As you all hopefully know by now, we are setting sail with AmaWaterways! This tour is a fantastic way to discover Europe by river in one of the most sustainable ways yet. AmaWaterways’ commitment to the environment and communities they visit really drew us in. We are so excited to offer our Peachers one of the uniquest ways to sight see! However, as huge as Europe may be, there are four primary rivers in Europe that provide an ideal way to experience several countries with AmaWaterways. Let’s take a look at the Danube, the Loire, the Elbe, and the the Rhine.
Eastern Europe: The Danube
The Danube holds many secrets as some of Europe’s earliest human cultures lived in the vicinity of the Danube River. At 1,780 miles long, it is the second-longest river in Europe stretching through 10 countries! Such include Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria, and are known for swooping through cities like Vienna and Budapest.
The Danube is considered a life source for Eastern Europe as 20 million people rely on it for their drinking water. Economically, they depend on it for tourism as it is diverse with natural places of interest including the Wachau Valley, Hungary’s Gemenc, Germany’s National Park Donau-Auen, Croatia’s, Kopački rit, Romania and Serbia’s Iron Gate, Romania’s Danube Delta, and Bulgaria’s Srebarna Nature Reserve.
France: The Loire
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, the Loire River is the lifeline of France. Often referred to as the Garden of France, the Loire inspires beauty with an abundance of orchards, vineyards, and agriculture. It as well is home to a vast amount of wildlife such as 65% of the nesting bird population in France, 57 species of freshwater fish, a variety amphibians, and 100 species of algae.
Major towns and cities that the Loire River flows through include Roanne, Nevers, Orleans, Tours to Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Nantes, Ancenis, Saumur, Tours, Amboise, Blois, Gien, Briare, Sancerre, and Feurs.
Germany: The Elbe
The Elbe is one of Europe’s most pristine and preserved rivers flowing through both Germany and the Czech Republic.Wetlands and woodlands have been carefully preserved along the Elbe creating a biosphere reserve region. This provides habitat for hundreds of bird, fish and amphibian species and unique plant life. Glimpses of red and black kites, storks and even cranes can be seen along the river.
Popular destinations of German and Czech towns along the Elbe River include Dresden, Meissen, Torgau, Wittenberg, Dessau and Magdeburg, and Prague.
Western Europe: The Rhine
The Rhine has been an important transportation route since the days of the Roman Empire, getting its nickname “Old Father Rhine”. The long history of the Rhine can be seen flowing from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, and Liechtenstein. Cliff-side castles, storybook towns, and vineyards are common delights that can be seen from the river.
Major cities along the Rhine include Basel, Strasbourg, Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Wiesbaden, Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn, Cologne, Leverkusen, Neuss, Krefeld, Duisburg, Arnhem, Nijmegen, Utrecht, and Rotterdam.