Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Is The Best European River Cruise Itinerary

Don't Miss

River Cruises Are Busy

6 Best European River Cruise Lines. Which One Is Right For You?

Unlike ocean cruises that offer “sea days” with plenty of time to relax, voyages along European waterways include a stop each day with a busy — albeit completely optional — sightseeing program. So if you want to make the most of your trip, there isn’t always as much time to chill out onboard as you might think.

Enchantment Of Eastern Europe

Emerald Cruises now offer the Enchantment of Eastern Europe that covers five countries.

As the final stretch of the Danube weaves its way through the depths of eastern Europe, meet locals for lunch in their home, enjoy tours of Osijek & Belgrade & marvel at the beauty of the Iron Gate, Emerald describes the 2022 river cruise itinerary in their official website. In Kalocsa, visit a Puszta Horse Show, enjoy lunch in the home of a local Croatian family in Osijek and, in Belgrade, enjoy a guided city tour, before a Serbian folklore show on board. Taste Romanian wine, attend a choir concert in Arbanasi, and journey by road to Bucharest.

How To Choose A Europe River Cruise

A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on what cruisers need to know about coronavirus.

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

River cruising is the fastest-growing sector of the cruise industry, with new ships being launched each year. On the plus side, this means more choices, including an ever-increasing number of themed vacations, such as food and wine, active and family-orientated 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:

Recommended Reading: Best Job On Cruise Ship

Crystal Cruises Dazzling Danube Celebration

This 10-day cruise stops in seven European cities in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia. Setting off along the Danube from Vienna, you’ll pass through the beautiful Wachau Valley go for a guided walking tour in Melk visit historical landmarks in Budapest, and discover the modern art scene and Communist-era architecture of Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava. Cabins aboard the Crystal Mozart start at 219 square feet, and all have large picture windows, king or twin beds, 40″ TVs and coffee machines. Unique to Crystal River Cruises, the all-inclusive rate covers one meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant in each destination. From $3,899 per person.

River Cruises In Europe

Grand European Tour 2022

Skip to: | |

On a European river cruise, we offer you an unforgettable journey through time and culture, breaking through any obvious veneer to the real destination beyond. You will see the classic sights at each stop, many on guided tours, but you will also get acquainted with lesser-known places that are often even more intriguing. Our itineraries are tailored specifically to our clients requirements, so you wont come across unwanted multi-lingual commentaries.

The highly engaging and informative excursions already included with your river cruise sometimes take you further afield, so you can fully experience and appreciate the destinations we visit. For example, we take you to to medieval Beaune, the where we enjoy a wine tasting and to the , where the beauty of the architecture will take your breath away.

The history and culture of the places we visit are brought to life by our experienced cruise directors and local guides. Caring, professional and extremely knowledgeable, they are like trusted friends who clearly adore the destinations and are passionate about sharing what they know. You will learn far more from them than you would from a guidebook.

Also Check: Cape Liberty Nj Parking

Mississippi River Cruises In The Usa

Mississippi River runs entirely within the USA, its source is Lake Itasca and flows south for approx 3730 km to Mississippi Delta . Mississippi is ranked the world’s 4th-longest and 15th-largest . Mississippi either borders or passes through the US states Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana.

River’s embayment is one of the USA’s most fertile agricultural regions. Before the early 20th century, Mississippi was also the most important waterway serving both passenger travel and cargo trade.

Best deals with several big-capacity boats are offered by American Cruise Lines. Itineraries are grouped as Upper Mississippi , Middle Mississippi, and Lower Mississippi . Music-, history-, food, and wine-themed voyages are also available for booking seasonally.

In addition to Mississippi, voyages on its tributaries are also operated.

  • The 8-day “Cumberland River Cruise” visits Lake Barkley , Clarksville , Dover , Paducah , Cape Girardeau , Chester and ends in St Louis .
  • The 11-day “Ohio River Cruise” visits Cape Girardeau , Paducah , Henderson , Louisville , Cincinnati , Maysville , Marietta and ends in Pittsburgh .

The following map shows all Mississippi river cruise ports along the itinerary from Minneapolis-St Paul to New Orleans.

The route also includes several popular plantation houses in the Southern US.

Reasons Why Youll Love European River Cruises

When it comes to authentic travel experiences, European river cruises are hands-down one of the best options to explore inland Europe, giving access to unique viewpoints, and making it possible to discover villages, towns and cities in ways that trains, cars or big ships simply donât allow.

Like waterproof hotels that double as their own adventures, river cruise vessels cocoon its guests in comfort, while gently drifting past some of the Old Continentâs classic destinations and dazzling hidden gems â all without the hassle of researching, plotting, or even re-packing a suitcase.

From immersive itineraries to on-shore activities and convenience â hereâs a list of reasons why I believe you really should consider adding European river cruising to your travel bucket list!

You May Like: Best Cruises For Over 55

Best Cruise Lines For European Cruises

Link copied

The best cruise lines for european cruises as ranked by verified reviews submitted over the past 12 months. This list is continuously updated as we receive new reviews from our members, so be sure to check back often! Note, a minimum of 40 reviews are required to be part of this list.

Select category


Expect a true British cruising experience aboard comfortable, intimate and inviting vessels. Enjoy traditional formal dining or a more relaxed experience in the buffet restaurant. Stay active at the fitness center, lounge by the pool or work on your golf game. Along with afternoon tea, an internet cafe and evening cabaret productions are just some of the highlights onboard…

Rating details

Ship size:196

Crystal Ocean sails to a number of European destinations among its longer around the world sailings which start in Miami and sail through the Panama Canal, Pacific, Australia, Middle East and stop in either London or Rome. These sailings make port stops in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, England, and France.

Ship size:1031

P& O Cruises is one of the most recognizable names in European cruising. As the oldest cruise line in the world, P& O has established a presence in European destinations that include Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia, British Isles, Italy, Spain, Norway, and of course England.

Rating details


Rating details

58962Ship size:13246563Ship size:

Are River Cruises For All Ages

We Tried The Best European River Cruise For Under 40s! | River Cruise Ship Tour

Most river cruise companies require passengers to be at least four years of age, and travelers should be aware that shore excursions and onboard entertainment may not hold much interest for young children. Most passengers are on the older side, fifties and upwards, but I did encounter millennials and teenagers on my cruises, and they were having a great time and participating in all the cruise had to offer.

AmaWaterways has partnered with Adventures by Disney to offer family-oriented cruises on the Rhine, Rhone, Sein, and Danube Rivers with Disney Adventure Guides and activities like kayaking, painting, biking, and scavenger hunts. Adventures by Disney, with AmaWaterways, also offers adults-only cruises. Uniworld Cruises U Cruises were created to attract millennials with activities and excursions designed to appeal to that age range.

Also Check: 4 Day Cruises From Jacksonville Fl

Uniworld Gems Of Northern Italy

A tour for foodies, oenophiles, art lovers, architecture buffs and just about anyone interested in Italy, this 10-day voyage with Uniworld River Cruises begins in Milan and ends, naturally, in Venice. In between, theres wine tasting in Valpolicella, an exclusive evening opening at St. Mark’s Basilica, bike tours to the coastal city of Chioggia, pasta making in Bologna and stops in the Venetian islands of Burano, Mazzorbo, and Torcello. All meals, wine, beer and spirits onboard are included, as well as guided walking programs, flexible shore excursions, and portable audio headsets. For families, select summer departures include activities for junior river cruisers. From $3,399 per person

Rhine River Cruise: Ports Of Call



We actually did not take a tour in Koblenz, but instead took the cable car that was right outside the boat up to the Fortress. Riding the cable car up you can see Germanys Corner where two rivers converge. You can see the Rhine River and the Moselle River. Then we walked the city for about an hour and had a small meal in town.

  • Ehrenbreitstein Fortress the fortress you can see set up high on the hill across from the boat. On this three hour tour youll be able to explore the fortress and see incredible views of the city
  • Moselle Wine Tasting on this tour you will explore small villages and see where some of the best Rieslings in the world come from



Cologne is the very last stop in Germany on this Viking Grand European Tour and it felt least like all the other cities we had been to. I was starting to get used to all the cobblestone and medieval architecture with Christmas shopping galore. But alas, Cologne is a fine city!

If you opt not to take any tours, you can go to the city in your own or the boat had buses taking people in to the old city a few times throughout the afternoon for self exploration and shopping. Additionally the boat was docked in a great spot by the bridge and many just walked across.

You could also get a taxi very easily to or from the boat.

  • Top Of Cologne this is a tour I WISH we had time for. You will go to the top of the Cathedral and you can see the city and Rhine River from above
  • Kinderdijk

    Molly and Millie

    Read Also: Is Cococay Free

    What Is Your River Cruise Budget

    European river cruises range from $1899 to $6799. The longer cruises will tend to be more expensive, but there are also a few opportunities to find some great deals. Viking River Cruises Shoulder-season dates are often cheaper and mean fewer crowds at key sights.

    Viking also runs promotions throughout the year as well as two-for-one deals. Check the current promotions for Viking River Cruises for the best rates and specials.

    Another item that needs to be figured into your budget is optional excursions. Viking cruises include a daily excursion and there are additional excursions that can be included in your cruise package.

    For more information on Viking River Cruises:

    Pin it!

    Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

    Alexa Meisler is the editorial director of 52 Perfect Days. Born in Paris, France she has since lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. She currently resides in San Diego with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring California and Mexico.

    Prior to working at 52 Perfect Days she was a freelance travel writer focusing on family and womens adventure experiences.

    If you liked it, please share it. Thank you!

    Scandinavia & Russia Cruise

    23 Day Viking River Cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam ...

    A stop at Helsinki Photo credit: Flickr johnlsl

    Let yourself be tempted by the charms of the North and embark on this cruise into Scandinavian and Russian territories. The cruise departs from Amsterdam, the charming capital city of the Netherlands, exuding a contemporary atmosphere within a gorgeous 17th-century setting, packed with first-class museums and elegant Dutch architecture.

    On day 3, the ship arrives in Rostocks Warnemunde district a charming seaside town only three hours north of Berlin. Make sure you take the time to visit the vibrant and storied German capital which still features remnants of the historic Berlin Wall.

    Day 5 takes you to Helsinki, the Finnish capital, founded in 1550 by King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden. Explore the citys neoclassical city center housing splendid streets featuring many parks. Located in the heart of Helsinki, the harbor provides easy access to the citys best tourist attractions.

    Next stop: Russias fascinating city of St Petersburg , replete with majestic palaces, cathedrals, bridges, and parks. Finally, the ship returns eastward, with halts planned in Estonias treasure-filled and remarkably preserved city of Tallinn, as well as the stylish and culturally rich city of Stockholm in Sweden, and finally Copenhagen, Denmarks cosmopolitan capital city, the birthplace of hygge the Danish concept of coziness and comfort. The best itinerary for a European cruise? Its definitely worth a try.

    Recommended Reading: What Cruise Line Goes Around Hawaiian Islands

    S To Choosing The Perfect Viking River Cruise

    What cruise itinerary offers the best value for the money? What month is the best to go? How do you pack for a river cruise? Which Europan river is best for a first-time cruiser? There are so many questions when you begin researching your first river cruise in Europe.

    90% of first-time river cruisers select a Europe river cruise as the perfect introduction to the world of river cruising.

    Belmond Alfoat In France

    With Afloat in France, Belmond takes its signature brand of sophisticated luxury to the waterways around Burgundy, Cote d’Or, France Comte, Saone, Provence, Valle du Rhône, and Canal du Midi aboard seven sumptuously styled barges. With room for between four and 12 passengers, the six-day voyages are more private charter than classic cruising, with staff on hand to customize everything from the regionally-inspired French meals to unique shore experiences with insider access. Two new barges joined the fleet in summer 2017, adding routes between Meaux and Châlons-en-Champagne and to the heart of the Alsace region. You can expect hotel-like perks onboard including outdoor swimming pools, open kitchens for cooking classes, a petanque court and even a grand piano. Book an individual cabin on the larger vessels, or take over an entire cruise with family and friends. Price on request.

    Recommended Reading: How Big Is The Largest Cruise Ship

    How To Get The Best European River Cruises

    The purpose of this page is provide you a comprehensive guide of the available Europe River Cruise Routes, so you can decide on which route will be the best for your next Europe river cruise vacation.

    Europe has the distinction of the continent with the largest number of navigable rivers compared to other regions of the world. They are often devoid of major obstacles such as waterfalls and rapids, and are usually wide and deep enough to allow a steady passage of people and material on all types of sailing vessels. Combine the easy navigation with captivating sights such as castles, vineyards, capital cities and small, quaint villages and it is clear to me why folks would want to sail these amazing rivers!

    Europe Rivers Photo Map from AmaWaterways

    We are often ask Which river should we sail on for my first Europe river cruise? My short answer is take multiple trips–I would sail on all of them! However, the problem is that most of us dont have unlimited time and money to sail them all.

    So to solve this dilemma, here is our guide to the European River routes most available to you. I will describe the river, point out a couple of highlights and why you might consider sailing on this river. The routes may be very short or may cover larger distances. While there are some variations, many lines essentially cruise the same route on the most popular European rivers.

    Ready?Lets cruise together!

    Savoring France: Paris Lyon & Provence

    Viking European River Cruises – 6 Key Must-Knows Before You Go

    Tauck joins the effort to revive the river cruise industry with its new river cruise covering paris, Lyon & Provence.

    Guests can savor the sweet life of France with a 7-night river cruise aboard MS Emerald through vineyard country thats home to some of the worlds most exceptional wines.

    The cruise also features a pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu and a dinner at Fouquets in Paris.

    Other activities include a cooking school in Valence, an evening stroll at the Duchy of Uzès and a high-speed TGV ride to culinary Lyon.

    You May Like: River Cruises Italy

    The Rhone And Seine Rivers

    Cruise the Rhone River through Burgundy and Provence, sampling the incredible wines, produce and scenery that the area lays claim to. The South of France cruise with Scenic has no overnight sailings, which offers guests the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation. Go truffle hunting, take a French cooking class onboard, enjoy a can-can performance, take the complimentary bicycles ashore to explore at your own pace, or simply enjoy an afternoon aperitif on the sundeck.

    If you have a little less time on your hands, the Lyon and Provence itinerary with Viking shows you the highlights from Avignon to Lyon over eight glorious days. Youll get an enjoyable mix of indulgence and discovery on this cruise, but if you really want to satisfy your history buff as well as your palate, then consider pairing the Rhone with a cruise along the Seine on Frances Finest itinerary. Marvel at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral, visit Chateau de Malmaison where Napoleon Bonaparte spent his final days in France, and see the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death. Youll also visit historic WWII landmarks and pay your respects at the Normandy Beaches.

    No matter what experience you are dreaming of, a European river cruise has it all. These are just 10 outstanding cruise itineraries that we are loving, but with over 450 to choose from, youll be able to find the perfect one for you in our collection of European river cruises.

    More articles

    Popular Articles