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European Culture and History 

From the castles of Scotland to Germany’s medieval towns, from the Mediterranean’s iconic landmarks to the Baltic’s fairytale cities, Europe is a destination that one could spend a blissful lifetime exploring. For those of us who do not have the means to do so, we can experience and savor the old world’s cultural highlights through well-planned vacations, and now is the perfect time to do so.

As the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen in comparison to the Euro, your hard-earned vacation budget stretches further than the Danube. Now cities that were one once too expensive to experience—we’re looking at you Paris and Venice—are now more attainable. Also more attainable is the option to upgrade your hotel room or cabin, making your journey even more dream fulfilling.

Yes, you now have many, many options. Thankfully we’re here to help you sort them out. We’ve experienced personally and professionally many of the hotels, resorts, tour operators, cruise ships and train services that will form the backbone of your European vacation. We also have contacts throughout the continent—tour guides we trust, chefs we can’t wait to see again, and concierges who treat our clients like VIPs.

Experiencing European Culture on a River Cruise


Step Off the Boat and into History – Your river cruise ship docks right in the heart of the city, giving you more time to sit in cafes, stroll through museums and peruse the shops.

All-Inclusive Ambiance – Most river cruise companies deliver an all-inclusive experience, providing you with all meals, regional wines and free shore excursions with a knowledgeable guide.

Ever Changing Views – You’ll see more of Europe from its rivers. The constantly changing scenery includes children laughing in small villages, vineyards stretching across the mountains, stately castles shrouded in the early morning mist and much more.

Iconic Rivers – See firsthand that the rivers that played such vital roles in shaping Europe’s cultural identity—the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Main and Volga.

Experiencing European Culture on an Ocean Cruise


Ideal Itineraries – Whether you want to see Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona, shop in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, tour a vineyard in Italy or a museum in London, you’ll find the perfect itinerary that takes you to all of your dream destinations.

Incredible Onboard Options – Rock climbing in the morning and Venice in the afternoon? A day of exploring Copenhagen followed by a night at a Broadway musical? Larger cruise ships give you the options to make your vacation truly memorable.

Cosmopolitan Ports – Your cruise can visit the world’s most desirable cities—Rome, Dubrovnik, St. Petersburg, Oslo, Athens, Lisbon, Santorini, Cannes and more.

Family-Friendly – With more onboard options for kids, including splash parks and kids clubs, an ocean cruise makes it easier to bring the entire family along.

Experiencing European Culture through a Guided Vacation

Insider’s Access – On a guided vacation, you will not waste time standing in long lines. Your tour director will take you right up to the entrance, unclick the red velvet rope and usher you inside, giving you more time to savor every piece of art in the museum. 

Walking Encyclopedia – Your tour guide will most likely be from the area you’re touring and have intimate, inexhaustible knowledge of the villages, people and culture, knowledge he’ll share with you throughout your journey.

Flexibility is Key – Did you want to visit that little book shop you read about near Notre Dame Cathedral? Your tour guide has the authority and flexibility to take the group off course and experience something unique that you personally wanted to see. 

Safety in Numbers – Being part of a larger group with a guide leading you around protects you more from thieves or locals harassing you for a particular service.


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© Travel Leaders Group