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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 (257 Results)
All Cruises in Germany

10 Best German Cruises on the Danube River

Danube River
Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Beautiful Blue Danube$21066Jul 12, 2020Experience central Europe by traveling to its small towns and vibrant cities including Passau, Vienna, Melk, and Budapest. Discover the charms and …
The Beautiful Blue Danube$18786May 25, 2020Sail 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 …
Magical Christmas Markets - Cruise Only$30997Dec 6, 2019Join the MS Amasonata on a unique 7-day adventure visiting multiple Christmas Markets along the scenic river route from the historic city of …
The Beautiful Blue Danube$381111Jul 2, 2020Experience a unique and original way to discover the charms and treasures of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. Board the MS La Boheme in …
The Beautiful Blue Danube$333911May 25, 2020Cruise along the beautiful Danube River through four countries of Central Europe. Visit captivating destinations beginning in Passau and followed by …
The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$28998Oct 25, 2019Enjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise along the Romantic Danube from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amasonata.
The Romantic Danube - Cruise Only$30998Apr 12, 2020Enjoy a fascinating 8-day cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amacerto that captures the romance and timelessness of Europe's …
Melodies of the Danube - Cruise Only$29998Apr 5, 2020Embark the luxury ship MS Amacerto for a fascinating 8-day cruise along the Danube River from Budapest to Vilshofen, enjoying wine tastings from the …
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$29998Oct 20, 2019Embark the luxurious MS Amacerto for an 8-day river cruise of the highlights of Europe along the Danube River from Budapest to Nuremberg. Walking …
Blue Danube Discovery - Cruise Only$31998Oct 19, 2020The MS Amaviola hosts this 8-day cruise of the Danube River, from Budapest to Nuremburg, with stops in the traditional cities of Austria, Slovakia, …

10 Best Mosel River Cruises for 2019

Moselle River
Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
Classic Cruise – Germany & Luxembourg$86307Aug 23, 2020Explore 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$14195Jul 19, 2020Join 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 and Moselle Rivers$14595Aug 1, 2020Sail across Strasbourg, Mainz, Rudesheim, Boppard, Koblenz, Alken and Cochem on this spectacular 5-day journey aboard the MS Monet. Discover all the …
The Rhine and Moselle Rivers$15095May 6, 2020Discover two great rivers, the Rhine and Moselle, on this exclusive 5-day cruise aboard the MS La Boheme. As you journey round-trip from Strasbourg, …
Two-River Cruise: The Romance of the Rhine and Moselle$14195Jul 15, 2020Board 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$21547May 21, 2020Explore three extraordinary rivers: the enchanting Rhine, the graceful Moselle, and the charming Main, on this incredible 7-day cruise aboard the MS …
Enchanting Moselle: Amsterdam Roundtrip$689911Sep 13, 2020Follow a picturesque route of fairytale beauty and explore the river less traveled to discover meccas of music and art in Bonn, contemporary fashion …
Amsterdam Roundtrip (Christmas Markets)$419011Nov 24, 2019Join the Crystal Bach for an unforgettable 11-day Amsterdam Roundtrip Cruise. View the beauty of cities and ports in fascinating Germany and the …
The Moselle, Sarre, Romantic Rhine, and Neckar Valleys$22447Jun 10, 2020Take 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$19227Jun 18, 2020Take 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 NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Romantic Danube$383911Oct 22, 2019Spend 3 nights in Prague, and then enjoy a fascinating cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest aboard the MS Amasonata.
Rhine & Moselle Delights - Cruise Only$459911Oct 23, 2019Begin this exclusive 11-day cruise in Basel and conclude in charming Amsterdam. This voyage includes a large variety of activities so that you can …
Treasures of the Main & Rhine$456911Jul 12, 2020Enjoy 3 nights in Prague and then an exciting 8-day cruise from Nuremberg to Amsterdam aboard the MS Amasiena.
Rhine & Moselle Delights$615915Oct 19, 2019This 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 …
Treasures of the Main & Rhine$456911May 11, 2020Enjoy an 8-day river cruise from the Czech Republic through Germany to the Netherlands aboard the MS Amadante, experiencing the romantic spirit of …
Magnificent Europe - Cruise Only$699915May 8, 2020Embark the luxurious MS Amaserena for a truly grand cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest through the heart of Europe and across the Continental Divide.
Magnificent Europe - Cruise Only$679915May 3, 2020Board 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 …
Enchanting Moselle: Amsterdam Roundtrip$689911Sep 13, 2020Follow a picturesque route of fairytale beauty and explore the river less traveled to discover meccas of music and art in Bonn, contemporary fashion …
Amsterdam Roundtrip (Christmas Markets)$419011Nov 24, 2019Join the Crystal Bach for an unforgettable 11-day Amsterdam Roundtrip Cruise. View the beauty of cities and ports in fascinating Germany and the …
Melodies of the Danube$445913Oct 30, 2019Join 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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