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European River Cruise

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My husband and I are very intrigued by the idea of a river cruise. I am thinking either Germany or France. We'd also maybe like to add in a few days afterwards in Amsterdam. although that may not happen. I am a total newbie on this subject, so any info, suggestions, etc., would be appreciated. Are there any cruise companies recommended over others? Would also like to be able to do some bicycle riding upon docking. I know I'm being a bit vague, but really don't know quite what to ask. How long are the boats in the ports? I am hoping they aren't just big shopping expeditions or costly excusions, which seems to be the case with the large cruise ships. Are you on the boat in the evening or still in the port?

Any info you can share will get me started. Thank you!

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