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.
Popular Europe River Content
Popular with first-time cruisers, the 1,775-mile-long Danube River flows through 10 countries, from Germany to the Ukraine, and passes along several major capital cities, including Vienna and Budapest. Often called the "Blue Danube," thanks to Austrian composer Johann Strauss II's famous waltz, the
A trip down the 500-mile Rhone rewards cruisers with excursions to medieval villages, opportunities to visit world-class wineries and meals of exquisite French cuisine, among many other delights. As you can see by the Rhone River map, the river makes its way through Provence and the heart of French
Approximately 800 miles long, the Rhine River is one of Europe's most important waterways, as well as one of its most popular rivers to cruise. With its fairytale scenery, complete with beautiful castles, medieval villages and lush vineyards, cruisers have plenty to enjoy on the river. Most
A tributary of the Rhine River, the Moselle flows about 340 miles from the Vosges mountain range in northeastern France. As this Moselle River cruise map shows, the waterway travels through Luxembourg and western Germany before finally meeting up with the Rhine in Koblenz. Along the way, the
It's one of the most common cruising questions: When is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific? The answer depends on many variables. For example, fall foliage enthusiasts will find September and October the best time to cruise Canada/New England, whereas families prefer to sail in summer when temperatures are warmer for swimming. The best time to cruise to Alaska will vary depending on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain-shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights. For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand (high season), moderate demand (shoulder season) and low demand (low season), which is usually the cheapest time to cruise. High season is typically a mix of when the weather is best and popular travel periods (such as summer and school holidays). However, the best time to cruise weather-wise is usually not the cheapest time to cruise. The cheapest time to cruise is when most travelers don't want to go because of chillier temperatures or inopportune timing (too close to holidays, the start of school, etc.). But the lure of cheap fares and uncrowded ports might make you change your mind about what you consider the best time to cruise. As you plan your next cruise, you'll want to take into consideration the best and cheapest times to cruise and see what jibes with your vacation schedule. Here's a when-to-cruise guide for popular destinations.
You can get a workout on pretty much any cruise, but to maximize your adrenaline-pumping options, it's best to find the right combination of cruise ship and destination. Active cruise travelers will usually turn up at least a handful of shore experiences to whet their appetites for adventure, but if you're cruising with a sedentary lot, that city bike tour or rainforest hike might get canceled due to lack of interest. Likewise, certain ports simply don't lend themselves to athletic adventures, while others have so many active choices, it's hard to make up your mind. Below, we have listed our picks for the 11 best adventure cruise destinations for those who are active travelers, as well as our suggestions for the cruise lines that make the best matches. Just don't forget to pack your running shoes and snorkel gear.
As river cruising continues to boom, more and more lines compete for attention on the European waterways. While many American travelers have heard of companies such as Viking, Grand Circle, Tauck, AmaWaterways, Crystal and Avalon -- to mention just a few -- there are also some European companies out there that Americans probably don't know that may deserve consideration. Here's a look at who they are and what they offer.