River cruises offer an opportunity to see a country or region in a close and personal way. Rather than ocean vistas and the occasional port, river cruises keep one close to land and the people constantly. In many areas of the world, civilization sprung up along the bountiful coasts of the oceans and the rivers that flow into them. Life giving water and abundant food made it a natural place to live. The rivers also offered travel as it flowed easily downstream then with mechanical craft, easy navigation upstream too. Today, river cruises open the fabulous sights and cities that grew along the world’s great inland waterways.
Opening the Cities
In many old European cities, the rivers run through the heart of the oldest areas. River tours deliver tourists into the core of the cities, and it is so much more convenient than air or rail. One can disembark in the old cities of Europe along the beautiful Danube, the busy Volga, or the historic Rhine valley. One can see castles and magnificent cathedrals. Some old cities of Europe date before the Greeks and Roman Empires, and they offer unique views into the art and beauty of bygone eras that have melded into the present time. Glass and steel towers and ancient Eastern Orthodox Cathedrals stand side by side. One can see relics of the medieval times.
Eastern Europe Too
The Moscow to St Petersburg route covers some of the momentous histories of Russia. These cruises put touring groups in the midst of these great European cities. They are hidden gems of the continent and far less traveled than London, Paris or Rome. They are just as filled with moments that shaped the world today. Moscow is a fascinating city and an international symbol. The Kremlin, Red Square, and the old churches have marked the nation’s path from the Czars to the current position as a world power. Exploring Moscow is an adventure far too few Westerners have taken. Similarly, St. Petersburg was formerly known as Leningrad and Petrograd, is the second city in Russia. It was founded by Peter the Great in about 1703 as the capital. It has magnificent buildings including the famous Winter Place. River tours bring everything close one can see the layers of the old and new and how cities and regions have formed.