European populations have developed their towns and societies along rivers and streams, creating a paradise for history buffs, architecture lovers and culture enthusiasts. “So far, so good,” you will tell me. However, how to choose between the majestic Rhine and the mighty Danube river? Here are some comparisons that will hopefully avoid that “where shall we go?” pre-cruise headache!
One thing to keep in mind is that the Rhine and Danube rivers are similar in that they both offer the same class of fine scenery that will almost take you to a different world: majestic cathedrals, fairy tale-like castles, breathtaking natural gorges and picturesque villages. The difference, however, is in the itinerary and the cities you will visit along the way.
The Rhine will take you to the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, famous for its hundreds of canals and fascinating red, yellow, orange or brown-bricked houses. Cologne’s remarkable cathedral might be one of the unforgettable sights of your discovery. If you are a beer or wine enthusiast, you will appreciate the sights of the vineyards dotting the riverbanks and you ought to sample some German beer at Cologne’s Beer hall or treat your palate to some dry Riesling on your exploration of Koblenz or Strasbourg. Speaking of which, walking Strasbourg’s “La Petite France” district is a real throwback to France’s ancient times, when fishermen and tanners were common occupations. Nestled a few kilometres south of the Franco-Swiss border, Basel, with 40 museums within its boundaries, is an incredible cultural hub that will please arts and culture connoisseurs.
Following the flow of the Danube will take you to the Hungarian capital made of hilly Buda and the flat district of Pest, a fascinating contrast creating a city with two personalities. Enjoy a stop in Vienna to delve into the intriguing imperial life of the Habsburgs or enjoy an incredible classical music concert at the Opera House. Discover the timid but rich and contrasted capitals of Slovakia and Serbia, Bratislava and Belgrade, respectively. Follow the footsteps of musical virtuoso Mozart as you explore the wondrous cobblestone streets of his birthplace and hometown, Salzburg.
Either way, you will not be disappointed! The toughest thing for you now may be to determine which type of culture you would like to delve into first… If hesitation persists, contact Craig Travel at 1.800.387.8890 or visit craigtravel.com. Our cruise specialists will be happy to help you choose the river cruise best-suited to your interests.