More and more river cruise companies are offering the opportunity to extend your trip with land stays. Nick Dalton selects six of the best options

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Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. Image credit: iStock.

Swiss bliss

Lakeside Lucerne is classic Switzerland and you can experience it to the full with a pre- or post-Rhine cruise with Viking. It all starts at the Radisson Blu hotel, between the water’s edge and old town, where floor-to-ceiling windows in your room give panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

The adventure starts with a walking tour taking in the Chapel Bridge across the Reuss River, the oldest covered wooden bridge in Europe, the Water Tower and many burgher houses. The second day is free but there are many sightseeing opportunities, not least a trip on a paddlewheel steamer to one of the area’s other lakeside resorts. There are mountains too, with lifts to the top of Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis for amazing views; walk down for classic scenery.

An eight-day Rhine Discovery cruise sails between Amsterdam and Basel, passing through Germany and France with calls at Cologne and Strasbourg. Departs March-October, from £2,445pp including wine with dinner, flights, transfers and excursions. A two-night hotel stay in Lucerne, including breakfasts, guided walking tour, ship/hotel transfer and the services of a Viking host starts at £359pp (0800 319 6660/vikingcruises.co.uk).