Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Europe River Cruises

Europe River Cruises

When it comes to European river cruising, the options are plentiful and varied. Ships primarily traverse parts of Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, but you'll also find itineraries in Russia, the Ukraine, Portugal, Italy and Spain. No matter where you cruise, you'll find Europe's rivers traditional and picturesque, with sightseeing opportunities often included in the fare.
Choose a Europe River Cruise
With so many itineraries offered, choosing a river cruise can be overwhelming. Here are our tips to help you pick your perfect cruise.
Rhine River Cruise Basics
From Basel to Amsterdam, with plenty in between, a cruise on the Rhine is perfect for river newbies. Find out why.
Danube River Cruise Basics
Make sure you have all your bases covered before you set sail on a Danube River cruise. Read our tips.

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Cruise Lines for Europe River Cruises

Choose a Europe River Cruise

  • Though the Danube is best known for marquee cities like Vienna and Budapest, small towns and villages are a delight.
  • The Dnieper River flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine; ship stops include Ukraine‚Äôs capital of Kiev and Zaporozhye.
  • Part of the Iberian Peninsula, the Douro River travels through Spain and Portugal, and ends in Porto.
  • The Elbe travels through the Czech Republic and Germany; river cruises along the Elbe include visits to Berlin and Prague.
  • The Moselle runs through the heart of German wine country; longer voyages can also include the Rhine and the Danube.
  • The Po flows across northern Italy into the Adriatic Sea near Venice; popular ports on Po River cruises include Venice, Verona and Bologna.
  • The castle-clogged Rhine Gorge between Koblenz and Rudesheim is one of the most spectacular scenic passages.
  • The Rhone flows from Switzerland through Lake Geneva, into France; visit Lyon, a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • The Seine runs along northeastern France into the English Channel; many ships based in Paris cruise down to the Normandy region.
  • The wine ... oh the wine. And the truffles. Take a trip to the heart of French wine-making country and sample the local delicacies to your heart's content.
  • Try a trip along the less-travelled but still fascinating Main to get your fill of vast forests, fairy-tale castles, imposing palaces and quaint medieval towns.
  • A river cruise up the Thames through Merry Ol' England's home counties in a small canal boat is the epitome class and taste. You must. You simply must.
  • A canal barge cruise is for you if you'd like to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations in cozy comfort.
  • Ooh la la! There are so many wonderful things to see on France's rivers. Here's our guide to seeing them all.
  • A tulip is a tulip by any other name. Take in the stunning colors of a springtime cruise through tulip country in The Netherlands.

Ports

  • Basel
    Basel
    Basel, which lies in the northwest region of Switzerland, near its ...
  • Bordeaux
    Bordeaux
    The glorious port city of Bordeaux, which lies on the Garonne River ...
  • Bratislava
    Bratislava
    Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is an up-and-coming cruise port ...
  • Cologne
    Cologne
    Cologne, the Rhineland's largest city and Germany's fourth-largest, ...
  • Durnstein (Krems)
    Durnstein (Krems)
    If you sail in at night, it will be hard to ignore the eerily lit ...
  • Dusseldorf
    Dusseldorf
    The symbol of Dusseldorf is the Radschlager -- a human figure ...
  • Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main ("Frankfurt on the Main," the city's full name) is ...
  • Heidelberg
    Heidelberg
    "The town lay, stretched along the river, its intricate cobweb of ...
  • Koblenz
    Koblenz
    Koblenz, Germany, is located at the confluence of the Rhine and ...
  • Linz (Salzburg)
    Linz (Salzburg)
    For river cruise operators, Linz is used mainly as a waypoint from ...
  • Lyon
    Lyon
    The capital of the Rhone-Alpes region, Lyon is the second-largest ...
  • Mainz
    Mainz
    Germany's Mainz -- a 2,000-year-old city of leafy squares, timbered ...
  • Melk
    Melk
    Melk, a quiet city, is located on the Danube River, just off the ...
  • Miltenberg
    Miltenberg
    Located on the Main River about 40 miles southeast of Frankfurt, ...
  • Passau
    Passau
    Arriving in Passau for the first time, you could be forgiven for ...
  • Porto (Leixoes)
    Porto (Leixoes)
    One of Europe's oldest cities, Porto dates to the 4th century, when ...
  • Prague
    Prague
    Moody, romantic, historic, mysterious: Think Franz Kafka, baroque ...
  • Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    The capital of Alsace, France's smallest region, is also known as the ...
  • Vienna
    Vienna
    Visitors come to Vienna with high expectations of lavish palaces, ...
  • Wurzburg
    Wurzburg
    Located on the Main River between Nuremberg and Frankfurt, Wurzburg ...

River Cruise Reviews

  • 06/16
    We have friends who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this summer and wanted us to join them on this river cruise. We have done 6 ocean cruises but this was the first river cruise. It was great to be able to see shoreline all of the ... Read more
  • Fantastic   ruth0904
    06/16
    Due to swollen rivers at the start of our trip we were not able to get on our ship from the original starting point, we had to be bussed further down the river to where the boat was moored. Had no problem with this as we would not have travelled ... Read more
  • 05/16
    We've been on river cruises with a different but well known company previously and were planning to book with them again. However, luckily for us we were tempted to try "the new kid on the block" Emerald Waterways when we realised that we ... Read more
  • Best Cruise Experience   Frances888
    05/16
    This was an outstanding cruise. The ship was beautiful and well maintained. Embarkation/disembarkation went very smoothly. The cabin, dining and service were all above expectations. Best of all, the crew was very friendly and helpful. It ... Read more
  • 05/16
    We chose Emerald because of the ship design, traveling schedule, all tips being covered (very convenient) and overall price. We loved the ship and crew, enjoyed very good meals which featured menu options from the area we were traveling through and ... Read more
  • Down the Rhine & Danube   eabaird@netzero.net
    05/16
    We are retired & have cruised with many lines, many times. The Scenic Experience is complete - air, transfers, alcohol(even in the room refrigerators), gratuities, excursions, whisperers, personalized GPS, & motorized bikes anytime. Nikola, ... Read more
  • Quality all the way   sigmatrain
    05/16
    Our Golden Wedding anniversary treat did not get off to a good start! Due to (apparently regular) delays at Amsterdam airport our flights to and from this hub (hub - hub) to Basel were delayed but at least we eventually arrived. But our luggage ... Read more
Read all 2,215 reviews for River Cruises

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