Europe is one of the world’s most popular destinations for river cruises and provides travellers with plenty of choice when it comes to the array of destinations and waterways on offer. River cruisers can visit wonderful villages, towns and cities across a plethora of iconic European nations, from Spain, Portugal and Italy in the south; France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands in the west; and Romania, Hungary and Serbia in the east.
From the ancient landmarks and vine-clad hillsides along the banks of the Rhine and Danube to the sun-soaked landscapes of Portugal, Spain and Italy on offer for those travelling on the Douro or Po, Europe offers unforgettable cruise experiences in every corner of the continent. Elsewhere, popular European waterways include the Seine, Rhone, Elbe, Moselle, Main and the Dutch Waterways amongst others.
The Rhine runs across large parts of western Europe, flowing through nations including Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Rhine river cruises are very popular, offering travellers the opportunity to visit a combination of historic and scenic destinations across the European mainland, where beautiful vineyards, ancient cities and quaint ports provide the setting for discovery and exploration.
Destinations along the Rhine range from the vibrant cities of Basel, Cologne and Strasbourg to peaceful settlements including Rudesheim, Speyer and Breisach in the Rhine Valley – Germany’s gateway to the beautiful Black Forest – offering the perfect blend of cultures and landscapes.
As Europe’s longest river, the Danube offers a captivating and diverse cruise experience, flowing through a plethora of magnificent river ports between its source in the Black Forest of Germany and lush Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine, after which it empties into the Black Sea. This phenomenal waterway passes through or along the borders of 10 countries and an incredible four capital cities on its way across Europe.
The magnificent European capital cities through which the Danube flows include Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava and Belgrade, each of which is home to a wealth of historic landmarks and cultural attractions. Other intriguing and popular ports along the river include Linz, Esztergom, Passau and Vidin.
A river cruise along the Seine is the perfect way to see wonderful destinations across beautiful northern France. This stunning river rises in the town of Dijon near the Swiss Alps, running for nearly 500 miles across the spectacular French countryside and through numerous cities on its way to the port of Le Havre on the English Channel.
The Seine flows directly through the French capital of Paris, offering guests an ideal opportunity to disembark and explore this world-famous destination, where landmarks and attractions include the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre.
For a sun-drenched river cruise escape, the Douro is the perfect option, stretching across northern Spain and Portugal. Get a taste for local culture, visit historic cities and gain an insight into the region’s renowned wine production at a number of charming vineyards along the scenic riverbanks.
Some of the Douro’s most beautiful destinations include Porto, Regua, Pinhao and Salamanca, as well as the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, which although not situated on the river, is often included at the start of many Douro itineraries.
Though currencies do vary across Europe, you'll find that the Euro goes a long way in many of the ports you'll visit on your river cruise, meaning that there's seldom the need to carry a lot of different currencies during your voyage. Europe river cruises are generally an excellent choice for wine-lovers too, whether you choose to explore the Rhine Valley of the beautiful Bordeaux region.