True Romantic River Cruises

in City Guides, Cruises

The Grand Canal in Venice. Photo: © Oleksandr Prykhodko

Organising a holiday getaway to one of Europe’s most romantic cities isn’t easy at the best of times. Planning a trip that isn’t as clichéd as the destination is as important as the recognition of a unique relationship such a trip signifies. If it has to be Paris or Prague or Venice, at least ensure you travel in style and do something a little different. River cruises of Venice and the river Po is definitely a little different.

Located in the north of Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Venice is a gloriously beautiful city famous for its art, culture and long history. Home to stunning cathedrals and bridges, Venice is perfect for those lovers who like to while away their time together exploring a fine old city, perusing world-class museums, eating proper Italian cuisine or simply shopping from an array of designer and local boutiques. Yes, the canals are also there for that staple souvenir picture taken from the bow of a gondola, but Venice really does have more to offer than overpriced punting trips. Venice is placed near the mouth of the river Po, a large body of water that makes up the delta in the Po valley, and this is where the cruise becomes interesting: the tributaries of the delta lead further inland to cities such as Padua, Turin, and Ferrara, and is connected to Milan via a set of channels that Leonardo da Vinci designed. A river cruise based from Venice will take you to surprising places via the delta, places where the history and romance of Italy really come to light.

Itineraries vary, but a typical package trip includes return flights to Venice, at least one day exploring the city, all meals and drinks on board, excursions to sites of interest and transfer to the vessel. Service and food on board is exemplary, certainly guaranteed to be better than a similarly-priced ‘hotel’ near the centre of town, and the views from the decks of the lagoon and the cityscape are second to none. Your stay in Venice is on board a luxury cruise liner; certainly a far cry from the usual holiday anecdotes involving dodgy B&Bs as the facilities are exceptional and the staff are warm and friendly. The itinerary offers plenty of time to explore Venice, so while the sightseeing is worth doing, take the opportunity to branch out and make your own memories of Venice. Other places the river cruise could go to include the nearby islands of Murano and Burano, famous for lacework and glass-blowing, picturesque fishing village Chioggia, and Padua, setting of Shakespeare’s surprisingly romantic play, The Taming of the Shrew.

Let your worries wash away and the romance flow: a river cruise is ideal for making the traditional romantic trip a little different. Cruising in style and comfort on a top-range liner is one of the joys of life, and makes for a holiday that is both expansive and intimate.

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