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Top 10 European River Cruises

First Stop: Amazing Amsterdam

10 Things You Shouldnt Do On A European River Cruise. And Why

Amsterdam remains one of Europe’s most beloved destinations. There’s no better way to explore it than from the comfort of your ship, which is docked within walking distance to the city center. You can meander through its picturesque streets on foot or enjoy its beauty from a canal boat tour through the city’s many scenic waterways.

Bonus: Canal Cruising In France

There are river cruises, then there are barge cruises. The two are worlds apart, or at least waterways apart. River cruises take place on Europes major waterways on vessels that typically carry from 100 to 200 guests. By contrast, barge cruises operate on small canals and typically carry no more than two dozen guests. To say that the experiences are similar would be a quite a stretch. Sure, they both operate on water, but they are markedly different modes of transport. How so? In this post well take a look at 10 Reasons To Choose Luxury Hotel Barge Cruising.

Rhone & Saone River Cruises In A Nutshell

If you like food and wine, this is the river cruise region for you, as it sails through Provence and Burgundy, the gastronomic heartland of France and two of the country’s top wine-making regions. You’ll cruise past acres of vineyards and have ample opportunities to taste the local grapes.


What Does a River Rhone Itinerary Look Like?

The 505-mile Rhone flows from the Swiss Alps through southern France and into the Mediterranean Sea, west of Marseille. Rising in France, the Saone is the chief tributary of the Rhone and the two converge at Lyon, where the Saone becomes the Rhone.

Once an important trading route for the Greeks and Romans, today’s cruises run along the southernmost stretch. The main itinerary is a seven-night cruise from Lyon to Arles or nearby Avignon, or the reverse. Some cruises also depart from Chalon-sur-Saone, just north of Lyon.


Passengers are transported through medieval cities such as Avignon and Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy.

How Do I get to the River Rhone?

If you’re cruising from Lyon, you’ll fly into Lyon airport, from which it’s a short transfer to your vessel, and out of Marseilles, which is just over an hour by road from Arles. Some operators fly passengers in and out of Lyon, with a coach trip between Avignon and Lyon at the start or end of the cruise.

Is There Anything I Should Watch Out For When Choosing a Rhone River Cruise?

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The Danube River Cruises

Europes second-longest river The Danube River courses through 10 nations in Central and Eastern Europe. With so many socially rich nations lined along its banks, cruising down the Danube makes for one incredibly gorgeous waterway voyage. Volga river is the longest of European rivers. Discover Danubes hidden gems like Vienna and Budapest as one sail on the most iconic rivers on a Europe river cruise.

Best River Cruises In Europe 2022/2023

The Top 10 Best European River Cruises For 2020

Explore the waterways of Europe from the Danube to the Douro on one of these European river cruises.

Reap the benefits of travelling at a pace and in a style that only a cruise can offer. Relax and watch the world go by as you gently drift down beautiful rivers through Europes finest countryside. Wake up in a new place every day and explore top tourist destinations on a choice of optional or included excursions. You may even choose to celebrate Christmas or New Year aboard.

Browse the selection of fantastic European river cruises from our trusted partners and choose your perfect cruise today.

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Cruise The Rhne To Provence

Best for sun-soaked French landscapesIf youd like to experience France in microcosm, a cruise along the Rhône is going to tick all the boxes. Sailing one of Europes finest rivers will take you to the vineyards of Burgundy and charming Avignon, showcasing some of the countrys finest landscapes on the way. Highlights include winding through Burgundy and the sun-soaked countryside of Provence. Youll explore Lyons, with its grand boulevards and quaint old town the medieval streets of Avignon and its opulent papal palace the stupendous Roman amphitheatre in Arles and much more.

Pick An Itinerary With The Most River Cruise Port Stops

A river cruise will take you into the heart of the country. Youll get a fascinating glimpse into the countrys culture, traditions, cuisine and crafts. To make the most of your European river cruise, choose an itinerary that is port-intensive. That is, you stop in a new place every day.

This will ensure an exciting, destination-rich vacation. There is so much to do and see, you do not want to find that you are on board your river cruise ship for several days without stopping.

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S Away From One Of Germany’s Most Visited Landmarks

Your AmaMora floating hotel docks just 10 minutes’ worth of walking away from Cologne’s city center and the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, which ranks as one of Germany’s most visited landmarks. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe. Its impressive square attracts locals on family outings, as well as visitors from around the world.

Burgundy Rhone River And Provence River Cruise

9 Best River Cruises In The World

Relax on a river cruise and unwind somewhere luxurious while you travel to Burgundy, the Rhone River, and Provence.

Wine lovers will enjoy tasting locally produced wine in Beaune and Burgundy, and food lovers will delight in the local cuisine offered in Lyon, France.

The cruise also takes you to Medieval Avignon the Roman remains in Arles, Vienne in France, and many other destinations that will make this river cruise one to remember.

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Meet The Locals Try The Local Cuisine

While all your meals are provided on board the cruise ship, there is no nicer way to enjoy a new destination than visiting one of the local restaurants, bakeries, or cafes.

On a river cruise, you very often stop at a small town. Locals are friendly, and even if they cannot speak perfect English, stop and have a chat and buy some souvenirs. Its a great way to find out more about the local town.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

Go On A Culinary Tour France

On AmaWaterways seven-night Taste of Bordeaux itinerary, expect to experience some of the best produce and wine from the renowned region. In Libourne, stroll through the open-air market, tasting some of the regions specialties. In the village of Bourg, experience the hospitality of this medieval village with an exclusive wine festival. Here, youll meet local wine growers and enjoy live French music and dancing. In Pauillac, visit Margaux Vineyards, a quaint wine estate, to enjoy a wine and a tasting of local specialties. The journey ends in Bordeaux, with the opportunity to visit Les Halles de Bacalan market for another produce tasting. Bon appetit!

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Discover Medieval Villages On The Main

Best for a Christmas cruiseWhile many European cruises sail from Amsterdam to Basel along the Rhine, others leave the river near Mainz and sail the navigable stretch of the Main. This takes you as far as Bamberg, where the Main-Danube canal begins. The river flows through forested hills and past lush water meadows. In between Frankfurt and Würzburg, youll visit medieval Miltenberg, its crooked, half-timbered houses straight out of a Grimms Fairytale. A cruise in winter is particularly scenic, the banks cloaked in snow and the Christmas markets in full swing.

Frankfurt, Germanys financial centre , is a largely modern city with a sensitively restored medieval heart and lively pubs lining the riverbank. In the elegant university town of Würzburg, meanwhile, youll visit the Residenz, one of Europes most opulent Baroque palaces.

Cruise The Caledonian Canal

Which European River Is Most Interesting for a River Cruise?

Best for hunting for the Loch Ness MonsterThe Caledonian Canal follows the natural fault line of the Great Glen, which slices through northern Scotland. A cruise along it means sailing over silent lochs, framed by brooding mountains, forest and heather-clad hillsides, on a voyage that takes you between Fort William, on Scotlands west coast, and Inverness in the northeast. Youll explore the sea lochs of the west, with day excursions to the Hebridean islands of Eigg, Iona and Mull, before sailing the length of Loch Linnhe and into the canal itself. One of the highlights here is Neptunes Staircase, an extraordinary flight of eight locks. Youll also sail the length of narrow Loch Ness, sheer-sided mountains plunging into the deep, dark, peaty waters that conceal the secret of Nessie.

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Helpful Cruise Line Information

If you’ve cruised before you probably have a favorite cruise line. Here at we make it easy for you to sort through the cruise line of your choice for the best cruises at the best discounts on your favorite cruise line. Choose from the best cruise lines in the world including Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity, Crystal, Azamara, Oceania, Viking, Avalon, and Disney. You can be confident that you’ll get the cheapest cruise price possible with concierge like service from our cruise experts here at View information on your favorite cruise line.

American Queen Steamboat Company:

If youd like to cruise closer to home, the American Queen Steamboat Company is one of a handful of river cruise companies operating in the United States.

Their newest ship is the 245-guest American Countess, which debuted in March, 2021.

A former gambling boat, she was almost totally rebuilt.

The main dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can enjoy panoramic riverside scenes while noshing on USDA prime beef and Southern favorites like Louisana shrimp creole.

And while still a paddlewheeler, the cabins are more modern than those in the lines other ships .

With the companys trademark red paddlewheel at the stern, the American Countess offers Mississippi River cruises between New Orleans and Memphis, where bourbon tasting, Mark Twain river tales and Ragtime piano performances are all part of the onboard experience.

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Nile River Cruises In Egypt

You definitely want to put a Nile River cruise on your bucket list. The tombs and temples of ancient Egypt are eye-popping!

Feel like Cleopatra on the Nile when you journey down the same river where they honeymooned on the Egyptian queens royal barge.

But they no doubt would be jealous of the vessels you can cruise on today.

How To Choose A Europe River Cruise

River Cruising: 10 things you MUST know

From dazzling Dutch tulip fields in springtime to Germany’s atmospheric Christmas markets — and a host of other destinations — Europe river cruises offer a world of sights and experiences.

River sailings remain a popular choice for cruisers, with new ships being launched each year — Viking alone launched eight new ships in Europe in 2022. On the plus side, this means more choices, including an ever-increasing number of themed vacations, such as food and wine, active and family-oriented sailings. On the other side of the coin, the biggest challenge about planning a European river cruise is identifying one that is right for you.

We’re here to help you narrow down your choices. First, here are some things you should know, followed by a few tips.

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Seine River Cruises European River Cruises

The Seine travels through France are great for workmanship, history, and wine darlings the same. As well as seeing compositional wonders like the Louver, the Eiffel Tower, and the Notre Dame basilica, the Seine River has 37 pleasant extensions in Paris alone! Pick one of the Seine travels that take through Rive Gauche , quite possibly of the most heartfelt area in the city.

Take a Europe river cruise to Normandys arrival sea shores. Taste some of the best food and wine along with soft drinks. France has to offer a Grand France package, which takes one to the stunning French Riviera.

Main Moselle And Rhine River Cruises In A Nutshell

With more castles than any other river, the Rhine river cruises combines centuries of history and culture with spectacular scenery and some of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany. The lesser-known Moselle, running through northeast France and Luxembourg, joins the Rhine at Koblenz. The Main river flows into the Rhine from eastern Germany cruise along this, and you’ll end up in the MainDanube Canal, which enables vessels to sail into the iconic “Blue Danube,” the gateway to Hungary and beyond.

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Riviera Travel Review Which Recommended Provider

Riviera Travel is not only one of the best river cruise lines around, it’s also one of the cheaper brands in our survey. You can expect the return flights, daily excursions and meals you would find with pricier all-inclusive rivals, although drinks and tips do cost extra.

As a WRP, it has committed to promptly refunding customers for cancelled cruises and offering alternatives, including a refund, if itineraries change due to travel restrictions.

The on-board facilities aren’t quite in the same league as some pricier rivals, so you’ll have to trade the heated pool for a small ‘splash pool’ or the cinema for a giant chessboard.

But it did receive five stars for its passenger-to-space ratio and customer service. So it should live up to its tagline of ‘affordable luxury’.

Should I book with Riviera Travel? Yes. It’s a dependable and wallet-friendly brand. Customers are impressed by the service they receive and book to travel again and again.

Danube River Cruises In A Nutshell

Luftner Cruises Pay What You Want

The inspiration behind the famous waltz by Johann Strauss, the Danube is an enchanting river. A Danube river cruise is also a history lesson about the days when Vienna ruled an empire and, more recently, an Iron Curtain divided Europe.

What Does a Danube River Itinerary Look Like?

The Danube flows from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania, passing through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria on the way.

The most popular itineraries are one-week sailings between Budapest in Hungary and Passau, situated in Germany and close to the Austrian border, or weeklong round trips from Passau. The Wachau Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located between the Austrian towns of Krems and Melk, is particularly stunning. City highlights include elegant Vienna, with its grand palaces such as Hofburg from which the Habsburgs ruled Austria for 700 years. You can also see the gorgeous white Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish Riding School. Although it can be hard to plan a cruise to coincide with one of the evening dressage displays, there are daily stable tours and visitors can sit in on the morning exercise sessions to music, which take place in the ornate, chandeliered riding school.

How Do I get to the Danube River?

Is There Anything I Should Watch Out For When Choosing a Danube River Cruise?

Moorings in Vienna and Budapest are beside busy roads, and due to the number of ships of the river, you might find yourself moored alongside another vessel.

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Rhine River Cruises Of Europe River Cruise

The Rhine River is the second longest stream in Western Europe and a magical Europe river Cruise to observe a portion of Europes most notable locales and milestones. No other river in the world cherishes such countless old and popular urban six cities on its banks.

From the solace of visitors top-of-the-line drifting lodging, Rhines journey will ship one easily through the most charming sightseeing. The exciting bends in the road of a cruise on the River Rhine are unendingly captivating.

The absolute best of France on a beguiling Rhone waterway voyage Rhones journey bundle might incorporate a visit to lively Paris, Frances gastronomic capital of Lyon, and the exquisite French Riviera Côte dAzur. Of course, every France river cruise is made complete with traditional French cuisine, local wines, and soft drinks.

Which Is The Best River Cruises In Europe

There are many incredible river cruises available in Europe. The best way to find the perfect cruise is to map out your own personal itinerary or use one of the European river cruise travel companies pre-made packages. Popular river cruise destinations include France, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

One particularly exciting line is Viking River Cruises. Imagine traveling through the heart of Europe on a Viking riverboat, exploring cities like Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

The best European river cruises are generally found in the following regions: France & Germany Czech Republic & Hungary Bohemia & Austria. Most European river cruises are between seven to fourteen days long.

Taking a European river cruise is an excellent way to see some of Europes most beautiful and historically significant sites in the world. Some of the highlights that passengers can expect to see on a European river cruise include the Palace of Versailles in France, the city of Prague in the Czech Republic, and the ancient city of Rome in Italy.

The best time to set sail is during the Spring or Autumn months when there are more daylight hours and warmer weather. At these times, many ships offer special deals.

Learn why our travel experts are the ultimate source on all things River Cruises. Were here to help.

Browse our exclusive packages and request more information from our travel specialists.

Natalie, River Cruise Travel Advisor

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