One of the most relaxing ways to tour Europe is by boat. Boat tours, whether by canal barge, river cruiser, houseboat, or coasting yacht, bring you safely to the things you want to see and experience, and all you have to do is sit back, take it easy, and watch the scenery drift by – then disembark and explore your ports of call.
The Brandenburg and Mecklenburg region of Germany around Berlin has over 3,000 lakes connected by more than 30,000 kilometres of navigable rivers and canals. You can charter a houseboat or river cruiser and enjoy watersports on the lakes, visit fairytale castles, tour magnificent gardens, explore mediaeval towns, and appreciate the natural wonders of the Spreewald Biosphere Reserve. You may want to conclude your tour by cruising into exciting, cosmopolitan Berlin.
The French Canals
The best way to enjoy the French countryside is on a canal cruise. Moving at a leisurely place, you can stop and sample the markets and cuisines of towns along the way, enjoying the wonder of how each has its own unique individuality. Dozens of cruise companies offer a dizzying variety of tours along France’s 8,000 kilometres of inland waterways, with some even offering the services of an on-board French chef.
The Beautiful Blue Danube
The legendary Danube River snakes 2,860 kilometres through eight countries on its journey from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. Along the way it passes through gorgeous scenic countryside, such fascinating cities as Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Belgrade, and dozens of picturesque towns and villages. Several tour companies offer a wide range of Danube boat tours. The river cruise boats are all fairly new, comfortable, multi-deck vessels with such luxurious amenities as French balconies in each cabin, electronic entertainment, and saunas.
Cruising the Aegean
Exploring some of Greece’s 4,500 islands in the startlingly transparent waters of the Aegean Sea via the peaceful luxury of a yacht is almost guaranteed to be an intensely romantic experience. Cruise the Cyclades, exploring the ancient architectural ruins on Delos and stopping off at popular Mykonos, spectacular Santorini, and perhaps some more unspoilt, less-well-known islands.
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