River cruises can take you to some of the world’s most fascinating and historic cities and although your cruise line’s itineraries and excursions are designed so that you get the very best out of each destination, there are some cities which are best explored over two or more days.
A pre-or post-cruise stay is the best way to combine a city break in a destination that you’ve always wanted to explore in depth and there are some stunning cities which it’s possible to enjoy as part of your river cruise holiday and some of them you might not necessarily have thought you could see on a river cruise. Here’s a look at some of our favourites…
One of Europe’s most popular cities when it comes to weekend breaks, Prague is a veritable showcase of stunning architecture and the perfect place for culture-vultures to experience before or after they cruise. Though it sits on the Vitava River, you don’t cruise from here, but transfer to Budapest on the Danube to board your ship. Before you do though, you’ll certainly not want to miss the stunning St Vitus Cathedral and the picturesque Old Town Square, which is quite simply one of Europe’s finest and home to such landmarks as the Astronomical Clock and the splendidly gothic Tyn Church.
The city of romance, of course, needs no introduction and conveniently for would-be river cruisers, it sits on the banks of the Seine River, one of France’s most popular waterways. Whether you’re sailing up or down the river, you’ll begin your voyage here and when it comes to city breaks, Paris wrote the book. Aside from the iconic Eiffel Tower, there’s a wealth of attractions to experience if you’ve more time in the city, such as the Arc de Triomphe and the expansive Louvre – one of the world’s finest museums and home to the legendary Mona Lisa.
Another architectural heavyweight, Vienna is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a destination which features on the vast majority of cruises along the Danube River. This makes it a natural choice for a cruise and stay, as there’s no need to transfer. Though your river cruise excursion in the city will probably include a tour of the main sights such as the Ringstrasse or St Stephen’s Cathedral, on an extended break you’ll have time to explore in-depth, perhaps taking a trip out to the stunning Schonbrunn Palace, a baroque masterpiece which is the former summer residence of Austrian royalty, or taking in a performance at the city’s celebrated opera house.
Cruises along Portugal’s sun-drenched Douro River always begin in Porto, but a number of itineraries include a stay in the country’s culture-rich capital Lisbon before you set sail. A popular Mediterranean ocean cruise destination, Lisbon’s certainly no stranger to off-the-ship visitors and you’ll find a wealth of traditional whitewashed architecture and a pleasing climate too. Don’t miss the city’s most recognisable landmark Belem Tower and be sure to take a leisurely stroll down bustling Barrio Alto to soak up the city’s unique atmosphere.
Ho Chi Minh City
The former Saigon is a mainstay on most Mekong river cruises, which will take you to many of Cambodia and Vietnam’s most popular cities. Though it doesn’t lie close to the Mekong, it’s a simple transfer from the city to Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, where many cruises along the waterway begin and end. While there you can explore the city’s turbulent past with trips to the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace and take in such colonial attractions as Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
Whether you’re looking to book a river cruise which incorporates a hotel stay before or after, or just to enjoy your river cruises and come straight home, here at River Voyages, we’ll have just the thing for you. We have a team of expert River Cruise Concierge who can help to plan every aspect of your river cruise package holiday. We can find you the best deals on flights, transfers and hotels, tailor-making any package deal to your exact requirements at the very best price.
If you’d like any help with booking your river cruise holiday, or any advice on where to extend your stay, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0800 197 0854 today.