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Get the best of both cruising worlds makes sense for many travellers – especially when they have travelled half way round the world to see Europe’s waterways.

Why rush home?

Now many cruise lines are offering combination cruising – so you can take a leisurely inland journey, then move on to an ocean trip.

Viking’s 2019 combined itineraries were hugely popular last year. Crystal, with its luxury fleet now growing on the rivers and oceans, is another taking advantage of this trend. And operators like Evergreen are joining hands with ocean lines to create more expansive journeys.

The joy in these combination cruises lies in just how much guests get to see and do on a voyage that takes you deeper into cultures and experiences.

One of Viking’s longer itineraries departs May 26 and takes guests to 19 ports between Bergen and Budapest. Among the highlights are a visit to the 900-year-old Marksburg Castle in the Rhine Valley, and the chance to sample the delights of the food and wine in Austria’s Wachau Valley.

The second leg of the journey is aboard one of Viking’s new ocean-going vessels, which sets sail from Skagen, Denmark, and take in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. When it comes to setting foot back on dry land, shore excursions will have guests exploring the fish market and fortress of Kristiansand and the majestic fjord settings of Flam.

The 15-day cruise, which departs on June 2, follows a similar itinerary to that of the Grand European and Viking Fjords journey but visits different river ports, such as Breisach in Germany, acclaimed for its vineyards, and Strasbourg, beloved for its Gothic and Tudor architecture.

Combination cruising with Evergreen also offering similar itineraries. Guests are able to sail on Evergreen river vessels and then step onboard a Princess Cruises ship or Poseidon Expeditions craft for intrepid journeys to far-flung destinations such as the Arctic or North Pole.

Crystal’s sailings leave this European summer with eight itineraries the combine river and yacht or ocean sailings – called Crystal Exclusive Journeys.

All start with a round trip out of Vienna on the Crystal Mozart, with several yacht options available from the Crystal Symphony out of Barcelona to Lisbon, Marseille to Barcelona and Antwerp to Honfleur.