerala offer a very different cruising experience, and the Indian government is developing these waterways to offer more river cruising, trekking, wildlife safaris and river rafting. The best time to go is October to March for lower temperatures and humidity.


China

China’s mighty Yangtze River takes in this amazing country’s best and biggest cities. The itineraries, which usually run between Beijing and Shanghai are stunning, and feature Xian, Chongqing and the world-famous Three Gorges dam project which will amaze you with its sheer spectacle. Make sure you travel with a company providing good English-speaking guides (lines from Australia are best). They will offer some great experiences such as tai chi lessons, Chinese cooking classes, calligraphy and silk embroidery classes.


South East Asia

Asian river cruising is now one of the hottest, most vibrant destinations for Australian and New Zealand cruisers, with the Mekong (Vietnam and Cambodia) and Irrawaddy (Myanmar) offering an amazing array of luxury journeys. From food tours to cultural immersion experiences that let passengers stay with local families, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar have been burnishing their cruise offerings. And to good effect. Many Australian lines now own and operate ships on these rivers – and the competition means there are some great offers.


River cruising has opened up otherwise troublesome destinations to book and navigate, making the breathtaking beauty of the temples along the riverbanks, the friendly people and delicious food easy to experience. The Mekong is the world’s twelfth longest river and runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. There are some fabulous itineraries, particularly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. On the Irrawaddy, you can travel from Yangon to Mandalay, taking in the golden-domed temples on the riverbanks and royal palaces and monuments of a country just recently woken up to tourism.