In a recent online article published by a staff writer for leading UK newspaper The Telegraph, and focusing on river cruises, Italy was given pride of place.

Currently one of the top three most popular European countries in which to take river cruises, Italy is quickly catching up to perennial favourites Germany and France in the forefront of this competitive and rapidly developing niche market. The Telegraph article should help give booking volumes for cruises in that country a significant boost, as staff travel expert Tim Jepson expounds on their virtues.

In his piece, the feature writer talks about not only the river cruises; Italy also plays host to the larger variety, held on board cruise liners. According to Jepsen, Italy is a perfect destination in which to enjoy both types of cruise, as it not only presents stunning sights when approached from the sea, but also at least one waterway ripe for exploring onboard a barge cruise.

The list of locations recommended by the Telegraph staffer as destinations to explore on an Italian barge cruise range from smaller, quainter harbours — such as Portofino, Palermo, Genoa or Bari — to historic locations like Pompeii, Tuscany, Capri, Pisa or Puglia, as well as larger destinations like Venice.

Where river cruises in particular are concerned, the newspaper makes mention of the Po being the main freshwater waterway worth exploring in the country. Cruising along this river will allow visitors to experience landscapes ranging from Alpine mountainscapes to sprawling plains and the unique urban stylings of Venice. Many companies offering Italian barge cruises make the City of Canals a large part of their itinerary, often allowing visitors to spend several days exploring it, while others prefer to take passengers further afield, to Bologna, Ravenna, Padua, Ferrara, Verona or Lake Garda.

River cruises are the fastest-growing sector of the cruise market, and have experienced a never-before-seen level of expansion within the travel industry.

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