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What our passengers say about our cruises...

What our passengers say about our cruises...

Once more a wonderful holiday on the Lady Anne, our third to date and hopefully many more!
Hope to see you next year.
Betty and Neville Robinson (April 2011)

Our first cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. The captain and crew made us very
welcome from start to finish. We will certainly be back again.
Pat and Mick Cronie (2014)

The staff on the Lady Anne are wonderful. We have never met such happy and pleasant people.
Norma and Robert (Nov 2014)

Have had a great trip you and your very friendly staff which has made our time with you
really memorable. We hope to come back in the future.
Brenda and Peter Bruce (2014) 

What a lovely break it’s been. Only wish it could have been longer. The staff are excellent,
the atmosphere great, and this has made it a wonderful time for us both.
Thank you Anne and Colin Sandell

Our group of 12 had a wonderful time and we will all be back for next New Year. Thank you
for all your help. Everyone was impressed by your staff and the food.
Janet Cubbage (Dec 2014 New Year Cruise)

Thank you for looking after us so well. We had a great time, our second trip on the Lady Anne.
Fantastic food and service.
Anne and Peter Bridle (28 Feb 2015)

What a lovely trip- thank you to all the crew for making it such a memorable holiday.
We’ll be back.
Leo and Eve Clements (2 April 2015)

We had a great time, the boat was so nice, it had a wonderful feeling of warmth and charm.
Barbara Frastick and Jenny Lear (11 April 2015)

From 2006 -2015 we have had many enjoyable trips on this beautiful ship, Lady Anne and
look forward to many more to come.
Ken and Marion

Our first trip on the Lady Anne – WOW – what a trip. Thank you so much to all the crew
for making our holiday so enjoyable and one not to forget. We will be back.
Janet Shore and Helen Kershaw (25 July 2015)

Thank you for a great trip, specially for our 40th wedding anniversary. Wonderful ship and staff.
Will definitely come again.
George and Doreen Homes (25 July 2015)

This was our first cruise on the River Rhine and it won’t be our last on the Lady Anne, what a
beautiful boat. We have had the most fantastic time.
Bernie and Ray James, Rhine in Flames, 15 Sept 2015

Our second time aboard the Lady Anne and once again we had a wonderful time.
I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Sylvia & Rob Tamplin, 11-20 August

Our second trip on the Lady Anne, enjoyed it as much as the first. Lovely crew, lovely ship,
lovely food. We are booking a trip next year again.
Jo Taylor and John Whils 11-20 August

Thanks to Jana and her brilliant team. They made this trip go like a dream.
Dougie and Lauren Nish 10-19 May 2013

To the Captain and all the crew we thank you once again for making our stay aboard the
Lady Anne such a memorable holiday.
Margaret and Ron Harris, Eileen and Derick Bidwell

“Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The places visited were interesting and the tours
were good value for money.”
Fefo Review - Cruise the Danube to Vienna & Budapest - Ms Serenity

“I found the Company very helpful from the time we began the booking procedure to
the end of the cruise. Looking forward to dealing with you again in the future.”
Fefo Review - Cruise the Rhine to Switzerland - Mps Lady Anne

“Fantastic cruise. We have booked another trip for next year.”
Fefo Review - Rhine Discovery - Mps Lady Anne

“An excellent holiday and well thought-out programme. We had a great time. Staff all polite
and helpful. All excursions well arranged and most enjoyable. We’ll be back!”
Fefo Review - Rhine & Moselle Explorer, Mps Lady Anne


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Excursion Melk Abbey

  • Melk Abbey
  • Melk
  • Melk Abbey
Melk AbbeyMelkMelk Abbey

Discover one of the world’s most famous monastic sites on a Melk Abbey trip with The River Cruise Line. Melk Abbey is one of the most famous monastic houses in Austria. Today, it is a prestigious school with around 900 students, yet black-robed Benedictine monks still stroll among the marble structures and frescoed walls. Our guided tour shows you the magnificent interiors and leads you on to the terrace where you can enjoy fine views of the Danube and the town below.

You can enjoy this fantastic excursion on our Cruise the Danube to Vienna and Budapest, Danube Discovery Cruise and Stay, and The Danube to the Black Sea itineraries.

Facts:

• Melk has been spiritual and cultural centre of Austria for more than 1,000 years

• The library contains around 100,000 volumes of priceless work, many of which are over 500 years old

• Napoléon Bonaparte used the abbey as his headquarters during the campaign against Austria in the early 19th century

Highlights:

• The church, with its astonishing number of windows

• The marble hall, with its stunning fresco that gives the impression that the ceiling curves up higher than it is – it is actually flat

• The library, where you can admire the richly decorated galleries and bookshelves filled with ancient leather-bound books

• Try the monastery’s own wine in the onsite restaurant (not included)

Book your trip to Melk Abbey as part of an excursion package and save money. For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our holiday advisors today.

Excursion Ahlbeck & the Isle of Usedom

  • Ahlbeck
  • Isle of Usedom
AhlbeckIsle of Usedom

Enjoy an optional scenic tour of the isle of Usedom with The River Cruise Line’s as part of our Baltic Isles, Berlin and Poland cruise. Usedom is the second largest island in Germany and home to an astounding range of landscapes: white beaches, marshy lowlands, wooded hills, and a number of lakes and lagoons, all of which make the island a biodiversity hotspot. Our tour crosses Usedom to visit the elegant seaside towns of Ahlbeck and Heringsdorf, where you can relax and explore at leisure.

Facts:

• Usedom is a bi-national island with the larger western part belonging to Germany and the smaller eastern part belonging to Poland

• It’s the sunniest place in Germany, offering around 2,000 hours of sunshine each year

• There are currently 16 breeding pairs of eagles in and around Usedom, which is the highest population in Germany

Highlights:

• Ahlbeck pier, with its 280 metre long jetty and art nouveau style building, is the most famous landmark of the island

• Heringsdorf pier, the longest structure of its kind in continental Europe

• The beach promenade, which joins the three imperial resorts of Heringsdorf, Bansin and Ahlbeck

Book your Isle of Usedom trip as part of an excursion package and save money. For more unique destinations with The River Cruise Line, you can also visit the Black Sea on our cruises down the Danube.

For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our holiday advisors today.

Excursion Lucerne

  • Lucerne
  • Lucerne
  • Lucerne
LucerneLucerneLucerne

Enjoy an amazing Lucerne excursion with The River Cruise Line on our Cruise the Rhine to Switzerland and Rhine Cruise and Swiss delights cruises. This small city is found in the very heart of Switzerland, nestling on the edge of Lake Lucerne and surrounded by mountains. Our excursion takes you by coach from our ship to the north-west shore of the lake where you have a full day at leisure. A packed lunch is provided.

Facts:

• Capital of the Canton of Lucerne

• The most populous city in Switzerland

• German-speaking

Highlights:

• The old town sits on the bank of the Reuss and is filled with many old burghers’ houses and little squares with fountains

• The 14th-century Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke) and the octagonal water tower, which is one of the most photographed scenes in Switzerland

• The Lion Monument (Löwendenkmal), a huge figure of a dying lion hewn from the face of a rock ledge to commemorate the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution

• Several boat trips of different lengths explore the lake

• The mountains of Pilatus, Rigi and Stanserhorn are made accessible by cableways

Book your Lucerne trip as part of an excursion package and save money. For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our holiday advisors today.

Excursion Cologne Highlights

  • Cologne
  • Cologne
CologneCologne

Take part in a spectacular Cologne Highlights trip with The River Cruise Line. Cologne is the largest city that nestles along the Rhine and the fourth largest city in Germany. Its roots go back some 2,000 years and it is home to a vast array of sights and attractions, all dominated by the towering cathedral which was among the most ambitious building projects undertaken in the middle ages. The old town is filled with quaint alleys which are lined with traditional old houses and adorned with monuments and fountains. Cologne is particularly beautiful in the run up to Christmas, when hundreds of stalls spread out across the city, offering a huge range of quality gifts and a wonderfully authentic atmosphere. Take a look at our German Christmas Markets cruise for a fantastic festive experience.

Facts:

• Cologne was the hometown of Johann Maria Farina, who created a fragrance and named it Eau de Cologne

• It took 632 years to build Cologne Cathedral

• Cologne has a staggering 12 churches located within the city walls

• It is also home to around 40 museums, one of which is dedicated entirely to chocolate

Highlights:

• Enjoy the company of our Cruise Manager as we walk around Cologne

• Admire the magnificent cathedral with its ornate details

• Cross the iconic Hohenzollern Bridge

• Free time to browse the famous shopping centres

Book our Cologne Highlights excursion as part of a package and save money. For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our Holiday Advisors.

Excursion Bad Ems & the Emperor's Spa

  • Bad Ems
  • Bad Ems
Bad EmsBad Ems

Visit one of Europe’s oldest spa towns on a Bad Ems trip with The River Cruise Line. The town of Bad Ems straddles the Lahn river, a tributary of the Rhine, in Germany. In the middle ages, archbishops, knights and dukes came here in search of a cure for their ailments; in the baroque period it was barons and princesses, and in the 19th century, emperors, tsars and monarchs along with artists and scholars from all over Europe spent many weeks of the year in Bad Ems – it is dubbed ‘the Emperor’s Spa’ due to its most famous guest, Emperor Wilhelm I. To this day, it is still a sought after destination with exceptional spa facilities offering a full spectrum of treatments, but its past is still visible at every turn with impressive architecture set in a beautiful landscape. Bad Ems is also famous for the largest flower festival in Germany, which takes place at the end of August each year and attracts many thousands of visitors. During our Bad Ems excursion we follow the traces of its history and famous guests, and take in some of the main highlights.

Facts:

• Bad Ems was first mentioned in official documents in 880 and received its town charter in 1324

• Some of the works by composer Jacques Offenbach were performed for the first time in the Marble Hall

• In 2014, the spa was extended with a swimming river sauna which is unique in Germany

Highlights:

• The Marble Hall, which was designed according to the former architectural style of a basilica with marble columns and a decorative ceiling

• The Spa Theatre, scene for numerous musical, opera and theatre events

• Benefit from the company of an experienced guide

Book our Bad Ems & the Emperor’s spa excursion as part of a package and save money. Take a look at our cruises for more beautiful destinations or contact our Holiday Advisors for further information on any of our holidays.

Excursion Walking tour of Koblenz

  • Koblenz
  • Koblenz
  • Koblenz
KoblenzKoblenzKoblenz

Join a captivating walking tour of Koblenz on a Rhine cruise with The River Cruise Line. Koblenz has a long history that spans some 2,000 years. It owes its name to the Romans, who settled here and called it ‘castellum apud confluentes’ which roughly translates as ‘castle at the confluence of the rivers’. It was then captured by the Franks and was also chosen as a place of residence for German prince electors, conquered by the French and fortified by the Prussians. In more recent times, the Deutsches Eck (German Corner), where the sparkling Moselle joins the mighty Rhine, was at the centre of much debate following the damage caused in 1945 to the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I, which had stood here since 1897. It wasn’t until 1993 that a new statue was inaugurated and today it is a popular viewing platform for tourists. All this makes for a fascinating place, with beautiful architecture set around the narrow lanes and romantic squares of the historic centre, and our walking tour with our Cruise Manager is a great way to explore.

Facts:• Koblenz is one of the main trading centres for wines of the Rhine and Moselle

• The Koblenz cable car is Germany’s first three-wire cable car and has the highest performance in the world

• During its years of active service, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which stands across from the Deutsches Eck, has never been attacked

Highlights:• St Castor’s basilica, which was given the status of a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1992

• The Church of our Lady with has a range of architectural styles

• The Deutsches Eck and the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I

• The boy in the Schängel fountain who spits water across the courtyard at random

Join our Koblenz walking tour as part of an excursion package and save money. For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our Holiday Advisors.

Excursion Medieval Eltville

  • The Rhine
  • Eltville Castle
The RhineEltville Castle

Discover a charming town on the Medieval Eltville trip with The River Cruise Line. Eltville is in the Rheingau region of Germany on the Rhine and is surrounded by beautiful scenery made up of forests, vineyards, stunning estates and castles. It rose to prominence in the middle ages when it became the residence of the archbishops of Mainz. More recently it is known for its beautiful rose gardens and was granted the title Rose City in 1988. It is also home to one of the top sparkling wine producers in the country. During our excursion you are free to explore the old town centre, which is filled with countless historic buildings, noble estates, aristocratic villas, beautiful courtyards and a romantic promenade along the Rhine. It’s a beautiful place to explore at your own pace and while away a few hours.

Facts:

• Eltville was granted official town status in 1332

• It was also granted the title Rose City in 1988 by the Association of German Rose Growers

• More than 20,000 roses grow in Eltville, including the flaming red City of Eltville and Beautiful Eltville which smells like apples

Highlights:

• The fairytale silhouette of Electors’ Castle, which was built in 1330 and overlooks the Rhine

• The roses set out along the city wall, in the castle moat and along the Rhine promenade, which delight all who visit

• Martin’s Gate, the only remaining of the original four city gates

•  The ornate half-timbered buildings of the old school and the town hall

Book our Medieval Eltville excursion as part of a package and save money. Take a look at our cruises for more beautiful destinations or contact our Holiday Advisors for further information on any of our holidays.

Excursion Old Frankfurt & Apple Wine

  • Wine Tasting
  • Frankfurt
Wine TastingFrankfurt

Enjoy a fascinating Frankfurt tour with apple wine on a Main cruise with The River Cruise Line. The exciting city of Frankfurt nestles on either side of the Main river in Germany and is the largest financial centre in continental Europe. It’s also home to some of the world’s largest trade fairs including the Frankfurt Motor Show and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Unlike the city centre, which was destroyed during the second world war, the old town of the Sachsenhausen district is partly preserved with cobblestone lanes, small squares and fountains. This is the centre of the apple wine quarter, where traditional taverns line up one after the other and visitors sit on long benches with wooden tables, sipping apple wine from ribbed glasses. Our specially themed tour, which covers happenings on both sides of the Main River, tells the story of Frankfurt apple wine, its traditions in Old Sachsenhausen and the production process, finishing off with a glass of apple wine in a traditional tavern.

Facts:

• Frankfurt is dubbed ‘Mainhattan’ because of its position on the Main river and its skyline which bears a strong resemblance to New York’s Manhattan

• Apple wine in the city’s popular social drink

Highlights:

• Visit Old Sachsenhausen, which nestles along the edge of the Main and is filled with taverns and fountains

• Listen to the story of apple wine and learn about the production process

• Enjoy a glass of apple wine in a traditional tavern

Book our Old Frankfurt & apple wine tasting excursion as part of a package and save money. For more information on our optional excursions, please feel free to contact our Holiday Advisors.

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Europe’s top 10 hidden gems

Hidden Gems

For anyone well-travelled around the capitals of Europe, it’s not unusual to seek something a little bit off the beaten track for a getaway. While the major cities of Western Europe offer some of the most incredible sights and culturally significant locations in the world, there are so many lesser-known destinations which offer a totally different holidaying experience.

A visit to any one of these hidden European gems will reveal a side of the continent even the most seasoned traveller may not have experienced. They can give a much more intimate view of the lives of the locals than you’ll find in one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations. Here are our top 10 hidden European gems for inspiration for your next adventure.

Belgrade, Serbia
The Serbian capital of Belgrade is often overlooked as a tourist destination. However, it is a city on the rise, and while it’s not known as the most picturesque place on earth, it’s a fascinating city which offers something totally different to the usual European getaway.

In its long and turbulent history, the city has seen more than 40 invasions, and its eclectic architecture reflects this — concrete socialist blocks sit between art nouveau masterpieces, as well as buildings from the city’s Roman, Habsburg, and Ottoman eras.

While here, make sure not to miss the Museum of Yugoslav History to learn more about the country’s fascinating past. Beside the museum is the House of Flowers, a marble mausoleum of Josef Broz Tito. Tito is a much-loved Yugoslav revolutionary and former president who led what is often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe during the Second World War. The mausoleum is situated in a beautiful winter garden, and also features a fascinating collection of gifts from Yugoslavians to the former president.

Another must-see is the Kalemegdan, the fortress of Belgrade that now serves as the city’s central park. Time your trip to the fortress for sunset, when the views of the meeting point of the Sava and Danube rivers on one side and the whole city on the other will look their absolute best.

See Belgrade on our Danube to the Black Sea cruise.

Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava is a city defined by contrast — a sprawling metropolis which stands at odds to the luscious greenery of the flood plain which surrounds it; a tiny Old Town full of pastel-coloured, 18th century buildings at the centre of a modern city that almost 415,000 people call home; socialist-era architecture overlooked by a medieval castle; and some of Europe’s finest modern sculptures sharing postcodes with medieval churches.

To get the full flavour of the Slovakian capital, start in the Old Town. Enjoy a stroll along the winding cobbled streets and a break in one of its many quaint cafés before heading out of the centre to explore the architecture of the city’s Soviet-era expansion, including the SNP Bridge, with its flying saucer-shaped tower that houses a viewing point and restaurant.

While you’re here, make sure to visit St Martin's Cathedral in the Old Town, the largest and one of the oldest churches in Bratislava, dating from 1204. You should also check out the imposing Bratislava Castle, with its curious four-towered design — while you’re there, make sure to take the short trip to the Slavín monument, which gives the best views of the city.

Experience Bratislava on our Danube to the Black Sea, Danube Discovery cruise, and cruise the Danube to Vienna and Budapest trips.

Porto, Portugal
Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city and the home of port wine. Located on the Douro, it’s a city with a rich history spanning back to the 4th century, when it was a Roman settlement known as Portus Calle. Today, the city is seeing a resurgence as a tourist destination as it enjoys significant urban redevelopment, while still staying true to its roots and retaining its colourful charm.

Porto is extremely hilly, and many of its colourful residential buildings are built straight into the cliff face which overlooks the river. There are stairs carved directly into these cliffs, which offer an excellent walking tour of the city the like of which you won’t experience anywhere else.

Any visit to Porto should begin in the Ribeira, the Unesco-listed Old Town that features extravagant, gold-laced churches and baroque architecture. After you’ve explored this stunning area and its charming, winding streets, make your way over the Douro river to Vila Nova de Gaia, where you’ll find scores of cellars offering tastings of port, the city’s most famous export.

While you’re here, make sure not to miss the world-renowned Serralves Museum, which displays some of most cutting-edge contemporary art in the world. The building itself, a minimalist masterpiece designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Alvaro Siza Vieira, and its surrounding sculpture-filled gardens are worth a visit in their own right.

See Porto on our River Douro cruise, which explores the very best this beautiful wine region has to offer.

Kizhi, Russia
Stepping off a ship onto the enchanting island of Kizhi is like entering another world. The Unesco world heritage site, which is located on one of Lake Onega’s 1,600 islands, contains two 18th-century wooden churches and an octagonal clock tower, all constructed entirely of wood. The most famous of these structures is the iconic Transfiguration Church, which features over 30 silver-painted domes in the distinctive Russian ‘onion’ shape, creating an almost otherworldly effect.

The reserve is also home to several more 18th- and 19th-century wooden buildings that were moved here from the surrounding areas during the Soviet era. The workmanship required to create these magnificent buildings is breath-taking, making this an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Russia. While here, you can enjoy demonstrations by locals showing the traditional construction techniques of the era which made these exceptional buildings possible.

See Kizhi, as well many more of Russia’s highlights, on our Moscow to St Petersburg cruise.

Melk, Austria
Melk is sure to be a highlight of any trip along the Danube. Dominated by the magnificent Benedictine Abbey for which it is famous, this quaint city is one of Austria’s hidden gems.

Of course, no trip to Melk is complete without a visit to Stift Melk, the city’s colossal abbey which has over 500 rooms, most of which are still used as a school and monk’s quarters. Originally a castle built to defend Melk’s strategic position on the Danube, in 1089 it was donated to the Benedictine monks by Leopold II and converted into a fortified abbey. Much of the abbey was damaged in the 18th century, when it was transformed into a baroque masterpiece by Jakob Prandtauer and his apprentice, Josef Munggenast. This is how it stands today, with a plethora of cherubs, marble, and gilded ornaments.

The Wachau, the beautiful stretch of the Danube from Melk to Krems, is a Unesco world heritage site. If you’re looking for something active to do on your trip, hire a bike and enjoy a ride along this magnificent stretch of land. The north bank bike trail is paved from beginning to end and winds through the picturesque villages that dot the river, while the south bank rail merges with the road at some points but gives better views of the Danube itself.

See Melk on our Danube to the Black Sea, Danube Discovery, and Delights of the Danube cruises.

Stralsund, Germany
Stralsund was founded in 1234 and saw its most prosperous period during medieval times. Today, it stands as one of the best-preserved examples of red-brick gothic architecture in the Baltic region, and in 2002 was honoured as a Unesco world heritage site.

Start your visit to this stunning German town in the Old Market Square, where you’ll find the Town Hall, which dates from the 13th century. The square is surrounded by the region’s distinctive brick buildings, which feature vaulted arches and the intricate detailing that the medium allowed. A stroll along the cobbled streets of the Old Town will reveal several beautiful buildings, including Saint Mary's Church, the largest church in Stralsund and the world’s tallest structure from 1625 to 1647. Its 104-metre octagonal tower offers a sensational panorama of Stralsund and the neighbouring islands of Rügen and Hiddensee that isn’t to be missed.

The Monastery of Saint Catherine is another must-see, as the magnificent medieval building now houses two museums: the Museum of Cultural History and the German Maritime Museum, which is home to Germany's largest maritime collection. While you’re there, be sure to check out the monastery’s original gothic refectory, which is one of the most spectacular in Germany.

Another great place to visit, especially with kids, is the Ozeaneum. The huge aquarium, which is housed in a breath-taking modern building beside the river, was voted European Museum of the Year in 2010 and makes for an excellent day of entertainment.

Take in Stralsund’s beautiful Old Town and brilliant museums as part of our Baltic Isles, Berlin, and Poland cruise.

Breisach, Germany
Situated along the Rhine Valley where the Black Forest meets the Alsace, Breisach is a German town with both a geographical and cultural proximity to France. Visiting today, it’s hard to believe that the town, which rises above the vineyards that line the river, was almost totally destroyed during WWII. 85% of its buildings were flattened by artillery fire as allied forces crossed the Rhine in the last days of the war. Breisach has since been painstakingly restored, and the cobbled streets and pastel-coloured buildings retain much of their original charm.

Over its long and turbulent history, Breisach has changed hands several times and seen many conquests. Initially the seat of a Celtic prince, it has since been part of France, the Holy Roman Empire, and Germany. Through most of these changes, the town has been dominated by the impressive St Stephansmünster, the Romanesque cathedral overlooking the whole area and a must-see for tourists.

Breisach lies just 5km away from Neuf-Brisach, the spectacular star-shaped fortified town built to defend the French border after Breisach was lost to the Holy Roman Empire in 1697. Now a Unesco world heritage site, the fortifications are a must-see for any history buff. Experience Breisach on our Rhine cruise and Swiss delights, Cruise the Rhine to Switzerland, and Medieval towns of Bavaria and the Rhine Valley trips.

Antwerp, Belgium
While Brussels and Bruges continue to become more and more popular destinations for those looking for a European getaway, Antwerp remains one of Belgium’s hidden gems. The country’s second-largest city, Antwerp is home to a beautiful medieval centre, an incredibly impressive cathedral, and a magnificent train station — an architectural wonder of the late 19th century.

In the mid-16th century, Antwerp was one of the largest trade hubs in Europe, and its port is still one of Europe’s busiest today. It is now the diamond capital of the world, and high-end jewellery stores sit alongside designer shops like Cartier and Armani on the main shopping street, the Meir. Visit the Museum aan de Stroom to learn more about Antwerp’s history as an international hub of diamonds and see the excellent collection of precious stones.

One of the baroque era’s most celebrated artists, Pieter Paul Rubens, was a resident of Antwerp his whole life. You can learn all about his works and life in the Rubenshuis, which includes a collection of his most famous work displayed alongside the original furniture from his home and many of the tools and equipment he used to create his art.

Discover Antwerp on our Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, New year cruise to Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp, and Belgium Christmas markets trips.

Kalocsa, Hungary
Kalocsa is one of the oldest towns in Hungary, having been founded in 1AD by King Stephen the Saint. The seat of the Hungarian archbishop since 1135, the town is the religious capital of the country and home to an imposing cathedral, the archiepiscopal palace, and a seminary for priests. The city was destroyed by the Ottomans in the 16th century, and has since been rebuilt in an incredibly picturesque baroque style.

Kalocsa is most famous as the paprika capital of Hungary, and sweet, mild, and hot varieties of the spice are grown in the fertile farmland surrounding the town. The Paprika Museum explores the history of the spice the locals call ‘red gold’, and a visit will reveal how the paprika pods are processed among the aroma of the garlands of paprika hanging from the museum’s beams.

The town is also well known for its horse shows, which date back 200 years. See a traditional Hungarian horse show at Bakod Puszta, where riders in traditional costume will perform tricks and acrobatics on the horses, always riding bareback as their ancestors did. See Kalocsa on our Danube to the Black Sea cruise.

Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne is a stunning city in the centre of Switzerland, complete with panoramic views, tranquil lakes, and a perfectly preserved old town. The city reached its pomp in the 19th century, when it was host to such distinguished visitors as Queen Victoria, Mark Twain, and Wagner.

The must-see sights of Lucerne include the Chapel Bridge, said to be the oldest wooden bridge in Europe and dating back to the 14th century; the old city wall; and the Lion of Lucerne, a moving statue of a wounded lion which commemorates the Swiss Guard who were killed as revolutionaries stormed the Tuileries Palace during the French Revolution.

If you’re looking to soak up some culture on your trip, make sure to visit the Rosengart Collection, an excellent modern art gallery featuring pieces by Cézanne, Chagall, Miró, and Pissarro. The museum is also home to around 50 paintings by Pablo Picasso, as well as photographs taken by David Duncan Douglas, who spent years with the Picasso and his family and created an intimate portrait of the great artist’s day-to-day life. Music lovers should try to catch a performance at the Kultur und Kongresszentrum (KKL), a breath-taking and multi-award-winning postmodern concert hall famous for its near-perfect acoustics. If you’re lucky enough to experience one of your favourite pieces of classical music here, it’s unlikely to sound better anywhere else.

See beautiful Lucerne as part of our Cruise the Rhine to Switzerland and Rhine cruise and Swiss delights cruises. Any of these hidden European gems will be a great destination for your next holiday.

If you’d like more information about any of them, or have any questions about our European river cruises, get in touch with a member of our team today.


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