Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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The iron curtain has lifted revealing new wonders.


The Eastern Bloc, the Iron Curtain — for many of us, Eastern Europe has been a closed book.
Well, no longer. A new chapter in history has been opened and an Eastern Europe river cruise is the best and most practical way to explore this marvelous region. Like a book, each stop on your exciting Eastern Europe river cruise will provide you with a new page offering a stunning new look at a region where the old meets new, and the darkness of the past has been illuminated with the vibrancy of the present and the promise of a prosperous future.

Alongside the established traditional countries of Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria are the new countries that have only recently come into existence: Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and believe it or not, Germany, divided after World War II into East and West and reunified in 1990.

There is just so much to do and see in Eastern Europe.
And, there's no better method to take it all in than an Eastern Europe river cruise! A relaxing river trip down its two major rivers, the Danube and the Elbe, is the perfect way to explore and experience this historic region. All the major river cruise lines including: AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Emerald Waterways, Scenic, Tauck, Uniworld, and Viking offer exceptional early booking values on many Eastern Europe river cruises. However, with the incredible popularity of all Europe river cruises, you must book really early, as much as a year in advance for the prime months of May, June and September or it will absolutely be too late!

Traveling west to east on your river cruise, you’ll discover vibrant capital cities such as Budapest, Hungary, with its UNESCO World Heritage Buda Castle district on the south side and Neo-Gothic Parliament Building on the north side; then there's Belgrade, Serbia, located at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers and noted for its imposing Kalemegdan Fortress, a vast citadel complex dating from the 3rd-century BC.

If your journey takes you north to south, many cultural and historic sites in the former East Germany come to light including Dresden, almost totally destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II; Meissen, where you can see how they make the world-famous Meissen porcelain; and Wittenberg, home to Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant Reformation.

Sometimes history leads you to those small discoveries that make a trip truly memorable.
As you read the rest of this review, you'll get just a taste of what you’ll experience in Eastern Europe. Every village, every town and every city seem to ooze history, thanks to Roman ruins, stately castles and charming, medieval alleys. Yet, the region still takes a rightful place in the modern age with its sophisticated cities, many rebuilt from the ashes of war.

For instance... the town of Durnstein, Austria, is one of our favorite places on the Danube. This tiny wine town situated in the heart of the lush Wachau Valley has a big history. If you climb above the town to the remnants of its namesake castle, you will find yourself at the very spot where Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned while on his way back to England from the Crusades.

But this place’s significant history may just fade as you savor the moment, standing on one of the old walls and looking out on the town and river below, admiring views of the magnificent vineyards. You'll say to yourself, "This is what I came to Europe to experience and to see!"

Nearby Durnstein is Melk, known mostly for its abbey, Melk Abbey, which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in all Europe. In fact, after our visit we think that on a smaller scale, the frescoes housed inside rival Michelangelo’s marvelous frescoes found in Rome’s Sistine Chapel. For art lovers this place is an absolute MUST see.

Cruise seasons in Eastern Europe mirror those of Western Europe.
Well, at least from the North American perspective (Late April through December). Ideal river cruising weather is to be found in May and September through October. While late to the party, even cities such as Bratislava, Slovakia, have embraced Christmas traditions with Holiday Markets offering visitors traditional folk handicrafts and food of the region.

The Iron Curtain has lifted. And with the tremendous value
of a river cruise, so has any reason not to go!

Why not take an Eastern Europe river cruise that will cover its entire length: from Austria through Hungary and Bulgaria, down to the Black Sea Delta itself, with a post-cruise program in Istanbul, one of the most enjoyable cities in all of Europe. Eastern Europe river cruise itineraries range from 7 to 31 days on the enchanting Danube and the beautiful Elbe rivers. If an Eastern Europe river cruise is going to be you’re first river experience, you may want to think about beginning in Passau (the port city for Munich) — FYI: You’ve just got to try the pastries in the bakery located in the train station; unbelievable and cheap! We suggest selecting the itinerary that takes you as far as your heart and wanderlust allows, but make sure you allow enough time to visit all the enchanting old-world cities on your favorite itinerary. Better yet, just give one of our river cruise experts at a call to talk about your preferences — they’ll be delighted to pass along their river experiences so we can meld them into your desires. That way we can ensure that you'll select the “perfect” river cruise vacation for you and your traveling companions.

No matter how you picture your Europe river cruise unfolding, all images of stress and worry will be banished. Let a river cruise ship be your floating luxury hotel. Allow expert staff to pamper you. Permit itinerary specialists to uncover hidden jewels, showcase classic destinations, reveal the true history and culture of Europe — the history and culture that have flourished around Europe’s rivers.

Europe and all its wonders are yours to discover. River cruising and all its pleasures... this is for you to discover as well. If this is your first river cruise, our experienced river-cruise experts at Premier have earmarked several itineraries that would make an ideal first river cruise!


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