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Their histories and geographical locations make Europe’s rivers first-class destinations. They were known as trading routes. They offer sublime natural landscapes. Art, architecture and cuisine can be experienced in a very special way here. Victor Hugo once said, “Like giant trumpets they sing the ocean the song of the beauty of the earth, of the splendour of the cities and glory to the people.” Whether it’s the Danube, Rhine or Rhône, or the Main, Mosel or Saône – the ships of Riverside Luxury Cruises will bring you closer to these belles in style – after all, you’re simply just beautiful yourself.
Songs have been sung, poems and plays written. The Danube. Johann Strauß dedicated a famous waltz to it, the Austrian writer Bettina Balàka made it the setting for a successful thriller (“The Whisper of Ice”). Not without reason. The Danube cannot be topped in its natural beauty. Sometimes it flows very quietly, sometimes it widens to form a lake and sometimes it shoots its water through narrow valleys.
The Rhine passes through over 1200 kilometres on its way from the Alps to the North Sea. Anyone who follows its course will travel through epochs and countries, and see fascinating cities and romantic castles. A river of poets and philosophers. For Victor Hugo, it was more rapid than the Rhône, as steeped in history as the Tiber and as royal as the Danube.
The Main is where vineyards have funny names such as “Edelfrau” (Noble Lady) or “Eschendorfer Lump” (Eschendorf Rascal), and where fish such as the “round goby” swim in the water. It connects the Rhine with the Danube, the North Sea with the Black Sea, and is the longest tributary of the Rhine.
Travelling on the Mosel is like travelling through time. Slowly gliding on the river into the history of the country. Need a few numbers? There is Trier Cathedral, the oldest structure in Germany and the city gate built by the Romans (2nd Century BC), there is the unbelievably impressive Burg Eltz (12th century), and there is the Old Town of Bernkastel with its pretty half-timbered houses.
The Rhône is the epitome of sensuality. A river for gourmets and for people who love the beautiful things in life. The scent of the Rhône is lavender and herbs. Of course, this is probably called savoir vivre.
With moors, vineyards and forests, with sleepy villages where the residents drink their café au lait in the shade in the squares – and above all with the white and cream-coloured Charolais cattle on the meadows, the landscape of the Saône seems almost biblical.