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An Introduction to European River Cruises

Quaint, storybook villages. Sweeping grand cathedrals. Fine wines and decadent dining. Meandering hillsides and soaring mountains. If it sounds like an embarrasment of riches, it is. Europe is a veritable treasure trove waiting to be discovered, and there’s no better way to discover it than on a leisurely cruise along one or many of the continent’s beautifully scenic rivers.

How are River Cruises Different from Ocean Cruises?

An entirely different experience from ocean cruises, European river cruises appeal to those seeking ease, refinement, and an ever-changing panoramic to explore. A journey aboard a river cruise takes you into the depths of a country’s interior, rather than just skimming its coastal ports. Scenic and serene, the journey is well suited for couples and circles of friends, or anyone who prefers small groups to large crowds.

What’s more, river cruisers are spoiled for choice, with an expanding selection of ships and routes to consider. As options proliferate, cruise travelers can match their tastes and interests to the best-fitting cruise for them.

The Advantages of River Cruising

A European River Cruise is the ultimate way to unlock the secrets and beauty of the Continent. You’ll travel aboard smaller, more intimate vessels where you’ll unpack just once, enjoy comfortable accommodations and services visit a new and intriguing port each day. Many of those ports are inaccessible or off-limits to larger cruise ships.

Every turn of the river will unveil another delightful surprise, where ancient wonders commingle with modern cityscapes, and medieval castles complement gleaming new museums. With picturesque rolling waterways connecting so much of this beautiful and fabled continent, a Europe river cruise is a top choice for those who wish to combine as much sightseeing as possible with a leisurely vacation lifestyle.

Where To Go & What To See

Europe has a great number of great rivers, including the Rhine, Rhone, Main, Danube and Seine, and others. Each with its own unique story to tell. For those unsure what region of Europe they’d most like to visit, a river cruise is a sure bet. Traverse Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Spain and more, all at a fraction of what one might spend visiting each of these countries individually.

Any one of our Small Ship Travel Experts can assist you in choosing the best itinerary based on any number of factors, from what your interests and tastes are to how much time you want to spend on board the ship relaxing or discovering new adventures on shore. For example, one might sail the Rhine for its history and culture, whereas the Rhone is a favorite for oenophiles and budding wine connoisseurs alike, as it passes through Provence and Burgundy, two of France’s top wine-making regions.