Bigger is not always better these days, especially when it comes to travel. The ongoing impact of the coronavirus means that large-scale travel such as big cruise ships and mass tourism are out, while small-scale travel is increasingly in. Due to the virus, entire industries need to change and adopt new habits and values. It’s forcing us all to reassess how and why we travel.

Here at Cultural Cruises Europe we feel lucky to be already embracing a different approach. For us, this means seeing the world at a slower pace and on a more local scale. Here are five reasons why our cultural tours are certainly not your normal kind of cruise.

1. Inland cruising with daily excursions

When you say ‘cruise’ most people think of a gigantic cruise liner in the middle of the Caribbean. It just so happens that we also refer to our tours as cruises. But, unlike our colossal cousins, our cruises take place on charming small river ships and barges, many of which accommodate only 20-40 guests. And rather than being out at sea, our tours travel inland on some of Europe’s most picturesque rivers and waterways.

Our cruises also feature daily excursions to visit historical sites, view architectural wonders, and sample delicious local produce along the way. So instead of being stuck on a ship all week with 4000 other people, our guests get off the boat every day and spend most of their time outside exploring individually or in small groups.

2. Health and safety: Top priority

These days you cannot be too careful in protecting the health of yourself and others. That’s why on all our tours we have implemented a corona protocol: a set of procedures and guidelines that follows government measures to ensure a safe environment on our tours. With this approach we aim to provide peace of mind without disrupting the fun and relaxed atmosphere of your vacation.

3. Outstanding cuisine

Forget the buffet, after you’ve enjoyed one of our three-course dinners served with our fine selection of wines and local beers then you’ll never look back. We pride ourselves on taking excellent care of our guests. From the table setting to the talented chefs working in restaurant-quality kitchens on board, you’ll delight in the delicious flavors of artfully-prepared local produce. Bon appetit!

4. Personal space? Plenty!

In this new era, space has taken on a new importance. We know how important it is for travelers to have personal space to feel comfortable in. That’s why all cabins on our ships have private bathrooms and the larger suites have additional sitting space.

Beyond cabins, the Manifique ships offer many pleasant spaces to socialize, relax and unwind. Whether you’re chatting over a beer at the ship’s bar, reading in the lounge area or sitting on deck watching the landscape pass by with a drink in your hand, there’s space for everyone to relax and feel at ease. Last but not least, don’t forget you’ll be getting out into the great outdoors every day, to immerse yourself in the vast glory of nature.

5. Premium travel with a personal touch

When it comes to luxury, many people are seeking a more boutique experience. Our cultural cruises all take place aboard luxury hotel barges. They offer an intimate and personal experience that you’ll remember for years to come. Thanks to the small groups of max. 40 guests, exceptional cuisine and outstanding service from our dedicated staff, you’ll not only delight in exploring Europe but will finish the tour feeling like one big family.