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.
Quick Search Search 8,495 Trip Departures along the rivers of Europe
Discover Must do experiences and highlights on a Europe river cruise
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
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
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
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
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
A wonderful journey on the very picturesque Danube, Main and Rhine rivers with no packing up each day Rhonda & Trevor, VIC, Australia, Sep 2022
Viking gave great service, especially the food - it was amazing. We went in early September and it was a little cool-would have liked it to be warmer but you can't control the weather. Another great life time experience. Thank you to Global Journeys and Georgie - once again.
Long awaited river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest Lorraine & Thomas, NSW, Australia, Aug 2022
A very enjoyable trip dispite the low river levels and the need to change ships. The scenery and Signature experiences were wonderful and well organised. Great mix of fellow passengers and everyone looked out for each other. Found the food choices a little disappointing. Presented lovely, but found it largely very bland and not a lot of variety. ...read more Fellow passengers who had done the trip before expressed the view that it was not up to the standard of their original trip and I think there was a general view that standards had slipped. Perhaps that was a result of COVID affecting the staffing levels or general cost cutting. Would like to see a wider range of wines and food selections, but overall we had a great time. Hannah at Global Journeys was as always, helpful, timely and obliging.
Traversing France by River with Viking Gary & Wendy, VIC, Australia, Aug 2022
Firstly, we have travelled with Viking by their river ships and we have driven to the same areas that were on our itinerary. Travelling by river eliminates the parking hazards and the grind in getting to and finding your bearings. The France’s Finest river cruise actually combines two different river experiences and we did meet two couples who were ...read more only doing one week. Vikings product is excellent in both the ship accommodation and service levels. This package includes your transfer from Paris to Lyon (or vice versa ) if you combine the two trips and was seamless. The travellers comprised of about 80 per cent from the US.
The included walking tours had excellent guides in general though one issue which could be common to many such cruise trips is there are a number of individuals whose mobility is restricted and it can be tedious walking in such groups. There was an attempt at one port walk to have a fast group but unfortunately the tour guide was the hold up. We didn’t bother to do the guided walk but chose to explore ourselves in a few destinations. We would advise arriving at least 2 days earlier if flying from Australia whether you start this tour in Paris or Lyon. We found a wonderful boutique Paris hotel which was close to the Eiffel Tower and a short walk to the Viking dock.
We found it easy also to use the airport train and metro to arrive at our hotel. COVID restrictions in general had been removed at the time of sailing. Viking staff all were required to wear masks. The only real COVID issue we faced was 3 weeks prior when our airline changed our flight schedule. We are thankful that we had booked our flights via Viking and together with Hannah from Global Journeys as we were able to resolve this significant problem. We were lucky that we had considerable flexibility to depart early as we are a retired couple. We have used the services of Global Journeys on previous bookings and would recommend the company. They were always ready to respond quickly to your queries.
Fantastic cruising Michael & Jodie, QLD, Australia, Aug 2022
We thoroughly enjoyed our first river cruise. Low water levels thankfully didn't disrupt our trip. Great service from all the staff.
Explore More Explore moreYour guide to the river cruising through Europe
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.