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World's top 10 river cruises
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world's top 10 river cruises
2 Yangtze China
3 Kerala Backwaters India
4 Rhine Western Europe
5 Mekong South East Asia
6 Amazon South America
7 Danube Central/Eastern Europe
8 Rhine-Danube Combo Trans Europe
9 Volga Russia & Ukraine
10 Canal du Midi France
Canada New England
Fjords of Norway
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What it is
Essentially, it's the combining of Rhine and Danube cruises to create a single North Sea to Black Sea mega-cruise. The Rhine and Danube are connected by two waterways:
It runs about 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) from Amsterdam to the Danube Delta at the Black Sea. The full route can be taken in either direction.
Most popular route
It goes from Amsterdam to Budapest, only half way down the Danube. It's the better choice than the full route for most cruisers. Consider the full route's disadvantages:
The full route takes 3 to 4 weeks, which is too long to fit the desires or schedules of most cruisers. In contrast, the popular route lasts 10 or so days.
Viewing riverbanks for several weeks could become monotonous.
And living in a small ship for several weeks could be confining..
The full route spends a lot of time sailing the least interesting part of the Rhine-Danube combo cruise (Budapest to Danube Delta segment). The popular route skips it.
An even shorter cruise
Sail from Amsterdam to Vienna instead of to Budapest. This abbreviated Rhine-Danube combo route has its fans.
Two separate trips
An alternative to Rhine-Danube combo cruise is to take the Rhine and Danube cruises on separate trips. Read my web pages on them:
By taking the two cruises individually, you don't have to pass slowly through the 16 locks of the Main-Danube Canal. One or two locks is interesting. More can be time-eating and boringly repetitious.
Passau photo courtesy of Uniworld
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