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16th October, 2020

Top five European river cruises for the spring

Spring is a beautiful time of year - full of the promise of brighter, warmer days to come, and bringing a wave of new life after the winter months. In fact, travelling during the spring months is a great way to start your year off on a high; making the most of some of the world’s most popular destinations before the crowds arrive during the peak summer months.

If you’re looking for ways to start 2021 off on a high after a year of uncertainty and challenges, then we can help. Not only can spring travel allow you to beat the crowds, but it can also give you the opportunity to witness some of Europe’s top destinations at their best - from festivals and events to simply soaking in the glorious weather.

Here are our top five European river cruises to get you inspired.

Flowers on Parade

See the floats of Haarlem’s annual flower parade

If there’s an area of the world that truly shines in the spring months, it’s Holland. And what better way to explore it than as one of the first passengers to take a trip on Saga’s brand new Spirit of the Rhine river boat. Our Flowers on Parade river cruise along Dutch & Belgian waterways takes you through some of the region’s most spectacular floral displays, including the Floria flower show in Brussels, soon to be celebrating its 18th edition. You’ll also get to experience the Utrecht Botanical Gardens, as well as marvel at the gardens in Amsterdam or Vondelpark - we’re not exaggerating when we say you’ll witness millions of tulips!

Lisbon and the Douro Valley

The winding Douro river

Can’t decide between a city break and a leisurely countryside cruise? Well, come springtime you just won’t have to. Our Douro river cruise through Lisbon and the Douro Valley gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy both, including a three night stay in amongst the hustle and bustle of historic Lisbon, complete with a sightseeing tour and a chance to join optional trips to Sintra and Cascais. Then, board the Douro Queen and enjoy seeing Portugal from the river’s vantage point for your final week. From a tour of Lamego and sightseeing over the border in Salamanca, to the chance to experience the magic of Oporto, including a port wine cellar visit, this is a trip into the true heart of the country. Combine that with beautiful, balmy weather, and it’ll be a holiday you’ll never forget.

Keukenhof and Dutch Delights

Millions of flowers bloom in Keukenhof Gardens

Known as the Garden of Europe, Keukenhof in Lisse, Netherlands, is one of the world’s largest flower gardens - and a truly must-see experience for any green-fingered holidaymakers. Approximately 7 million flower bulbs are thought to be planted in the gardens each year, making it no surprise that Keukenhof is often also dubbed one of the most beautiful spring gardens in the world. If you’ve never been before, head out on our Keukenhof and Dutch Delights river cruise, where you’ll get to enjoy a full day’s visit to this magnificent place. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to enjoy excursions to The Hague, see the iconic windmills of Kinderdijk, and enjoy a wander along Amsterdam’s beautiful canals.

Wildlife of the Danube Delta

Keep an eye out for pelicans while cruising the Danube Delta

As the largest river delta wetland in Europe, the Danube Delta is widely accepted as one of the finest wildlife areas in the continent. This biodiverse expanse stretches for hundreds of thousands of hectares, where the Danube meets the Black Sea, and offers visitors a chance to see some of the world’s most impressive wildlife - including the more than 300 species of bird who call the Delta home. To help ensure you get the most out of this river cruise in spring 2021, guests will be joined onboard the Amadeus Royal by expert naturalists, offering fascinating insights into the animals and their UNESCO-listed habitat. And that’s not all, our Wildlife of the Danube Delta cruise also gives you the chance to experience more of Romania, including trips to the capital, Bucharest, and the elegant town of Braila. One thing’s for sure, the wide open expanses and majesty of nature will truly take your breath away.

Vienna and the Blue Danube

Budapest’s Chain Bridge and Buda Castle

Europe is a paradise for city break lovers - with so many opportunities to explore the depth and history of a country in a seemingly never-ending list of beautiful cities. Vienna is definitely high on this list, with a rich artistic and musical history against a backdrop of beautiful architectural grandeur. Wander baroque palaces, enjoy some of the countless museums, or catch an evening performance from a renowned musical composer - in Vienna, anything is possible. But exploring the wider region, through Austria, Slovakia and into Hungary, also offers guests an exciting array of natural wonders and artistic delights. On our Vienna and the Blue Danube river cruise next spring, you’ll get to see all there is to see, boarding the Amadeus Royal after your stay in Vienna and taking to the Danube to witness these tranquil, memorable riverscapes. From Linz to Budapest and Bratislava, it’s the perfect introduction to the way of life in this picturesque part of the continent.

With the darker, chilly winter days drawing in, looking ahead to warmer times and new experiences in 2021 is a surefire way to give yourself something to look forward to. Our spring river cruises are the perfect kick-start to a new year, each offering a unique experience - whether you want to witness the impact of the natural world, or get a taste of history in one of Europe’s famous cities. Find out more about our 2021 river cruises, and where we go.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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