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PAGES OF EXPERT ADVICE AND TIPS

A guide to river cruising INSIDE YOUR FREE GUIDE… 4 The must-see destinations 4 Expert advice on choosing the best time to go 4 Ocean vs river cruising – what you need to know 4 Guides to all the major European rivers 4 What to pack and what to wear 4 Insider tips to make the most of your cruise

EVERYTHING YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GO… Cabin guide l Excursions advice l Dining & food

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Solo travel tips

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How to book


WELCOME

Welcome to the Riviera Travel guide to

rivers in Europe, allowing you to visit

river cruising, an essential read for all

magnificent destinations and soak up

first-time cruisers. We’re here to help you

breathtaking scenes from the comfort

choose a fantastic holiday – one you’ll

of your ship.

remember for many years to come –

Discover more about the Rhine, Rhône,

and to give you an insight into what

Danube and Douro or travel further

to expect on a river cruise.

afield and spend time on the Nile,

Find out more about cultural excursions ashore, world-class dining, luxurious accommodation, socialising on board,

Yangtze or Mekong – the world really is your oyster. River cruises are becoming more

and what to wear – our guide is packed

and more popular with holidaymakers

full of useful advice and top tips.

of all ages. Browse through our Riviera

Riviera Travel offers inspirational cruises along the most picturesque

Travel guide to river cruising and it’ll be easy to see why.

The stunning Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube.

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Inside your guide… 04

 WHAT TO EXPECT ON A RIVER CRUISE

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Step aboard a river cruise ship and prepare to make memories of a lifetime.

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 OCEAN VERSUS RIVER CRUISING

 Bigger cabins, fewer guests and no seasickness! How river cruises differ from ocean cruises.

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LIFE ON BOARD A RIVER CRUISE SHIP

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 The perfect day – from dawn to dusk. We explore what an average day holds in store.

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HOW TO CHOOSE A RIVER CRUISE

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Where to travel, when to go and what to see.

WHERE TO CRUISE  The best rivers to explore in Europe.

CHOOSING THE PERFECT CABIN  Seek out luxury living with all modern amenities and a balcony too!

DINING ON BOARD A culinary tour of onboard dining – from talented chefs to locally sourced ingredients.

ONSHORE EXCURSIONS  How to get the most from excursions, what to wear and how to go it alone.

ONBOARD ACTIVITIES Make friends and enjoy onboard activities.

ESSENTIAL CRUISING ADVICE  All the practical information you need.

WHAT TO PACK AND WEAR  Achieve suitcase perfection with our guide to what to take with you.

GOING FURTHER AFIELD  Ready for more? Explore the world’s great rivers – from the Mekong to the Nile. THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING 3


WHY CHOOSE A RIVER CRUISE?

What to expect on a river cruise Thinking of going on a river cruise? Step aboard for a luxurious adventure where every detail is taken care of. YOUR ADVENTURE AWAITS…

LUXURY BOUTIQUE HOTEL

A river cruise is a life-enriching experience. Whether you choose to meander along the Danube or the Rhine, discovering the delights of Europe’s rivers is inspiring and enlightening. The price of a Riviera Travel river cruise includes exceptional dining, a spacious cabin, insightful escorted tours as well as travel and transfers – making it excellent value for money.

River cruise accommodation is first-class with beautifully designed cabins and suites. With a river cruise, it feels like you’re staying on a floating, luxury boutique hotel. Many cabins feature a French or full balcony, allowing you to enjoy magnificent views of the ever-changing landscape while you drift by.

IMMACULATE SERVICE NEW FRIENDS Life on board a river cruise is relaxed and sociable. Riviera Travel ships carry just 160 guests, so it’s easy to make new friends. Some river cruises have a particular focus, such as wine tasting or visiting Christmas markets, with passengers sharing similar interests. However, if you’re after some alone time there are plenty of peaceful places, such as the onboard library.

EXQUISITE DINING Dining on a river cruise is a fine culinary experience, and on a Riviera Travel cruise there is even a choice of restaurants. From early risers’ breakfasts and superb buffet lunches to sumptuous four-course dinners, meals on board are occasions to look forward to. Most ships offer informal, free seating with a casual dress code. If you do want to dress up, perhaps to attend the Captain’s Dinner, that’s also fine.

With five-star service from crew, tour managers and cruise directors, you’re in safe, professional hands on a river cruise. So you can sit back, relax and enjoy a holiday like no other.

MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES Whether you’re celebrating a special birthday or anniversary or simply looking for a memorable holiday, there’s a wide choice of river cruises to choose from. Sightseeing is a big part of river cruising. Expect any excursions you choose to join to be engaging and informative. English-speaking guides with outstanding local knowledge will bring history and cultures to life. Excursions aren’t compulsory – you can explore a destination by yourself or simply people-watch from a local cafe. Ships are often able to dock in the heart of the cities you are visiting, making spending time ashore hassle-free.

The Riviera Travel five star ship MS Lord Byron cruises the Rhine.

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Five brilliant benefits of a river cruise

1 2 3 Enjoy fine dining on a Riviera Travel river cruise.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISES ARE GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY, AS THEY INCLUDE RETURN JOURNEYS AND TRANSFERS, ALL MEALS ON BOARD, ALL EXCURSIONS AND GUIDED TOURS, TAXIS AND FUEL SUPPLEMENTS.

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River cruise ships are like luxury floating hotels – you can sit back and let the world come to you.  different destination A everyday – and you need unpack only once.  ry new experiences T – from daily onboard activities to memorable shore excursions.

Relax and unwind – some river cruise ships, including Riviera Travel’s, offer spa treatments and a hair salon.  river cruise offers the chance A to see European destinations from an unique perspective while relaxing onboard.

A luxurious cabin aboard the Riviera Travel ship MS Oscar Wilde.

THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING 5


WHY CHOOSE A RIVER CRUISE?

Ocean versus river cruising A river cruise offers a very different experience from ocean cruising.

VS With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… SHIP SIZE River ships are much smaller than ocean cruisers. Size matters as they must navigate shallow rivers and locks. It also means they can often dock in the heart of a destination, so you can simply walk ashore.

ATMOSPHERE With a maximum of 160 guests, Riviera Travel river cruises have a relaxed, intimate atmosphere unlike ocean cruises catering for thousands of passengers.

CABINS Unlike cruise ships, there are no inside cabins on a river ship – all cabins have a window facing water. Many have sliding windows and balconies so you can watch the world go by.

At a glance…

UNLIKE THE CHOPPY OCEAN SEAS, CALM RIVER WATERS MEAN YOU WON’T GET SEASICK.

PASSENGERS Ocean: Up to 5,000. River: Up to 160.

EXCURSIONS

DESTINATIONS Ocean: Major ports. River: Major cities, smaller towns and local attractions.

Ocean cruises spend many days at sea, while river cruises spend more time at destinations. Guided excursions to local attractions are often included in the price of a river cruise.

DINING Ocean: Buffet style with large tables. River: Free seating. CABINS Ocean: Inside cabins lack windows; other cabins may lack sea views. River: All cabins have windows facing water.

ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment is low-key on a river cruise. Educational speakers, wine tasting, cooking demos and quizzes are popular activities.

FACILITIES River cruises can’t compete with the facilities on board vast cruise liners but many ships have a lounge bar, sun decks, a sauna and fitness suite and even a hair salon on board.

DINING At mealtimes, informal free seating lets you dine with new friends, unlike the typical regimentation of many ocean cruise ships.

FOOD Chefs will have frequent access to fresh ingredients so local specialities are often on the menu in the dining room or bistro. 6 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

Best for… Ocean cruises are best suited for passengers who like relaxing on deck on sea days, and the hustle and bustle of a large floating hotel with plenty of evening entertainment.

River cruises are best suited for passengers who love discovering new destinations and enjoy informal dining in a relaxing and inclusive atmosphere with fewer guests.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… ON A RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE, THERE’S ALWAYS A CHOICE OF SUPERB RESTAURANTS OFFERING THE FINEST CUISINE.

Enjoy the view from the sun deck on a Riviera Travel ship.

Life on board a river cruise Here’s our guide to a typical day on a Riviera Travel European river cruise. MORNING

EVENING

Whether you’re awake and ready for the early risers’ breakfast or want to linger a little longer in your cabin, the first meal of the day is a leisurely affair. If not off on a guided tour, head to the observation deck and snap a few photos of the surrounding scenery. On a Riviera Travel cruise, free wi-fi means it’s easy to share your holiday snaps with family and friends. Ready for elevenses? Complimentary tea and coffee is available throughout the day. Enjoy while listening to a knowledgeable guest speaker perhaps, or while reading a book from the onboard library.

Back on board and refreshed, join fellow guests for a cocktail before sitting down to a sumptuous fourcourse dinner, savoured in elegant surroundings and in the company of newly acquired friends. Alternatively, dine in the bistro and enjoy the view through panoramic windows. Retire to the luxurious lounge for a nightcap and listen to some soothing live music. On a fine evening, venture outside to observe a star-filled sky, cherishing the fact that further adventures await the following day. And if you happen to still feel peckish, snacks are usually available until midnight.

AFTERNOON After a delicious buffet lunch, your English-speaking tour guide will be waiting to show you around the local area. Many excellent excursions are included in your river cruise price. Whether it’s an introduction to new activities such as wine appreciation or a chance to learn more about the local architecture, history or culture, your time spent ashore will be both informative and unhurried. If you prefer to stay on the ship, make use of the first-class facilities. Relax in a sauna, exercise in the fitness suite, enjoy a massage or simply head to the sun deck and unwind.

THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING 7


HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RIVER CRUISE

How to choose a river cruise

The Dutch bulb fields are a wonder to view.

Before booking your river cruise, make sure it’s the right one for you – from where to travel, when to go and what to see.

Experience the delights of Amsterdam’s canals.

HOW LONG TO SPEND ON A RIVER CRUISE You can choose to spend just three, four or five days on a river cruise or two to three weeks. Riviera Travel’s popular Cruise the Heart of Europe and Budapest to the Black Sea cruises, for example, are both 15 days long. The average duration of a European river cruise, such as the Danube and the Rhine, is usually eight days/seven nights on board. Shorter cruises are available, for example those visiting Christmas markets or the Dutch bulb fields. 8 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… A RIVER CRUISE ALLOWS YOU TO DISCOVER MANY NEW DESTINATIONS BUT YOU ONLY HAVE TO UNPACK ONCE.

A Danube river cruise is popular with first time cruisers as it affords the opportunity to see some of Europe’s most iconic scenery and beautiful cities within one trip. With Riviera Travel, there is also the possibility to extend your river cruise holiday. For example, either before or after a Rhine cruise in Switzerland, an additional three or four days can be spent travelling the Swiss countryside by train and staying in charming hotels. A few leisurely days spent in Lisbon can be easily added on to a Douro river cruise. Ask your cruise company what options there are for extending your cruise.


The Danube Gorges are a marvel to see from a river cruise.

WHEN TO TRAVEL A special occasion can often dictate when you want to go on holiday. However, the cost and availability of a cruise also plays a part in when you choose to travel. Don’t forget that small river cruise ships have fewer cabins so can book up fast. The weather is a key factor, too. While some passengers prefer the hot summer months, others may enjoy the flowers and lush green landscapes in spring or the changing colours of the foliage in the autumn. Cruising in spring or autumn also helps avoid the summer crowds, though cruise prices tend to reach their peak at these popular times. Your departure date may also be determined by the joy the seasons bring. For example, if you’re eager for the chance to see lavender turning fields bright purple in Provence, the best time to visit is late June or early July. Specific events in certain destinations, such as wine festivals or the Rhine in Flames, may also sway your decision.

Summer scents – flowering lavender turns Provence’s fields purple.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… ON A RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE, COMPLIMENTARY TEA AND COFFEE IS FREELY AVAILABLE ALL DAY.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RIVER CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

The colourful spires of St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO ON EVERY GUIDED EXCURSION. INSTEAD YOU CAN SIGHTSEE AT YOUR OWN PACE OR SIMPLY STAY ON BOARD THE SHIP.

SHIP LAYOUT AND CREW NUMBERS Although few river ships accommodate more than 160 guests, the actual number on each cruise varies, with some just catering for around 50 people. As such, the layout of your vessel will differ too. In addition to an observation deck that takes in views of both sides of the river, most river cruise ships have four decks with accommodation available in the lower, middle and upper decks. However, ships that carry higher passenger numbers typically have smaller cabins, narrow corridors and less spacious shared areas. Perhaps more important is the crew-to-passenger ratio. For first-class personal service, a crew member for every four guests will ensure exceptional care and attention.

The MS Willian Shakespeare moored on the river Main.

CRUISE ITINERARIES As you’d expect, there is a great choice of river cruise itineraries. Some focus heavily on exploring cities along a river’s route, while others take you to more rural locations so you can explore lesser-known places off the beaten track. There will be further itineraries that combine both. When deciding on the right river cruise for you, think of your interests. Are you inspired by architecture, art or ancient history? Do you want to learn more about fortified wine, local cuisine or meet a much-admired TV broadcaster? Whatever your preference, there will be a cultural river cruise suitable for you. A few cruise companies partner up with highly respected speakers in certain fields who can help you expand your knowledge of a subject. Others will focus a specific cruise around a particular topic. The exciting and enlightening itineraries of river cruises are what encourages river cruise enthusiasts to make a new booking year after year. 10 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

The Melk Abbey in Austria on the Danube river.


Solo travel on a river cruise is a great way to explore the world.

SOLO TRAVELLERS If you are travelling alone, there’s good news. Some river cruise companies do not add that dreaded single supplement often applied to holidays. Look out for solo cruise prices that are fully inclusive, where you get a luxurious double or twin cabin all to yourself without paying extra. On some ships, these will be on the lower deck, but on other exclusive solo traveller cruises, available on certain departure dates, all cabins on all decks will be for solo use only, with no under occupancy cost. Regardless of the cruise you choose, forget any preconceived notions that solo cruising is all about matchmaking. Of course, there will be sociable events, such as a welcome dinner or fun quiz, where you can make new friends. However, the priority of reputable cruise companies is making sure solo travellers can discover the world in a safe and comfortable environment – not only on the ship, but also on excursions and travelling to an embarkation point. If you’re anxious about approaching other guests, the first person to make friends with is the cruise director. They will be able to introduce you to others if you wish and can advise on dining options. The open-seating arrangement on most river cruises, usually at tables of four to six, encourages everyone to eat together in relaxed surroundings. Remember, it’s often easier to socialise on ships with fewer passengers.

Enjoy organised excursions or simply sightsee on your own.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… EVERY RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE HAS A NUMBER OF LOWER DECK CABINS AVAILABLE FOR SOLE OCCUPANCY WITH NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT, PLUS A NUMBER OF EXCLUSIVE SOLO DEPARTURES.

River cruises are a great way to make new friends.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RIVER CRUISE

Enjoy stunning views from the sun deck of the Riviera Travel ship MS Robert Burns.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… SOME RIVER CRUISE SHIPS HAVE TREATMENT ROOMS OFFERING MASSAGE AND OTHER THERAPIES TO HELP YOU UNWIND WHILE ON A RIVER CRUISE HOLIDAY.

FACILITIES ON BOARD Facilities may differ from ship to ship, however you will find first-class amenities on board for your convenience, comfort and entertainment. Chairs and sun loungers are often found on a tranquil sun deck, perfect for catching a few rays and enjoying a panoramic view

Relax in the sauna on the MS William Shakespeare.

Exercise room on the Riviera Travel ship MS Oscar Wilde.

of the surrounding scenery. There may also be a wellness area with a sauna and steam room, as well as fitness equipment for you to use at your leisure. There may be a hairdressing and beauty salon on your ship, along with a library stocking books and games, and a lounge with a resident pianist. If anything is crucial to your enjoyment of a cruise, check before booking. 12 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

MOBILITY ISSUES If you have reduced mobility, it’s worth contacting the cruise company with any questions before you book a holiday. While wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be used on guided tours, ships are rarely adapted for wheelchair access. Some newer vessels have lifts connecting all accommodation levels but few have lifts to the sun deck. It’s also worth noting that many shore excursions can be in locations with cobbled streets and steep inclines.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… WITH SO MUCH INCLUDED IN THE COST, THERE SHOULD BE NO HIDDEN SURPRISES. YOU CAN EVEN ADD A DRINKS PACKAGE ON A RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE.

BUDGETING FOR A RIVER CRUISE

Riviera Travel ship MS Lord Byron cruising on the Rhine.

It’s easy to budget for a river cruise when you know so much is already included in the price, though it’s worth checking the small print before booking. Of course, the amount you pay will differ depending on when you travel and your accommodation – a deluxe balcony suite on the upper deck can be almost twice the cost of a standard suite on the lower deck, for example. However, after paying upfront for your holiday, there should be no hidden surprises later on. Read up about any drink packages prior to booking, and if you’re concerned about tipping policies, seek out a cruise company that lets you leave a gratuity at your discretion. Unlike some cruise companies, Riviera Travel includes all excursions in the price of its cruises. Bear in mind that you will also have free time, so factor in additional costs, such as entrance tickets to attractions as well as drinks and snacks bought ashore.

Riviera Travel ship MS Charles Dickens on the Danube.

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WHERE TO CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Rhine

THE RHINE IS 766 MILES LONG AND FLOWS FROM THE SWISS ALPS THROUGH LIECHTENSTEIN, AUSTRIA, GERMANY AND FRANCE TO ROTTERDAM IN THE NETHERLANDS.

The Rhine offers breathtaking views around every bend.

Gorgeous cruising on the Rhine BEST FOR: Keen photographers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Rhine Gorge, Cologne Cathedral, Heidelberg, Lake Titisee

Fairy-tale castles crowning the hillsides, crooked half-timbered houses lining cobblestone streets, lush vineyards covering sloping riverbanks – breathtaking views await around every bend on a Rhine river cruise. Time ashore can be spent exploring the magnificent cathedrals in Cologne and Strasbourg, the romantic Old Town in Heidelberg

EXPLORE THE RHINE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Cruise the Heart of Europe l Rhine, Strasbourg & Heidelberg River Cruise l Rhine Cruise to Switzerland l Rhine Cruise to Switzerland with Glacier Express Extension l Rhine & Moselle River Cruise l Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Markets River Cruise

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The romantic Old Town in Heidelberg on the Rhine.

and picturesque Lake Titisee, the largest natural lake in the Black Forest. Wander around Colmar with its pretty canals or sample local Riesling in a traditional wine cellar. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rhine Gorge’s landscape is punctuated by spectacular castles and fortress ruins. Look out for the charming Statue of Lorelei, a mermaid who legend says lured unsuspecting sailors to their deaths. Unless you want to shop at a Christmas market, spring and autumn offer the best weather for a Rhine cruise. Around Easter, the tulips will be in bloom and towns and villages are prettily decorated with hand-painted real eggs. Alternatively, book a cruise around the Rhine in Flames festival. Taking place on five nights between May and September, the firework displays are best viewed from a vantage point on deck.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Danube

THE DANUBE RIVER PASSES THROUGH TEN COUNTRIES AND FOUR CAPITAL CITIES SO THERE’S PLENTY TO EXPLORE ON A RIVER CRUISE.

The stunning Hungarian Parliament Building on the Danube.

Waltz along the Danube BEST FOR: City break lovers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Vienna, Melk Abbey, Budapest, the Iron Gates Gorge

The second-longest river in Europe, the Danube flows from the North Sea to the Black Sea passing through ten countries. Cruise its meandering route and you’ll be following in the wake of kings and emperors, passing imposing castles, baroque churches and a wealth of fascinating historical sights. Four capital cities – Belgrade, Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna –

EXPLORE THE DANUBE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l The Blue Danube River Cruise l The Blue Danube River Cruise with Budapest Extension l The Blue Danube River Cruise for Solo Travellers l The Danube’s Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets River Cruise l Budapest to The Black Sea River Cruise l Cruise the Heart of Europe l The Musical Delights of The Danube with Russell Watson l Medieval Germany River Cruise l Vienna, Bohemia & Treasures of the Danube (NEW for 2020) The Iron Gates Gorge features a massive cliff-side carving.

sit on the river and are easily visited on a week-long cruise. Other cities and towns, such as Passau in the foothills of the Bavarian Forest and Dürnstein near the wine-making Wachau Valley, are worth exploring too. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes to cope with the cobblestone streets and be prepared for some hikes to reach hilltop attractions. A tour around captivating Vienna is a highlight. Waltzing through the city’s wide boulevards, you can visit palaces, galleries and museums. Equally splendid is the honey-coloured Melk Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that’s almost as old as Austria itself. For natural beauty, views rarely get more spectacular than when your cruise reaches the Iron Gates Gorge. Here, you’ll come face to face with an enormous cliff-side carving of the last king of Dacia. It’s definitely a photo opportunity.

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WHERE TO CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Rhône

THE RHÔNE FLOWS THROUGH FRANCE’S GASTRONOMIC CAPITAL AND THE SCENIC WINELANDS OF SUNKISSED PROVENCE.

The Rhône offers a true feast for the eyes.

Sail the sensational Rhône BEST FOR: Foodie fans and wine lovers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Lyon, Port du Gard, Provence’s purple lavender fields EXPLORE THE RHÔNE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Burgundy, the River Rhône & Provence River Cruise l Burgundy, the River Rhône & Provence River Cruise for Solo Travellers

Cruising along the river Rhône as it winds through France’s southern regions is a treat for the senses. Fragrant lavender fills the fields and air in Provence, noisy pink flamingos break the silence in Camargue’s wetlands, and in Lyon a glass of Côtes du Rhône is sure to tantalise tastebuds. As for a feast for the eyes, look no further than beautiful Avignon and alluring 16 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

Arles, not far from the impressive Pont du Gard viaduct. The Mediterranean heat can be felt in France as early as April or May, but pack layers for the breezy mistral wind – and don’t forget to leave space in your suitcase for edible souvenirs. For a chance to see the lavender fields in full bloom, book a Rhône cruise for late June or early July.

Lavender fields fill the air with scent in Provence.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Douro

THE DOURO RIVER BORDERS SPAIN AND PORTUGAL OFFERING THE BEST OF TWO FASCINATING CULTURES.

The Salamanca Cathedral on the Douro.

Discover the Douro’s charm BEST FOR: Culture vultures RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Salamanca, Castelo Rodrigo, Douro’s fine vineyards EXPLORE THE DOURO WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise l Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise with Lisbon Extension l Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise for Solo Travellers

The charm of two distinct cultures can be savoured on a Douro river cruise, which stretches between Porto on the Portuguese coast and Spain’s Sierra de Urbión mountains. In the vibrant city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, try to catch a flamenco show. While visiting historic Castelo Rodrigo, learn about the village’s medieval past. And on a wine-tasting tour

around one of the Douro’s many fine vineyards, appreciate a tawny port, chilled rosé or sparkling Raposeira. The scenery, best enjoyed from a sun deck, may feature lush hillsides, soaring cliffs, monasteries and mansions. It’s worth knowing that some excursions can be some distance from the Douro river itself – fortunately panoramas inland are every bit as marvellous. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego.

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WHERE TO CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Moselle

THE MOSELLE IS ONE OF GERMANY’S MOST SPECTACULAR WINE REGIONS.

The Moselle river offers picture postcard views.

A vintage tour of the Moselle BEST FOR: Wine lovers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Cochem, Bernkastel-Kues, traditional wine cellars EXPLORE THE MOSELLE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Rhine & Moselle River Cruise

Enjoy a cruise on the Moselle river as it twists and turns through France, Luxembourg and Germany. Cruise ships sail serenely past the picture-postcard views on either side of the river, which is home to extensive vineyards. The town of Cochem is the heart of the Moselle wine trade and its multi-turreted castle and narrow streets – peppered with wine cellars 18 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

serving excellent Riesling – are a joy to amble round. A romantic stroll in the charming town of Bernkastel-Kues is equally rewarding; don’t miss the famous half-timbered Pointed House. Book a river cruise from April to October to enjoy one of the many wine festivals held in the Moselle region.

Koblenz is the mouth of the Moselle, where it joins the Rhine.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Seine

RICHARD THE LIONHEART, WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR AND JOAN OF ARC HAVE ALL LEFT THEIR MARK ALONG THE RIVER SEINE.

The Seine takes you through the vibrant heart of Paris.

Starry-eyed on the Seine BEST FOR: Sentimental romantics RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Rouen, Jumièges Abbey, the Bayeux Tapestry EXPLORE THE SEINE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Seine, Paris & Normandy River Cruise

A romantic stopover in Paris, at the start or end of a Seine cruise, can make a trip even more memorable. However, there’s much to win your heart on the river itself. After your ship glides beneath the city’s 37 bridges, seductive Normandy awaits. Here, you’ll voyage between apple orchards, verdant green countryside and white chalk cliffs. See the ethereal ruins of Jumièges

Abbey, get up close to the Bayeux Tapestry, roam atmospheric Rouen, and explore Impressionist artist Claude Monet’s tranquil gardens at Giverny. A Seine cruise is tempting at any time of year, even in the heat of July and August which offer a great view of the Paris Plages beaches.

The Pont Royal is the thirdoldest bridge on the Seine.

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WHERE TO CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

Main

THE MAIN IS THE LONGEST RIVER LOCATED ENTIRELY IN GERMANY.

Visit Nuremburg with its famed cobbled streets when on a Main cruise.

Coast through Bavarian beauty BEST FOR: Nostalgic traditionalists RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Mainz, Nuremburg, half-timbered houses EXPLORE THE MAIN WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Medieval Germany River Cruise l Cruise the Heart of Europe Rothenburg with its picturesque streets is a delight to explore.

Sail along the legendary river Main and you’ll experience quintessential Germany at its best. The pretty Bavarian towns and cities that line popular cruise routes feature timber-framed houses, spire-topped towers and imposing palaces while the surrounding countryside is steeped in folklore. Guided tours around Würzburg, Mainz and Bamberg are intriguing 20 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

too – visit in August to partake in the latter’s annual beer festival. Be advised that sturdy walking shoes are advised for excursions, especially if exploring the cobbled streets of Nuremburg in search of the city’s famous gingerbread. Also pack a light raincoat or umbrella in case of rain showers.


Dutch Waterways

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… THE NETHERLANDS LAYS ON THE DELTA OF THREE MAJOR RIVERS AND IS MADE UP OF 12 PROVINCES.

Windmills line much of the Dutch Waterways.

A colourful low countries cruise BEST FOR: Budding gardeners RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Amsterdam, Keukenhof Gardens, tulips in bloom EXPLORE THE DUTCH WATERWAYS WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL lB  ruges, Medieval Flanders, Amsterdam and the Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise lA  msterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch Bulbfields River Cruise

The small rivers, canals and inland seas of the Netherlands make up the Dutch Waterways, and a cruise here is a wonderful way to explore Europe’s picturesque low countries. Springtime entices visitors keen to see the tulip fields in bloom. Don’t miss the floral displays at Keukenhof Gardens, at their most magnificent in April and May – although try to avoid school holidays and weekends.

Many cruises start or end in Amsterdam, and a tour around the ‘Venice of the North’ visiting the home of Anne Frank and the Van Gogh Museum is a must. The pretty towns of Bruges, Antwerp and Ghent as well as the poignant First World War battlefields near Ypres also feature on some cruise itineraries – all are well worth an excursion ashore.

Beautiful canals beckon on the Dutch Waterways.

THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING 21


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A RIVER CRUISE

Choosing the perfect cabin What to expect from river cruise cabins – and how to choose the right cabin for your holiday. A luxurious bathroom aboard the MS Thomas Hardy.

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RIVER CRUISE ACCOMMODATION Accommodation on board a river cruise can be every bit as luxurious as a room in a five-star hotel. Cabins and suites are well appointed, elegantly decorated and often remarkably spacious. You’ll find a proper hotel-style bed with crisp cotton linens and, on some ships, a choice of pillows. Your cabin will come with air-conditioning and heating as well as complimentary wi-fi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a hair dryer. You’ll find a safe for storing valuables, a wardrobe with ample storage space, a desk to sit at and tea- and coffeemaking facilities. En-suite bathrooms typically have a shower, complimentary bathrobes, slippers and toiletries, as well as plenty of fluffy towels and endless hot water.


WHERE SHOULD I CHOOSE A CABIN? Cabin prices vary according to their size and location on board the ship. For guidance, the lower the cabin, the lower the price. Unlike ocean cruise ships where interior cabins lack natural light, every cabin on a river cruise has a window. Those on lower decks may be small but you’ll still be able to see outside. Always check the deck plans of a ship to see your cabin’s location. Larger deluxe and superior suites may be situated close to communal areas – meaning a short walk to the restaurant, bar or lounge. However, if you retire early to your cabin and you’re a light sleeper, you may be disturbed by some noise.

A standard cabin on board the MS George Elliot.

DOES IT MATTER WHICH SIDE OF THE SHIP MY CABIN IS ON? Don’t worry about missing views on the opposite side of the river to your cabin. Head to the observation deck when you know a stunning landscape is coming into view.

Cabin with a view

A cabin on the Riviera Travel ship MS Oscar Wilde.

Most cabins on a Riviera Travel cruise ship boast floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, with a Juliet or French balcony and a safety railing. Superior suites often have a full balcony with seating that enables you to watch the world go by from a private outside space.

MS William Wordsworth Deluxe Balcony Suite.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… IF YOU PREFER YOUR DOUBLE ROOM TO BE SET UP AS TWIN BEDS YOU CAN USUALLY REQUEST THIS WHEN BOOKING A CRUISE.

A Splendour Superior Balcony Suite.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A RIVER CRUISE

Dining on board Step aboard for relaxed, informal dining using locally sourced ingredients and tailored cuisine suitable for all diets.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… ‘OPEN DINING’ IS OPERATED DURING MEALTIMES, SO YOU CAN SIT WHERE AND WITH WHOMEVER YOU CHOOSE. Expect upmarket dining with the freedom to sit where you want.

Fine dining and enjoying delicious meals prepared by talented, professional chefs is an integral part of any river cruise experience. All meals on board are usually included in your cruise price. This typically means an early risers’ breakfast, a hot cooked morning meal, a leisurely buffet-style lunch, afternoon tea with a sweet treat, a four-course dinner and midnight snacks. Dining tends to be a relaxed, informal affair with tables for just four or six people. Free seating means you can sit somewhere different every evening, with the chance to mingle with new friends. If you’re unsure about seating arrangements, ask the maître d’ for help. On many river cruise ships, there is only one main dining area which becomes the culinary heart of the vessel. However with Riviera Travel, guests can choose to eat in the restaurant or in the bistro – perfect for couples wanting a more intimate evening and solo travellers who wish to dine alone. Depending on the weather, there may be alfresco dining on the sun deck. Dinner is usually served at a single sitting – the time 24 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

Most river cruises offer plenty of choice.

varies according to the ship’s itinerary and daily excursions. There is no strict dress code, though many guests like to wear smart casual clothes in the evening. You will certainly have a good excuse to dress up towards the end of the cruise, when everyone gathers for a sumptuous gala dinner, with extended menu, hosted by the Captain.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… ON A RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE, BREAKFAST CAN BE TAKEN IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR CABIN.

Chefs use local ingredients to prepare exquisite meals.

LOCALLY SOURCED CUISINE Exceptional first-class cuisine is on the menu throughout the day on a river cruise. As the chef is able to make daily visits to local markets and food producers, all your meals are prepared with fresh hand-picked ingredients – you may even get to sample a few regional specialities too. Start early with tea or coffee and a freshly baked pastry, then join guests for a full breakfast buffet. Some cruise ships offer over 60 hot and cold options, with some having an omelette station so your eggs are cooked exactly the way you like them. Lunch is a splendid banquet too, and four-course dinners may feature international classics and tasty local fare, with a choice of starters, soups, main courses and desserts. Creative chefs are able to cater for special diets – vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, low-sugar – without any fuss. However, it’s always a good idea to mention dietary requirements when booking. Fresh ingredients and stunning culinary creations abound.

Look for flexibility when it comes to paying for your drinks on board.

Are drinks packages good value? Some cruises include complimentary soft and alcoholic drinks in their prices, while other cruise companies prefer to offer drinks packages, so guests are not charged for anything they don’t consume. Whether packages are good value depends on how much you choose to drink during lunch and dinner, and whether you are happy with house wine and draught beer. Do your sums before you commit and note that everyone travelling together must purchase the same package. Drinks from the bar are usually extra. See p32 for more details.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON A RIVER CRUISE

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… LOCAL GUIDES BRING TO LIFE THE PLACES YOU VISIT – YOU WON’T NEED A GUIDE BOOK.

Onshore excursions How to get the most from excursions, what to wear, and how to go it alone. Watch a traditional flamenco dancer’s exhilarating performance, learn about ancient Egyptian ruins or observe superior equestrian skills at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna – experiences like these make for lifelong memories. Cruise companies can guide you around the world’s most awe-inspiring sights. A full- or half-day excursion will be on the itinerary most days. This may be a general city tour or introduction to a town on foot or by bus. A more in-depth visit to a specific landmark or attraction may involve a longer coach tour. The best cruise companies offer a mix of escorted touring and free time. This allows you enough time to absorb the history and atmosphere of each new place – courtesy of knowledgeable English-speaking guides – 26 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

The Spanish Riding School in Vienna.

while providing sufficient time for you to explore at your own leisure. Look carefully at itineraries when choosing your cruise and remember that although days may seem busy, you’re not obliged to go on every organised trip. Even if you join fellow passengers for an organised trip, you may still be able to explore the location on your own – just make sure you know the meet-up and ship departure times. Depending on the destination and the time of year, some escorted tours may involve an early start – to escape the heat of the midday sun, as well as crowds of other sightseers. Getting up at sunrise is a regular occurrence on a few river cruises, such as those on the Nile, but it does mean you can relax back on board in the afternoon.


Can I organise my own excursions? Most cruise itineraries will include an impressive selection of excursions, though it is possible to organise your own. For recommendations, a good place to start is the local tourist board. Alternatively, you can find out local bus or train timetables and travel to sights independently. Much depends on your confidence, whether you speak the local

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza.

language and how much effort you want to commit to arranging everything yourself. Don’t think cruise excursions are hurried affairs – you can go at your preferred pace. An escorted tour also saves the hassle of organising things yourself, and you can usually skip entrance queues at attractions and historic monuments.

Five bucket list tours and sights River cruises enable you to experience some of the world’s most inspirational destinations.

1 2 3 4 5

Skip the guided tour and explore with friends or on your own.

What should I wear on excursions?

 he Benedictine Melk Abbey T has commanding views over the Danube in Lower Austria.  he 22 awe-inspiring spires T of the Church of the Transfiguration on the Volga.  eukenhof Gardens – the K world’s largest flower gardens – on the Dutch Waterways.  he Hungarian Parliament T Building that sits on the bank of the Danube in Budapest.  dmire the towering Pyramids A of Giza with the fabled Sphinx on the Nile.

Budapest’s stunning Hungarian Parliament Building can be enjoyed while on a Danube river cruise.

Regardless of the excursion, wear comfortable clothing and shoes, bringing suitable attire if you’re visiting religious buildings. If it’s a warm day, packing a hat and bottled water is advisable too. Tours may involve several hours of walking or standing on your feet and could involve what may be a strenuous climb for some guests – ask your cruise director if you have any concerns.

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WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON A RIVER CRUISE

Onboard socialising and activities A river cruise can help you meet new friends, stay healthy and relax – with lots of onboard activities from wellbeing to live music. There’s a friendly vibe on board a river cruise that makes socialising with other passengers easy. A relaxed dining setup means guests can interact at mealtimes while being together on onshore excursions lets like-minded individuals share experiences. A river cruise’s informal environment allows everyone to simply relax and have a good time. It’s an ideal scenario for couples, groups and solo travellers alike. Look out for river cruises that organise a welcome reception. Meeting the Captain and crew, as well as having an opportunity to introduce yourself to others, is a lovely way to start a holiday, especially with a cocktail in hand. Towards the end of the cruise, there’s often another occasion for guests to gather together – such as the Captain’s special gala dinner. It’s not only at mealtimes and on excursions that you get the chance to mix with other people. You can chat while lazing on the sun deck, while listening to live music in the lounge or you may even challenge a fellow passenger to a game of giant chess. With organised quizzes, expert talks and demonstrations, bridge card games initiated – participating in fun

Putting green on the MS Robert Burns.

activities is a breeze. Check out the daily programme, usually delivered to your cabin each evening. This will keep you informed of what’s happening the following day. While you won’t be able to watch cabaret shows or waltz across a ballroom floor on a river cruise, on some you can expect to enjoy a classical quartet on board one evening, or perhaps a performance by local folk dancers. These entertaining highlights all contribute to making a river cruise an unforgettable holiday.

Spa and fitness centre on the MS Oscar Wilde.

Wellbeing and relaxation Your wellbeing while on board is important, so consider choosing a ship that has a sauna, steam room, splash pool and fitness suite. If you’re simply looking to unwind, you can lose yourself in a novel, borrowed from a selection of books available in the library, or if you’ve brought your own tablet or laptop, complimentary wi-fi means you can download and play games or catch up with news from back home.

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The bar on the Riviera Travel ship the MS Oscar Wilde.

With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… A LAUNDRY SERVICE IS USUALLY OFFERED ON A RIVIERA TRAVEL RIVER CRUISE, WHILE ESSENTIALS AND SOUVENIERS CAN BE BOUGHT FROM AN ONBOARD SHOP.

Pampering and beauty

Enjoy a relaxing massage while on board.

While few river cruise ships have space for a large spa, you may find a hair salon on board and perhaps a treatment room offering massages, manicures and pedicures at an additional cost. Beauty treatment offers often apply when the ship is in port, so keep that in mind if your feet are in need of a little pampering after an onshore excursion.

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WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Essential river cruising advice Your frequently asked questions answered – along with all the practical information you need to make sure your cruise gets off to the best start. BOOKING A RIVER CRUISE The internet is an invaluable resource when it comes to researching a holiday thanks to videos, blogs and reviews. With Riviera Travel you can book your holiday online for ease, plus experts on the phone will be able to answer any queries, give pricing advice and help you choose the right cruise for you. As ships carry fewer than 160 passengers, popular river cruises are often sold out months or even a year in advance. Book as far ahead as possible, remembering to highlight any dietary requirements, mobility issues and other special requests. Make sure your booking is fully protected. Check that the company is a fully bonded member of ABTA and that any included flights are protected by ATOL. It’s also worth checking there’s no hidden fees or a surcharge to pay at a later date. Payments are usually in pound sterling and made by either bank transfer, cheque or debit/credit card. A deposit is all that’s required initially unless your departure date is within 13 weeks. If travelling within this time, you will have to pay the full amount when you book.

Colmar on the Rhine is a beautiful destination.

GETTING THERE Unlike ocean cruises that can set sail from ports in the UK, you will need to travel overseas to start your river cruise holiday. Some companies make this easy for you, with flights from a choice of UK airports or Eurostar travel included in the river cruise price. While some regional flights and rail connections may carry a supplement, all port charges, airport taxes and overseas transfers should be included. Ask if you’re unsure.

Can I use my mobile phone abroad? Currently, if you use your mobile phone while travelling within the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you will pay the same for calls, text messages and data services as you pay when in the UK. This is fine when you go ashore, however, when in coastal areas or at sea, you may not be able to connect to land-based networks and your mobile may seek out the ship’s satellite connection instead, therefore charges can be high. If in doubt, speak to your mobile provider.

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CURRENCY There is no need to carry your wallet around with you on board a river cruise. An account is usually opened for your cabin at the start of your trip. You then pay for extras – drinks with dinner, bar bills and so forth – before you disembark, either with cash or a credit card. You can check your account at any time at the reception desk. You will, however, need local currency when you step ashore, especially if shopping at markets where card transactions may not be possible. Don’t expect exchange facilities on your ship but your cruise director will be able to point you in the direction of the nearest bureau de change.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know… EUROPEAN RIVER CRUISES ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY POPULAR AND SO SHIPS MAY FILL UP QUICKLY.

The Riviera Travel ship the MS Emily Brontë cruising the Danube.

The Main offers scenic views that will last a lifetime.

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WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

TIPPING Tipping is a much-debated travel topic and on cruises perhaps even more so. It all boils down to an individual’s opinion on whether tips should be included in the price of a cruise and paid in advance, or whether a tip should be given as a thank you for excellent service and entirely at your own discretion. As a guideline, if you want to give a gratuity to be shared among the crew, consider leaving between €5 to €10 per day. You may also wish to give a separate tip to your cruise director and cruise concierge, but again this is up to you.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS A valid passport is required for your cruise. Check with www.fco.gov.uk for any validity requirements beyond the return date of your holiday. Visas may also be required to enter a country on a cruise’s itinerary. Again, check what is needed, and whether a visa incurs an additional charge.

Drinks on board While Riviera Travel doesn’t include drinks in its river cruise pricing, you can purchase a drinks package that offers a selection of drinks during lunch and dinner. This means when dining in the restaurant, you can take your pick from a range of soft drinks and juices; draught and non-alcoholic beer; red, white and rosé house wines; as well as wine recommendations from the menu by the glass. Drinks packages are as follows: 5-day cruises: £69 per person 6-day cruises: £79 per person 8-day cruises: £109 per person 15-day cruises: £209 per person Drinks packages must be purchased by all guests in the same cabin or suite and do not include bar drinks. If you choose not to purchase a drinks package, there is a vast selection of drinks available for individual purchase.

32 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

The Riviera Travel cruise ship MS Lord Byron.

STAYING CONNECTED

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Complimentary wi-fi is now available on most cruise ships, so it’s easy to keep in touch with friends and family back home, upload holiday snaps online and keep up-to-date with the latest news. However, be aware that you could lose reception at times, particularly when cruising between high mountain ranges, sailing through locks and under bridges, and when entering another country. Some cruise companies provide iPads or computers for guests to use.

It is a requirement of booking a cruise that you have valid and appropriate travel insurance for the full duration of your cruise. Although many cruise companies offer insurance, you may prefer to shop around, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Also check out cancellation charges in case you are unable to go on the cruise. It's always a good idea to bring along your EHIC card so you can obtain medical help in European countries should you fall ill.

Drinks packages give more flexibiliy than all-inclusive.


With Riviera Travel it’s good to know…

What to pack and what to wear

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT FOR FORMAL DRESS ON A RIVER CRUISE – WEAR WHAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE IN.

Expert advice on what to pack for a river cruise, what to wear and practical insider tips. As the dress code on a river cruise is informal, it makes packing for your holiday easier – ball gowns and tuxedos are not required. During the day, most passengers dress casually and comfortably in shorts, trousers, T-shirts and blouses. Many opt for smarter dress when dining in the evening, perhaps a dress, or shirt and blazer. However, it’s not obligatory. Loose-fitting clothes are ideal for excursions, along with a pair of comfortable shoes. In the summer, pack lightweight cotton garments, a sun hat and a cover-up – to protect

your skin from the sun or to wear if entering a religious building. If visiting Christmas markets, don’t leave home without a warm coat, gloves and a woolly hat. Whatever time of the year, rubber-soled shoes are good for walking on deck. Don’t rely on your river cruise ship having a laundry service or ironing facilities. Bring clothes that don’t crease easily, made from synthetics such as nylon, Lycra and polyester, or wool and jersey. Be sure to leave

some space for local souvenirs you may pick up along with way. If you take any medicine, make sure you have plenty of supplies with you (there will be no medical personnel on board your river ship). Spare contact lenses, solution and an extra pair of spectacles are worth packing too.

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EXPLORING FURTHER

River adventures further afield Fancy cruising some of the most famous rivers in Asia and the Middle East? With Riviera Travel you can…

Volga

Yangtze

A great voyage on the Volga

A meander through China

BEST FOR: Art aficionados RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: St Basil’s Cathedral, the Hermitage, the Church of the Transfiguration

BEST FOR: Eager explorers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Wu Gorge, the Three Lesser Gorges, Three Gorges Dam, Shanghai

EXPLORE THE VOLGA WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l A Russian Odyssey Aboard the MS Rossia

Russia may be the largest country in the world, but its magnificent cities, monumental architecture and immense landscapes can be comfortably experienced on a cruise along the Volga. Marvel at St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square, be amazed by the art exhibits on display in St Petersburg’s Hermitage museum, and gaze at the 22 shimmering domes of the Church of the Transfiguration, found on Kizhi island — all built without a single nail. Visit in June if you want to witness the natural phenomena that is White Nights, or see the sights without the crowds in May, September or October. 34 THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING

EXPLORE THE YANGTZE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l A Grand Tour of China l A Grand Tour of China for Solo Travellers

Winding 3,900 miles, the Yangtze is China’s longest river, stretching from a glacier on the border of Tibet to the city of Shanghai. Not surprisingly most Yangtze cruises cover just a short section – the areas known as the Three Gorges and Three Lesser Gorges. The enchanting Wu Gorge, also known as the Witches’ Gorge, has inspired poets throughout the centuries. A Yangtze river cruise is an opportunity to embark on a thrilling voyage of discovery, combining a waterway adventure with a longer holiday exploring China’s other must-see sights, such as the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army and Longsheng Rice Terraces.


Time travel in Egypt

Nile

BEST FOR: Keen archaeologists RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Pyramids, Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel

EXPLORE THE NILE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l Wonders of the Nile: Cairo to Luxor l Wonders of the Nile – from Cairo to Aswan l The Spectacular Nile for Solo Travellers l Wonders of the Nile: Cairo to Aswan featuring Dan Cruickshank l The Spectacular Nile plus Abu Simbel

Mekong

A cruise on the Nile in Egypt, the world’s longest river, is like no other. Along its meandering route you’ll discover a wealth of ancient tombs, temples, obelisks, sphinxes and statues, as well as some of the country’s most iconic sights. Taking an excursion to see the Great Pyramids at Giza and the replica of King Tutankhamun’s tomb are highlights of this cruise, as is extending a break to your holiday to include a flight to the temple at Abu Simbel. The heat during the summer months and the accompanying low water levels in the Nile means a river cruise between December and April is preferable. Dress appropriately to respect local Muslim customs and the weather. Wear a hat and loose-fitting, breathable clothing that covers your skin.

A Mekong adventure BEST FOR: Avid adventurers RIVER HIGHLIGHTS: Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, dense rainforest The Mekong flows through South East Asia, allowing easy access to many sights. Cruising past stilt houses, colourful markets and paddy fields, you’ll observe local life that has remained unchanged for centuries. Explore the temples of Angkor and the royal palace in Phnom Penh. The dry season falls from November to April, but don’t be put off visiting in other months. Rain showers don’t last long, and higher water levels means shorter transfer times.

EXPLORE THE MEKONG WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL l A Journey On The Mekong

THE RIVIERA TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIVER CRUISING 35


What our customers say… “We have just returned from a week on the Robert Burns boat cruising the Blue Danube. We had the most amazing time and very fortunately amazing weather. The boat was fantastic as was the food and the crew were exceptional. The guided tours in the places we visited were more than interesting with very knowledgeable guides. Would highly recommend this river cruise to anyone looking for a little luxury mixed with a little intellect and history, and a lot of fun.” The Blue Danube River Cruise – Andy & Hilary Parsons travelled 18/05/18

“We have just returned from our first river cruise and I have to say we are hooked. The ship, MS Jane Austen, was superb, the mountains wonderful and the places visited very interesting, but what really made it special were the crew and Riviera staff. Special thanks to Irena the cruise director, and to Jennifer and Christina who waited on us. It felt like one big happy family and I was very impressed by the way the crew greeted us by name.” Rhine Cruise to Switzerland River Cruise – Ms Penelope Ryder travelled 19/10/17

“Firstly, I thought the cruise was fantastic value for money and we had a wonderful time! What stood out for me was the quality of the service which was unbelievable, not just from Peter the cruise director, but also your on-board crew, who I realise do not work for you directly. My Dad’s Parkinson’s caused some huge challenges, but your team went above and beyond.” The Blue Danube River Cruise – Mr William Royce travelled 24/07/18

“We have enjoyed several holidays with Riviera, but this was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it. The Emily Bronte is a luxurious ship with a wonderful crew. Everything was spotlessly clean, and the food was excellent. Daniel and Mike, the Riviera staff, looked after us very well making sure everything ran smoothly. We particularly enjoyed the visit to the open-air museum at Enkhuizen, the windmills at Kinderdijk and the gardens at Keukenhof. We would have liked more time to explore Amsterdam but will go back there again. Thank you Riviera.” Amsterdam, Kinderdijk & the Dutch bulb fields River Cruise – Mrs Owen, travelled 07/04/18

Head online to request your FREE brochure www.rivieratravel.co.uk/brochures

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Profile for Riviera Travel

A Guide to River Cruising  

Discover everything you need to know before you go. 36 pages of expert advice and tips including: the must-see destinations choosing the bes...

A Guide to River Cruising  

Discover everything you need to know before you go. 36 pages of expert advice and tips including: the must-see destinations choosing the bes...