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Go slow to see the real Europe

In this article, Ashleigh Bailey shares why Europe is a destination to discover slowly, on the steady pace of a luxury river cruise in 2024.

Europe is a destination to savour, to discover slowly, to experience in full. The best way to immerse yourself in all of its treasures is the steady pace of a luxury river cruise, writes Ashleigh Bailey.

The fast pace we often experience while travelling means it’s not unusual to arrive home in need of a holiday, thanks to a few weeks packing and unpacking, rushing from one city to the next, counting the hours, ticking off the sites. We might see plenty but how much do we get to feel or gain along the way? What do we learn, what magic do we miss out on?

The steady pace and relaxing style of river journeys is the antithesis to exhausting, cram-it-in travel. It allows you to properly connect and immerse yourself into local life, guaranteeing a more authentic experience with the people, cultures and cuisines you encounter on your journey so that you arrive home feeling all the richer.

So why not slow down and let the river guide you on APT’s popular luxury 15-day Magnificent Europe river cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers between Amsterdam and Budapest?

Aerial view of the Rhine River, Germany with the Katz Castle

The journey meanders through passages of impossible beauty such as the World Heritage-listed Rhine Valley, a winding 65-kilometre stretch of vineyards, valleys and the stunning Rhine Gorge, stopping each day to explore and enjoy authentic European life along the way.

Authentic Pursuits

Roam the cobblestone lanes of Durnstein and take in the classical masterpieces at Liechtenstein City Palace in Vienna. Wander through Namedy Castle as a guest of Princess Heide von Hohenzollern and soak up the stunning views of the gold-domed Melk Abbey. Experience unique and enriching local happenings seamlessly every day as part of your itinerary, designed to take you deep into the heart of each destination.

View through the green trees towards large ornate building, Austria
Witness destinations come to life through the stories and insights from expert local guides accompanying you on tours of cities, towns and villages throughout your journey. Discover hidden gems and regional tastes and traditions, enriching your holiday along the way.

Travelling Made Easy

Enjoy the ease of only unpacking once, leaving the stress of constant transit behind. Let Europe come to you while you enjoy the perfect combination of onboard relaxation and shore exploration, with everything taken care of for you. 

Awake each morning to new, dreamy destinations, refreshed and ready to explore as your ship docks in the heart of town. 

Couple standing on back deck overlooking river

River cruising is all about choice and you’re welcome to spend your holiday exactly as you please, like spending a day relaxing on board. Perhaps laze by the pool on Sun Deck or head down to the Wellness Spa for a spot of pampering and rejuvenation with our Wellness Hosts. The choice is yours.

Travel your way – with APT what you decide to do with your day is completely up to you.


Encounter a world of charming towns and villages along Europe’s rivers, many you may not have considered or found otherwise. In these locations you’ll find authentic and unexpected treasures without the crowds, creating more opportunity for magical moments across six countries from Amsterdam to Budapest on your Magnificent Europe river cruise

Cuisines to Delight

Many believe the only way to truly immerse yourself in a place is through its food. If so, get set to be immersed. Perhaps in your time at leisure on shore, you will opt to try some regional delicacies. Your Tour Director will be more than happy to give you some fantastic tips on their local dining favourites for you to discover. 

High Tea with a large tea pot and scones

When not discovering the culinary gems on land, be treated to the finest tastes of Europe on board your ship, with the best of each region’s cuisines perfectly prepared for your dining pleasure. Whether you choose to dine at the Chef’s Table for a showcase of delicious European flavours or more casual fare on deck, you’ll be served the freshest local produce across menus tailored specifically to each destination. 

Freedom of Choice

You’ll be spoilt for choice throughout your luxury river cruise thanks to APT’s array of Freedom of Choice inclusions. Personalise your journey via a selection of cultural, culinary, active and nature-based experiences, all of which are completely up to you. 

View of Windmill at Zaanse Schans, Netherlands

Experience Europe the right way with APT, and return home with a full, happy heart and much less travel fatigue. There’s never been a better time to embrace slow and authentic travel, so let us bring Europe to you on APT’s 15-day Magnificent Europe.

Images courtesy of Matteo Colombo