For the traveler who is seeking a truly luxurious vacation, a European River Cruise is the way to go. You first fly to a chosen city in Europe then board your boat on one of the many wonderful rivers throughout Europe. 23 Cruise lines have a dual character; they are partly in the transportation business, and partly in the leisure entertainment business, a duality that carries down into the ships themselves, which have both a crew headed by the ship’s captain, and a hospitality staff headed by the equivalent of a hotel manager Among cruise lines, some are direct descendants of the traditional passenger shipping lines (such as Cunard), while others were founded from the 1960s specifically for cruising.
For our top picks, we looked at criteria that we would deem universally romantic: ships that offer cabins with private balconies, great bathrooms and extra-special amenities; options for dining a deux; cozy nooks and date-night venues; and almost-private open-deck spaces for relaxing by day and stargazing by night.
In just over three months, the ship sailed to Taormina , Catania , Syracuse , Malta , Corfu , Patras , Delphi , Zante , Athens , Smyrna , Constantinople, delighting passengers with excursions and guided tours, dancing, card tables on the deck and parties on board.
Contemporary cruise ships built in the late 1980s and later, such as Sovereign -class which broke the size record held for decades by Norway, showed characteristics of size and strength once reserved for ocean liners â€” some have undertaken regular scheduled transatlantic crossings.
The legendary cruise line was established in 1840 and has had dozens of ships in its fleet, though today, there are just three active vessels: the Queen Mary 2 , the world’s only true transatlantic ocean liner, designed specifically for ocean crossings, as well as the world’s only pet-friendly ship (dogs and cats are required to stay in the kennel, a designated playroom, and a specific walking deck); the Queen Elizabeth; and the Queen Victoria.