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Europe River Cruises

Embark on a river cruise along the waterways of Europe. Choose from river cruise itineraries that take in the Rhine, Rhône, Danube, Seine and Douro rivers. Discover all-inclusive river cruises from the world’s leading river cruise operators. Marvel at ancient castles in the Rhine Valley, the Dutch tulip fields in springtime, and countryside and vineyards of France and the Douro in Portugal.

Popular River Cruises View all

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Travelmarvel

From 3,969
Save 3,244

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: APT

From 6,885
Save 592

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Avalon River Cruises

From 6,968
Save 4,064

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Viking River Cruises

From 3,955
Save 3,340

Popular European Rivers View all

All Europe River Cruises)
All Europe
Douro River Cruises)
Douro
Rhine River Cruises)
Rhine
Rhône River Cruises)
Rhône
River Po River Cruises)
River Po
Bordeaux River Cruises)
Bordeaux
Seine & Normandy River Cruises)
Seine & Normandy
Danube River Cruises)
Danube

Featured River Cruise Operators View all

Uniworld
Once you step onboard the world’s finest and most awarded river cruise line for the first time, we are quite sure the refined luxury onboard our fleet...more will sweep you off your feet. We draw our inspiration for the design philosophy of every one of the 17 ships in our fleet directly from the destination in which they sail. The craftsmanship, the attention to detail, the art onboard, the handcrafted furniture and intricacy of the fabrics are lovingly assembled to be a masterpiece in and of itself. Stepping onboard is to step into a world of beautiful colours and one-of-a-kind details that truly bring your destination to life. Crafting experiences you can’t find anywhere else, means continuing to elevate Uniworld to new heights year after year. From the addition of four new Super Ships in Egypt, Vietnam, Portugal and Italy, to the award winning service that comes from the heart, we’re putting even more emphasis on what’s onboard to enhancing several itineraries to accommodate guest’s diverse tastes for the future. We truly look forward to welcoming our Australian guests onboard.
Europe River Cruises1,051
Budget:Luxury
Known For:Boutique River Cruising
Fleet Size:17
Travelmarvel
Make the most of Europe’s waterways on Travelmarvel’s three new European river ships: Polaris, Capella and Vega. Combining state-of-the-art design with...more more dining options and social spaces, the contemporary-class ships will offer a relaxed new standard of cruise. Or perhaps a river cruise on the life-giving Ganges or Mekong to get to the heart of these colourful and spiritual nations. Experience life in their small villages, whose communities have much to teach us about their local culture and customs.
Europe Tours & River Cruises599
Budget:Premium
Known For:Contemporary Cruises
Fleet Size:9
APT
APT
Life-enriching, relaxing and unique – an APT river cruise is the ultimate holiday experience. Discover unforgettable destinations as you travel in total...more comfort and style. From Europe to Africa and the mighty Mekong River, APT has a diverse range of river cruises, and you’ll wake up most mornings in a new location, ready to explore fresh and exciting sights. Timeless luxury, exclusive experiences, life enriching moments and true personalisation. APT offers all-inclusive holidays so everything is taken care of. We invite you to join us; you won’t be disappointed.
Europe Tours & River Cruises360
Budget:Premium
Known For:Aussie Specialist
Fleet Size:10

Discover Must do experiences and highlights on a Europe river cruise

The Elegant Elbe

The Elegant Elbe

Are you a seasoned river cruiser? Don't forget the River Elbe rising in the Giant Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing Bohemia, Germany and flowing into the North Sea.

The Reds of Bordeaux

The Reds of Bordeaux

Take a cycling trip to explore the picturesque Medoc region, stopping to taste the local reds from the finest French region for red wine.

Experience a Quinta

Experience a Quinta

Take the chance to spend a relaxing day at a traditional vineyard in Portugal – tasting the Port wine for which the region is famous.

Castles by the Rhine Gorge

Castles by the Rhine Gorge

Head to the sundeck as you leave Rudesheim and enters the narrows of the World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge. Spot the 40 castles and fortresses atop the high cliffs as you glide toward Koblenz.

The Lights of Budapest

The Lights of Budapest

Feel romance on the Danube as you set sail from Budapest en route to Amsterdam, farewelled by the golden lights that lace the Parliament Building on the riverbank. A magical moment on your European river cruise.

Recent Europe River Cruise Reviews What our clients are saying about their journeys along the rivers of Europe

Our first river cruise experience was nothing but AMAZING!   , WA, Australia, Dec 2022
We would like to thank Toni our travel advisor at Global Journeys & the rest of the Avalon Tranquility 2 crew for making our holiday cruise getaway a memorable and relaxing experience. From getting in touch with yourself to enquire at first, to sorting out our trip, I couldn’t believe how easy everything was.

Onboard the cruise, EVERY crew member ...read more made sure we are ALWAYS looked after and they even made time decorating our room & making a cake to celebrate my birthday. Every place we went throughout the cruise was remarkable and we also loved the part where we were given ample time to be able to roam around & explore each town/place on our own without having to rush. Overall the experience was delightful and we can hand on heart say it will not be our first & last as we will definitely book with you again in the future.
Christmas Markets on the Rhine   , Christchurch, New Zealand, Dec 2022
We made new friends and took home many wonderful memories. From the hotel on arrival in Amsterdam to the hotel at the end in Basel, the whole trip was supremely organized. The crew onboard were very good at their job and clearly enjoyed what they do. Nothing was a problem and the smaller number on board a river boat meant we could be alone if we wanted ...read more or part of a group when we wanted. The food was outstanding.
Excellent   , VIC, Australia, Dec 2022
The whole trip was excellent. I have nothing bad to say. The accommodation was great, the food was to die for and the trips where good. Our cabin on the ship was lovely and in fact the whole ship was great. Crew were also excellent.
Great value for money river cruise.   , QLD, Australia, Dec 2022
So glad we chose Travelmarvel's European Gems cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest for our first trip after covid restrictions for the past three years. We sailed on the Polaris, a brand new ship which was modern and tastefully furnished. The staff and crew worked very hard throughout the cruise and were very friendly and eager to please. The cruise director, ...read more Andrew, was always available and approachable and he made sure everyone was informed about each day's tours and activities. The food and drinks were of a high standard and plentiful. We were looked after in every way and felt very special indeed. There were so many lovely passengers on board and we enjoyed their company very much. We saw some amazing places and were thrilled that it also snowed for some of the cruise. Of course, being December, the Christmas markets didn't disappoint either. A big thankyou to Georgie from Global Journeys who always makes booking so easy and stress free and Travelmarvel for a wonderful cruise that was everything we could have hoped for.

Explore More Explore more Your guide to the river cruising through Europe

Explore Europe's Historic Rivers with Viking

21 February, 2020

Explore Europe's Historic Rivers with Viking

Viking is a highly awarded river cruise line — and with good reason. Boasting an impressive fleet of state-of-the-art river vessels, they offer an incredible range of scenic voyages along the waterways of Central Europe, Portugal and Russia, with bespoke itineraries designed to immerse you in...

A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise

05 December, 2019

A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise

An Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise is one of the most popular European itineraries out there, particularly for first timers. Being a well loved route, plenty of operators bring you carefully curated journeys along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. Their offerings can be quite similar, and...

Travelmarvel 2020 Europe River Cruise Preview Out Now

05 February, 2019

Travelmarvel 2020 Europe River Cruise Preview Out Now

What better way to experience Europe than on a river cruise? Wind through stunning waterways and enjoy authentic experiences offered by carefully curated shore excursions and a selection of onboard activities. Unpack once, and let the sights and scenery unravel before you.Interested? You can...

APT’s 2020 Europe River Cruise Pre-Release and Superdeals

05 February, 2019

APT’s 2020 Europe River Cruise Pre-Release and Superdeals

APT have kicked off their 2020 Europe river cruise season with their pre-release collection now available. The release of these journeys comes hand in hand with incredible Superdeals including fly free offers, companion fly free specials, and air credits. Plus, guests wanting to travel...

Common Questions Common questions about river cruising in Europe

What is the best month for a European river cruise?
The European River cruising season runs from March to December. Springtime (Mar, Apr and May) can be a little cooler but the perfect time to experience stunning spring flowers and landscapes. Spring deals can also mean cheaper prices in those early months. Mid May to Mid September is peak season, so expect fares...read more to be a little higher. The summer months of July and August are hotter and busier but enjoy long, warm summer evenings to really immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and culture.

September and October are popular months as summer crowds have gone and daytime temperatures are still warm enough to explore and enjoy autumnal colours along the river. Prices become more competitive towards the end of autumn and into December making it a great time to make savings, wrap up warm and enjoy some retail therapy at the magical Christmas markets.
Which European river cruise is best?
If you’re new to river cruising, many test the water with a shorter river cruise. A one-week Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel (or vice versa)...read more is one of the most popular choices taking in medieval churches, castles, vineyards and charming, picturesque landscapes. Stops are included at city highlights and famous landmarks where sightseeing excursions are often included but optional.

For those wanting to see as much as possible, try a two-week itinerary that combines the Rhine, Main and Danube. Cruising the Rhine-Main-Danube canal takes you from beautiful Amsterdam through the castles and picturesque towns of Germany and into Austria, Slovakia and Hungary highlighting wonderful cities such as Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. We've put together a list of 10 Best European River Cruises for you to consider.
Why is the Danube so popular?
The Danube is the second longest river in Europe and flows through 10 countries from the Black Forest to the Black Sea offering some of the most enchanting and captivating scenery in Europe. It's size means that itineraries vary in length and can be as short as 4 days taking in a few key countries and cities -...read more perfect for those on a strict schedule or looking to try out a river cruise for the first time. Longer itineraries of 14 days or more offer an in depth view of the many small towns, big cities and scenic landscapes along the river and often visit quieter stretches of the Danube known for their rich scenery and wildlife.
What should I pack for my European River Cruises?
This will depend on the season you are travelling, but the good news is that river cruising is all about being relaxed. Comfort is key and the focus is definitely on ensuring you're suitably attired for daily activities and exploring.  Layers will work for any cooler evenings and a rain coat is great protection...read more for rainy or windy days . Comfortable walking shoes are a must as is a small, secure day bag that you can take with you on your excursions. River cruises tend not to have formal gala nights so no need for serious evening wear - smart-casual is the way to go. Cabin storage may not be huge so packing light will mean your luggage won't take up all the space. Don't forget a European power adapter and your phone, camera or tablet to keep friends and family up to date on your adventures.
What activities are there on a European river cruise?
Your European river cruise will usually include a shore excursion at each port. River cruising enables you to reach those destinations that may be less accessible to coach tours and ocean cruises such as right in the heart of a city so shore excursions are mostly cultural or educational in nature. Many operators...read more offer more exclusive or in depth explorations of regional areas or sites of interest at extra cost. On shore activities may depend on the size of the city or destination and the length of stay at that particular location. Many river cruises carry bikes on board that can be hired for you to explore an area at your own pace. On board, some river ships have fitness studios, spas and pools and offer yoga or other group fitness options.
Why is European river cruising so popular?
A big plus for river cruising in Europe is that you have to unpack once on arrival and then you can focus on enjoying your holiday. Getting from one destination in Europe to another can be a logistical challenge for some and as much of the cruising is done at night while you sleep, you simply wake up at your new...read more destination ready to explore. Ships are like floating hotels and offer luxury cabins, first class dining and sumptuous lounges and because of their small size, never feel overcrowded. Most European rivers have been important thoroughfares for centuries so destinations as well as being beautifully scenic, stops are often at iconic towns and cities. Check our 10 reasons to take a European river cruise for more information.