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When river cruising you’ll find there’s a port to suit every taste and interest. We’ve compiled a list of five of the most attractive, interesting destinations to shop, sightsee, eat and be inspired.

Porto on the Douro

Speaking of port, the cellar door tastings on offer in Portugal’s second-biggest city are a huge draw for wine buffs, but the churches, bridges, museums, medieval and modern architecture make this a very pretty little stop-off indeed. Well worth doing.

Vienna on the Danube

One of the superstar destinations of European river cruising, Vienna is a joy to cycle or stroll around. In “The City of Waltzes” you’ll be mesmerised by the sounds, the schnitzel, the sachertorte and the sights – the Hofburg Palace and truly stunning Opera House among them. This is a nailed-on highlight for all the history buffs and romantics among you. Lock it in.

Portland on the Willamette

Now this is a slightly left-field one that reflects the way river cruise operators are targeting a younger demographic. Otherwise known as Hipster Central, Oregon, the city’s an engaging, eclectic mix of craft beer microbreweries, exquisite beards and distilleries, all in a very green and laidback setting. If you’re considering doing a North American cruise, this is a pit stop to include.

Frankfurt on the Main

This eye-catching German hub may not reach out and grab the tourist attention of some its more illustrious continental neighbours but it may just be all the better for that! The beer and all that jazz make a lively combo, but for a more sedate slice of culture the Romerberg and Palm Garden are delightful settings in which to catch your breath and contemplate. Recommended.

Budapest on the Danube

To describe the Hungarian haven as embodying opulent grandeur scarcely does it justice. Steeped in history and blessed with mesmeric architectural styles, ranging from baroque to art nouveau, there are so many reasons why this wondrous metropolis rapidly cemented its position as a river-cruise port staple. Just do it!