Travel Guide for Europe

The Wonders of Europe Aboard a River Cruise

Enjoy the finest of Europe’s most significant waterways by boat. Sailing along rivers such as the Volga, Rhine, Duoro, Danube, Dnieper, Loire, and Elbe is a magnificent way to travel.

Size doesn't matter.
River portrayal In addition to exciting local excursions, these smaller, elegant river ships offer world-class dining and entertainment, deluxe rooms with state-of the-art technology, and a full array of amenities. The ambiance on these boats is one of high quality while at the same time remaining warm and inviting. Itineraries are designed to maximize the amount of time vacationers spend at their destinations.

Visitors get to experience the local lifestyle of each port when they join in these excursions. Experience these great cities through the stories revealed by its artists, history and culinary pleasures.

What Are the Benefits of a River Cruise?

A river cruise is a very special way to travel.

They transport you at just the right pace, with just the right conveniences, and just the right sights.

Sailing Europe’s most celebrated rivers, you will have a lot of opportunity to get off the boat to enjoy the picturesque cities, villages, and landscapes, while your time on board the ship will be just as fun with great activities, impeccable service, and top-notch dining options. All with the benefits of having to unpack only once allowing you to settle in for relaxing cruising. A journey on one of these ships takes you on age-old trading routes to the most modern cities and towns in Europe.

The experience can be both immersive and relaxing as you cruise rivers like the Douro, Seine, Rhine, Volga, or Danube and take in the diverse vistas.

Guests who decide to go on excursions or explore on their own will have lots of time to get acquainted with local cultures. There are two choices at every port of call: passengers can wander around by themselves or in their own groups, or they can sign up for proper tours. There are loads of enjoyable things to do at each port, such as visiting art galleries and museums, enjoying a musical or theatrical performance, or visiting local sights. You will also be very happy onboard the ship, as they typically have the greatest of amenities.

The rooms have their own private baths, luxurious beds, little refrigerators, televisions, safes to hold your valuables, and in-room temperature control. What’s more, the ships have excellent restaurants, lounges and bars, as well as Wi-Fi, and many also have their own libraries, cute shops, pools, and sun decks for your onboard relaxation.

The ultimate vacation.
Put it all together together with exceptional and individualized service from on-board staff and you have perfection.

Whatever time of year you decide to travel, rest assured that each destination will have memorable cultural experiences for you to experience. In the warmer periods, there will be more chances to take part in outdoor events such as street fairs or open-air concerts. If you prefer to avoid the top tourist months so that you can avoid the crowds, you might want to cruise in the autumn months when the weather is cooler. River recreation People who appreciate holiday traditions might consider a winter cruise, to go to the Christmas markets popular in many countries as well as other interesting celebrations.

River cruises are ideal for anyone wanting to travel in comfort and relaxation while also having the chance to discover the many beautiful destinations along the way.

Those who've never stepped foot on a boat before will love the relative ease of a river-bound trip with little chance of seasickness.

Plus, the focus on cultural exploration of locations means river cruises are great for those with a curiosity for art and history, or a general interest in travel.

River Cruises and Diverse Ports of Call

Stepping off ship at one of the ports along the trip can be a spellbinding experience. For any river cruise in Europe there is a distinct set of things to do and see. To discover Europe by traveling its famous rivers is to open up new realms for yourself. Whether you tend to be an adventurer, a history buff or a curious site seer wanting to experience the local flavors on offer, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Take a seat in the most fascinating cultural centers on the continent, learn about history at the ancient sights, and delight in the gorgeous cities and countryside. You won’t miss a thing since these luxurious cruise liners are small enough to stop in the smaller ports nearest the main tourist sights and centers of town.

Famed Rivers of France

Travel one of France’s many scenic rivers and allow it to take you to some of the country’s most important regions.

From the famous food of Lyon and Bordeaux’s most distinguished wineries, to the charm of Paris and Provence, to the historic sights of Normandy, France presents a world of experiences.

The farms and forests of Aquitaine, once one of the wealthiest regions in Europe, are as lovely as its famous wine region and picturesque ports. You will want to go Cognac tasting at the Camus distillery in Périgord and perhaps go hunting for its celebrated truffles.

Enjoy France’s very best oysters just brought in from the bay at Arcachon.

In Bordeaux, don’t miss the delightfully sweet wine crafted in Sauternes, or the famous reds of the Médoc and Saint-Émilion. No matter the waterway, the Rhône River or the Seine River, the Dordogne or the Gironde, a France river voyage will immerse guests in a community rich in wine, art, food and tradition.

Historied Rivers of Central Europe
Someone who loves visiting ancient forts and tiny picturesque villages will enjoy traveling down the Elbe River through the Czech Republic and Germany. If you love German wines, choose a cruise on the Mosel River, whose French name is Moselle, as it travels through the part of Germany that produces world-class Riesling.

If you prefer Central Europe, consider a cruise down the Danube to Budapest, the Hungarian city famous for its soothing banyas (thermal baths); or to Vienna, where you can take a lesson in the waltz, which became popular in the ballrooms of the Austrian court. People who like to check out destinations off the beaten path will enjoy outings to smaller cities such as Passau and Bratislava, while adventurous foodies will enjoy noshing on the delicacies of the regional cuisine.

The Waterways of the Tsars
Experience Russia as never before on waterways of the Tsars where you’ll discover the swirling onion domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the stout towers of Moscow’s Red Square.

Wander through the exceptional collections of the Hermitage Museum, the second largest museum in the world. If you are interested in seeing how people lived in other eras and places, check out a Soviet-era kommunalka, where several families lived together at one time, or visit breathtaking Peterhof Palace to see how Peter the Great lived. Of course, when you are in Russia you should indulge in the celebrated local cooking such as pirog, solyanka, borscht, blini pancakes, and of course some decadent caviar. The history of the Dnieper River was heavily influenced by Ottoman, Mongol, Greek, Cossack, Tatar, Jewish, and Russian forces.

There are excellent museums and ancient churches to tour at various places along the way as well as imposing Soviet-era structures, or for a lighter experience get tickets to an entertaining local dance or musical show.

Portugal's Duoro River Valley
In Portugal you can cruise the Douro River to the capital city, Lisbon, with its charming old town and thriving newer neighborhoods with trendy restaurants, bars, and cafes. Wine aficionados will want to stop in the picturesque vineyard region to taste local wines, while the classic foods and fado singing will be a delight for all.

The Douro River Valley is the world’s oldest demarcated wine appellation and a UNESCO site.

Nordic Wonders

After first visiting the beautiful Nordic region, head to the Rhine River and all it has to do and see. Follow ancient Viking footsteps by embarking in Bergen, visit the breathtaking fjords and the quaint village of Flåm, stroll the old town in Kristiansand with its wooden buildings, and eventually make your way to the more modern but no less fascinating cities of Oslo and Stavanger. No visit to Holland is finished without a tour of the windmills in Kinderdijk and a stop in the vibrant city of Amersterdam; and Skagen, Denmark is enjoyable to visit with its northernmost sand bars.

The sights & tastes of Germany along its riverways

Aboard re-creation In Germany, sample local beer and visit the breathtaking ancient cathedral in Cologne or take a tour of the imposing Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. The picturesque Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is really worth a visit with its massive cathedrals, immense fortresses, ancient villages, and rich history. Pamper yourself in the decadent spas found in the Black Forest of Germany; visit the spectacular Gothic cathedral in multicultural Strasbourg, France; and tour the famous art museum in Basel, Switzerland. What you do on shore should be just as rewarding as all the fun you will have on board.

Experience all you can of the sights, sounds, and tastes available to you at each local destination. Your cruise ship is a work of art, and in much the same way, every single place is its own artistic creation made from history and traditions.

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