A cruise can be as edifying as it can be relaxing, you just need to take the right kind of cruise. If you'd rather expand your knowledge as you cruise, especially in history, here are a few great cruises to consider.

National Geographic Expedition Cruises

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As you might expect from the name, a National Geographic Expedition Cruise is far from your standard cruise. These cruises last from five days to more than a month and offer a wide range of destinations.

If you're a fan of natural history, these cruises are right up your alley. With destinations ranging from the Bering Strait to Antarctica, there are options for anyone.

These cruises operate through Lindblad Expeditions and many of them offer a premium level of service, so you don't need to worry about your lust for adventure keeping you from your love of comfort. You'll travel with photographers, marine biologists, historians and/or naturalists, so you'll be sure to have people on hand to make sure you get the most out of each stop on your itinerary.

Jewels of Europe

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If you don't want to pick from the sheer amount of choices available via National Geographic, the Jewels of Europe river cruise may be more your cup of tea. This 15-day tour starts in Amsterdam, making its way to 13 other European locations, including its eventual destination in Budapest. Other destinations you'll visit during the cruise include the Rhine Gorge, Nuremberg and Vienna.

Operated by Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, this cruise features excellent accommodations. Your suite will include a queen-size bed, Egyptian cotton sheets and more, while food includes both fine dining and more casual options.

Treasures of the Mekong

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Another river cruise operated by Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, the Treasures of the Mekong cruise will take you through Vietnam and Cambodia. The trip runs between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, with which city you start in depending on when you book your trip.

This is a 13-day cruise, with stops on the itinerary including the ancient hilltop pagoda of Wat Hanchey and the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh. You'll spend multiple days in both Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, giving you a chance to truly get to know the cities.

The cruise takes place aboard a 5-star ship with luxurious one-bedroom balcony suites. Over the course of your trip, you'll be treated to 32 meals.

Art & Architecture Along the Rhine

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If you want to take a cruise while your traveling companion would rather spend time in a museum, the Art & Architecture Along the Rhine cruise promises a bit of both. This 11-day cruise along the Rhine delivers plenty of what the name promises.

The cruise kicks off in Basel, Switzerland, with a private tour of the Tinguely Museum, followed by a dinner and your first stay of the night. Over the course of the cruise, you'll stop in Weil am Rhein and Cologne before ending up in Amsterdam, where you'll spend two days visiting museums and appreciating the architecture.

This cruise is operated by Abercrombie & Kent, which has been offering luxury and adventure cruises since 1962.

Nile River

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If you're a history buff looking for a cruise, what's better than a cruise through a country with one of the longest histories of any? The Nile River Cruise by Sonesta travels from Luxor to Aswan and it does so in luxury.

These cruises come in three-night, five-night and seven-night varieties. During the trip, you'll visit landmarks including temples, tombs and ruins, with Egyptologists guiding you through the excursions.

Some of the locations you'll visit include the Aswan High Dam, the Unfinished Obelisk and the island of Philae. No matter how long you stay, it's bound to be an unforgettable trip.