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The Best European Waterways for Luxury Family Adventures

Fascinating history, diverse cultures, spectacular scenery, and mouth-watering foods are what Europe is made of! For a unique way of discovering this gorgeous continent with your family, consider going on a cruise. Scenic waterways criss-cross around Europe, offering a variety of attractions and activities, allowing for a truly memorable bonding experience with your family.

best European Waterways

So, here are the best European waterways for luxury family adventures.

The Best European Waterways for Luxury Family Adventures

#1: Bordeaux 

Bordeaux is a mecca for wine lovers, and its delicious wine has drawn many visitors to this charming French city. But Bordeaux is more than just sipping delectable wine at a chateau. It’s a beautiful and compact city home to the picturesque Dordogne River.

One of the best things to do in Bordeaux with the family is to take a relaxing luxury river cruise along the Gironde Estuary, the Dordogne, and the Garonne rivers. Your Bordeaux River Cruise will take you to some beautiful fortresses in the area, including the Château de Vayres.

#2: Amsterdam 

Over the centuries, there were around 165 canals built in Amsterdam. The main purpose of these canals is to facilitate the transport of goods and stimulate trade. In 2010, UNESCO was able to declare the canals a World Heritage Site. Cruising these canals with your family is a truly remarkable experience.

During your boat tour, you’ll learn a lot about the history of this city. Along the way, you’ll also encounter interesting sites and hear crazy facts from your guide. Your canal cruise of Amsterdam will take you to the city’s most popular sites, such as the home of Anne Frank, the Red-Light District, and the Old Heineken Factory.

#3: Venice

Venice is a beautiful city built on waterways, so what better way to explore it with your family than by going on a canal cruise? The city’s Grand Canal comprises a 3 km strip of glistening waters dotted with gondolas, vaporettos, and many other types of watercrafts. It is one of the most iconic and best European waterways.

Your canal cruise of Venice will pass through central neighbourhoods, the famous St. Mark’s Square, and passing under bridges, buzzing markets, canal-front restaurants, grand museums, and iconic structures. The Grand Canal of Venice not only connects the city’s top attractions, but it is also an attraction in itself!

#4: Inverness

Considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest waterways, the Caledonian Canal in Inverness is a great masterpiece of canal engineering, slicing throughout the entire length of the Great Glen. The canal is 100 km long, running from Inverness to Corpach.

The most famous section of the Caledonian canal is the Loch Ness, where you’ll find several cruise companies offering a variety of cruises and boat trips. When exploring the canal, you can combine boating with hiking along the sections of the Great Glen Way.

#5: Oxford 

With winding ancient waterways and enchanting scenic views, narrowboating in Oxford has long been a popular activity for both tourists and locals. In fact, one of the best things to do in Oxford with your family is to rent a narrowboat and explore its canals and backwaters.

After spending some time at the water, take time to explore Oxford’s attractions. Some of the luxury things to do in Oxford include visiting the Blenheim. This civil parish is believed to be the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. You should also explore the Cotswolds, go on a sightseeing tour, and head to the Oxford Artisan Distillery for a behind-the-scenes look at craft distilling.

After reading about all these fantastic places with the best European waterways, which one will you be visiting next?

author: penny martinelli

Shelley Whittaker

Shelley Whittaker

Shelley is the Founder of Wander & Luxe. She is an award nominated blogger and has worked in the travel, motherhood and lifestyle space since 2016. Her mission is to inspire family wanderlust by showing her adventures and sharing her knowledge and know how when travelling with kids. All whilst she tries to conquer motherhood and indulge in life’s little luxuries.

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Inspiring and Informing Your Family Wanderlust
Aussie Wife | Yorkshire Mama
Lover of Coffee, Champagne and A Little Luxe
Perth, Western Australia

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