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Switzerland Luxury River Cruises

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The Swiss alps are the origin of dozens of Europe most spectacular rivers, most notably the Rhine River, and Switzerland serves as the embarking and departure port for many of our river cruises throughout Germany, France, and the Netherlands. On your cruise, you'll have opportunities to hike & bike the scenic countryside of all of these countries. In Switzerland, a walking tour of picturesque Zürich will take you to sites like Grossmünster, St. Peter (with the largest church clock face in the world), Old Town, Town Hall, & Fraumünster (a panoramic viewpoint of the city). Lucerne offers great opportunities to get some shopping in for classic souvenirs, and medieval Basel's storied past comes alive as you tour its historic streets. Contact our European river cruise specialists for help planning the perfect trip.
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10 Best River Cruises to Switzerland for 2023-2024

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Top 8 Luxury Cruises of Switzerland for 2023-2024

Trip NameFromDaysNext DepartureSummary
The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam$467912Dec 23, 2022After 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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Rhine & Moselle Fairytales$772918May 7, 2023Join 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 Christmas Markets$39958Dec 14, 2022Begin 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 …
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Rhine Holiday Markets$30998Dec 12, 2022Switzerland, 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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Rhine Highlights$41268Apr 10, 2023From Amsterdam to Basel, journey along the Rhine in all-inclusive luxury. Witness Amsterdam's famous canals to enjoying a sublime classical concert. …
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Rhine Highlights$45458Apr 17, 2023Journey 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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Castles along the Rhine$29998Mar 25, 2023Cruise 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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Captivating Rhine - Cruise Only$31998May 18, 2023Enjoy two days in Amsterdam, then embark on the MS Amalucia for an 8-day cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland, exploring the fascinating towns …
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Switzerland Travel Guide
Although Switzerland is just a stop on many cruises, whether you spend one day here or are lucky enough to visit a few destinations, you might see:
  • Zurich: The country's biggest city and home to  Grossmünster Abbey, the Old Town & Town Hall, and walking tours of a city that seamlessly blends its historic past with a progressive future.
  • Lucerne: Here you'll see Museggmauer (Musegg Wall), and Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge), among other centuries-old landmarks. 
  • Basel: A quaint old town with a beautiful red sandstone town hall, just a short cruise from the impressive Rhine Falls.
Christmas Markets on the Rhine
These specialty cruises take place in November and December and allow travelers to witness a unique tradition that has been around in Europe for centuries - the Christmas Markets. 

Each city that hosts a Christmas Market on the Rhine & Danube Rivers has its own traditions, but no matter which one you choose, you can count on vibrantly decorated town squares, a buzz of holiday activity, and a delightful mix of hand-crafted artisan souvenirs and home-made local delicacies. 
 

Best Switzerland Small Ship Cruise Lines for 2023-2024

  • CroisiEurope - is a European river cruise market leader that offers one of the best value for money. An independent, family-owned business that focuses on things that matter most: experienced and friendly staff and crew, comfortable cabins and beds, reliable and safe ships, excellent food, incredible itineraries, and a delightful experience of European culture. Embark on a breath-taking cruise in the heart of Switzerland on the MS La Boheme to the island of Mainau, the Rhine Falls, and the Glacier Express, a panoramic train ride through some of the most stunning Alps region.
  • Emerald Waterways - a cruise line headquartered in Switzerland, strikes the perfect balance between time spent onboard and onshore with thoughtfully selected itineraries that fully immerse you in local communities while enjoying superb service and the intimate surroundings of its fleet. Has extend your stay itineraries in Zurich, which you can visit before or after a Rhine river cruise onboard Emerald Sun.  
  • AMA Waterways - has 19 years of experience on the world's rivers. This family-owned and operated company remains focused on providing guests with innovative and unforgettable travel experiences. From Switzerland's pristine cities, Lucerne and Zurich, to the colorful canals of Amsterdam, delve deeply into the history, legends, and culture on the MS Amamora

Rhine River FAQs

Why should I choose a river cruise?
River cruises are quickly becoming the hot new way to explore Europe, and the Rhine River is one of the main arteries through central Europe, providing access to some of the most popualr attractions in the region. Once you board your riverboat, you won't have to worry about anything else – unpack your bags and settle into your room for the duration of the excursion and enjoy the various destinations and gourmet cuisine included in the price tag. Some boats even offer free bicycle rentals to explore the towns along the way. 

What should I look for on a riverboat?
Riverboats are a relatively new way to explore the Rhine River, so they haven't quite reached five star status due to space constrictions and limited amenities. However, that doesn't mean that they aren't comfortable, and some of the finer vessels are quite luxurious. You can expect to enjoy incredible views from the panoramic sun deck and get to know the other passengers in the multiple social areas, like the ample dining room and bar. You can get a room in varying styles and classes as well, and some vessels even feature spas, fitness centers, or pools.

Should I get a room with a balcony?
While the Rhine River is one of Europe's most scenic waterways, a room with a balcony isn't a necessary expense when you consider that it will likely cut into the floorspace of your cabin and you have an expansive and comfortable sundeck where you can take in the breathtaking panoramic views. If you get a balcony, you will end up paying hundreds of dollars more on the overall ticket price. Instead, book a room with floor-to-ceiling windows, windows that open, or we can help you find a vessel that features a "French balcony" (a sliding glass door that converts your whole room into a "balcony."

What is dining like?
All of your meals will be a mouthwatering mix of local and international flavors. The Rhine River is famous for its traditional central European cuisine, which you will have plenty of opportunities to sample throughout your cruise.

Do river cruises ever visit destinations that aren't on the river?
Definitely! Germany and the Rhine Valley are full of incredible sites and destinations, but they aren't all on the river's shores. To get to the more isolated destinations, your vessel will dock at a port, from which point you can take a luxury coach to the destination. The bus fare is included in your ticket price already.

Will my vessel have WiFi?
Perhaps, but don't count on it. There are some vessels that have WiFi, but not all of them do, and some do charge to access it. It all depends on the vessel and if you're in an area where you can receive the signal. 

What kind of power outlets are there? Will I need a converter?
Unlike North America, which runs on 110v power, Europe uses 220v power. You probably won't need a power converter since most devices are built to handle both voltages. You will need a plug adapter for either three flat prongs or two round prongs.

How can I save money on a river cruise?
If you want to save money on a Rhine River cruise, your best bet is consulting our deals page frequently to see what the latest promotions are for various destinations. Or you can tell one of our Europe travel experts where you'd like to go and we'll let you know as new deals are offered. DON'T try to save money by getting cheaper cabins, since these also offer less space and occasionally less comfort.

Are Rhine river cruises a good family vacation?
Absolutely! Rhine river cruises can be an engaging way to see central Europe with your whole family. Just make sure that if beer tasting or wine tasting is a feature of the tour that all of the family is 18 or older. If you are traveling with younger children, then the more active tours are the best option. Check out our family travel article for more information.

Do Americans and Canadians need a passport and visa to travel to the Rhine River?
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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