River Cruising In Europe

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If you are thinking of going to Europe next summer, you might consider taking it the easy way with a river cruise up or down one of the rivers.

With the exchange rate between the euro and U.S. dollar at such a disadvantage, now a river cruise makes even more sense. Why?

Because by taking a boat vacation, almost all your up-front expenses are paid in advance. Viking River Cruises for instance includes all your meals, all shore excursions, scheduled cultural performances and even some meals ashore. They will take care of your air reservations and reserve any necessary hotel stays. It is virtually an all-inclusive vacation.

These boats are rather large for what they are and very comfortable, both in the public rooms, as well as the cabins. All have full facilities and the usual comforts of a cruise ship. Wonderful food is prepared on board by European chefs and served in a continental manner. You sail directly through the very heart of your destination, instead of trying to get there. No wasted and tiring time spent on a bus. The boat pulls up to the dock in the middle of the town or city and off you go on one of the scheduled tours. This way of traveling is virtually worry-free.

Where do these boats go?

One cruise offers a 15-day itinerary with 14 guided tours beginning in Amsterdam, sailing through Cologne, Koblenz, Wurzburg, Nuremberg, Vienna, Bratislava, and ending in Budapest. There are German towns and cities I have not mentioned also included. You'll enjoy port lectures, cocktail parties and more. Fares begin at $2,999, plus airfare.

There is a Rhine Getaway lasting eight days, with seven guided tours. It also departs Amsterdam and travels to Cologne, Koblenz, Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Strausborg, Breisach and ends in Basel. It is priced from $1,499, plus air.

You can also enjoy a 12-day vacation beginning in Paris with a two-night stay at the Paris Hilton and ending in Prague, which includes a three-night hotel stay at the Prague Hilton with 11 guided tours during the trip. Lunches and dinners are on your own in Paris and Prague.

Keep in mind you'll enjoy all the castles and wine as you see these wondrous Old World towns and cities. The great shops, the cobblestone streets, attractive cottages and homes along with the important cultural aspects of European antiquity.

Another trip I like begins in Bucharest, sailing to the various towns and cities through Eastern Europe along the mighty Danube, winding its way through Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, and Nuremberg.

This is a 16-day adventure with 13 guided tours and includes an apple strudel demonstration, folk entertainment and a Puszta horse show. This trip begins at $2.999, plus air.

You can take a Tulips and Windmills trip of 10 days with eight guided tours, starting in Amsterdam and cruising through canals visiting Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Rotterdam and returning to Amsterdam. This trip begins at $l,699, plus air. You'll see the beautiful tulips in bloom and included is a wooden shoe-carving demonstration with Dutch folk entertainment.

A river vacation through France would be special with an eight-day guided tour excursion. It begins in Lyon with a trip through Burgundy and the wineries, Tournon, Viviers, Aries, and finishing in Avignon. During this trip you will enjoy port lectures, French winemaking demonstration, and French cooking.

Want to visit Russia? You can do this by riverboat as well. How about a 13-day trip, beginning in St. Petersburg, allowing time for a tour of the famous Hermitage, the summer residence of the Russian Czars, and free time to explore this most scenic Russian city. You'll cruise the Volga-Baltic waterway and stop at Boritzy, a typical Russian village, Yaroslavl, Uglich the Moscow Canal and visit the Bolshoi Theatre, walk through Red Square and experience the city with some free time. You'll also be treated to a Russian folkloric program. This exciting cruise begins at $2,799 plus air.

Viking River Cruises has journeys all over Europe, plus China.

You can obtain more information through our own Cruise Port Travel by calling (928) 472-7878.

Other river cruise companies include Uniworld Cruises at (800) 929-8638, Gate One Travel at (800) 682-3333 and Grand Europe Tours at (800) 552-5545.

This is the way to vacation easily. Just enjoy!

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