A great way to see as much of Europe as you possibly can is to take a European river cruise. Some of Europe’s oldest cities are along the river, and the scenery is stunning. Also, most cruises include your meals and sightseeing tours, so it makes it easy to forecast ahead of time what you will spend on your trip. Here’s my tips for the best river cruises in Europe.
If your European dream includes Paris, you will want to look at the sightseeing cruises on the Seine. During a stay in Paris, cruise the Seine at night to see all the monuments of the City of Lights. Many of the Seine River cruises include cruises that travel northeast from Paris to Rouen, Honfleur and Vernon. The ancient capital of Normany is a must see along with its beaches, and you will also enjoy the charming seaside villages that you will stop at along the way.
The Danube is Europe’s second longest river and one of the most beautiful. It’s runs from Germany’s Black Forest and through 10 countries. Budapest is one of the most stunning cities you will stop at, and usually where your cruise will end or begin. Vienna is another highlight, and it’s even possible to cruise from here all the way to the Netherlands.
If you’re a food or wine lover, the Rhone river cruise in Europe is the one for you. It sails through Burgundy and Provence and highlights the region’s wine heritage. Other highlights are Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon-sur-Rhône and Lyon.
If you’re a fan of history, the Elbe river cruise is one of the best river cruises in Europe to take. It takes you down some of the lesser-known rivers and visits Berlin and Prague. This river cruise will take you to parts of Europe that other cruises may miss, and the landscapes are just stunning.
The Rhine runs from the Netherlands to Switzerland and allows you to visit six countries along the way. Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Koblenz and Rotterdam are just some of the cities you will visit. The Middle Rhine, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it will give you beautiful views of vineyards and castles. It’s also possible to travel by boat all the way from Basel to Amsterdam. Floating through Amsterdam’s canals is definitely something you shouldn’t miss!
The Main River runs across the middle of Germany. The cruises usually run between Frankfurt and Nuremberg, with stops in Heidelberg, Wertheim, Wurzburg and Bamberg. This route will take you through some of Germany’s most historical areas, and many European cruise companies will combine this route with another one.