European River Cruising 101

Sponsored by Viking River Cruises

A river cruise sails straight into the hearts of European cities and villages. Between port visits, ships travel at a leisurely pace, allowing you time to fully appreciate the endless picturesque views.

River cruising is an alternative to motor coach tours or ocean cruising, essentially taking the best parts of both to create a wonderful journey. You will travel with smaller groups for a more intimate way to be immersed in the exciting cities, quaint villages, scenic countryside, and enriching local culture, food and rich history of Europe.

Instead of crossing vast oceans to stop only in coastal ports, a river cruise journeys along smaller interior waterways, taking you farther into the countries you visit, for unique insights many other forms of travel can’t provide. You simply step right off your ship into town. At many ports, guided walking or biking tours are available, along with free time to relax and explore on your own.

european river cruising 101

Onboard there are ample choices for rejuvenation, education and enjoyment. A typical river cruise ship will have at least one restaurant, a sky deck, library, fitness center, indoor pool, hair salon and spa. It may have a whirlpool, private terraces or a pool on the top deck. Most staterooms have open terraces that bring the outside views in. The food is delicious, often designed from local culinary traditions and served with complimentary beer and wine, with the option to dine al fresco on terraces with ever-changing and stunning, passing views.

There’s also often the opportunity for onboard learning and insights into the destinations you visit. There may be guest lectures presented by experts, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and cultural performances.

european river cruising 101

European River Cruises: Rivers and Destinations

On a Danube river cruise, discover charming villages and the vibrant city of Budapest. Most ships dock on the Buda side, where cobblestone streets and Gothic buildings amaze. You will also be within walking distance of the bustling city center of Pest, across the river. On a Rhine river cruise, witness the winding canals of Amsterdam and the majestic castles of Germany.

Explore Western Europe, on a Main river cruise, or the lush rolling vineyards along the Moselle River. In Central Europe, you can cruise the Elbe River to Prague. Sail to the “City of Light” on a Seine river cruise to Paris, France or swirl and sip world-class fine wines in Lyon along the Rhône and Saône Rivers.

european river cruising 101

Here is a sample of what you can see on Viking European river cruise:

  • Germany’s charming villages
  • Culinary delights in Lyon, France
  • Medieval Prague, “City of a Thousand Spires”
  • The elegant boulevards and grand monuments of Paris
  • Fairytale windmills in The Netherlands
  • Wine/Port tastings in Portugal’s Douro Valley
  • Budapest’s regal Parliament building and Chain Bridge
  • Vienna’s inspirational legacy of classical music
  • France’s famed wineries in Beaujolais, Bordeaux and beyond
european river cruising 101

For your sailing on one of the storied rivers of Europe, contact one of our agency’s river cruise specialists today.