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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Some cash-conscious travelers are taking to water this summer for their holidays, discovering river cruising holidays where their boat is their hotel and they wake up with a new view every day.
Cruise website CruiseCritic.co.uk (www.cruisecritic.co.uk) has come up with a list of the top 10 rivers for cruising in 2009.
This list is not endorsed by Reuters.
"With the current economy, traveling around Europe -- or most places for that matter -- just isn't cheap anymore. All those little expenses really add up," said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of CruiseCritic.co.uk. "With river cruising, most costs are paid up front, so it's easier to budget."
A great choice for first-timers. Travel from Germany to the Black Sea, visiting Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. Cruise lines which operate on the Danube include Peter Deilmann Cruises, Viking River Cruises and Uniworld.
The River Douro travels from Spain through the rural scenery of northern Portugal to the city of Porto, visiting restored palaces, places of pilgrimage, cultural centers and vineyards. Uniworld and CroisiEurope are among the cruise lines which operate on the River Duoro.
A cruise on this great river combines the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery, including the Three Gorges, experience modern China, and visit some of the country's great historic landmarks, such as the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace and the site of the Terracotta Army. Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways are some of the operators which sail the Yangtze.
The Rhine offers a huge choice of cruises as it flows from the Alps into the North Sea, through Switzerland, Germany, France and Holland. It also links up with cruises on the Moselle and Danube rivers. Many cruise lines -- including Swan Hellenic River Cruises and Peter Deilmann River Cruises -- offer Rhine cruises.
River Rhone cruises travel through Provence and the south of France, taking in an area renowned for its fine wines and culinary delights. Options for Rhone trips include Swan Hellenic River Cruises and French Country Waterways.
Visit the sights of ancient Egypt, such as the Pyramids and Sphinx, Valley of the Kings and Temples of Ramses. Also experience some of African wildlife. Nile cruise operators include Discover Egypt and Blue Water Holidays.
Cruise through Australia's outback, and see million-year-old gorges, golden sandstone cliffs towering over blue-green lagoons and majestic, red-gum forests under endless blue skies. Cruise operators include Blue Water Holidays and Captain Cook Cruises.
Travel the waterways of the tsars, the scenic rivers, canals and lakes that connect Russia's two old imperial capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Cruise lines operating along the Volga include All Russia Cruises and Uniworld.
9. Mekong River
An exotic cruise through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand takes in some of South East Asia's ancient cities, temples and natural wonders. Cruise lines in this region include Pandaw River Cruises.
10. St. Lawrence Seaway
Flowing from the Great Lakes that border the United States and Canada, the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River pass through incredible scenery and take in two of Canada's most fascinating cities -- Montreal and Ottawa. Options include cruises from Titan HiTours. (Editing by Miral Fahmy)