Exclusive A-ROSA river cruises on the Danube, Rhine, Rhône and Seine
Cruising on a river and the countless meanders of Danube, Rhine, Rhône and Seine are not the fastest way to get from A to B. But that is precisely what A-Rosa want to give you: a little time for you to relax.
With an innovative concept consisting of casual but stylish feel-good holidays, a richly diverse program and luxurious facilities, the modern A-ROSA premium ships offer cruises on Europe's rivers Danube, Rhine, Rhône and soon Seine.
Make yourself comfortable in your cozy cabin or simply daydream in SPA-ROSA with sauna, fitness and beauty treatments. Enjoy the ever-changing panorama on the extensive sun deck. Everyday, you can enjoy culinary surprises with regional and seasonal specialties from our buffet with its live cooking station. And during one of our many stops, you will have plenty of time to get to know the country better.
The best holidays are when you meet nice people - and yourself. The perfect setting for a rendezvous: a city full of winding lanes and Renaissance façades watched over by a lofty basilica. The Saône and the Rhône meet in Lyon before heading off on their honeymoon - to the Mediterranean, of course. You are welcome to join them. The sun sets into the river as you sip your Côte du Rhône. Medieval Viviers is waiting for you, as is the Ardèche, which brings a special element to the ambience: it has dug magical caves up to 300 m deep into the limestone. Above ground the halls of the monumental Papal Palace await you in magnificent Avignon, while in Arles you have your pick of sunny spots on romantic corners. But no fairy tale is complete without white horses. Voilà! Here they are: in the wild Camargue.
Ancient ruins, wild horses and old men playing boules on the market squares. Many of the scenes you encounter on this trip look like they come from a picture book. It's the same in the rustic, rural region of Burgundy, where the hillsides are covered in the most famous vines in the world, from Pinot Noir to Chablis. You will never tire of exploring the labyrinthine alleys of the medieval-Baroque-modern merchant city of Lyon. But you can certainly eat your fill because every corner of this city demonstrates why Lyon is known as "la ville de gueule", or "the city of the mouth". Then it's time to lose yourself in picturesque Provence, where immediately even your own watch begins to slow down. Soak up the joie de vivre, the colours and the beauty of nature. And the fact that for once all of your holiday photos - even the ones you snapped with your mobile phone - could be published in a picture book.
What is it that makes the south of France so special? So different from the other beautiful Mediterranean regions? Maybe it's the fact that everything is a little more intense. The people, who are always so animated and open; the hard, angular dialect; the picturesque landscape with its dry red earth; the breathtaking ravines and even wild white horses. The mistral, which regularly blows stormily into your lungs. The wines are full-bodied and good. And then there's the fantastic cuisine scented with herbs and olives, and the art, which positively hurls vibrant colours into the eye. The buildings play their part, too. Papal palaces, monasteries and castles, stony and awe-inspiring. The international jet set on the Côte d'Azur aren't exactly known for understatement either. All of this is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the south of France - not just a little, but head over heels. And to have a holiday that is a little more intense. For all the senses.
In medieval Rouen, the "frosted city", Noël normand - Norman Christmas - is celebrated with a festive market that makes the city's ancient narrow streets seem even more romantic than usual. Perhaps you're willing to attempt a few laps of the ice-skating rink in front of the famous cathedral? Needless to say, the Champs-Élysées boasts one of Paris's many enchanting Christmas markets. This magnificent Parisian boulevard is a shopping paradise all year round, but at Christmas it is also home to romantic wooden huts selling handicrafts and French Christmas delicacies. In a sea of sparkling lights you'll encounter ice sculptures and a magical big wheel giving you unforgettable views of the winter wonderland below, all surrounded by illuminated trees. At Christmas, the City of Lights truly lives up to its name.
The Eiffel Tower, the way of life or the art? You could argue for hours about what it is that makes Paris so special. But one thing everyone agrees on is that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And when seen from the water, it's even more beautiful. The banks of the Seine, the river's many bridges and all the little stories about them are incredibly romantic. The Seine seems to have adopted the Parisians' laissez-faire attitude to life as it gently flows towards Normandy. The landscape here - which was named after the "men of the North", the Vikings, who landed here around 1,200 years ago - is extremely pretty. Blossoming meadows and dense forests guide the river towards Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. The many artefacts documenting the 2,000-year history of this city are highly interesting. It's easy to see why Normandy has been depicted in so many works of art. You too will reach for your camera more often than usual, regardless of whether you visit Claude Monet's magical garden or the gorgeous Château Bizy, also known as "Little Versailles". And everywhere you go, you're tempted by culinary delights. In France, cheese is revered. Sample as much of it as you can, and find out why.
A long time ago, the Middle Rhine Valley was the scene of dramas, battles and shipping disasters. All of this took place in the shadows of 40 castles, rocky mountains and dense forests. Today the wise old castles and even the legendary Lorelei look down peacefully at the mighty river, generously providing clicking smartphones with a majestic natural panorama. Ships are now able to safely pass by the craggy slate rocks before sailing on to colourful clusters of timber-framed dwellings, huge sandstone cathedrals and cool glasses of excellent wines to toast the Rhine’s beauty.
With its two turrets and prominent location at the end of a pier, the Hotel New York has been a Rotterdam institution since 1917. It has got new neighbours over the last few years: tall, ultramodern buildings that have given the city an impressive skyline and the nickname "Manhattan on the Maas". The old hotel watches over the hustle and bustle of life in Europe's biggest sea port. In the canals of Amsterdam, the city of artists, tolerance and the good life, you're more likely to see house boats than shipping giants. This cheerful, international city is the perfect place for culture, history, shopping and, most importantly, living in the moment.
Beurs voor Diamanthandel, the Belgian diamond bourse, has north-facing windows, because it’s important to keep sunlight to a minimum when evaluating the colour and purity of the stones. Antwerp is an old diamond-trading city, but it also has a more down-to-earth side. The city’s most famous chip shop is Frituur N°1 where Maria subjects the truly exquisite chips to a dual-fry process. Amsterdam’s treasures include its diverse range of museums, its glittering canals and, most importantly, its relaxed multicultural society, where every visitor immediately feels at home. Duisburg in Germany’s Ruhr region (or “Pott”) has an equally international quality. Duisburg is a true city on water: the Rhine, the Ruhr, the Rhine-Herne Canal and the world’s largest inland port are all waiting to be explored. When you dock here and take a look at the huge ships that sail the world’s seas, you’re bound to feel a little bit of wanderlust yourself.
The mighty Rhine’s final act is a stunning one. Before it joins the North Sea, it splits into five branches and spreads through the untouched countryside like a vast fan. It’s now in a rush to leave behind its famous cities with their people, culture, museums and incredible architecture. As you breathe in the incomparable air, you can understand why the river’s in such a hurry. Gusts of wind whistle around you – and are those seals you see? You are filled with an indescribable sense of freedom. And yet at the same time, you are pleased to spot one of the old Dutch fishing villages with its quaint stepped-gable roofs and colourful sailboats.
People have celebrated the Danube in song, dedicated poems to it and written fairy tales about it. So when you are on the deck of the A-ROSA watching the wonders of nature and cities glide by, don’t be surprised if you find yourself writing unusually grandiloquent postcards and text messages to your friends back home. This happens a lot. This trip will enable you to take home European history not only as a store of knowledge but also as a heartfelt sense of life. Vienna and Budapest, the former capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, are positively overflowing with stunning Baroque architecture and the finest Hungarian art nouveau. And, despite being surrounded by all this old splendour, both cities seem to keep getting younger and more dynamic. Nonconformist types will be thrilled by a visit to the self-confident Slovakian capital, Bratislava. While you’re there, make sure you order bryndzové halušky! This national dish is made of noodles with sheep’s cheese. It’s simple but really good.
In the Schlögener Loop, the Danube makes two spectacular U-turns before finally deciding to take the most beautiful route to Vienna: through the narrow Wachau valley, where castle ruins and icing-sugar monasteries peep out from terraced vineyards and apricot orchards. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the home of great wines and beguilingly beautiful. You’ll be spoiled for choice in Vienna. There’s just so much to see: historical buildings and museums, naturally, but also unexpected delights like a café that sells furniture, crazy second-hand shops and a tiny basement where you can listen to the finest jazz music. Linz will captivate you with its exciting stylistic contrasts, from Baroque to contemporary. Alone the Lentos Art Museum, which features works from the 20th and 21st centuries, and the Ars Electronica Center, with its high-tech exhibits, will keep you busy for hours.
A trilogy of cult films about “Sissi”, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, is always shown on German TV at Christmas. But this year, you can go one better: by visiting the Sisi Museum yourself. The Danube will take you there in festive style – with castles and abbeys lining the way as you pass through the most beautiful landscape imaginable. Vienna was made to fill you with Christmas cheer. Christmas lights shine out from the high windows of magnificent historical buildings. Meanwhile Baroque churches and opulent squares with sparkling Christmas markets and ice-skating rinks look like something out of a fairy tale. The Christkindl market in Linz also entices you in with the aroma of sweet treats, festive music and a sightseeing train that whisks you off to the peaceful, wintry Pöstlingberg Schlössl restaurant.
Wouldn't it be nice to experience several cities and landscapes in one single trip, and to discover that any one of these destinations would have made the trip worthwhile? This is exactly what you'll experience on the almost 3,000-km stretch of the Danube between the Black Forest and the Black Sea. In irrepressible Bratislava, Renaissance meets socialism, and science fiction thrives alongside Baroque. Budapest - so majestic yet so quirky - has an improvisational feel, with its "ruin pubs" and former schools and factories converted into offices. And then there is the Hungarian language! Finally Vienna. Resembling an ornate pink confectionery creation, this is another city whose mixture of oriental, German and French influences make visitors fall in love with it. In fact, one trip to Vienna is not enough: you'll want to keep coming back to discover more. And you'll probably want to keep coming back for the Wäschermäderln, Vienna's famous marzipan-stuffed apricots, too.
Calm waters through Europe's stormy history. Wouldn't it be nice to experience several cities and landscapes in one single trip, and to discover that any one of these destinations would have made the trip worthwhile? This is exactly what you'll experience on the almost 3,000-km stretch of the Danube between the Black Forest and the Black Sea. In irrepressible Bratislava, Renaissance meets socialism, and science fiction thrives alongside Baroque. Budapest - so majestic yet so quirky - has an improvisational feel, with its "ruin pubs" and former schools and factories converted into offices. And then there is the Hungarian language! Finally Vienna. Resembling an ornate pink confectionery creation, this is another city whose mixture of oriental, German and French influences make visitors fall in love with it. In fact, one trip to Vienna is not enough: you'll want to keep coming back to discover more. And you'll probably want to keep coming back for the Wäschermäderln, Vienna's famous marzipan-stuffed apricots, too.