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HOLIDAY PEOPLE: RHINE TASTING; Cruise into Europe's magical waterworld.

Byline: Richard Allen

ALL aboard for a dream cruise ...oceans away from the the sunny Med and Caribbean!

Europe's magical RIVERS are attracting tourists in their thousands - from the vineyards of the Rhine to Old Father Thames.

There's a vast selection of charming and intimate floating hotels for a trip though Europe's water wond- erland.

Be dazzled by fairytale castles and cathedrals that rise from the Rhine and the blue Danube which connects eight countries from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.

Sail along the Saone and Rhone through the grassy banks of Burgundy and marvel at the blooms in the Dutch bulbfields.

Passengers can step ashore to visit an array of historic cities like Venice, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Avignon and Verona on day trips ashore with Peter Deilmann River Cruises.

Their programme for 2002 includes a choice of 37 luxury cruises.

You can travel and eat in style on one of 10 luxurious vessels. Spacious cabins have large windows, air-conditioning and private bathroom with shower.

Seven-night cruises start from pounds 767 per person including return flights. For reservations contact Peter Deilmann Cruises (tel: 0207 7436 2931).

Holland's Greatest Flower Show on Earth only takes place every 10 years - so don't miss next year's floral spectacular with Sterling River Cruises (tel: 08705 553 355). Floriade, the world's largest gardening and horticultural event, is a major attraction among a seven-day spring tour from pounds 329 that also includes the millions of blooms in the famous Keukenhof Gardens and tulip fields.

Sailing on the warm and friendly Lady Anne, with room for just 100 passengers, all cosy cabins have an outside view and bathroom.

Swan's River Cruises (tel: 0207 800 2200) offer an 11-day, four-country journey from Hungary, through Slovakia and Austria into Germany from pounds 1,975.

You can also lap up luxurious hotel barge holidays with European Waterways (tel: 01784 482439) and their 14 vessels covering historic canals and small rivers in France and Germany, plus rivers and lochs in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Aboard their intimate 12-passenger Serenite, travellers can enjoy a magnificent cruise through Germany. Visits include the Brandenberg Gate and Wall Museum and the Muritz National Park.

From early August to November the craft moves to the Rhine to explore the delights of Strasbourg, the vineyards of the pinot noir and riesling wines and the Parc de Lorraine.

There is also a choice of six-night cruises taking in the Upper Loire in France to the Mediterranean, the River Shannon in Ireland, the lochs and rivers of the Scottish Highlands.

Then you can live like a king - gliding through the regal Thames at Hampton Court, Runnymede and Royal Windsor.

RICHARD ALLEN

3

OF THE

BEST

PLACES

1. HISTORIC splendour of Vienna (above).

2. SERENE canals of historic Venice.

3. BUSTLING world of modern Berlin.

GIFTS

1. WINE from Europe's top vineyards.

2. STYLISH Italian ceramics.

3. DUTCH bulbs and blooms.

FOOD

1. GOULASH - Hungarian herdsman's stew.

2. VIENNESE chocolate and apricot cake.

3. PASTA in all shapes and sizes.

CAPTION(S):

GLIDE AWAY: Cruising up the Rhine will dazzle you with fairtytale splendour
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2001
Words:516
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