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Cruise These Rivers for a Voyage to Remember

  • Alamy

    See the World by River

    A cruise down a river offers a new and exciting way to see the world. For ship and destination information, check a review site such as CruiseCritic.com or CruiseMates.com.

    A cruise down a river offers a new and exciting way to see the world. For ship and destination information, check a review site such as CruiseCritic.com or CruiseMates.com.

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  • Allan Baxter/Getty Images

    Danube, Hungary and Austria

    Still recovering from decades of neglect behind the Iron Curtain, the ornate buildings of Budapest have a mysterious, haunting beauty. Upriver in Vienna, as a clip-clopping horse draws your carriage through the ancient streets, ask your driver to drop you at the Volksgarten, home to one of Europe's loveliest rose gardens. At the nearby Natural History Museum, see the 24,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf.

    Still recovering from decades of neglect behind the Iron Curtain, the ornate buildings of Budapest have a mysterious, haunting beauty. Upriver in Vienna, as a clip-clopping horse draws your carriage through the ancient streets, ask your driver to drop you at the Volksgarten, home to one of Europe's loveliest rose gardens. At the nearby Natural History Museum, see the 24,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf.

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  • Alamy

    Rhine, Germany and France

    Cologne, the German city with a French name, and Strasbourg, the French city with a German name, have been passed between the two nations for centuries. Too many ships and riverboats skip Cologne. Inside its medieval cathedral, tradition says, are relics of the Three Wise Men. With its black-and-white timber-framed buildings, Strasbourg's Grande Ile is a UNESCO site.

    Cologne, the German city with a French name, and Strasbourg, the French city with a German name, have been passed between the two nations for centuries. Too many ships and riverboats skip Cologne. Inside its medieval cathedral, tradition says, are relics of the Three Wise Men. With its black-and-white timber-framed buildings, Strasbourg's Grande Ile is a UNESCO site.

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  • Flickr/Getty Images

    Mekong, Cambodia

    Stop at the port town of Siem Reap, near the tranquil 1,000-year-old Buddhist-temple complex of Angkor Wat. About 200 miles to the south is Phnom Penh, which was called the Pearl of Asia, thanks to its beautiful French-built city center. But its most awe-inspiring buildings predate that, including the graceful, gold-topped 19th-century Royal Palace.

    Stop at the port town of Siem Reap, near the tranquil 1,000-year-old Buddhist-temple complex of Angkor Wat. About 200 miles to the south is Phnom Penh, which was called the Pearl of Asia, thanks to its beautiful French-built city center. But its most awe-inspiring buildings predate that, including the graceful, gold-topped 19th-century Royal Palace.

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  • Robert Wallis/Corbis

    Yangtze, China

    Rising waters from the Three Gorges Dam required construction of a dam around the dramatic 17th-century all-wood pagoda at Shibaozhai. Climb 12 stories to the top to see the Buddhist temple with painted statues. The Yangtze's gorges are less dramatic than they were before the waters rose, so be sure your cruise includes a side trip through the narrower, still-impressive Lesser Three Gorges.

    Rising waters from the Three Gorges Dam required construction of a dam around the dramatic 17th-century all-wood pagoda at Shibaozhai. Climb 12 stories to the top to see the Buddhist temple with painted statues. The Yangtze's gorges are less dramatic than they were before the waters rose, so be sure your cruise includes a side trip through the narrower, still-impressive Lesser Three Gorges.

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    Explore Travel with our newsletter filled with tips and ideas to plan the ultimate getaway.
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    Explore Travel with our newsletter filled with tips and ideas to plan the ultimate getaway.
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    Click the white arrow on the right of the photo above to continue the slideshow.

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  • M. Timothy O'Keefe/Alamy

    Mississippi River

    When your paddle wheeler docks at downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you're just steps from the World War II destroyer USS Kidd, as well as some delicious Cajun dining. It's also worth the trip north to St. Paul to see the largest house in Minnesota, built by railroad tycoon James J. Hill in 1891.

    When your paddle wheeler docks at downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you're just steps from the World War II destroyer USS Kidd, as well as some delicious Cajun dining. It's also worth the trip north to St. Paul to see the largest house in Minnesota, built by railroad tycoon James J. Hill in 1891.

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  • All Canada Photos/Alamy

    St. Lawrence, Ontario, Canada

    Lots of cruise lines make the scenic trip between Parisian-flavored Quebec City and Montreal. But fewer continue upstream through an area rich with wildlife, to the Thousand Islands near Kingston, Ontario — home to Fort Henry, which was built during the War of 1812 to protect Canada from U.S. invasions. Stick around to see (and feel) cadets fire their big cannon across the river.

    Lots of cruise lines make the scenic trip between Parisian-flavored Quebec City and Montreal. But fewer continue upstream through an area rich with wildlife, to the Thousand Islands near Kingston, Ontario — home to Fort Henry, which was built during the War of 1812 to protect Canada from U.S. invasions. Stick around to see (and feel) cadets fire their big cannon across the river.

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  • Alamy

    Columbia, Oregon

    The trip inland from Portland should include a day cruising through Volcano Alley — a unique stretch that affords views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. Be sure your trip includes a side visit to Mount St. Helens, the only way to appreciate the scope of the 1980 eruption (fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens). Lewis and Clark wintered in Astoria, where you'll find a replica of their encampment and more than 70 delicately hewn Victorian-era homes (traveloregon.com).

    The trip inland from Portland should include a day cruising through Volcano Alley — a unique stretch that affords views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. Be sure your trip includes a side visit to Mount St. Helens, the only way to appreciate the scope of the 1980 eruption (fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens). Lewis and Clark wintered in Astoria, where you'll find a replica of their encampment and more than 70 delicately hewn Victorian-era homes (traveloregon.com).

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  • Andriy Kravchenko/Alamy

    Volga, Russia

    You'll probably start in Moscow, so don't miss Lenin's Tomb in Red Square; there's talk of burying the old boy (www.aha.ru/~mausoleu). The more conventional cruises head north along the Volga-Baltic Waterway to St. Petersburg, but there are marvels to the south, where the Russian Orthodox onion domes give way to mosque minarets. On the way you'll stop at Volgograd, which, when it was named Stalingrad, witnessed the most bitter standoff of World War II. The 279-foot-tall The Motherland Calls statue is one of the largest nonreligious sculptures in the world.

    You'll probably start in Moscow, so don't miss Lenin's Tomb in Red Square; there's talk of burying the old boy (www.aha.ru/~mausoleu). The more conventional cruises head north along the Volga-Baltic Waterway to St. Petersburg, but there are marvels to the south, where the Russian Orthodox onion domes give way to mosque minarets. On the way you'll stop at Volgograd, which, when it was named Stalingrad, witnessed the most bitter standoff of World War II. The 279-foot-tall The Motherland Calls statue is one of the largest nonreligious sculptures in the world.

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