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The best river cruises around the world for 2024

The best river cruises around the world for 2024

A cruise holiday isn’t always about setting sail across vast oceans. For an alternative type of break on the water, winding your way inland might sound similar but it’s a vastly different experience.

From crossing deep into the untouched areas of the Amazon rainforest to exploring some of Europe’s finest cities, the river cruise experience is one that allows tourists to get to grips with the history, culture and tradition of a destination in a slow, immersive fashion.

This could be in the form of sampling Creole cuisine in Mississippi or discovering historic sites in Vietnam, but whatever it is, there’s plenty of choice across Europe, Asia, South America and North America. Read on for a selection of the best cruises, from the Mississippi to the Mekong.

The Danube

The Danube rises in the mountains of Germany’s Black Forest

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Europe’s second longest river – and arguably its most famous – river takes you through amazing capital cities and host of charming towns, as well as plenty of scenic countryside in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. Cruises along the Danube can vary from a handful of days to almost three weeks, giving you time to explore the elegance of cities like Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava or Belgrade.

Emerald Cruises lets you see the best of the Danube with the addition of a hefty dose of traditional German culture in Munich. Leaving the Bavarian capital, you’ll travel to Passau before a quick cross-border trip to the Unesco-listed Czech city of Cesky Krumlov. Vienna is the next city, replete with opulent architecture, before a quick overnight stay in Bratislava on the sixth night. Guided tours and hikes around the castle are included, before you get three nights to explore Budapest, the Hungarian capital that is blessed with picturesque buildings, relaxed thermal baths and a buzzing nightlife scene. 

From £2,211pp, including nine nights’ accommodation, full board, tours of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest and airport transfers. Departing 7 May 2024 or 20 October 2024.

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The Amazon

The Amazon basin has an area of around 2.7 million square miles

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This famous river runs for over 4,000 miles throughout South America and is a major part of the eponymous rainforest, one of the most biodiverse and important natural areas on the planet….

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