Q – I am very mad at you folks. Your site kept me up. I tried to read it in its entirety when I found you at about 10:00 pm. last night. Very entertaining but I wonder how many people get your subtleties. So, my question is a simple one. When my wife and I take our first river boat cruise we will, ahead of all else, want to make sure that we are on the most scenic itinerary. If you had to choose only one based on what it looks like ashore, which one would you book?
A – Appreciate the question but there are so many positives to each of these river cruise itineraries. They are not chosen because they are passing through ugly towns and unattractive surroundings. The Danube is an easy choice but not all of it is lovely. The Danube, some forget, crosses Europe from the Black Sea to the Black Forest, a journey of 1,777 miles. Not all of those miles are attractive. The most beautiful part of the Danube is between Melk and Krems in the Wachau Valley. If your river cruise does not include this stretch, look at another itinerary. Another dramatic Danube highlight is the so-called “Danube Bend” where the river turns sharply en route to Budapest.
Our staff is not in agreement in terms of our response to your question. Our Editor believes that the Moselle is the most beautiful river in Europe because there are hills filled with vineyards and these lovely medieval towns and villages down below. It is striking.
Finally, we do have staff who will tell you that the best place for a river boat is “anywhere in France” and they have a good argument. The Rhone is lovely and it includes boarding or disembarkation in Lyon, France’s culinary capital. The towns along the way read like a wine list in a truly upscale restaurant and this is an excellent itinerary when a few additional nights are added to Lyon at the end or the beginning of your cruise.