Best river cruises

Technically, a river cruise is a form of leisure travel that takes guests along inland waterways. River cruise ships often stop at multiple ports and docks in the center of cities and towns. Sailing onboard a river cruise is a great way to see the countryside, especially of Europe while enjoying a long wine-soaked meal, and seeing the most iconic and historic sites without standing in a single line.

Eastern Europe River Cruises

Sailing with the best-known river cruise line, the Viking River Cruises, it offers a fabulous trip from Bucharest to Budapest aboard the Longship Aegir, named after the Norse god of the sea, which includes large suites and inviting verandas for outdoor dining. Guests enjoy their destination-focused dining while viewing the scenery along the rivers. The “Passage to Eastern Europe” is an 11-day voyage that stops in Bulgaria before traveling through Serbia’s Iron Gates, a spectacular, narrow gorge flanked by white limestone cliffs, and continues to Croatia and Hungary.

Rhone River Cruise

Prefer a more cozy cruise through France? The 361-foot riverboat, ms Emerald by Tauck only accommodates up to 98 passengers which originally holds about 160. Its 9-night journey that savors France: Paris, Lyon & Provence is ideal for food and wine connoisseurs who also enjoy a serving of local culture and history. It highlights wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and more.

Danube River Cruise

A Danube river cruise includes spectacular cities like Vienna, Budapest, Munich, and Prague. The Danube river rises in Germany’s Black Forest and flows along the borders of 10 countries. River cruise ships wander through scenic old-country villages and stop at fairy-tale-esque castles, medieval fortresses, churches, museums, concert halls, and more that will surely leave you with lifelong memories.

Rhine and Moselle River Cruise

This exciting river cruise starts from Basel, Switzerland, exploring everything the Moselle and Rhine Rivers has to offer as you stop at interesting and unique cities in France and Germany. Before sailing, shore excursions include visits to France’s Maginot Line, Heidelberg Castle, the city of Strasbourg, and the Black Forest until the voyage ends in lively Amsterdam, Holland.

Columbia and Snake River Voyage

It retraces the Pacific Northwest portion of Lewis and Clark’s epic 19th-century expedition while aboard either the National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Sea Lion, or National Geographic Venture. The voyage cruises through the Columbia River Gorge, past golden plateaus along the Palouse River, and into the historical lands of the Native American tribes first encountered by the explorers Lewis and Clark, and on to the scenic Hell’s Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. 

Amazon River Cruise

The Amazon river cruise is possibly the most rewarding nature expedition in the world and cruising on the Amazon river is about as far as you can get from a staid river cruise on one of Europe’s well-kempt rivers like the Rhine or Danube. It ranks as the world’s largest river for its multitudinous tributaries and the sheer scale of this gigantic “ocean-river”. The river runs through the heart of the Brazilian rainforest from French Guiana to Peru with the stunning scenery that will simply blow you away. An Amazon River cruise surely deserves a place on your bucket list.

One of the main comparisons between river and ocean cruises is that the main attraction of river cruises is the land, not the ship. Travelers spend time each day in port, touring the city or town, sometimes visiting multiple locations in one day. Though most of the sailing occurs at night, travelers will occasionally get the chance to see more scenic riverside views.

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