Yes, you can do a river cruise without flying from the UK. The UK has several rivers that are navigable and offer cruise experiences, such as the Thames, Severn, and the Scottish lochs. Additionally, you can travel from the UK to mainland Europe via train or ferry and then embark on a river cruise there.
Here are a few options:
River Cruises in the UK: You can embark on a river cruise along the River Thames, which offers a variety of sightseeing opportunities, including the historic University cities of Oxford and Cambridge, and London’s iconic landmarks.
Canal Cruises: The UK’s extensive canal network allows for leisurely cruises through the English countryside, offering a unique way to see the rural UK.
Cruises from UK to Europe via Train/Ferry:
You can also embark on a river cruise in Europe without flying from the UK by using alternative transportation methods to reach your cruise departure point. Here are the steps you could take:
Train to Europe: You can take the Eurostar train from London St. Pancras International to several major European cities such as Paris, Brussels, or Amsterdam. From these cities, you can connect to local train services that can take you to various river cruise starting points.
Ferry to Europe: Ferries can take you from various points in the UK to continental Europe, including routes such as:
- Dover to Calais
- Newhaven to Dieppe
- Harwich to Hook of Holland
- Hull to Rotterdam or Zeebrugge After arriving in Europe, you can travel by train or car to your river cruise departure location.Drive to Europe: You can drive your own car, taking a ferry or the Channel Tunnel to cross over to the continent. From there, you can drive to your chosen river cruise departure point.
Coach Services: There are coach services from the UK to many European cities, which could be used to reach a river cruise starting point.
Once you’re in mainland Europe, here are some popular river cruises you might consider:
The Rhine: You could start your cruise in cities like Cologne or Amsterdam and travel through Germany and the Netherlands.
The Danube: Starting from cities such as Vienna or Budapest, cruising through Austria, Hungary, and other Eastern European countries.
The Seine: Begin in Paris and cruise through the Normandy region of France.
The Rhône: Starting in Lyon and cruising through Provence in France.
The Douro: Begin in Porto, Portugal, and cruise through the Douro Valley.
Booking a river cruise often includes transfers from the nearest train station or port to the ship, so once you reach the general vicinity of the departure city, the cruise company may be able to assist you in completing your journey to the ship. It’s a good idea to coordinate with your cruise provider to ensure a smooth connection from your arrival point in Europe to the departure point of your river cruise.
Celtic Cruises: You can take a cruise from the UK to explore the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland, which often offer dramatic scenery and historic sites.
Remember to check for any travel restrictions or requirements such as visas, and be aware that while you can avoid flying, ground or sea travel will generally take longer to reach your river cruise departure point in mainland Europe.
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