River Favorites: Best European River Cruise Destinations

European river cruises are growing more popular each year, and that’s no surprise. They offer a luxurious way to experience European culture and go place to place without packing and lugging your things around. They also take away the stress of traveling through different countries using transit or a car.

It’s hard to find a European river that isn’t worth cruising, but that means picking the best destination rivers isn’t easy. Here are the ones that truly stand out for the experienced cruiser and the luxury travel aficionado.

Seine River

Cruising this river allows lovers of art, culture, and romance to enjoy their ultimate experience. Many river cruises on the Seine also offer you the chance to see the English Channel and Honfleur; all provide an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy Paris at leisure.

Trips along this route often schedule stops in Rouen, gateway to a rich historical experience on the beaches of Normandy. Port days in Giverny delight the art connoisseur to enjoy the inspirations that fueled the art of Monet.

kavalenkau / Shutterstock.com
kavalenkau / Shutterstock.com

Danube River

The Danube is a fantastic river cruise, especially for those who hope to visit many countries; the river is nearly 3,200 kilometers long and snakes through Austria, Germany, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Danube cruisers can expect to visit Baroque monasteries, cosmopolitan cities like Vienna and Budapest, and even medieval villages.

Some luxury cruising outlets even offer specialty experience such as a Sound of Music cruise.

Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock.com
Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock.com

Rhine River

Rhine cruises are a jackpot for cruisers eager to do as much as they can. The river winds through Austria, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, and Switzerland for hundreds of miles.

Rhine cruisers enjoy wine tasting in German wine country, historical Celtic sights, Christmas markets, touring cathedrals and more in cities like Cologne, Heidelberg, Koblenz, Mannheim, and Strasbourg. For the traveler who loves the constant bustle of exploration, the Rhine has it all.

S.Borisov / Shutterstock.com
S.Borisov / Shutterstock.com

Volga River

Die hard art lovers and history buffs will find cruising Russia’s Volga River sublime. Enjoy the stunning pastoral beauty of the Russian countryside and the energy of world-class cities like Moscow as you cruise the Volga.

The Hermitage in St. Petersburg offers stunning scenic views and a glimpse into the history of the entire region. And of course no one should miss Pushkin and Catherine’s Palace or striking Red Square.

elen_studio / Shutterstock.com
elen_studio / Shutterstock.com

Rhone River

Cruising the Rhone allows the luxury-loving traveler to experience the South of France in style. This playground for the jet set has long been a preferred destination for extravagant travelers. Satisfy the history lover in you exploring Roman ruins, or take in avant garde films at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Nice Carnival is one of the world’s most beautiful parties, filled with pomp, lights, and amazing foods. For sun worshipers there’s no better place than the beaches of St. Tropez. And for some excitement, try your hand at the tables in Monte Carlo.

Ralf Gosch / Shutterstock.com
Ralf Gosch / Shutterstock.com

The Bottom Line

European river cruises are unlike anything else. This region of the travel industry is blooming with options, and now is the time to take advantage of that diverse range of choices. These popular rivers for cruising will turn you into a believer—and a repeat visitor.

Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock.com
Boris Stroujko / Shutterstock.com