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5 Spectacular River Cruises from the Amazon to the Seine

By Margaret Manning August 30, 2017 Travel

Rivers have always fascinated me. I find it intriguing, but not surprising, that most of the large prosperous cities in the world are built on the banks of wide, powerful rivers.

The River Thames shapes the essence of London as a commercial and industrial centre. The Danube speaks of the movement of culture and music along routes in Central and Eastern Europe. The 3000-mile-long Mississippi runs north to south across almost the entire United States, offering a line between east and west.

Rivers Have Shaped Our Human History

The first civilizations emerged along the Euphrates, Tigris, Nile and Indus Rivers. Water is our lifeblood, which is why we are so drawn to it.

A river is on a journey, just like we are.

Rivers can help us to see things in new ways. The Seine amplifies feelings of love. The River Thames speaks of power and trade. The Ganges reminds us of our quest for the eternal. The Irrawaddy River in Myanmar provides a meandering yet powerful transport system, a 2000-mile-long liquid road.

This week, I was looking through Road Scholar’s extensive list of river cruises and it reminded me of my first experiences on the water as a child. I’d love to share this history with you now. Then, I’ll return to some of the upcoming cruises that I find fascinating.

My Childhood on the River

Rivers have a way of capturing our hearts. Perhaps it started for me as a child when I lived in North Bay, Ontario.

There was a coffee-coloured creek behind my house that promised adventure and discovery.

My brothers and I built rickety rafts held together with rope. We went on journeys in the mysterious backwater that led to sparkling Lake Nipissing and then on to Lake Huron and finally the North Atlantic Sea.

My little creek connected me to the larger world and I was always excited to see where the currents would take me. Perhaps that explains my love and respect for water and passion for river cruising!

River Cruises Motivate Us to Navigate and Explore Life

The success of the river cruise industry shows how deeply connected we are to the water – how drawn we are to its power to transport us to new places.

There are many reasons river cruising is so popular. The boat floats with glass like serenity. The scenery changes minute by minute. The boat usually docks at the town and passengers can walk into town. Finally, there is an intimacy in small groups.

I remember reading a quote that said that, on a river cruise, you are a name and not a cabin number. You unpack once and your floating transformation is underway.

Road Scholar is an expert in learning adventures and has many wonderful river experiences. Here are just a few.

France and the Romanic River Seine

This Road Scholar cruise of France’s legendary Seine River explores the cultural, artistic and architectural highlights of Paris and then takes you to Normandy to explore the historical remembrances there.

A French riverboat cruise then highlights the River Seine and its beautiful natural beauty that inspired painters and travellers from around the world.

Russia and Its Historical Waterways

If you have a curiosity for Russia, the rivers between Moscow and St. Petersburg hold the key to a multifaceted landscape of canals and lakes.

This Road Scholar Russia cruise introduces you to the traditional lifestyle of the villages along the Volga. An on-board expert will align the historical Russia with current events.

United States Mississippi River Steamboat Experience

This Road Scholar exploration is an amazing 24-night Mississippi River learning adventure. It begins in New Orleans, travelling the length of the Mississippi aboard a unique and comfortable steamboat. Cruising through the country’s heartland, you get to visit Main Street and small-town America. You also experience the dynamic cities that have evolved along the Mississippi River over time.

Music and Culture on the Danube River

This unique Road Scholar Danube River cruise allows explore German, Austrian, Slovakian and Hungarian history.

You float past palaces and scenery that reveal the secrets of past empires.

Time in Prague, in the Czech Republic, gives you a chance to visit the city on a river that inspired famous composers like Mozart, Dvorak, Smetana and Janacek.

River Cruising in the Heart of the Amazon

The Amazon is a dark and mysterious river that captures images of nature in its wildest and most intriguing state. Far from the large Brazilian cities, this Road Scholar Amazon river cruise allows you to discover the wonder of the Amazon rainforest on a luxury riverboat.

Exploring this complex river, you’ll learn about the fascinating animals that live on its banks and how modern farmers are surviving. This cruise is led by naturalists who share their insights on the vegetation, tropical birds and wonderfully curious animals and fish.

There is a Road Scholar River Cruise for Everyone

You may be looking for a serene floating experience of history, culture and beauty. You may crave an adventurous exploration in some of the most remote parts of the world. Why not accept the call of our earth’s most mysterious and beautiful waterways? Why not give Road Scholar river cruises a look?

Have you ever been on a river cruise? What was your experience like? What is one river in the world that you would like to explore? What was your experience? Please join the conversation!

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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