Thinking of a river cruise holiday in 2016? Choosing to cruise on a luxurious Scenic Space-Ship is the easy part, selecting where to cruise is much more difficult with the wide choice of destinations on offer. Whether the sweeping landscapes and fairytale scenery of Europe is on your wish list, or an adventure in Asia appeals, Scenic river cruises touch on a variety of travel styles and interests, from history to gastronomy. Here are our recommendations of our top 10 Scenic river cruises in 2016.
1. Jewels of Europe
Sail from Budapest to Amsterdam, making waves along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers on this 15-day cruise. From a luxury Scenic Space-Ship, you'll take in imperial cities, dine in and discover castles, experience medieval and World War II history and sample classical music and classic German, Dutch and Austrian fare along the way.
2. Romantic Rhine and Moselle
Follow the fairytale towns and sights along the Rhine and Moselle on a 15-day cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam. A favourite setting of classic children's tales and a popular movie backdrop, the winding Rhine and Moselle waterways are dotted with castles and atmospheric forests as well as famous towns in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.
3. Beautiful Bordeaux
The historically famous wine region of France is the basis of this 11-day Scenic river cruise, starting with a rail journey from Paris and making your away around Bordeaux on the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Along the way, you'll top up your wine glass in Cadillac, Saint-Emilion, Cognac and Arachon, sampling scenic sights and viticultural delights.
4. South of France
If you do like to be beside the seaside, this rail and cruise itinerary from Paris to Nice will do just nicely. The 13-day Scenic South of France river cruise joins the Rhone River, sailing through gastronomic capitals such as Dijon and Lyon, alighting at religious and historic Roman cities, and finishing with a flourish in the South of France.
5. Gems of the Seine
Newly launched in 2015, Gems of Seine highlights just that – the scenic jewels and scintillating cities along France's Seine River on the brand-new Scenic Gem. Following a loop to begin and end in Paris, this 11-day river cruise passes through the landscapes that inspired the Impressionists in the picturesque region of Normandy.
6. Black Sea Explorer
See a different side of Europe on the Black Sea Explorer from Bucharest to Budapest. Go behind the former Iron Curtain to explore Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Hungary along the iconic Danube on this 11-day Scenic cruise. Expect jaw-dropping scenery, including the Balkan and Carpathian mountains, and hidden historic gems.
7. Dutch Sights & Belgian Delights
Famous for their networks of canals, the cities of Amsterdam and Bruges are part of this immersive eight-day river cruise along the Rhine. Originating and finishing in Amsterdam, take a leisurely trip through the blooming countryside of the Netherlands, complete with windmills and cheese tastings, to select Belgian locales and back.
8. Treasures of the Mekong
In just shy of two weeks, you can experience the ebb and flow of the mighty Mekong River in Southeast Asia. Sailing from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia, the 13-day Treasures of the Mekong cruise will reveal the extraordinary ordinariness of daily life on the river plus famous temples, floating markets and historic sights.
9. Mystical Myanmar
Formerly known as Burma, the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar has an irresistible lure for trail-blazers and the adventurous at heart. Launching in 2016, do a loop along the Irrawaddy River from the capital, Yangon, to see centuries-old pagodas, colonial architecture and traditional markets, and experience a way of life you won't find anywhere else anymore.
10. Unforgettable Douro
Another new destination for Scenic in 2016 is the Douro River in Portugal. Travel from Porto to Porto on the 11-day Unforgettable Douro cruise through the Douro Valley where you'll encounter historic and fertile vineyards yielding port, reds and white varietals, and towns such as Salamanca and Pocinho as you make your way to the Spanish border and back.