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Cologne's famous cathedral at sunset from the Rhine.

Germany River Cruises

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The best way to experience Germany is on a river cruise along the enchanting Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Main or Elbe Rivers. You'll float past majestic castles and modern cities, taste world-class wines, explore medival villages, and ride bicycles through the quaint German countryside on virtually every river cruise in the country. The most popular river cruises in Germany are on the Rhine and Danube Rivers. The mighty Rhine flows from Switzerland northwest through the German heartland entering the Atlantic at Amsterdam. The Danube flows from the Black Forest to port cities of Regensberg and Passau through eastern Europe flowing into the Black Sea. Some cruises include the Rhine, Main, Main-Danube Canal and the Danube in one cruise that takes about 2 weeks. Cruises on the Moselle River are often combined with the Rhine.

10 Best German River Cruises on the Rhine

Cruises in Germany (228 Results)
All Cruises in Germany

10 Best German Cruises on the Danube River

Danube River
Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Central Europe: The Beautiful Blue Danube$20256RelaxedBoard the MS Vivaldi in Passau and cruise for 6 days along the beautiful blue Danube making daily stops to explore the most iconic destinations of …
The Beautiful Blue Danube$17156RelaxedSail along the beautiful blue Danube and cross four different countries on this 6-day cruise aboard the MS France. Begin your journey in Germany and …
Christmas Markets on the Danube$341910RelaxedEnjoy 2 nights in Prague, then visit multiple Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Nuremberg to Budapest on this 8-day cruise aboard the …
Magical Christmas Markets - Cruise Only$28997RelaxedJoin the MS Amasonata on a unique 7-day adventure visiting multiple Christmas Markets along the scenic river route from the historic city of …
Magical Christmas Markets - Cruise Only$28997RelaxedEnjoy a 7-day cruise of the traditional Christmas markets of the Danube River aboard the comfortable MS Amacerto, departing from Nuremburg and …
The Beautiful Blue Danube$314011RelaxedCruise along the beautiful Danube River through four countries of Central Europe. Visit captivating destinations beginning in Passau and followed by …
Melodies of the Danube (Wine Themed) - Cruise Only$269913RelaxedBoard the MS Amaviola in Budapest for a 13-day cruise, and enjoy a variety of activities as you discover the Wachau Valley wine-growing region. …
The Romantic Danube (Wine Themed) - Cruise Only$27998RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise along the Romantic Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amasonata.
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$29998RelaxedEmbark the luxurious MS Amacerto for an 8-day river cruise of the highlights of Europe along the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. Walking …
Melodies of the Danube - Cruise Only$35998RelaxedEmbark the luxurious MS Amastella for a fascinating 8-day river cruise along the Danube River from Budapest, Hungary to Vilshofen, Germany, enjoying …

10 Best Mosel River Cruises for 2019

Moselle River
Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Classic Cruise – Germany & Luxembourg$82007RelaxedExplore Germany & Luxembourg on this 7-day cruise aboard La Nouvelle Etoile where you will travel to the picturesque destinations along two …
Two-River Cruise The Romance of the Moselle and Rhine$13605RelaxedJoin the 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, …
The Rhine in Flames: An incredible spectacle on the water$16405RelaxedAdmire 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 …
The Rhine and Moselle Rivers$14005RelaxedSail across Strasbourg, Mainz, Rudesheim, Boppard, Koblenz, Alken and Cochem on this spectacular 5-day journey aboard the MS Monet. Discover all the …
Two-River Cruise: The Romance of the Rhine and Moselle$13605RelaxedBoard the MS Monet for a 5-day river cruise exploring the scenic Rhine Valley and Moselle River, where you'll visit historic Mainz and see its …
The Valley of the romantic Rhine, the Moselle and the Main$21017RelaxedExplore three extraordinary rivers: the enchanting Rhine, the graceful Moselle, and the charming Main, on this incredible 7-day cruise aboard the MS …
New Year on Two Rivers:The Romantic Rhine Valley and the Picturesque Moselle$17867RelaxedCelebrate New Year on a 7-day romantic cruise aboard MS France sailing through Rhine and Moselle rivers. Discover Bernkastel, a beautiful town in the …
The Magic of the Picturesque Moselle and the Romantic Rhine Valley$10654RelaxedEnjoy a unique combination of Northern Europe's castles, impressive vineyards, towering cathedrals, and charming squares, on this 4-day cruise from …
The Moselle, Sarre, Romantic Rhine, and Neckar Valleys$23397RelaxedTake this 7-day cruise aboard MS Lafayette exploring stunning cities that lies on the rivers of Moselle, Sarre, Rhine and Neckar Valleys. Get to see …
4 Rivers: The Moselle, Sarre, Romantic Rhine, and Neckar Valleys$19857RelaxedTake 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 …

10 Best Luxury Germany River Cruises

German Luxury Cruises
Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Melodies of the Danube$367911RelaxedEnjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise starting from the historical city of Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS Amalea. Complete your adventure with three …
The Romantic Danube (Wine Themed)$363911RelaxedSpend 3 nights in Prague, and then enjoy a fascinating cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amasonata.
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales - Cruise Only$539912RelaxedBoard 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 …
Rhine & Moselle Delights - Cruise Only$459911RelaxedBegin this exclusive 11-day cruise in Basel and conclude in charming Amsterdam. This voyage includes a large variety of activities so that you can …
Magnificent Europe (Christmas Cruise) - Cruise Only$669915RelaxedEmbark the Amastella for a 15-day cruise visiting Europe's renowned Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Budapest to Amsterdam. This …
Magnificent Europe (Christmas Cruise) - Cruise Only$539915RelaxedEmbark the MS Amaserena for a 15-day cruise and visit Europe's renowned Christmas Markets on the scenic river route from Budapest to Amsterdam. With …
Treasures of the Main & Rhine$347910RelaxedEnjoy an 8-day river cruise from the Czech Republic through Germany to the Netherlands aboard the MS Amaserena, experiencing the romantic spirit of …
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$759918RelaxedJoin the MS Amaprima on this unique adventure starting with an 11-night cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich, followed by three magical nights in Zurich. …
Rhine & Moselle Delights$615915RelaxedThis 15-day Rhine & Moselle River cruise takes you from Zurich to Basel to Amsterdam, passing through Germany and France along the way. Hike and bike …
Melodies of the Danube$445913RelaxedJoin the MS Amasonata on a fascinating 13-day cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen. Conclude your Danube River adventure with a 3-night stay in Prague.

Germany River Cruise Tips & Travel Guide

Highlights of Germany

The customs and traditions of Germany come alive on our tours of this ancient country. Each town is full of unique treasures of European culture. Whether you're cruising the Rhine or the Danube River, you're sure to be delighted by the charming communities of:
  • Regensburg -  the best preserved medieval city in Germany, located at the northernmost point of the Danube River.
  • Cologne – home of one of the most iconic twin-spired Gothic churches of Germany on the Rhine.
  • Berlin - a modern metropolis, is the main departure point for cruises on the Elbe river.
  • Mainz & Worms – home to old fashioned Romanesque cathedrals, museums, and a tranquil atmosphere for an evening stroll
  • Koblenz – great for hiking, biking, or visiting the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
  • Nuremburg – characteristic of the whole Bavaria region, especially the medieval Old Town, Kaiserburg Castle, and the Hauptmarkt central square.
  • Bamberg - a gem of Germany's medieval past on the Main River.
  • Rüdesheim - bike and gondolier your way through this traditional wine-making city
  • Cochem - on the Moselle River, is one of Germany's most quaint towns and the 1,000-year-old Cochem Castle is the city’s signature landmark.
  • Passau - a major port on the Danube River and the Austrian border.
  • Mannheim – home to castles, a Baroque palace and a modern city on the Rhine.
Best Times of Year to Take a River Cruise in Germany

The most pleasant temperatures for river cruising in Germany are in the spring months of April and May, as well as the fall months of September and October. River levels are another concern, and while a river cruise itinerary may change due to river levels and weather at any time of the year, the fall tends to have more stable river levels. Our vote for the best months to cruise Germany are September and October.

Being the prime months, cruises in September in October need to be reserved many months in advance, as the riverboats fill up fast.

Christmas is a special time to cruise Germany as speialized Christmas market cruises take travelers down the Rhine and Danube. Most cruise lines do not run river cruises during the months of January and February. 

River Levels and Itinerary Changes

River levels are quite unpredictable at anytime of the year and excessively high river levels prevent our riverboatss from passing under bridges, while low water levels can make sections of rivers impassable in times relative drought. Here's an updated summary of European river levels. Heavy rains upstream can make river levels change quickly, sometimes forcing itinerary changes. The capitan of your riverboat will make the best descision given the current conditions to guarantee passenger safety and an optimal trip experience given the conditions. It is a good idea to be in touch with your Adventure Life agent in the days before your trip and keep an eye on the weather to minimize surprises.

German River Cruising FAQs

  1. Why should I choose a river cruise?
    A river cruise is a great comprehensive way to visit various countries in Europe. Unlike land tours where you might have to travel by train or bus during the day, cruises take advantage of the evenings and nights to do the major traveling and allow you to use your days to visit the destinations and sites. Plus, once you're onboard, the cruises are mostly all-inclusive. If you want to add on a helicopter tour or some kind of extension, then that might cost you more money, but the meals, lodging, trasnportation, and most tours on the itinerary are included in the price, making it not only an excellent value but also much easier to plan. Plus, unlike land tours of Europe, you don't have to pack and unpack every day when you move to a new city - your room simply glides along the river with you.
  2. What should I look for on a riverboat?
    Unlike mega-yachts, bigger cruise ships, or expedition vessels, river boats are comparatively simple. They feature comfortable rooms, but they are not particularly spacious. You won't likely find gyms (maybe an exercise room), large pools (if any), or various dining options, but you will find that the vessels are well appointed and have friendly crews and guides that are enthusiastic to make your experience memorable. 
  3. Are there 5-star river vessels in Europe?
    Since river cruising is a relatively new trend in European travel, the best river vessels could best be described as 4-stars due to their size and lack of amenities. However, there are a number of vessels that we feature that could very aptly be called luxurious based on their accommodations, social areas, and gourmet cuisine. We expect that in the coming years, competition among the vessels will drive the quality up and more 5-star vessels will soon be on the European waterways. 
  4. Should I get a room with a balcony?
    Contrary to popular belief, balconies are not actually that important for European river cruises. All vessels feature a panoramic sun deck where you can take in the beautiful views, but as far as the rooms go, balconies might actually take away from the square footage of your cabin. Length requirements of river vessels mean that cabins tend to be smaller than on the sea-going ships, and balconies can often cut into the room itself. If you want a room that gives you exclusive access to the open air, then consider looking for rooms with sliding glass doors and wall-to-wall windows. These are a good alternative to balconies and save considerable space in your cabin.
  5. What is dining like?
    There will likely be one main dining room that serves meals on a certain schedule that coincides with your itinerary. Food is prepared by skilled local chefs and will nourish you as you explore and discover German culture and history.
  6. Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
    Absolutely! So many of Germany's destinations are not actually on the Rhine, Main, or Danube Rivers. In order to access these sites, you will dock at one of the port cities along the river and enjoy a luxurious coach ride towards the destination, during which time you can see even more of the lush countryside.
  7. Will my vessel have WiFi?
    Don't count on having WiFi throughout the entire cruise. While visiting cities, it's likely that you will find hotspots, and certain vessels are able to offer frequent access. However, there might be times when you are out of range of the signal and you might be without internet for up to several days at a time.
  8. What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
    European electric is 220 volts, compared to the 110 volts in North America. Most devices are equipped to deal with both voltages. However, you will need a plug adapter if you have the standard 2-prong American plugs - depending on where your boat is from in Europe, it will have either the British plugs (three flat prongs) or the continental European outlets (2 round prongs). A couple simple adapters are all you need, but we suggest wrapping duct tape around the adapter and the plug to make sure you don't forget them when you disconnect the device.
  9. How can I save money on a river cruise?
    We offer many great deals for river cruises through Germany. These are the best options for saving up to thousands of dollars on your river expedition. Avoid saving money by choosing less expensive cabins. The difference of a couple hundred dollars can actually negatively impact your experience if you decide on a cabin that is smaller or does not have large windows that open, for example. 
  10. Are river cruises in Germany a good family vacation?
    Definitely! Whether you are exploring the country's traditional Christmas Markets in December or learning about its contemporary and ancient history, the sights and flavors of Germany make for a fantastic family destination. Younger kids will delight in the fairytale castles, while teens and parents can appreciate the impressive architecture of the centuries-old buildings. It's a great way to immerse your family in the Old World culture, history, and folklore. 
  11. Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to Germany?
    All citizens of North America traveling to Europe need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months. In recent years, it has not been necessary to apply for a visa before traveling to Europe if you plan to stay less than three months, however, this situation may change in the future. See current European visa requirements.

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