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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

Featured

12 Days Lisbon to Madrid

Operator: Tauck

From 11,790

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: Travelmarvel

From 4,465
Save 3,109

15 Days Budapest to Amsterdam

Operator: Travelmarvel

From 4,465
Save 3,109

15 Days Amsterdam to Budapest

Operator: APT

From 7,930
Save 1,765

Latest River Cruise Deals View all

Travelmarvel Europe 2025
Travelmarvel Europe 2025

Explore Europe in style - by river, coach, rail or small-ship - and be guided by Travelmarvel’s unmatched experts. Book by 31 October and save up to $5,600 per couple. T&Cs apply.

APT: Vietnam & Cambodia Flight Deals
APT: Vietnam & Cambodia Flight Deals

For a limited time, Fly Free in Economy Class or Fly Business Class from $1,995pp on selected Vietnam & Cambodia 2024 journeys departing July to October 2024. Subject to availability, T&Cs apply.

Scenic: Mekong River Cruising
Scenic: Mekong River Cruising

Experience luxury, in a class of its own, with a Scenic Mekong River cruise and land journey. Book now and save up to $4,300 per person. Conditions apply.

Explore Europe's Rivers View all

All Europe's Rivers )
All Europe's Rivers
Bordeaux River Cruises)
Bordeaux
Danube River River Cruises)
Danube River
Douro River River Cruises)
Douro River
Elbe River River Cruises)
Elbe River
Holland & Belgium River Cruises)
Holland & Belgium
Main River River Cruises)
Main River
Moselle River River Cruises)
Moselle River
Rhine River River Cruises)
Rhine River
Rhône River River Cruises)
Rhône River
Saône River River Cruises)
Saône River
Seine & Normandy River Cruises)
Seine & Normandy
The Rivers of Europe

Featured River Cruise OperatorsFeatured Operators View all

Emerald Cruises
From culture-rich cities to world-famous wine regions, Emerald Cruises represents a new chapter in the world of river cruising. Our deluxe fleet of revolutionary...more Star-Ships promise contemporary comfort and unique on-board innovations, while our generous offering combines affordability with great dining, exceptional service and immersive itineraries across Europe and Asia. With return flights, transfers, all on-board meals, complimentary drinks, tips and much more included in the price of an Emerald Cruises river cruise, we’ve taken care of everything. Our attentive team of crew, sommeliers and personal butlers are available day and night to ensure every minute on-board the Emerald Cruises fleet is as enriching, enjoyable and relaxing as possible.
Europe Rivers808
Budget:Premium
Known For:Affordable Luxury
Fleet Size:9
Tauck
Whether you're experiencing the Rhine or the Danube, the Douro, the Rhône, Seine, Maas or Moselle... the magic of Tauck's award-winning European river...more cruises goes far beyond the riverboat you're aboard or the landmarks you'll visit. It's in the intimate ambiance and personalized service... the places you'll discover off the beaten path... and in the uncommon access to local culture and exclusive destination driven experiences you can't get on your own, as you experience a true slice of European life and return home transformed.
Europe Rivers1,207
Budget:Luxury
Known For:Luxury Cruising
Fleet Size:9
Scenic
With Scenic, it’s more than a 5-star river cruise...it’s a seamless journey from start to finish that places you, our guest, at the heart of everything...more we do. It’s taking you to extraordinary regions and immersing you in meaningful and enriching experiences. It’s exquisite cuisine, indulgent wellness, and a world-class team who will anticipate your every need. You'll find the difference is in the details with Scenic: the innovative ship design, expertly trained crew, immersive journey, and an unrivalled focus on health and safety protocols.
Europe Rivers1,057
Budget:Premium & Luxury
Known For:Luxury Cruising
Fleet Size:14

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

Danube Dreams   , NSW, Australia, Jun 2024
Absolutely wonderful trip. Loved every minute. The staff were so consistently cheerful and helpful. The Cruise Director was outstanding. Regarding embarkation - we were told we would be sent an email the day before to tell us the location of the ship, but it didn't come, which was a bit stressful. However, I emailed the ship early the same morning and ...read more was told the information.

The other suggestion I would have is to contact travellers a few weeks before, to ask for what they need after the cruise in terms of transport to airports, stations, whatever. I read a statement in the info that said not to have flights at Munich airport leaving before 8am. I assumed by that (wrongly) that there would be an automatic shuttle to the airport early in the morning. However, when I checked with the wonderful cruise director, she put me straight, and with difficulty managed to get me on a bus to the airport for my flight. Thanks again - amazing.
Relaxing, first class experience on the Rhine   , QLD, Australia, Jun 2024
This was our second Scenic river cruise and it did not disappoint. The staff, the food and the itinerary were a high standard as usual. River cruising is a great way to experience the essence of a country as you sail right through the heart of the towns. Scenic are a very professional and experienced company and go out of their way to make you feel ...read more special. I would recommend this trip to anyone wanting to explore the best of Germany with spectacular scenery and be spoilt by the Scenic crew.
Amazing Grand European   , VIC, Australia, Jun 2024
Had an amazing time on our river cruise. We were apprehensive as southern Germany had floods and a lot of ships were stranded or even cancelled. Viking were very good explaining to us the options and even though we had to change ships at Nuremburg it was relatively stress free. The crew on both ships were fantastic. You certainly won't go hungry as ...read more the food is amazing. We visited some amazing towns and cities and wish we had more free time to explore. I suggest skipping some tours and explore on your own, eat as a local and drink the local beer or sample the wine. We met a lot of wonderful people from other countries and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Didn't select the drinks package as we didn't think we would meet the price they charge and we made the right decision as you get beer and wine with lunch and dinner. Only let down is the lack of laundry facilities on a cruise this long. We spent over 300 euro getting laundry done and ironed over the 15 days. Apart from that we wouldn't hesitate doing another Viking river cruise.
A wonderful break   , Christchurch, New Zealand, Jun 2024
The Danube was flooded and the ship couldn't travel as planned but Emerald kept us well informed and provided excursions that were just as exciting as the cancelled ones. We had a great time, saw amazing things and met some lovely people. We did not feel we missed out on anything with the changes. Well done Emerald.

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

Celebrate France! Lyon: Gastronomic Capital of the World

09 July, 2024

Celebrate France! Lyon: Gastronomic Capital of the World

To celebrate France Month, Scenic is shining a spotlight on their collection of luxury France river cruises. Not only do these itineraries explore the rich history and culture of each region, they focus on the gastronomic excellence just waiting to be experienced by guests, onboard and ashore....

Visit Portugal: Highlights of Douro River Cruising

20 February, 2024

Visit Portugal: Highlights of Douro River Cruising

The Douro River runs through northern Portugal and into Spain, with river cruises typically sailing to and from Porto, with the option of city stays either side of the cruise. These stays often include time in either Lisbon, Madrid and even Barcelona. For guests embarking on a river cruise,...

APT's 2025 River Cruising Revolution: Introducing Solara and Ostara

24 January, 2024

APT's 2025 River Cruising Revolution: Introducing Solara and Ostara

Welcome to the future of luxury river cruising, where elegance and environmental consciousness sail hand in hand. APT, a name synonymous with unparalleled travel experiences, is set to elevate your river cruising dreams to new heights in 2025. As Australia's most outstanding global tour...

Burgundy & Provence by River

13 November, 2023

Burgundy & Provence by River

Journey through Burgundy and Provence on a scenic river cruise along the Saône and Rhône rivers. This extraordinary journey is filled with remarkable food, world-class wines, and a deep dive into history. Discover the highlights of this remarkable region and explore your next river cruise...

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 ...read more class="u-link" href="/river-cruises/from-amsterdam-to-basel" class="u-link">Amsterdam to Basel (or vice versa) 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 Cruisesfor 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.