The Intellectual Feast of European River Cruising

The year 1992 had a lot of distractions. In the US, Bill Clinton, slowly but surely, trounced George Bush Senior to become President of the US. In Britain, Charles and Di, slowly but surely, dissolved into divorce. The Slovaks also split from the Czechs, as Yugoslavia evaporated into a Balkan nightmare. Meanwhile, the former Soviet republics continued to declare their separate destinies.

Danube River Cruise Canal

The Main-Danube canal near Bamberg. By L.Kenzel, via Wikimedia Commons

Though it hardly merited a footnote in history, the most significant event in river cruising took place that same year. The canal joining the Main and Danube rivers, an engineering tour de force, with 16 sets of locks, and a dream of European monarchs for centuries, was completed. For the first time, parcels and passengers could travel by boat, all the way from Amsterdam to the Black Sea. It took a few years to catch on. Now, it is the hottest segment in world travel.

And with good reason! While you enjoy the facilities and amenities of some of the newest cruising vessels, you are motoring along one of the most famous borders in all of world history. Meanwhile, the attractions along the way touch on almost every aspect of the tumultuous European chronicle. From Brest to Bucharest, every hamlet in Europe is connected historically with every other hamlet in Europe.

This is one of the most intense destination travel experiences in the business. The breadth of subject matter for the casual or ambitious traveler is perhaps without equal. We will focus on those themes and events that had a big impact on Germanic Europe. However, you’ll notice that doesn’t exclude much.

You can take it in small doses or attempt the whole strudel. It takes just over three weeks to cruise from Amsterdam to Bucharest. Lots of shorter options are available. The hardest part will be choosing from among the great itineraries.

Brace yourself for the challenge with a nice European vintage and get excited for a great vacation.