The Ultimate Guide To River Cruising In Europe


The Ultimate Guide To River Cruising In Europe

River cruise holidays are inclusive packages that combine accommodation, itineraries onshore, and transportation between destinations. Imagine drifting between picturesque towns and iconic landmarks with ease. This means less time needed to plan your next European holiday and more time to enjoy a stress-free vacation!

So now that you’ve decided to join a European cruise, which rivers are a must-travel in Europe? From floating past the Eiffel Tower to castles in Germany, we’ve compiled the best and most stunning river holidays in Europe below.


The Danube is a river of great cultural significance comprised of bustling cities, cathedrals and wine regions. It is the second-longest river in Europe, flowing from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea of Romania, with itineraries often lasting about two weeks.

Think of waltzing in Vienna and uncovering medieval treasures in Regensburg. A Danube river cruise holiday passes by breathtaking mountains and many vineyards to be explored. Highlights include cities such as Budapest where one can see the brilliant architecture, and dip into the famous Szechenyi thermal baths. Other cities to visit include Passau in Germany and Bratislava in Romania. Check out our 2020 Danube river cruise packages!

The Rhine

Interested in a magical cruise that passes by fairy-tale landscapes and gorgeous cities? Then a Rhine river cruise would be perfect for you! On this river cruise, one would travel from Germany through to the Netherlands. The Rhine also features some of Europe’s most gorgeous valleys with many impressive castles that can be explored. The main cities that can be visited are Cologne, and Koblenz in Germany with popular itineraries usually lasting seven days. It is definitely one of the most picturesque European river cruises.

The best thing about the Rhine is that it is beautiful all year round. Whilst summer is often the most popular time for tourism in Europe, winter is another great time to join a Rhine river cruise. There are many cruises in winter that visit many of Germany’s most charming Christmas markets that shouldn’t be missed.

The Seine

If romance is what you are after, then a river holiday through the “City of Love” is perfect for you! This getaway usually lasts around seven days and begins and ends in Paris, where one can spend time seeing iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral, and feasting on the local cuisine.

Fans of art will feel as though they have stepped into one of Monet’s impressionistic paintings by visiting the beautiful gardens of Giverny or the fishing village of Honfleur. As the river flows into Normandy, key locations to visit are the region’s capital Rouen, as well as the Landing Beaches of D-Day.

Douro River

Hop onto a Douro River cruise and you can expect it to be a boozy adventure filled with the best wine and port in Portugal. Whilst wine tasting is definitely on the agenda, the Douro River is actually very serene and relaxing. Sleepy towns such as Pinhao are full of charm as this route is not yet tainted by the tourist masses.

The journey begins in the vibrant UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto before navigating through to Vega de Terron on the border of Spain. Here, one may experience Spanish culture and traditional flamenco in the exciting city of Salamanca.

Rhone River

If you’re an avid foodie then you and your stomach will be delighted in what this region of France has to offer. The river itself flows from the Swiss Alps down to the Mediterranean Sea, however one’s journey will often begin in the restaurant capital of Lyon with itineraries often lasting about a week.

Highlights besides the food and wine are also travelling through the medieval cities of Avignon and Beaune, and the wonderful landscapes of Burgundy. The aqueduct Pont du Gard is another must-see with it being one of the best examples of Roman architecture within France. For more amazing architecture, one should also visit Arles, famous for being where Vincent van Gogh had lived.

Russian River Cruises

For an experience that is a bit more unique, one should look east of Europe to Russia for their next river cruise holiday. River cruising is in fact one of the most accessible and easiest ways to visit Russia, where visa procedures can often be complex.

Itineraries usually travel between Moscow and St. Petersburg, where one should definitely make the most of the location. Iconic activities include a visit to the Kremlin and catching a ballet performance at the historic Bolshoi Theatre. Cruises usually last around twelve days and traverse multiple Russian rivers such as the Volga, Svir, and Neva. A trip to the beautiful city of Yaroslavl is often included, popular for breathtaking churches and onion dome architecture. Experience all of this and more with our Russian river cruise package!


With so many amazing rivers and destinations to explore in Europe, the opportunities are endless! But one thing is for sure, whichever you choose will guarantee a memorable experience and adventure. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to pack your bags and book your next European river cruise with CBT Holidays today!