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.

Sponsored links

Cruise Lines
Choose a River
Planning
Ports
Reviews
Forums

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

  • Wonderful Cruise   WFM_mars
    09/15
    Our first cruise. Was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to go from US to Europe. The transfers went smoothly. The cruise itself was fun, fun, fun. Cruise was above expectations. A small ship rather than a large one (190 guests) made the trip ... Read more
  • Chilly on the Rhine   silverlakelady
    10/15
    We chose to cruise in October to celebrate my birthday. We had hoped for good weather but Mother Nature did not co-operate. All the days but one were cold, rainy and overcast. Of course Viking had no control over the weather. We chose the 2 day ... Read more
  • River Cruise by Bus   Nikki Stein
    10/15
    Our trip had a lot going against it--we couldn't cruise due to low water and had cold, rainy weather. Even so, everyone worked hard to make it a memorable trip and ensure that we visited the scheduled sites and had a positive trip. We weren't ... Read more
  • Budapest Introduction   Townsends
    04/15
    Fabulous from Day 1! Supported by Viking at all times but left to our own devices if we wished. Thoroughly dislike being organised but Viking seem to strike the correct balance. Most of the trips had been clearly devised by experts; perhaps the ... Read more
  • 09/15
    This was our first trip to Europe so we decided to try a river cruise. The PBS advertisements were so enticing for Viking we contacted them. We also contacted other river cruise lines and compared. Viking had everything we wanted and more. The ... Read more
  • 06/15
    We stayed in London as part of our pre-cruise package. Viking reps were consistently present and were available for all our queries.We have taken five ocean cruises before this cruise. the Viking Star is a beautiful well deigned ship with ... Read more
  • 10/15
    We went cruising to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Some of the things we experienced are: Very good food with the chef giving some demonstrations of special treats Very social environment. We were encouraged to meet with other ... Read more
Read all 2,003 reviews for River Cruises

River Cruise Forum Threads

 
Have you taken a cruise before?
Thank you!

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.