May 1, 2009 / 1:26 PM / 10 years ago

Travel Picks: Top 10 European river cruises

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Increasing numbers of people who love traveling but have limited vacation time are turning to cruises to fit in as much as possible in a short trip.

Girls sit on a bench on the banks of the Rhine River, in front of the old town of the northern Swiss city of Basel, March 28, 2008. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Men’s web site has come up with a list of the top 10 European river cruises. The list is not endorsed by Reuters.

1. Rhine River

The journey is a spectacular one, encompassing five different countries, traveling through the majestic Black Forest region of Germany with all its fairytale castles, as well as a stop for some partying in Amsterdam. This is a great way to see the heart of Europe without having to navigate train stations and taxis.

2. Danube River

Cruises can starts in Passau, Germany, winding through six European countries, filled with incredible landscapes, architecture and museums, before ending in Budapest.

3. Dnieper River

This is a spectacular holiday choice, with 17 days traveling from Kiev to Istanbul which for centuries was the meeting point of European, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. It is perfect for exploring the many jewels of Eastern Europe, including Kiev and the Black Sea, as well as Sevastopol and Constanta.

4. Rhone River

A European river cruise down the Rhone is an excellent way to capture the essence of the Rhone Valley. Excursions can include a look through the former Papal seat of Avignon, wine tasting and checking out the casual bistros in Lyon.

5. Guadalquivir River

Travel through the majestic region of Andalucia, taking in the cities of Seville and Jerez, the wine and horse capital of Spain. It’s a chance to really discover the essence of the region and its culture.

6. Douro River

The Douro is one of Europe’s lesser-known rivers, running through some excellent wine-making parts of Northern Spain and Portugal. Start the trip in the historic citadel of Porto, traveling into Spain, before returning to Porto.

7. Po River

This charming European river cruise encompasses the amazing scenery of Northern Italy and the romance of Venice. The Po Valley is awash with Renaissance art and architecture.

8. Volga River

Sailing down the longest river in Europe is still something of an emerging market but its uniqueness makes it worthwhile. Immerse yourself for 13 days in the incredible history and culture of Russia, with all its violence and drama.

9. Elbe River

Slideshow (2 Images)

The journey begins in Berlin, travels through Dresden and incorporates some of the most opulent Baroque palaces and gardens in Europe.

10. Gota Canal

One of Europe’s forgotten waterways, the Gota Canal travels through the heart of Sweden, traveling from Gothenburg to Stockholm with plenty of time to explore the beautiful northern landscape.

Editing by Patricia Reaney

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