River cruising let’s you relax while the world comes to you. From the sun deck or your cabin French balcony, you can watch it all go by. Then when it’s time to disembark, you’re right at the riverside, ready to wander through picturesque villages, explore fascinating cities or discover ancient sites.
Here are just some of the shore excursions that are offered with Gate 1 Travel and are bound to be a highlight on your river cruise journey.
Irrawaddy River – Myanmar (Burma)
On the luxurious 9-night cruise on Myanmar’s longest river you can look forward to visions of golden pagodas, emerald rice fields and welcoming villages. There are many included shore excursions and here are just a few of the highlights.
Amarapura: Walk across the famous teak U-Bein bridge before boarding a sampan for a memorable sunset ride on the river.
Monywa: A major trade centre for agricultural products from the surrounding valley. Visit the amazing 12th century Hpowindaung and Shwebadaung Caves, adorned with hundreds of Buddha statues placed inside niches decorated with wonderful mural paintings.
Shwe Pyi Thar Village: Walking tour through this typical nomadic village where you learn about collecting and processing palm sap into palm sugar, sweets and liquors.
Bagan: The country’s spiritual centre and one of the largest and most unforgettable archaeological sites in the world. Over 2,000 pagodas, stupas and temples dot the golden plains of the city. Plus while you’re in Bagan, visit the bustling Nyaung-U morning market with its colourful stalls.
Yangtze River – China
The popular 4-day river cruise commences in Yichang and travels upstream to Chongqing (3-day cruises in reverse). The journey itself is spectacular, as you sail through Wu Gorge, famed for its magnificent Twelve Peaks and see century-old temples on the river banks.
Optional shore excursion package: this package makes it easy and includes a tour of Shibaozhai pagoda, enjoying a scenic small boat trip up Yangtze tributaries and visiting the Three Gorges Dam.
Danube River – Hungary, Austria & Germany
The Danube is Europe’s second-longest river, after the Volga, and travels 2860 km from Germany through ten countries in total. The most popular cruising section from Budapest, Hungary, to Regensburg, Germany, includes many great shore excursions and here are a notable few.
Budapest: City tour begins on the Pest side of the river; view Parliament, City Park, and Heroes Square. Cross to Buda to see the Royal Palace, Matthias Church and the graceful medieval architecture along the cobbled streets.
Bratislava: Tour the capital of Slovakia, a mix of modern and Baroque architecture with a rich history dating back more than 2000 years. Walk along the cobblestone lanes of the historic town center; view St Martin’s Cathedral, coronation site of the Kings of Hungary, the 13th century Old Town Hall and the Franciscan church.
Melk: Disembark for a guided tour of the historic Benedictine Abbey, considered one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture in Europe. View the Abbot’s chambers, the Kaiser’s walk, and the lavish library.
Salzburg optional tour: For those who haven’t been to Salzburg before, this is a great opportunity to see some of the city’s most historic sites on a walking tour, including Mirabell Palace, the Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral and St Peter’s Cemetery.
Rhine River – Netherlands, Germany & Switzerland
Flowing from the southeastern Swiss Alps, through the Rhineland and eventually to the North Sea in the Netherlands, the Rhine River is a vital navigable waterway. Its course has set many boundaries between countries or empires, hence the many castles and fortifications that we can still be seen on its banks.
Cologne: One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, your walking tour is highlighted by the soaring, twin-steeple Gothic cathedral that is the geographical and spiritual heart of the city.
Koblenz: Located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, join an orientation walk and enjoy free time to explore the Romanesque architecture and imposing defensive towers of this 2000-year old city. Or, join the optional tour to the dramatic Marksburg Castle, the only hill castle on the Rhine that’s never been destroyed and has been continuously occupied for over 700 years.
Strasbourg: A lovely day awaits you in the Alsace capital of Strasbourg, situated on the border of France and Germany, blending the cultures of both countries. Discover Strasbourg on the tour highlighting the city’s centre, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Breisach: This small city dates back over 4000 years. On your walking tour along the cobbled streets lined with pastel-painted houses, it’s hard to believe this town was mostly destroyed in WWII and then totally restored to its original beauty. View the towering Romanesque and Gothic St Stephansmunster Cathedral.
Volga River – Russia
The legendary Volga an ideal passageway through Russia’s fascinating history and cultural traditions. The French writer Alexandre Dumas describes its significance well, “Every country has its national river and Russia has the Volga – the longest river in Europe, the Queen of rivers – and I was one of the many who went to bow to her Majesty River Volga.”
St Petersburg: Begin on the stunning Nevsky Prospekt, the main avenue of the city, planned by Peter the Great. Continue to view the Palace Square, Peter and Paul Fortress, St Isaac’s Cathedral with its huge golden dome and the magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a superb example of Russian architecture. Visit the world-famous Hermitage Museum, housing the largest collection of priceless masterpieces by Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rembrandt and many others.
Goritsy: Visit the old Russian town with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Stroll the grounds of the 14th century Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery, also known as the Monastery of St Cyril of the White Lake, one of the largest and best preserved medieval Abbeys in Russia.
Uglich: This town played an important role in Russian history when Prince Dmitry used it as a hiding place from the bloody reign of his father Ivan the Terrible. Today’s walking tour will visit the Church of St Dimitry-on-Blood built in honour of the Prince on the exact spot where he was killed by his father’s forces, and the Transfiguration Cathedral impressively decorated with painted icons and frescoes.
Moscow: Begin your panoramic city tour at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, St Basil’s Cathedral and the former headquarters of the KGB. Explore storied Red Square, and visit GUM, a large department store that could easily be confused with a palace. Visit the Kremlin on a guided walking tour that takes you inside the former residence of the Russian Czars.
Find out more about included and optional shore excursions on each of our river cruise tours.