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Germany River Cruises

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Rhine River
  • 107 Cruises
Cologne's famous cathedral at sunset from the Rhine.
Danube River
  • 115 Cruises
Passau at sunset, Germany
Moselle River
  • 31 Cruises
Old city of Koblenz by night
Main River
  • 30 Cruises
  • 4 Cruises
Berlin cityscape in the evening
  • 17 Cruises
Visit the enchanting Heidelberg
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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 medieval 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.
All Cruises in Germany

10 Best German River Cruises on the Rhine

All Cruises in Germany
Danube River

10 Best German Cruises on the Danube River

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Magna on the Danube - Budapest to Vilshofen$36998Dec 29, 2021Enjoy a 7-night wine-themed Danube River cruise from Budapest to Vilshofen aboard the MS AmaMagna, visiting Bratislava, Vienna, Linz, and Passau …
Danube Christmas Markets$38458Nov 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 …
Danube Waltz$25998Dec 5, 2021View the beauty of five different European countries and explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau during this 8-day …
Magical Christmas Markets$489913Dec 8, 2021Visit multiple Christmas Markets on the scenic Danube river on the luxurious MS Amasonata from Nuremberg to Vienna. Discover some of the most …
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 …
Central Europe: Trans-European Cruise$404413May 6, 2022Join the luxurious MS L'Europe for this 13-day cruise of eastern Europe to discover the enchanting and historical cities of Frankfurt, Rothenburg, …
Trans-European Cruise$370113Apr 22, 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, …
Grand Christmas & New Year's$669913Dec 22, 2021Embark on the S.S. Beatrice in Nuremberg for 13 amazing days over the Christmas and new years season sailing through Germany, Austria and Hungary …
European Holiday Markets$33998Dec 8, 2021Experience Europe at its most magical and enjoy the chance to discover the delightful holiday traditions and treats of Germany and Austria during …
Danube Holiday Markets$35998Dec 9, 2021Aboard S.S. Maria Theresa on this 8-day Danube river cruise, music lovers will find many special holiday treats, from onboard caroling to an …
Moselle River

10 Best Moselle River Cruises for 2022

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$499912Dec 24, 2021After spending two nights in both Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, board the MS Amaprima on an exclusive 7-day Rhine River cruise through the …
The Rhine in Flames: An incredible spectacle on the water$17765Jun 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 …
An Exceptional Cruise through the Fairytale-Like, Landscapes on the Moselle and the Romantic Rhine$14705May 4, 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 …
Classic Cruise – Germany & Luxembourg$86307Aug 28, 2022Explore Germany & Luxembourg on this 7-day cruise aboard La Nouvelle Etoile where you will travel to the picturesque destinations along two …
Rhine & Moselle$349910Jun 14, 2022Uncover the best-kept secret in river cruising, the Moselle and the Rhine, as you sail past some of Europe’s most serene, village-dotted and …
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$644918Mar 29, 2022Join 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 Fairytales$764918Apr 29, 2022Join the MS Amalucia on an 18-day Rhine and Moselle river cruise featuring the rare Floriade horticultural expo. Visit Amsterdam, Strasbourg, …
Rhine Christmas Markets$40458Dec 13, 2021Begin 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 …
The Enchanting Rhine - From Basel to Amsterdam$33998Dec 28, 2021Cruise from Basel to Amsterdam on this classic 8-day Rhine River cruise aboard the MS Amaprima. Along the way, you'll have opportunities to revel in …
Rhine Holiday Markets$29998Dec 5, 2021Switzerland, France and Germany provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseur’s Christmas market cruise. Embark the S.S. Antoinette from …
German Luxury Cruises

10 Best Luxury Germany River Cruises

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$499912Dec 24, 2021After spending two nights in both Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, board the MS Amaprima on an exclusive 7-day Rhine River cruise through the …
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$644918Mar 29, 2022Join the MS Amaprima on this unique adventure starting with an 11-night cruise from Amsterdam to Zurich, followed by three magical nights in Zurich. …
Magical Christmas Markets$489913Dec 8, 2021Visit multiple Christmas Markets on the scenic Danube river on the luxurious MS Amasonata from Nuremberg to Vienna. Discover some of the most …
Viking Homelands$649915May 6, 2022Embark Viking Venus in Stockholm, Sweden, and make your way toward Bergen, Norway on this 15-day Baltic cruise. Visit Helsinki, St. Petersburg, …
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales - Cruise Only$409912Mar 29, 2022Board 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 …
West European Capitals$1021513Jun 18, 2022Savor the flavors and history of the dynamic and culturally diverse countries of Western Europe, as you travel up the Atlantic coast on an epic …
Hamburg to London (Greenwich)$765015Jun 1, 2022Board Silver Whisper on this 15-day expedition through Northern Europe that begins in Hamburg and disembarks in metropolitan London. Discover the …
Copenhagen to Hamburg$612011May 22, 2022Discover the pristine natural beauty of Norway's famous glaciers, fjords, mountain ranges, and forests on this 11-day expedition cruise aboard Silver …
Western Europe: Hamburg to Bilbao$832511Aug 22, 2022The Sea Cloud Spirit hosts this relaxing 11-day cruise along the western coast of Europe, visiting Germany, France, Belgium and Spain. From the …
Christmas Markets on the Rhine$499914Dec 5, 2021Enjoy a 7-night Rhine River cruise exploring Christmas markets from Amsterdam through Cologne, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, and Basel aboard the MS …
All German Barge Cruises

German Barge Cruises

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 Christmas Markets Traveler Reviews

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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