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Cruises

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Looking to travel the world in a new and exhilarating way? Discover the most beautiful rivers on Earth with an extravagant river cruise. Experience the enchanting allure of European River Cruises, a captivating journey that takes you through the heart of Europe's most stunning landscapes and historic cities. These cruises offer an unparalleled vantage point to explore Europe's rich cultural tapestry, from the romantic vineyards of France's Rhône River to the grand castles along Germany's Rhine River. As you glide along these serene waterways, you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, savor exquisite regional cuisine, and marvel at the architectural splendors that dot the riverbanks. European River Cruises are not just a mode of travel, but a gateway to immersive experiences, offering a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and cultural exploration. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first European adventure, a river cruise offers a unique and unforgettable way to explore the heart of Europe.

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Mar 2024 to Feb 2025

6 of the Best European River Cruises

Imagine you're on a boat, exploring serene inland waterways at your own pace. The only sound that fills the air is water lapping against the boat and shore as castles peer out from amidst vineyards in Italy or France. The best European river cruises offer experiences like this - breathtaking and unforgettable. Whether you want to sail the winding Danube, explore quaint towns along the Seine and Rhine rivers, or visit charming cities like Vienna and Budapest, a river cruise is a perfect way to discover all that Europe has to offer.

At Indus Travels, our extensive selection of Europe river cruises will take you along the most magnificent rivers in Europe, allowing you to explore some of the area's most iconic attractions and hidden gems. Let's take a look at some of the best Europe cruises you can experience with Indus Travels.

Rhine

The Rhine is easily one of the most picturesque cruising rivers in all of Europe. This mighty river winds its way through Germany and France, passing through stunning medieval villages and cultural hotspots like Cologne and Strasbourg.

The Rhine Cruise also takes you to the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is located between Rüdesheim and Koblenz in Germany. This 40-mile stretch of river has many castles along Lorelei Rock, the legendary cliff that distracts sailors with the mesmerizing song of a maiden - according to legend.

With Indus Travels, you can enjoy luxurious Rhine River cruises, explore historic castles, sample local cuisine at quaint cafes, and take in all that this gorgeous region has to offer.

Danube

If you're looking for one of the best Eastern European river cruises, look no further than the Danube River cruise. This iconic waterway stretches across 10 countries in Europe, making it one of the most diverse river cruises out there. You'll get to experience everything from charming medieval villages and sprawling vineyards in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and more to the stunning city of Budapest, with its intricate architecture and enchanting charm.

Danube River cruises are typically sub-categorized as the upper Danube and lower Danube. Depending on your preference, you may explore either side or both to discover the unique charm that each region has to offer. For example, if you choose an upper Danube cruise, you'll get to explore a scenic route through the Wachau Valley, known for its quaint towns, rolling hills, and extravagant wine tasting.

Alternatively, a lower Danube river cruise will take you through the Iron Gates and past historical and cultural sites like the Serbian capital of Belgrade. This route not only explores the area between Budapest and Bucharest in Romania but also delves back in time to explore medieval history all the way through communism's rise and fall during the Bosnian War.

Rhone and Saone

One of the lesser-known European river cruises takes place along the Rhône and Saone rivers, which wind their way through France. These two tributaries are known for offering a more intimate experience compared to larger waterways like the Danube or the Rhine. Along the way, you'll visit quaint villages and historic cities like Lyon, Avignon, and Arles.

The Rhône river cruises and Saone cruise takes you through areas that are known for their rich wine culture, which makes it the perfect opportunity to indulge in some delicious local cuisine and world-renowned wines. You'll also get to learn about French culture and traditions as you explore the various sights and cities along the routes.

Furthermore, cruises through these areas offer opportunities to see other attractions, such as the Pont du Gard and the amphitheater in Arles. Some of the massive palaces and fields you get to see on this tour inspired great painters like Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh. Without any doubt, Rhône and Saone river cruises show you the best of France and are a must-do for any traveler looking to experience the true beauty of this iconic nation.

Douro

If you're looking for a unique European cruise, consider the Douro cruise in northern Portugal. This beautiful route passes through the Iberian peninsula and amazes travelers with its views of some of the country's most picturesque landscapes. Guests will enjoy stunning views of Portugal's historic city center, bridges, and port houses from the comfort of their ship.

With so many incredible sights and destinations to explore, the Douro river cruises are truly one of the most scenic European river cruises available. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled trip, this cruise does not disappoint. For those interested in history and culture, there are plenty of museums and charming villages to explore along the way.

Po River

Another great European river cruise to consider is one on the Po River in Italy. This scenic waterway goes through some of the country's most stunning landscapes, including the Cottian Alps and Lake Garda, making it one of the top choices for travelers looking for a truly unique experience. The Po River attracts both nature lovers and those interested in history and culture, as it passes through beautiful towns, with many villages dating back to Roman times.

Some of the main attractions along this route include the castle in Mantua - which is known for its stunning architecture and history, and Sirmione on Lake Garda - a hidden gem filled with breathtaking views and incredible food. Whether you're traveling alone, with family, or on a romantic getaway, the Po River offers something for everyone and is one of the top European river boat cruises to consider.

Elbe

If you're looking for a truly immersive European river cruise experience, the Elbe is one of the top choices. This incredible waterway goes through some of Europe's most amazing natural landscapes and imperial cities, including Prague and Dresden in the Czech Republic and Germany respectively. The Elbe River passes through some of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, including Berlin and Hamburg.

Along the way, you'll get to explore historic cities and museums, enjoy delicious local cuisine, try your hand at water sports on the river itself, and so much more. Whether you're looking for a relaxing vacation or an adventure-filled trip, the Elbe River is one of the top choices for any traveler looking to explore Europe in a whole new way.

What time of year is best for a European river cruise?

The European River cruising season begins in March and comes to an end in December. However, the ideal time for a river cruise is between late spring (April-May) and early fall (September - October). These times offer the most pleasant weather conditions for sightseeing and comfortable temperatures for onboard activities.

In addition, even though they are located in different countries and cross through various continents, their proximity to the same latitudes typically results in similar temperatures and climates. This means that a river cruise along the Rhine in Germany would experience similar weather to one along the Danube in Austria.

What should I pack for a European river cruise?

Given the wide range of climates and destinations along European river cruises, there is no one-size-fits-all packing list. However, you should keep in mind that most areas will have warmer temperatures during the summer months (June - August), while spring and fall are better for travelers looking to avoid crowds and busy tourist attractions.

For clothing, it's best to pack a mix of comfortable and stylish outfits for both onboard activities and shore excursions during your cruise. This can include versatile pieces that you can layer such as sweaters, jackets, and scarves. Additionally, it's also a good idea to pack seasonal accessories like sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and rain gear to ensure that you're prepared for any weather conditions.

What types of activities can I expect on a European river cruise?

There are countless things to see and do along Europe's iconic rivers, depending on the itinerary and your interests. For example, travelers who want to explore local history and culture may prefer a cruise that stops at famous landmarks and museums. Others may prefer a cruise that focuses on beautiful natural landscapes and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Regardless of what you're looking for, there are endless possibilities along Europe's rivers. Some of the most popular onboard activities include sightseeing cruises, wine tastings, walking tours, live performances, cooking classes, and so much more. So, whether you want to explore grand palaces and cathedrals or kayak through picturesque canals, there is something for everyone on an unforgettable European river cruise.

Which river in Europe is a popular cruise destination?

While there are various rivers throughout Europe that travelers can cruise down, one of the most iconic and widely-traveled is the Upper Danube. This river stretches from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary before emptying into the Black Sea.

Along its banks are beautiful cities like Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, and Linz. In addition, there are many stunning natural landscapes to enjoy along the way including mountainous regions, national parks, vineyards, forests, and more. The Upper Danube, which runs through 10 countries with abundant historical significance and stunning architecture, is often the first choice for many tourists.

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