European River Cruises

Why vacation on Europe's waterways? A river cruise is a great way to explore some of the Old Continent’s most historic and scenic inland areas which ocean liners cannot access, and traditional tours often miss. River itineraries in Europe feature a blend of metropolises like Vienna, Paris, and Amsterdam and small picturesque towns and villages like the ones in the Rhone, Danube, or Douro valleys. 

Modern river cruising is a lot more upscale and sophisticated than it used to be. Since river cruises have soared in popularity recently, big investment has led to numerous new ships being introduced each year and companies constantly trying to outdo each other in terms of onboard facilities and shore experiences.  

Here are 10 more reasons why a European river cruise might be just the thing you are looking for:

  • Virtually all passenger accommodations are in outside cabins, so everyone gets a room with a river view

  • It can be as relaxed or active as you want it to be. Being in a different port every day means a lot of sightseeing and activities like hiking, biking, golf, kayaking, cooking classes, and wine tastings.

  • While not inexpensive, a river cruise is a great value. The fare covers a lot: meals, Wi-Fi, entertainment, shore tours, port taxes, and local wines with lunch and dinner. 

  • River ships in Europe have size restrictions in order to fit through locks and under bridges. With only between 100 - 200 guests, they provide a boutique - hotel - style experience and personalized service.  

  • With fewer people onboard, chefs can step off the ship in each port to purchase fresh, locally sourced produce for their culinary creations. 

  • The ever-changing scenery of forests, vineyards, medieval castles, and charming towns and cities along the riverbanks glides by at eye level – yours to take in from your cabin window or the panoramic top deck. 

  • Ships often dock in the heart of towns and cities, so you can step right off the dock and start exploring.. 

  • River cruises focus on the destinations they visit, and less so on the ship’s features, so they tend to attract travelers who are genuinely interested in a local culture, history, and cuisine.

  • Shore tours are essential to the concept of river cruising and are always included. They vary by cruise line: some are traditional guided walks while others feature active or experiential options like cycling tours, cooking classes, and wine tastings.

  • Have a special interest — food, wine, family travel, history, architecture, music, Christmas markets, or religious heritage? There are theme sailings to match. 

Planning a European river cruise? There is an overwhelming array of cruise lines and boats out there, many offering seemingly similar vessel designs, routes, amenities, shore tours, and even cost. Let's chat about what you are looking for and pick the right cruise for you!

Cultured Adventurer is an independent affiliate of Palm Coast Travel and a member of Signature Travel Network.
Florida Seller of Travel Number ST14303.

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