In the age of travel bloggers and Instagram-worthy destinations, traveling to a place that produces envy-worthy photos is an essential part of your decision making when booking your vacation. So you’ve added places like Zion National Park, Banff, and Machu Picchu for those adventurous wellness vacations. And you’ve added cities like New York, Paris, and Rome for your romantic getaways. But what about destinations in Central or Eastern Europe? Why does the American curiosity end at London, Paris, and Rome? Aren’t the other European countries just as rich in culture, incredible food, and photo opportunities? The answer is “absolutely”!
What’s so luxurious about river cruises is that instead of having THOUSANDS of cabins on board, there are under 100. The one we traveled on, the AmaViola, only had 79 for the 158 possible passengers. On board, you can enjoy four passenger decks, four lounges, three restaurants, and a (rarely found on river cruises) top-deck swimming pool! This ship allows for personal attention, easy access to anything on the boat, and (even better) easy access to cities and small towns you might not have gotten the chance to visit otherwise.
AmaWaterways has dozens of route options all throughout the year. You can enjoy more in-depth cruises that focus on one or two countries — such as Tulip Time in the Netherlands and Belgium or explore wine country in France, Spain, or Portugal. Or you can take a much grander excursion and book a river cruise that lets you experience up to eight countries! Ours was a special wine cruise, called the Romantic Danube, that took us to wine destinations all over Central and Eastern Europe — talk about an absolute dream!
The Romantic Danube (Wine Cruise) itinerary includes the following destinations:
- Czech Republic: Prague (with the addition of the three-day pre-cruise land program) and Cesky Krumlov (optional excursion).
- Germany: Regensburg, Vilshofen, and Passau.
- Austria: Linz, Weissenkirchen, Dürnstein, Krems, Vienna, and optional excursions to Salzburg and the Austrian Lake District.
- Hungary: Budapest.
The cruise is a total of eight days — the first for arrival with embarkation in the late afternoon, and the last for disembarkation around 11am. During those eight days, you cruise in and out of canals and explore some of the oldest cities in the world. You slowly cruise by medieval castles, cascading vineyards, and rolling hillsides. You take in city lights and country darkness while eating some of the most delicious and innovative meals on board with only your adult contemporaries. Unlike other cruise ships where its focus is family vacations, this one is adults-only.