Sunset over the Danube in Budapest, with the Hungarian Parliament Building standing next to the water
2 November, 20202 minute read

River cruising trends in 2021

Imagine slowly meandering along some of Europe’s best-loved waterways, stepping ashore to explore culture-filled capitals and timber-framed towns. Waking up each morning to peaceful river views or enjoying an afternoon tipple in the sunshine on deck with cinematic scenery passing you by…

The joys of river cruising are easy to see – and many Titan travellers are already in the know. In fact, our river cruise holidays are already 10% more popular for 2021 than the previous year. “River ships are much, much smaller and more intimate than the ocean liners and that seems a to be a big appeal in the current climate as we go into 2021,” comments our cruise product manager, Rob. “Plus, compared to ocean cruises, guests spend a lot more time ashore and out in the open, rather than spending long days at sea without leaving the ship”.

We’ve rounded up our favourite sailings according to season, so you can choose your perfect cruise at the best time of year for you…

A Springtime Sailing

After the long, cold winter our springtime sailings are highly anticipated. They’re among our first European departures of the year, setting sail in April and May. On these early cruises, we’ll take you to the Dutch waterways to visit the crooked, quirky houses of Amsterdam and the 18th century Dutch towns. But the highlight of the cruise? A visit to Keukenhof Gardens. Each year, millions of tulips are planted and in the springtime they burst into colour row-by-row. You’ll potter through the kaleidoscopic gardens dotted with whirling windmills. It’s a real sight to behold.

“Our Dutch bulb fields river cruises make for the perfect ‘introductory’ sailing. Those who are just dipping their toes in the water for the first time will get a great insight into the world of river cruising, without committing to a full-length eight or 15-day cruise” – Rob, Senior Product Manager – Cruise.

A Summer Sojourn

Balmy weather, long stretches of beautiful riverscapes, alfresco aperitives, moonlit strolls in world-famous cities. A summertime river cruise is a romantic affair and has all the hallmarks that river cruising is famous for.

At this time of year it’s difficult to go wrong when choosing a river cruise, but when it comes to enchanting towns and fanciful sprawls of countryside, France is high on the list. In fact, our sailings on the Loire and Rhone are both over 110% more popular in 2021 than the previous year.

Or for that classic Mediterranean charm, perhaps snake along the Douro, linking Spain and Portugal with stretches of beautiful, sun-drenched Iberian countryside. Starting in the glistening seaside city of Porto, you’ll sip Port wine and taste local specialities and potter around pretty, rural towns.

Sail into Autumn

Cruising lends itself particularly well to the autumnal months.  Imagine wrapping up warm up on deck to witness the leaves changing to fiery shades of orange and red as you sail past. On our sailings along the Elbe, you’ll visit Gothic castles and atmospheric cities like Dresden and Prague.

“In the current climate, many travellers are keen to avoid crowds of people where possible. Choosing to cruise in the autumn is perfect for this; you’ll still get to see all the great sights but without the crowds that come with the height of summer.” Rob, Senior Product Manager - Cruise.

Pass quaint towns and hilltop castles on a Rhine river cruise

A Winter Wonderland

What could feel more Christmassy than the scent of fresh gingerbread wafting through the air and a mug of traditional glühwein (mulled wine) warming your hands? Germany is known the world over for its traditional Christmas markets. Think row-upon-row of stalls selling handcrafted, wooden gifts; locals coming together to spread the cheer; giant Christmas trees decorating timber-framed town squares. It is even more magical than you’re imagining.

But why visit just one Christmas market when you can see a string of them in just a few days? Our Christmas river cruises offer just that. From the big names such a Cologne and Frankfurt, to the twisting, cobbled streets of Rudesheim and Mainz; our Christmas market cruises offer a Christmas experience like you  never imagined.

We like to think the experience is heightened on our exclusive sailings aboard our very own MS Serenade 1 and MS River Discovery II. On these ships, you’ll enjoy a uniquely Titan experience. Think long, leisurely mealtimes with free-flowing wine and beer at lunch and dinnertime. Plus an array of included excursions and a lineup of onboard entertainment.

We’ve put our Christmas 2021 cruises on sale nice and early, so you can book something to look forward to.

A traditional Christmas market is set up in a square in Frankfurt, Germany

Are you feeling inspired to sail away into 2021? Be sure to contact us for more information.

Image of blog author Natalie Carmen

From the coffee-clad highlands of Colombia to getting up-close-and-personal with elephants in Thailand and the exploring the sprawling winelands of South Africa, Natalie is a wannabe-adventurer and finds it hard to pick favourites when it comes to travel destinations. She has a weakness for wildlife and good wine, so her escapades are usually in pursuit of one or the other. As well as writing for The Scenic Route, Natalie also manages our social media channels. Be sure to follow Titan on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest news.

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