Our Predictions For the Most Popular Rivers of 2017

January 14, 2016

The popularity of river cruising continues to grow year on year with more and more people discovering the charms of small ship cruising; calmly drifting along a river, being waited on hand and foot whilst you glide past beautiful scenery, before docking in the heart of historic cities…… Nope, we can’t imagine why it’s so popular!

With river cruising though choosing the right river is probably the most important part of the trip, even more than picking the right ship!

With that in mind the www.CRUISE.co.uk team have put our heads together to come up with what we think will be the most popular rivers of 2017….


The Danube

This enchanting river is known as one of Europe’s most romantic rivers. It’s halted armies at its banks, been the inspiration behind Strauss’s Waltz and inspired lovers the lengths of its banks.

No wonder we’ve been captivated by its beauty!

From imperial Budapest to the stunningly romantic city of Vienna, this river has something for everyone, from medieval fortresses to Baroque buildings – there will always be a spectacular view passing you by.

Flowing from the Black Forest of Germany to the Black Sea, the Danube has shaped the history of Central Europe over many centuries. The Danube is Europe’s second longest river—more than twice the length of the Rhine and nearly three and a half times the length of the Rhône. The Enchanting River Danube is one of Europe’s most romantic rivers providing the beauty of Wachau Valley, glorious castles of Europe, Medieval Monasteries and luscious vineyards.

We’ve a lot more information on the Danube here (as well as all our best Danube deals)




Steeped in myth and legend – the Rhine has it all, with castles stolen from fairytales, majestic cathedrals, historic hilltop towns and the stunning scenery of the rolling meadows and mountains of the Black Forest. From medieval bridges in Strasburg to relaxing in a cafe in the charming Drosselgasse, Rudesheim; there’s a picturesque view to explore with every bend of the Rhine.

The majority of river cruise lines offer seven night cruises on the Rhine, giving you plenty of opportunity to see the highlights, which include Germany –  where you can see the many charming castles such as Marksburg Castle and the ruins of Heidelrberg which command the riverbanks as you sail by. Admire the beautiful Cologne, known as the jewel of the Rhine, with its awe-inspiring Dom and experience the lush landscape of the Black Forest region. Also, explore Holland’s famous windmills and waterworks, encounter multicultural Strasbourg in France, and take part in the inviting nightlife in Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse.

You can learn more about the Rhine or even book a cruise here




The beautiful River Seine, for us at least, has to be the most romantic river out there (as we wrote about here) combining the best of both worlds; journeying through mesmerising urban landscapes and under some of the world’s most beautiful bridges of Paris to the idyllic countryside and diverse landscapes of epic forests and picturesque vineyards, offering panoramic views of France’s heartland.

This charming and elegant waterway flows along the Seine Valley, winding through iconic cities and lesser known regions of the Normandy, revealing the Seine’s timeless beauty. Sail through the culture and romance of Paris, enjoy the rustic charm of Melun and see the garden that inspired many of Claude Monet’s masterpieces.

The Seine is without a doubt is the most well-known river in France and its name derives from the Latin Sequana or ‘snake’. After glancing at the river on a map you will immediately appreciate how this came about – it meanders, snakelike, through the countryside, from the heart of France to the Normandy Coast. Winding through the countryside, the Seine takes passengers to some of the most picturesque and storied locations possible.

You can read more about the Seine (or book a Seine river cruise) here



The Rhone

From the Seine in the north we head now to Southern France for a whole new perspective with a cruise on the tranquil River Rhone where you can take in the breathtaking landscapes and scenery that inspired the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso and Gauguin.

The Rhone will carry you into the heart of Burgundy and Provence – watch and learn the region’s traditional wine-making techniques, explore the Gauo-Roman ruins, take a visit to the Papai Palace and taste the culinary delights in Lyon!

Originating as an outflow of the Rhone Glacier in Valais, Switzerland the Rhone is an Alpine River. From the Swiss Alps the river runs down into Lake Geneva from one end and exiting from the other, then into the city of Geneva before ploughing across the Juna Mountains to Lyon where it meets the River Saone from the North. The river then continues through the rich wine growing regions of south-eastern France to Arles before eventually emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.

You can book a Rhone river cruise or learn more about this exciting river here



The Mekong

Last but by no means least we head from the heart of Europe to the Far East to explore the bustling cities in Vietnam to the tranquillity of Cambodia. A River Cruise along the Mekong truly is a journey of a lifetime. Visit the colourful floating markets in the Mekong Delta and the Royal Palace in Cambodia’s French capital, Phnom Penh.

Not only will you sail past spectacular and beautiful landscapes but also stay in glistening cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

The Mekong will always have a special place in our hearts, if for no other reason than so many of our specialist cruise consultants seem to holiday there. We’ve written a lot over the years about the Mekong and you can see some of the highlights here.

Mekong River



The Irrawaddy

Sometimes it’s called the Irrawaddy but its also known as the Ayeyarwady!

The ships are small but perfectly formed. They sail this river that flows from North to South through Myanmar – first and foremost known as Burma and caters perfectly for the demanding needs of their Western Clients? (What? Us? Surely not…)

A lot of Myanmar itineraries start and end on dry land in Thailand. This creates an opportunity for you to extend your Asian adventure on dry land too! Best of both worlds for those beach bums and babes.

The Most Popular Rivers Of 2016 - Night River. Mandalay Palace Bastion.


The Yangtze

Meandering through Chinese paddy fields, vast cities and towering mountains, the Yangtze River is truly in the heart of China.

All ships that sail on this river are Chinese built but many are owned by river cruise lines that operate in the UK. You can expect a trip on this river to be filled with a variety of international passengers, all keen to learn about China’s history.

Most itineraries sail from Chongqing and end in Wuhan or vice versa and the notable ports of call include Jingzhou and The Three Gorges Dam.

You can find out more about Yangtze river cruises here. 


The Douro

You may not have heard of this river but it travels through Portugal and Spain and sailing along it gives you stunning views of the local countryside. Journey through the Iberian landscape which is known for being a paradise for wine lovers.

You can find out more about Douro river cruises here. 


Have we whet your appetite for a river cruise? If so you can see a list of our top ten last minute river cruise deals here


Some of the best and most interesting hand picked offers here


What are your predictions for the most popular rivers of 2017?


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