Europe’s Extreme Diversity: Cruising Canals, Rivers & Blue Water, Three Incredible Adventures

Worthy of a watercolor painting, the gorgeous countryside along the Burgundy canal.

If I could design three weeks of your leisure life, I would simply replicate the way I spent three weeks of mine from April 25 to May 15.

In a span of 21 days, I experienced three widely divergent cruises, all within a relatively compact region of Europe. The cruises took me on a river, a canal and on a journey in the Mediterranean Sea.

I stepped ashore in Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain and Italy, spending days that will surely go down as some of the best of my life.

I strolled spring landscapes worthy of a watercolor painting. My forefinger remained perched on the shutter release of my trusty Canon 7D. Each day, I returned with as many as 300 photos, ending the three weeks with just 1,050 “select” photographs that defied being deleted.

During the next couple of weeks, I’ll be writing extensively about these cruises, beginning with a six-night journey along the Burgundy Canal on French Country Waterways. The luscious landscape we floated through on the barge and the epicurean experience on board it will make you salivate.

Scenic Crystal, docked in Strasbourg, France.

Next, I’ll cover Scenic Cruises, a relative newcomer operated by an Australian entrepreneur who is rapidly expanding his fleet of river cruise vessels. If you haven’t followed river cruising for the past several years, toss out all of your preconceptions. River cruising is one of the most exciting, and fastest growing, segments in the cruise industry, and I love it.

I’ve already covered the nine nights I spent on Oceania Cruises’ new Riviera, but I have a little more to say about the sister of Marina. There are, after all, 727 differences between the two vessels. For now, you can find a recap of that voyage by clicking Avid Cruiser’s Oceania Riviera Ship Review.

Upon the conclusion of this series of stories, I’ll give you some insights into pricing, which ranged from reasonable to stratospheric, but all, according to those who were with me, a good value for the money.

Three glorious weeks, three incredible cruises. Stay tuned as the fun begins this week.

Reporting from Europe, The Avid Cruiser, Ralph Grizzle

Join the Conversation

theavidcruiser says:

Thank you! I have one favorite cruise and it’s always the last one I did. I’m writing about French Country Waterways now, and that was a dream. Of course Hawaii is beautiful.

Becky says:

You have a fantastic job! Love hearing of all your travels. Your blog is FULL of whatever we, as other tourists, need to know. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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