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UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Discover on a European River Cruise


UNESCO World Heritage is the benchmark for cultural enrichment. It highlights, protects and safeguards places on Earth that are invaluable to our collective history and culture – preserving them for future generations to enjoy.

While the World Heritage List spans the entire globe, many destinations across Europe boast this coveted accolade. From ancient castles and cathedrals to areas of outstanding natural beauty, there are dozens of World Heritage Sites throughout the continent – and you can discover many of them on a European river cruise with Scenic in 2022.

To give you an idea of just how many World Heritage Sites you can encounter on Europe’s waterways, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide, covering destinations from the Benelux to the heart of Russia.

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Central Europe

The ancient lands of Central Europe provide limitless opportunities for cultural discovery. From Germany, with its rolling Rhineland hills and ancient Bavarian settlements, to Czechia, whose scattering of medieval towns and cities are a step back in time; the heart of Europe is home to innumerate historical wonders, and many of them have found their way on to the World Heritage List.

France and the Benelux

These countries just to the west of the Rhine share a profound depth of history and, between them, boast some of the world’s most recognizable and beloved World Heritage Sites. From the banks of the River Seine which traverse the iconic cityscape of Paris, to the charming cobblestones of medieval Bruges, a prized handful of heritage wonders await in France and the Benelux countries.

Below, you can take a tour through the World Heritage Sites of Belgium and France, which can be enjoyed as part of selected river cruises on the Seine, Rhône and Gironde/Garonne rivers in France, as well as on itineraries encompassing the Netherlands and Belgium.

Russia and the East

The enigmatic lands of Russia and Eastern Europe are rich in local traditions, culture and folklore, and have been influenced throughout history by some of the world’s great rulers and civilizations. This has given rise to a number of notable World Heritage Site designations, from the imposing Red Square in the heart of Moscow to ancient Grecian settlements which once thrived on the banks of the Red Sea in modern Bulgaria.

Discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites with Scenic

A world of heritage and wonder awaits on a Scenic river cruise, taking in all the historic sites and cultural destinations that line the banks of Europe’s great rivers. For more information or to book your place, visit our homepage or call our team today.