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European River Cruises

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Enjoy a river cruise on Europe's major rivers featuring leisurely bicycle rides and walks among castles, cathedrals & vineyards on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Seine, Rhone, or the Douro. The Danube takes you from central to eastern Europe visiting Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Croatia. The Rhine River originates in Switzerland and winds through France, Germany, & the Netherlands. Further west is the Seine River flowing through central & northern France, and the Rhone River in southern France. The Douro River uncovers unique cultures making its way from Porto, Portugal into the heart of Spain. We have hand-selected the best riverboats and cruise itineraries that combine comfort, style, service, and value. Contact one of our European river cruise specialists to custom design your trip.

10 Best River Cruises in Europe for 2022-2023

All Danube River Cruises

Top 10 Danube River Cruises for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Magna on the Danube - Budapest to Vilshofen$33998Jul 10, 2022Enjoy a 7-night wine-themed Danube River cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS AmaMagna, visiting Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, and Passau …
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Danube Christmas Markets$54458Nov 29, 2022Feel the enchantment of the Christmas markets that have graced the Danube for centuries. Scenic Amber river ship takes you from Budapest to Nuremberg …
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Danube Waltz$24998Jun 29, 2022View the beauty of five different European countries and explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau during this 8-day …
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Gems of the Danube$41958Jun 30, 2022Enjoy an 8-day luxury cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest aboard the 5-star luxury Scenic Amber. Explore some of the most beautiful cities of central …
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The Legendary Danube$429911Nov 22, 2023Fall in love with the Danube on this 14-day Danube River cruise aboard the MS Amasonata. Discover some of the most important cities such as …
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Delightful Danube & Prague$439910Jun 29, 2022This is an extraordinary journey for aficionados of European history, music and art. Experience dynamic Budapest, imperial Vienna and exquisitely …
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From the Black Sea to the Blue Danube (Port-to-port cruise)$425312Jul 1, 2022Join the MS L'Europe on this 12-day cultural cruise. Explore some of the most charming and idyllic landscapes from the Black Sea to the Blue Danube. …
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Christmas Markets on the Danube$429911Nov 25, 2022Board the MS Amabella for this unique 11-day adventure visiting some of Europe's most enchanting Christmas Markets on the scenic Danube River route …
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The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$38998Jul 1, 2022Cruise eastern Europe on this 8-day itinerary along the romantic Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amasonata, stopping in cities like …
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Christmas Markets on the Danube - Cruise Only$34998Dec 23, 2022Join the Amasonata on this unique once-per-year 8-day Christmas cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen. In each town along the way, you'll feel the old …
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All Rhine River Cruises

10 Best Rhine River Cruises for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$467912Dec 23, 2022After spending two nights in both Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, board the MS Amaprima on an exclusive 7-day Rhine River cruise through the …
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Grand Tulip Cruise of Holland & Belgium$589815Mar 19, 2023Board Avalon Imagery II for a 15-day Rhine River cruise of the beautiful blooming fields in Belgium and the Netherlands. Along the way you'll see …
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Rhine Highlights$45458Aug 15, 2022Journey along the Rhine in all-inclusive luxury aboard Scenic Crystal. Visit delightful towns and cities along the Rhine river valley, such as …
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Castles along the Rhine$29998Jul 3, 2022Cruise along the Rhine for an amazing 8 days with the exquisite S.S. Antoinette. The Rhine River has Germany on one side and France on the other. …
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The Rhine in Flames: An incredible spectacle on the water$11765Jun 30, 2022Admire the "Rhine in Flames" on a glittering summer night that will light up the hillsides and surrounding castles into a magical light. Embark on an …
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Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$772918May 7, 2023Join the MS Amaprima on this unique adventure starting with an 11-night cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich, followed by three magical nights in Zurich. …
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Rhine Christmas Markets$39958Dec 14, 2022Begin this magical 8-day Rhine River cruise in Basel as you explore Christmas Markets along the Rhine River all the way to Amsterdam. Enjoy the …
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The Moselle River, the Rhine Valley, and enchanting Alsace and Switzerland$21726Jun 29, 2022On this 6-day Moselle River cruise aboard MS Monet, you will experience fortresses, wineries, cafes, castles and beautiful landscapes as you travel …
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Enchanting Alsace, Switzerland, the Rhine Valley, and the Moselle River$21726Jul 4, 2022Join MS Monet in an incredible 6-day adventure and discover Strasbourg, Basel, Breisach, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Rudesheim, Koblenz, Cochem and more! …
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Rhine Holiday Markets$30998Nov 28, 2022Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas market cruise. Embark the S.S. Antoinette from …
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All Moselle River Cruises

Top 10 Moselle & Main River Cruises for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$467912Dec 23, 2022After spending two nights in both Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, board the MS Amaprima on an exclusive 7-day Rhine River cruise through the …
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The Rhine in Flames: An incredible spectacle on the water$11765Jun 30, 2022Admire the "Rhine in Flames" on a glittering summer night that will light up the hillsides and surrounding castles into a magical light. Embark on an …
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An Exceptional Cruise through the Fairytale-Like, Landscapes on the Moselle and the Romantic Rhine$14705Jul 18, 2022Join MS Monet on a spectacular 5-day cruise of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers. En route from Trier to Strasbourg, visit Cochem, Koblenz and Mainz, with …
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Classic Cruise – Germany & Luxembourg$86307Aug 28, 2022Onboard La Nouvelle Etoile, sail through the beautiful canals of Germany and Luxembourg for seven days, stopping at quaint towns along the way. While …
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The Heart of Germany$21996Dec 7, 2022Enjoy a fantastic 6-day Germany tour complete with vineyard views and historical landmarks. Avalon Imagery II cruises from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, …
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Festive Season in the Heart of Germany$21996Dec 5, 2022Your six-day cruise across Germany is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some of the country's most beautiful and historic sites. Itineraries …
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Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$772918May 7, 2023Join the MS Amaprima on this unique adventure starting with an 11-night cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich, followed by three magical nights in Zurich. …
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Rhine Christmas Markets$39958Dec 14, 2022Begin this magical 8-day Rhine River cruise in Basel as you explore Christmas Markets along the Rhine River all the way to Amsterdam. Enjoy the …
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Trans-European Cruise$395013Oct 1, 2022Explore Central Europe in the comfort of your luxury ship the MS France on this 13-day Danube River cruise. Discover Frankfurt, the Abbey of Melk, …
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The Moselle River, the Rhine Valley, and enchanting Alsace and Switzerland$21726Jun 29, 2022On this 6-day Moselle River cruise aboard MS Monet, you will experience fortresses, wineries, cafes, castles and beautiful landscapes as you travel …
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All Douro River Cruises

Best 10 Douro River Cruises for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Flavors of Portugal & Spain - Cruise Only$33998Jun 28, 2022Embark on an 8-day Douro River cruise aboard the MS Amavida tasting of some of the regions most famous vintages and culinary delights. Take in the …
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Unforgettable Douro with Lisbon$669514Jun 28, 2022Starting in Lisbon, enjoy a three-night stay and fully explore the city before taking in the delights of the Douro on an all-inclusive 14-day luxury …
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Delightful Douro$45958Aug 27, 2022From windswept seaside meanderings in Porto to the astonishing beauty of the Douro Valley, this 8-day Douro River cruise aboard Scenic Azure will let …
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Enticing Douro$429911Jun 29, 2022Taste wines from historic vineyards on this 11-day Douro River cruise aboard the MS Amadouro. After spending 3 days exploring Lisbon, embark on a …
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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$27848Jul 1, 2022Join the crew of the MS Miguel Torga on this 8-day round trip Douro River cruise from Porto to Salamanca and back. You will visit the historic sites …
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Enticing Douro$33998Jul 2, 2022Board the MS Amadouro for this 8-day roundtrip river cruise of the Douro River Valley departing from charming and historic Porto. As you cruise the …
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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$27848Jul 1, 2022Join MS Gil Eanes on an exhilarating eight-day Duoro River voyage from Porto, Portugal, to medieval Salamanca. Visit Vila Nova de Gaia's winery and …
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Discover Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley$25258Jul 6, 2022Explore Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley on this 8-day cruise aboard the MS Miguel Torga. Discover the Belém Cultural Center and its famous Belém …
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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$21608Jun 27, 2022The 8-day Douro river cruise aboard the MS Infante Don Henrique offers excellent opportunities to visit the treasures of Portugal and Spain. Most …
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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$25138Oct 3, 2022Get to know the history, culture and traditions of Portugal and Spain, on this 8-day voyage sailing along the Douro River on the MS Vasco de Gama. …
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All Cruises to France

Top 4 River Cruises to Bordeaux, Rhone & Seine Rivers for 2022-2023

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Colors of Provence$606914Jun 27, 2022This 14-day cruise of France & Spain is a splash of cultures - spend 3 nights in Paris, then travel by high-speed TGV train to Lyon and start on a …
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Paris & Normandy$34998Jul 3, 2022The best way to see historic buildings and the beaches of Normandy is on a river cruise from Paris through the countryside. Visit Claude Monet's …
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Colors of Provence - Cruise Only$19998Jun 30, 2022Embark the MS Amakristina in Arles, France for your week-long cruise through France's legendary wine regions, including Cotes du Rhone, Burgundy and …
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Paris & Normandy - Cruise Only$32998Jun 30, 2022Embark the MS Amalyra for an 8-day luxury river cruise along France's beautiful Seine River, exploring the haunting but beautiful beaches of …
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Top-Rated European Riverboats for 2022-2023

Danube River Video

How to Choose a European River Cruise 2022

Where to Go?
That is entirely up to you! Each country, city, town, and village has its own unique charm and exciting activities for travelers of all ages and interests. Cruises along the DanubeRhineMoselle, and Main Rivers will acquaint you with eastern and central Europe, like HungarySlovakia, the Czech RepublicAustriaGermany, and the Netherlands. The Rhone and Seine Rivers showcase the best that France has to offer, while the Douro River offers exclusive access to Portugal and Spain. There is a river cruise to satisfy every traveler's dreams, so start by choosing which region appeals most to you!

How Long?
European river cruises range in length from just 4 days all the way to 22 days. The most popular option among travelers are the 8-day river cruises, since these offer enough time to really explore a region in depth, visit many of the main attractions along the river, and even visit multiple countries along the way. If you opt for a shorter cruise, they should generally be extensions to your Europe vacation. Whether you choose to do a couple 5-day cruises of different regions or a land-based Europe tour with a 3-day cruise extension, for example, they can be fun ways to add to your vacation. Generally, though, they should not be the only thing you do. Longer cruises, especially the 10-15-day cruises, are the best way to maximize your experience, since these cruises tend to visit two or more countries as they navigate the major ports of each European river. 

On which riverboat?
The vessels we have hand-selected for the European River cruises were specifically designed to explore their respective regions of Europe. Their length, comfort, and style reflect classic riverboat design. All of the vessels feature a panoramic sun deck, a lounge and bar, elegant dining rooms, and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. You'll find that while the general design of each boat is similar, the style and appointments of each is unique to the region. Contact us if you need guidance in selecting the best boat for you.

What is there to do and see?
Everything! No matter what your interests, Europe river cruises have something to thrill and delight you. Many of the tours revolve around wine tasting and sampling the renowned local cuisine, prepared fresh by cooks and chefs whose family recipes have been passed down for generations - you might even get a chance to participate in a cooking lesson! Active explorers will love the chance to hike and bike throughout the lush river valleys and rolling hills of Europe. And each trip includes plenty of historic walking tours of the towns, villages, and major cities that narrate the story of Europe's rich past.  

European River Cruise 2022 Tips & Travel Guide

European River Cruises at a Glance
River cruises are quickly becoming the most popular and efficient way to tour Europe in style and comfort. Travelers can experience the best of each region right from the rivers that have defined and shaped the continent for millennia:
What to Expect on a European River Cruise

River cruises through Europe offer a delightful way to get to know Europe's most vibrant cities, verdant valleys and rolling vineyards without having to pack your bags, get on a bus and stay at a different hotel each day. Instead, maximize your time exploring the old continent as your hotel floats along with you. 

Unlike traditional ocean cruises on larger ships, you'll find that the riverboats are long, narrow vessels especially designed to navigate the bridges and locks of the rivers of Europe. With less total space, the social areas are not as expansive and space is at a premium on a riverboat.

Riverboat design often reflects the elegant, modern style of metropolitan Europe, offering guests a unique mix of the old atmosphere on each day's excursions with the comforts and amenities of modern cruises.
AmaWaterways: Luxury River Cruises
For discerning travelers hoping to enjoy a luxurious yet affordable European river cruise, AmaWaterways is the best option. Since its foundation by industry veterans in 2002, AmaWaterways sets a high bar for elegant vessels, topped out only by its excellent service and gourmet food and wine. 

Travelers who choose to travel on AmaWaterways - though they tend to pay a bit more than the more economical cruise lines - enjoy an all-inclusive cruising experience, with all meals included onboard, at least one shore excursion per port, and some of the best service available on any European river cruise. 

Plus, AmaWaterways likes to offer its travelers some free time as well. This is something to pay attention to if you are hoping for a cruise that has every minute scheduled, as AmaWaterways anticipates that you will spend some of your time independently exploring the destinations. 

Onboard, guests enjoy elegance in the public areas and comfort in the staterooms. In addition to multiple dining options on the ships, guests will also have opportunities to enjoy spaces like the fitness room, spas, massage parlor, lounges and bars, and a panoramic sun deck outfitted with a walking track and a heated pool. 
 
CroisiEurope Cruises: Authentic, Economical River Cruises
River cruises are no longer reserved exclusively for the wealthy, and CroisiEurope is on a mission to prove it. Although the company has been around for over four decades, it has recently put a much bigger emphasis on courting U.S. passengers, overhauling and redesigning many of its vessels to compete with the comfort and style of the other operators but offering a more economical price. 

By keeping its operations entirely in-house and avoiding contracting fees, the prices beat out the U.S. market price.

You should also note that because it offers competitively low prices, it tends to attract a bigger crowd from local Europeans, especially French, meaning that you will more than likely hear a mix of local languages onboard - something that may irritate some travelers but delights others. 

Due to their clients being mostly European, it's safe to say they provide a more authentic experience floating around Europe with Euroepans instead of North Americans.
 
Best European River Cruise Lines for 2022-2023
  • CroisiEuropeSince 1976, this French independent family business with 45 years of experience has specialized in private cruises on rivers, canals, and seas and has established itself as the European leader in river cruises.
  • AMA Waterways celebrates 19 years on the river, family-owned and operated. Redefining the European river cruise experience by constructing one-of-a-kind ships with enhanced comforts and amenities ranging from distinctive view-enhancing twin balconies to the exclusive Chef's Table specialty restaurant.
  • Silversea Cruises explores the refined lifestyle of all-inclusive ultra-luxury traveling in Europe aboard its small luxury cruise ships.
  • Ponant takes you to discover exceptional European destinations within an entirely 5-star setting while offering you a travel experience that is both authentic and high-end.
  • European Waterways. Headquartered in Berkshire, England, offers barge cruises on luxury vessels and explores the finest canals and rivers in Europe.
  • Star Clippers Americas. The renowned specialist in sailing cruises, has shared the European dream with thousands of travelers from around the world on board its three renowned tall ships for more than three decades.
  • Lindblad Expeditions. Built on a legacy of over 50 years as a leader in responsible travel and sustainability, It is a carbon-neutral corporation committed to green business practices and conserving our world for future generations.
  • Sea Cloud CruisesThe sails of Sea Cloud Cruises are traditionally set by hand - a wonderful work of art. When the sailors climb the mast, loosen the heavy linen, and then fiercely tighten the ropes on deck, it is usually a beautiful scene.
  • Emerald Waterways is a cruise line situated in Zug, Switzerland, that cruises Europe's most picturesque rivers & coastline.
  • Variety Cruises engages in life-enriching European excursions, provides adequate leisure time in each port, including overnight stays, and encourages social responsibility.
  • Aurora Expeditions create intimate European excursions by utilizing its size advantage. Each voyage is accompanied by the finest expedition specialists in the world. They are experts in remote areas, and their onboard lectures are both entertaining and educational.
  • Hurtigruten has sailed the Norwegian coast, faithfully serving communities and exhibiting worldwide guests their home, since 1893.

European River Cruise FAQs

Why should I choose a river cruise?

River cruises are the best way to see, explore, and experience all that Europe has to offer. Many of the historic towns and villages in Europe were built right on the rivers, meaning that the cruises along the DouroSeineRhoneRhineDanubeMain, and Moselle Rivers that we offer give you exclusive access to the main destinations of Europe. Plus you'll never have to worry about packing or unpacking your suitcase as you move from one hotel to the next since your accommodations go with you as you explore each region. We make sure that the cruises featured are all-inclusive experiences, so once you've paid the price of the ticket, your lodging, onboard meals, and daily excursions are all part of the price. If you want to wake up every day with new views and a new destination waiting to be explored, plus gourmet meals and an exciting itinerary, then a European river cruise is right for you.
 

What should I look for on a riverboat?

River cruising vessels in Europe are unlike any other cruise ships in the world. While the giant sea-faring ships will frequently feature many onboard spaces and activities right on the boat, European river vessels feature elegant and comfortable accommodations that provide a "home base" for your daily excursions into the tranquil villages, scenic nature, historic cities, and main sites and destinations along the European waterways. You can expect multiple cabin or suite options, a crew that offers unmatched service, and bar/dining areas with signature local and international cuisine. The panoramic sun deck on each of the cruise vessels allows you to breathe in the crisp, fresh European air as you travel through sweeping river valleys and breathtaking vistas of a pristine part of the Old World that has remained untouched even today.

Should I get a room with a balcony?

It all depends on what your priorities are, but they can often be an unnecessary additional expense. The way these river vessels are designed, each room faces out, which means that even rooms without balconies tend to have large picture windows that allow you to see the scenic nature of the European river valleys. Plus, there is ample deck space on the panoramic sun deck where you can take in the majesty of verdant Europe from all sides. Unless you have your heart set on a balcony, then a great alternative is getting a room with large windows or a sliding glass door that opens right out towards the fresh air (known as a "French balcony").

What is dining like?

Rich, savory food that highlights the local palate is at the heart of any good cruise. When we hand-pick the river vessels for each itinerary, we make sure that they offer only the best cuisine, prepared by gourmet chefs. We also recommend enjoying the local delicacies in each town you visit, to experience the authentic atmosphere and delicious food.
 

Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?

Definitely! Many of the destinations, like small towns and historic cities, are right on the river, giving travelers easy access; but there are also several popular destinations that you can get to from the main ports along the rivers of Europe - once you dock for the day, you will have options to take a motor coach to any destinations that aren't on the river. This includes inland vineyards, castles, and other landmarks.

Will my vessel have WiFi?

It's possible, but don't count on it. More and more vessels each year are WiFi capable, but it's not quite standard yet. Plus, you might be out of range of WiFi even if your vessel does have it depending on where your cruise explores. Closer to the big cities, you can generally count on it.

What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?

In Europe the power is 220v, not the 110v like in North America, but typically devices can handle both without the need for a converter. You will need plug adapters for either two round prongs (European style) or three flat prongs (British style).

Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel on European River cruises?

All citizens of North America traveling to and throughout Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. Due to changes in visa laws in recent years, it is not necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe as long as you plan to stay less than three months. These laws are subject to change in the future. Make sure to check current European visa requirements.  

How can I save money on a river cruise?

If you're hoping to save money on a European River cruise, then check out our Deals & Promotions page to find the best offers each season. We can also help you track the river cruises of your choice and let you know when there are specials and deals that you might be interested in. We advise travelers to avoid saving money by booking cheaper cabins - cabins that save you a lot of money tend to sacrifice space and often the breathtaking views that make river cruises in Europe such a wonderful experience.

Are European River cruises a good family vacation?

Certain European River cruises are great for family vacations - look for cruises that have activities perfect for the ages of your family members. If you are traveling with kids, then the cruises with lots of easy activities are ideal. If you have adolescents, then consider an active cruise, with opportunities for biking, hiking, and faster-paced exploration. Among adults, cultural and wine-tasting cruises are a popular option. There's a perfect river cruise for every family.

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