Europe is a vivid cultural gem. Rich in history and breathtaking sites, there’s an array of locations that deserve a visit. European river cruises are an ideal way to tour different cities and natural heritage sites, enabling you to travel through the heart of Europe with ease. But with so many options, choosing the right river cruise for you can be tricky! We look into some of the different options available, exploring what each is likely to cost you with various cruise lines.
Combining fascinating history with vivid culture, the Rhine begins in the southeastern Swiss Alps and flows through Switzerland, Germany, France, and Holland. The land surrounding the river – called the Rhineland – offers enchanting forests and mystical castles set amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery. You’ll explore cities with medieval walls and an abundance of cosmopolitan cafes!
Short riverboat cruises along the Rhine tend to last between three and five nights, with your journey beginning at a European city port. Booking with The River Cruise Line, a four-night cruise, you’ll start your trip at Andernach, stopping at Rudesheim, Boppard, Koblenz and Bonn before departing at Cologne. This Rhine Discovery package starts from around $650. Alternatively, Shearings Holidays offer an Amsterdam To The Rhine Mini Cruise for around $760: this lasts for five nights, with your cruise embarking in the capital of Amsterdam. You’ll discover the vibrant German cities of Cologne and Dusseldorf on this river cruise.
If you’re looking to explore the Rhine for longer, Emerald Waterways offers a Jewels of the Rhine riverboat cruise. This seven-night voyage, which costs around $2,260, begins at Basel and ends at Amsterdam. Or go for the ultimate river retreat with a fourteen-night cruise, such as River Cruise Line’s leisurely Up The Rhine & Down The Danube package. This takes you through four different countries and starts at $2,830 per person.
A river of northern France, the Seine flows through Paris into Normandy for close to 772 kilometers before it reaches the English Channel. A voyage on this river will immerse you in Parisian culture, and you’ll get to sail past Monet’s garden and take in sights of landing beaches from the Second World War.
The standard itinerary for a cruise on the Seine River involves a round trip from Paris to either Caudebec-En-Caux, Rouen or Honfleur; this also includes an optional excursion to Normandy. AmaWaterways offers a ten-day trip called Paris & Normandy: you’ll spend seven nights on the riverboat itself, and will stay in the center of Paris for two nights. This will cost you a minimum of $2,740, and the rate will vary depending on when you want to go.
Alternatively, Grand Circle offers a cruise from Paris to Honfleur lasting twelve days and costing around $2,700. Whilst you won’t stay in the city itself, you’ll have more time to enjoy your cruise, navigate Paris, and witness the powerful sense of stillness as you visit Normandy’s D-Day beaches and American War Cemetery.
Meandering through rocky outcrops and sprawling vine-filled slopes, the Douro River begins in Duruelo de la Sierra. It winds across Spain and Portugal until it reaches its outlet at Porto, and offers exceptional peace and tranquility. This river has been used to transport exquisite wines grown in the age-old Douro Valley, which is now a World Heritage Site.
Titan Travel offers a seven-night river cruise, entitled The Enchanting River Douro, which costs around $2,160. From excursions to a 14th century Alpendurada Monastery, to a visit to the small medieval hilltop town of Castelo Rodrigo, you’ll get a true feel for the country’s rich history.
If you want to extend your trip to visiting Lisbon too, try A Celebration Of Lisbon & The Douro with Titan Travel. This trip lasts ten days, giving you an opportunity to spend two nights in a hotel (staying in the country’s capital city, Lisbon) as you soak up the local culture. Prices start at around $3460 per person.
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