You’re a river cruising convert, and while you’re spoiled for choice with many destinations in Europe, you might want to consider a different river to sail on your next trip.

Here are our picks on exciting options.


Most will agree it’s a country worth exploring, but many will also be left confronted about how or where to start. What better way to discover what this South American gem has to offer than in complete luxury onboard AmaWaterways’ soon to be released AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia.

Two brand-new 7-night itineraries between Cartagena and Barranquilla, to be released in late 2024 and 2025, will cement AmaWaterways’ title as the first major river cruise line to explore the region.

“With an exceptionally diverse population, vibrant cultural traditions and festivals, and more than 1,000 styles of music performed and enjoyed throughout its borders, it is no wonder that Colombia is considered the “Land of a Thousand Rhythms.” The country’s rich musical and cultural heritage, history and natural beauty intrigued us, drawing our Co-Founders Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst to explore the Magdalena River,” AmaWaterways stated.

The state-of-the-art ships of just 60 and 64 passengers will journey along the magnificent Magdalena River. Visiting the first free city in Colombia, Palenque, the colourful neigbourhood of Getsemani in Cartagena, and enjoying an exclusive “Carnaval” experience in Barranquilla are just a few of the splendours on the trip.


Great Pyramids, mummies, ancient lands – it’s a place of mystery and adventure and any discerning traveller should have Egypt high on their bucket list. Tourism to Egypt has waned in recent years, but operators are keen to showcase this all-in-one melting pot of culture, beauty and (it needs to be repeated) mystery.

And a Uniworld cruise along the Nile is a best bet on making the once-in-a-lifetime trip an exceptional experience.

“Follow in the footsteps of past explorers, adventurers, and archeologists as you discover Egypt’s ancient mysteries such as the Valley of the Kings and the Great Sphinx, World Heritage sites unrivalled in the modern world,” Uniworld states.

Highlights of the trip includes a must-see visit to the Pyramids of Giza, the impressive Philae Temple and if you opt in for the Masterpiece Collection pre-itinerary excursion to Alexandria, it will take you on a sightseeing expedition to the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, the largest and most important royal cemetery in Egypt.


Fast fact, India’s Brahmaputra River is the 29th longest river in the world and is said to be the only river on earth clearly visible from the moon. Despite being a great waterway, it’s surprisingly not that well explored. The river flows down from Tibet through to Bangladesh, before merging with India’s spiritually electrified Ganges River. It is, if any, one river that is a destination in itself.

While there are a few operators in these parts, Pandaw’s ultra low draft vessels make for a more adventurous experience as it is able to sail further into the Assam valley getting visitors some 450km up the mighty Brahmaptura.

Highlights of the various Pandaw trips on offer include a visit to UNESCO protected national parks and remote rural communities, safaris in search of the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros and Indian tiger, a chance to visit tea plantations, artisan villages and temples. It’s also a great cruise for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, as the riverbank is abundant with both.


Who doesn’t want to brag about having visited Machu Picchu? It’s a showstopper, and a scene stealer on your socials. But of course there is more to Peru than just this magnificent mountain valley. While the country is best known for its archeological treasures, it also has a buzzing cosmopolitan capital city, a culinary edge and is renowned for its Inca hospitality.

Taking on a destination like Peru is made easy on a river cruise where every aspect has been carefully crafted. Avalon Waterways has forged a great reputation in the country, offering a five-star experience for first-timers.

“Go where larger ships dare to dream with a cruise into the flooded jungle regions of the Peruvian Amazon. Cruise in luxury on the Delfin III with an exceptional captain, Cruise Director, crew, and attendants — as well as expert Naturalists who lead you through this jungle paradise with insight and discoveries,” Avalon states.

Highlights of an Avalon Peru cruise include descending into the Sacred Valley of the Incas for guided tours of Kenko and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, with its impressive display of stones weighing up to 300 tons, to getting up close and personal touring along hidden areas like the remote Pacaya Samiria Reserve, meeting people who live their entire lives along the river.


If you’re new to the river, or just prefer a European holiday, one of the more exciting places to visit is Portugal. A number of river cruise lines have enlarged or adopted new Portugal programmes into their itineraries, and for good reason. The food, the culture, the beauty of the Douro river, just to name a few.

Tauck has even christented cruising the Douro River Valley as one of their best products for first timers. The “river of gold” as it’s fondly called, is one of the oldest wine regions in the world, a perfect backdrop to fill your social media with. Guests onboard Tauck’s brand new, beautifully designed, ms Andorinha will explore Porto, the city where port wine was born, take in the sights of Pinhão, and enjoy a leisurely bike ride through the picturesque Tâmega River and into exquisite Amarante, in just the first few days. There’s plenty to eat, see, and drink on the cruise, hitting all the main touch points for travellers to Europe.

So where to in 2025

Travelling by river through a town, village or bustling city is a fantastic way to experience a destination for the first time – so why not do it in luxury.

River cruising offers so much more than just a floating bed. It’s an easy, safe way to sightsee some of the most exotic locations in the world, and it’s only going to get more crowded as popularity for these types of tours soar. The destinations and their embarkations are going to fill up fast, so our advice is to put on your adventure boots and start booking.