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A cathedral at sunset from the Rhine in Cologne

Germany Luxury River Cruises

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Taking a river cruise through Germany is like sailing back in time over 2,000 years into the heart of Europe. A cruise along the enchanting Rhine River will take you through historic cities like Cologne, through the castles of the Rhine Gorge, along the French border in Strasbourg or even downriver to Amsterdam. Embark on a Danube River cruise in Passau or on the Main-Danube Canal in medieval Nuremberg or Bamberg and float downriver to Vienna & Budapest. Cruise the Main River in Würzburg or the scenic Moselle River from Koblenz. From Berlin, cruise the Elbe River to some of Europe's classic destinations like Amasterdam & Prague. Adventure Life has hand selected the best luxury class cruise ships that sail the rivers of Germany. Contact us for a free customized river cruise itinerary.

10 Best River Cruises in Germany for 2018

Cruises in Germany (231 Results)
All Cruises in Germany

10 Best Luxury Germany River Cruises

German Luxury Cruises
Trip NameFromDaysLevelSummary
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales - Cruise Only$499912RelaxedBoard 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$449911RelaxedBegin this exclusive 11-day cruise in Basel and conclude in charming Amsterdam. This voyage includes a large variety of activities so that you can …
Captivating Rhine - Cruise Only$279914RelaxedEmbark the MS Amakristina for a 14-day cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, exploring the fascinating towns along the Rhine River, including …
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$347910RelaxedJoin a luxurious river voyage from Prague to Amsterdam, experiencing the romantic spirit of the Rhine and peaceful Main rivers. Begin your journey …
Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$625915RelaxedJoin 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$575914RelaxedThis exceptional cruise from Basel to Amsterdam offers an extensive lineup of included tours. Visit Bernkastel, strategically located in the middle …
Europe's Rivers & Castles - From Prague to Paris$453913RelaxedEmbark the MS Amadante to enjoy some of Europe's most enchanting landscapes on this 9-day expedition from Prague to Paris, spending three nights in …
Magnificent Europe - Cruise Only$619915RelaxedBoard the MS Amaprima for an epic 15-day cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through the heart of Europe and across the Continental Divide. Cruise from …

Germany 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:
  • Cologne – home of one of the most iconic twin-spired Gothic churches of Germany
  • Berlin - a modern metropolis, is the 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
  • Trier – Germany's oldest city and host of Roman ruins
  • Rüdesheim – bike and gondolier your way through this traditional wine-making city
  • Mannheim – home to castles, a Baroque palace, and the centuries-old Heidelberg university town
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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