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Discover the allure of river cruises in Europe with Adventure Life's diverse tours for 2024. Set sail on the picturesque waterways of Europe, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and historical sites along the rivers. From the stunning castles along the Rhine River to the charming villages nestled along the Danube, each cruise offers a unique blend of luxury, cultural experiences, and culinary delights. Explore ancient archaeological sites, indulge in wine tasting sessions, and embark on wildlife viewing excursions as you navigate through some of the most iconic destinations in Europe. Whether you prefer a leisurely cruise or an active adventure, there is something for everyone on these river cruises. Join us on a journey of a lifetime and contact one of our award-winning river cruise experts for help planning your next seamless trip.

10 Best River Cruises in Europe for 2024-2025

All Danube River Cruises

Top 10 Danube River Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Magna on the Danube - Budapest to Vilshofen$32998Jul 21, 2024Embark on an 8-day river cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard MS AmaMagna. Enjoy captivating architecture, music, and culinary experiences. …
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The Legendary Danube$467411Apr 20, 2025Fall 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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Gems of the Danube$94908Jul 25, 2024Enjoy 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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Danube Waltz$22998Sep 1, 2024View 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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Classic Prague & Danube Delights$771011Jul 23, 2024Take an 11-day trip from Prague to Budapest and experience the Classic Prague and Danube Delights. Enjoy a 3-night stay and a whole day of …
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Christmas Markets on the Danube - Cruise Only$36998Dec 21, 2024Join 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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The Legendary Danube - Cruise Only$36998Apr 23, 2025Board the luxurious MS Amasonata on this exclusive 8-day cruise of the Danube River. From Nuremberg, you will sail through Germany and Austria before …
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Danube in Depth$1159010Aug 27, 2024Embark on a 10-day Danube in Depth cruise aboard Scenic Ruby. Explore Nuremberg's history, Regensburg's UNESCO-listed center, and Passau's scenic …
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Gems of the Danube$90908Oct 18, 2024Enjoy an 8-day luxury cruise from Nuremberg to Budapest aboard the 5-star luxury Scenic Opal. Visit some of the most beautiful cities of central …
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Danube Delights$70908Jul 28, 2024Take an 8-day cruise with Emerald Star the captivating Danube River. Prepare yourself for a walking tour, sightseeing and meeting the locals in …
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All Rhine River Cruises

10 Best Rhine River Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$505912Mar 22, 2025After 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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Castles along the Rhine$34998Jul 27, 2024Cruise the Rhine between France and Germany on this 8-day cruise aboard S.S. Antoinette. Alsace's mixed French-German ancestry gives it great …
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Rhine Getaway$21998Jul 21, 2024Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers, the Rhine, during this 8-day voyage. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic …
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Rhine Highlights$90908Sep 30, 2024Journey 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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Rhine Holiday Markets$33998Nov 25, 2024Switzerland, 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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Delightful Christmas Markets in the Neckar Valley$16375Dec 1, 2024Explore charming Christmas Markets and wander in the beautiful landmarks in the Neckar Valley and magical Rothenburg in this 5-day cruise aboard MS …
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The Romantic Rhine Valley and the Rock of Lorelei$14075Jul 30, 2024Explore Northern Europe in a new and fascinating way, by cruising along the romantic Rhine Valley aboard the MS La Boheme. Making stops in Koblenz, …
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Christmas on the Romantic Rhine$11954Dec 23, 2024Cruise the romantic Rhine Valley this Christmas and discover the famous Christmas market of Strasbourg, one of the biggest in Europe, aboard the MS …
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Christmas on the romantic rhine, the enhancement of the Lorelei Rock$15025Dec 22, 2024Join MS Gerard Schmitter on this 5-day Strasbourg roundtrip, the Christmas on the romantic rhine, the enhancement of the Lorelei Rock, and discover …
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The Enchanting Rhine - From Basel to Amsterdam$25998Aug 15, 2024Experience 8 days full of discovery and wonder on this complete cruise along the enchanting Rhine, one of Europe´s most fascinating rivers. Enjoy …
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All Moselle River Cruises

Top 10 Moselle & Main River Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Classic Cruise – Germany & Luxembourg$95547Aug 25, 2024Onboard 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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Magnificent Moselle & Rhine$349910Jul 24, 2024Pass through idyllic countryside filled with villages and vineyards on your way to discover the best-kept secret of river cruising: the Moselle and …
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4 Rivers: The Moselle, Sarre, Romantic Rhine, and Neckar Valleys$21487Aug 4, 2024Take this 7-day cruise aboard MS Leonard De Vinci exploring stunning cities that lies on the rivers of Moselle, Sarre, Rhine and Neckar Valleys. Get …
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Rhine & Moselle Fairytales - Cruise Only$499912Jul 24, 2024Board the MS Amaprima for an 11-night cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich. Enjoy an extensive lineup of included tours and in many cases, choose between …
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Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$758918Jul 22, 2024Join 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 Castles & Moselle Vineyards$1059011Jul 30, 2024Embark on an 11-day Rhine Castles & Moselle Vineyards Cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich on Emerald Sky. Discover landscapes adorned along the Rhine & …
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Rhine & Moselle Delights - Cruise Only$499911Aug 4, 2024Begin this exclusive 11-day cruise in Basel and conclude in charming Amsterdam. This voyage includes a large variety of activities so that you can …
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Europe's Rivers & Castles - Cruise Only$42398Jul 2, 2025Embark on an 8-day Europe's Rivers & Castles Cruise from Nuremberg to Luxembourg aboard MS Amacerto. Visit UNESCO-listed sites and charming towns …
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Christmastime in Alsace and Germany$23495Nov 29, 2025Enjoy this magical time of year with a Christmastime Rhine River cruise vacation starting in Frankfurt, cruising through the heart of Germany, and …
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The Rhine & Moselle: Canals, Vineyards, and Castles with 1 Night in Amsterdam and 2 Nights in Paris$510711Jul 31, 2024Admire vineyards and picturesque Rhine castles on your way to charming Rüdesheim. Continue to historic Koblenz and cruise through the world’s …
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All Douro River Cruises

Best 10 Douro River Cruises for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Flavors of Portugal & Spain - Cruise Only$36998Jul 23, 2024Embark 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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Delightful Douro$101908Aug 14, 2024From 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$468911Jul 24, 2024Taste 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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Enticing Douro$36998Jul 27, 2024Board 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$31918Jul 22, 2024Join 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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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$31918Jul 31, 2024Join 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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Portugal to Spain - Porto, the Douro Valley and Salamanca$26338Jul 29, 2024Get 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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From Portugal to Spain: Porto, The Douro Valley and Salamanca$31918Jul 25, 2024This 6-day cruise aboard MS Amalia Rodrigues takes you on a roundtrip journey from Porto. Visit vineyards in Porto and Vega de Terron. Try the wines …
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Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley$28378Aug 3, 2024Join the MS Miguel Torga on an 8-day trip to Lisbon, Porto and the Douro Valley. Cruising in the Douro Valley all the way to the Spanish border.
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The Douro River, The Spirit of Portugal$26958Oct 23, 2024Board the MS Fernao de Magalhaes for an 8-day discovery cruise along the Douro River. Start and end in the enchanting city of Porto, making your way …
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All Cruises to France

Top 4 River Cruises to Bordeaux, Rhone & Seine Rivers for 2024-2025

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Colors of Provence - Cruise Only$36998Aug 1, 2024Embark 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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Taste of Bordeaux - Cruise Only$36998Jul 25, 2024Board an enchanting 8-day round-trip cruise from Bordeaux to Libourne on the MS Amadolce. Visit the towns of Cadillac, Pauillac, Bourg, Libourne, and …
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Paris & Normandy$38998Jul 21, 2024The 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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Active & Discovery on the Rhone$40998Jul 30, 2024Embark on Avalon Poetry II and join different excursions available while sailing from Lyon to Port-Saint-Louis and visiting some incredible sites in …
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Top-Rated European Riverboats for 2024-2025

Danube River Video

How to Choose a European River Cruise 2024

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 2024 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 2024-2025
  • 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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