Meals and cruising go collectively like oysters and champagne. So it’s no shock that many cruise traces supply taste-bud tingling itineraries alongside Europe’s waterways.
It’s a win-win state of affairs. The countryside rolls previous as you stretch out with a glass of one thing crisp and chilled (relatively than cursing the satnav as you sail previous your exit on the autobahn). An itinerary curated to inside a lick of its well-seasoned life means you at all times get to eat at the perfect locations or sneak onto the key tour.
Can’t determine whether or not to go to Vienna, Budapest or Amsterdam? No want — take pleasure in a clutch of metropolis breaks with out the faff of getting to pack and unpack — your bed room goes with you, like a well-behaved canine. The Danube and the Rhine are the 2 megaliths of short-haul foodie river cruising, however there are many others…
Majestic: The brand new river cruise ship AmaMagna will cease off at 14 nations over an epic 45 nights
It’s the final word European river journey — seven rivers, three ships (together with the brand new AmaMagna, a diesel-electric hybrid ship) and 14 nations over an epic 45 nights. Alongside the way in which, you’ll navigate the Rhone and Rhine, Major and Moselle, right down to the Danube.
This isn’t launching till 2023 however there are alternatives obtainable.
Ebook it: Forty-five nights with AmaWaterways from round £18,000 pp (amawaterways.com).
PORT IN PORTUGAL
Discover laid-back Porto (pictured on the best) earlier than you meander up the Douro, Portugal’s scorching new river cruise vacation spot
Portugal’s Douro is the new new river cruise vacation spot. Enable time to discover laid-back Porto earlier than you meander up the Douro.
Wine terraces ribbon the hills and terracotta-tiled villages slumber on the banks. That is port central and tastings happen at numerous quintas alongside the way in which.
Walks are leisurely affairs, rewarded by picnics within the hills. The tempo picks up (marginally) at medieval Salamanca, Spain. Nonetheless hungry after exploring the town? Sniff out hornazo (meat pie) or paloma (fried salad sandwich — surprisingly scrumptious) on the market. Obrigado!
Ebook it: Seven nights with Viking from £2,045 pp (vikingrivercruises.co.uk).
Germany’s Moselle valley, pictured above, is synonymous with crisp floral white wines, which you’ll pattern on a cruise alongside the Moselle river
The Romans planted vines alongside Germany’s Moselle river within the 1st century and the Germans took up the baton and ran with it. Now the Moselle valley is synonymous with crisp floral white wines (cheers pinot gris, bottoms up riesling).
Vineyards slope right down to the river and are fairly sufficient earlier than being topped by fairy-tale castles poking out of the early-morning mist. Elevate a glass to the Romans at Trier, Germany’s oldest metropolis, with Unesco websites together with an amphitheatre. In vino veritas.
Ebook it: Seven nights with Tui from £1,260 pp (tui.co.uk).
Cruise via one of many nice foodie areas of the world with Emerald Cruises – stopping off at Lyon, pictured, alongside the way in which
Emerald Cruises boast that each final chunk served on board is impressed by the native area.
Given you’re cruising via one of many nice foodie areas of the world (Lyon is the gastronomic capital of a rustic famed for its gastronomy) that’s excellent news. Even higher is that Fabien Morreale, finalist of France’s Prime Chef TV present, is in control of your Provencal dinner extravaganza.
In case you’re snackish between meals, there are tastings on board (cheese, olives, regional wines) and guided excursions of history-drenched cities alongside the way in which.
Ebook it: Seven nights with Emerald Cruises from £1,895 pp (emeraldcruises.co.uk).
WINE ON THE RHINE
Tauck provides a nine-night bundle that features a journey to Heidelberg, pictured, the place friends get the possibility to learn the way beer pairs with meals
You go pint to pint on this beer journey that takes within the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Germany and culminates in Munich for the huge booze-up that’s Oktoberfest (with a assured seat at the most effective tents).
Limber up alongside the way in which with a tour of Amsterdam’s coolest bars and a mild stumble down ‘Germany’s longest bar’ in Dusseldorf (residence of altbier — a crisp ale-lager hybrid). It’s not all senseless glugging — at Heidelberg you learn the way beer pairs (some say higher than wine) with meals.
Ebook it: 9 nights with Tauck from £4,690 pp (tauck.co.uk).
Check out your palette and do a wine tasting in Rudesheim (pictured) on Saga’s Spirit of the Danube tour
Saga’s new river ship, Spirit of the Danube, launches subsequent yr with a wide range of cruises for over 50s. Foodies will lick their lips at this culinary epic that crosses the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary and consists of wine tastings in Rudesheim and beer excursions in Bratislava.
In case you catch the cruise departing April 4 subsequent yr, you’ll discover superstar chef Paul Rankin on board, founding father of Michelin-starred Roscoff in Northern Eire and star of Prepared Regular Prepare dinner.
Ebook it: Seven nights with Saga from £2,749 pp (journey.saga.co.uk).
Work your means via cities like Wittenberg (pictured) as you cruise down the Elbe river in Germany
Christmas markets are the main focus as you cruise down Germany’s Elbe. Sausages (bratwurst, currywurst, everythingwurst) and lebkuchen are givens, but additionally take a look at kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) and flammkuchen (Germany’s pizza). After all there’s gluhwein but additionally sip eierpunsch made out of egg liqueur (it’s beautiful). Begin at Berlin and work your means via Magdeburg, Wittenberg and Meissen.
Ebook it: Six nights with Croisi Europe from £1,187 pp (croisieurope.co.uk).
Hop in a helicopter to fly over Wachau Valley, pictured, whereas participating in Crystal Cruises’ voyage round Austria and Hungary
This luxurious cruise takes in Austria and Hungary and tucks all of the crisp corners, with butler service for each suite, a Viennese-inspired cafe, and fine-wine pairing at silver-service. The Classic Room Excursions are primarily bespoke affairs.
Hop in a helicopter to fly over Wachau Valley and don’t miss Cesky Krumlov for darkish lager from Pivovar Eggenberg or historical Krems for wonderful chocolate.
Ebook it: Seven nights with Crystal Cruises from £3,405 pp (crystalcruises.co.uk).
Venice is without doubt one of the stops on Uniworld’s tour of the River Po and its cities
Sure, you begin off in subtle Milan, however the star of this present is the River Po and its cities. Venice wants no introduction however it’s good to be ushered into St Mark’s and the Doge’s Palace with out crowds.
Bologna is seen as Italy’s culinary capital and also you get to make pasta and Bolognese sauce. In any case this, Padua has a troublesome job however it holds its personal — come 3pm, it’s impolite to not be sipping a spritz and consuming cicchetti (Paduan tapas).
Ebook it: 9 nights with Uniworld from £2,730 pp (uniworld.com).