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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.

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 ...
  • Heidelberg
    Heidelberg
    "The town lay, stretched along the river, its intricate cobweb of ...
  • Linz (Salzburg)
    Linz (Salzburg)
    Linz is the third-largest city in Austria, with a population of ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 -- it's impossible to put a ...
  • Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    The capital of Alsace, France's smallest region, is also known as the ...

River Cruise Reviews

  • 07/15
    We arrived in Berlin on July 9th to be informed that due to low water level in the Elbe that our river cruise had just become a bus tour. We were supposed to have been notified by e-mail on July 7th or 8th but were not. It is really a travesty of ... Read more
  • Douro river cruise   lellystuart
    07/15
    Slightly nervous because the ship is French and the vast majority of passengers are French. The Douro river is wonderful. The ship spent 3 night in Porto which was too long and passengers wanted to cruise...the joke was it was a cruise that ... Read more
  • 07/15
    My husband and I are veteran ocean cruisers, but this was our first time on a river. There were many differences, most of them wonderful--in fact, we enjoyed our Amadolce experience so much, we were reluctant to turn in our keys! The reception upon ... Read more
  • 07/15
    We met the American Empress in Clarkston WA, so we flew into Spokane WA and stayed at the luxurious Davenport Hotel in Spokane. American Queen Steamboat Co pays for your stay at the Davenport, including a great breakfast buffet the next morning. ... Read more
  • Missed the Mark   Winthrope4
    07/15
    Based on a wonderful Rhine cruise on Viking last year, we booked the Portraits of Southern France river cruise for this year. What a mistake. We arrived in France at the tail end of the European heat wave. The temperature was in the upper 90s. The ... Read more
  • 07/15
    While water levels on the Elbe River precluded sailing, it was Viking's unforgivable failure to notify its customers of the situation in a timely fashion that makes their reputation seem suspect if not undeserved. Many passengers received e-mails ... Read more
  • 07/15
    I will start with the good things we liked about the cruise. It was wonderful sitting on the deck with a glass of wine and very relaxing DURING THE DAY. The excursions were outstanding, especially Normandy and Giverny. That's about it. We felt ... Read more
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