Porto & the River of Gold: one of Europe’s most spectacular river journeys
Not only will you encounter a jumble of styles, eras and attitudes – and some extremely fine port - in the city of Porto, and architectural magnificence in Salamanca, but you’ll embark on a dreamlike voyage along the River Douro, literally the River of Gold. You’ll pass through one of Europe’s highest locks and through orange orchards, olive groves and port wine vineyards; you’ll find flamenco, listen to minstrels and enjoy an evening of traditional fado music.
Strasbourg & the Rhine Gorge: slow-speed panoramic pleasure
In the cosmopolitan city of Strasbourg, half-timbered houses and winstubs (traditional Alsatian eateries) reflect in the canals to create a most appealing scene. Gliding into Germany, you’ll slice through vineyards, pass fairytale castles, wine taste and visit Worms, one of the country’s most ancient cities. The Rhine is utterly romantic and there’s no better way to see it than from the river itself.
Croatia & Montenegro: the Adriatic and its enchanting islands
Beginning in Dubrovnik, a city of spellbinding beauty with medieval walls surrounding a feast of Gothic and Baroque splendour, this Dalmatian journey includes some of the less well-known places. Discover Mljet, Croatia’s greenest island with two salt lakes; the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir, a maze of alleyways and vaulted passages; the remarkable Diocletian’s Palace in Split; and the 15th century Franciscan monastery in Hvar.
A Gastronomic Extravaganza: seriously fine dining along the Saône
With a Michelin star-studded first night (dinner at Paul Bocuse’s restaurant - one of France’s very few establishments to receive the coveted three-star rating), this is a circular cruise from Renaissance Lyon to beautiful Burgundy, focusing firmly on top-notch French food and wine. Sumptuous meals are served onboard your buoyant hotel, and there’s wine-tasting at Georges Duboeuf’s state-of-the-art wine museum in the Beaujolais hills.