Cruise

Four of the best luxury river cruises to experience the magic of Europe

Get ready to set sail.
Getty

Europe is home to some of the most majestical rivers that weave their ways through the hearts of countries like Germany, Portugal and France. Setting sail aboard a luxury ship as you float down Europe’s awe-inspiring rivers is actually one of the best ways to travel the vast continent. Keep reading for our picks for the best Luxury river cruises to explore Europe.

The best luxury river cruises Europe 2024

Getty

01

Christmas Along the Elbe

from $6,395 at Viking River Cruises

Ever wanted to experience the magic of a European Christmas? Well, now you can with Viking’s Christmas Along the Elbe cruise. Taking place on board Viking’s specially designed Elbe longship, you’ll be in intimate company with 96 guests in 49 state of the art rooms. Whilst the boat is brimming with bright sundecks and opulent restaurants, the itinerary will also keep you sufficiently busy.

Starting in Berlin you’ll float down the Elbe River to Potsdam, Wittenberg, Meissen and Dresden before sailing through Switzerland and then onto Prague. In Prague you’ll be treated to their world-famous Christmas markets as well as the city’s abundance of history and gastronomical delights.

Key stops:

  • Berlin, Germany
  • Potsdam, Germany
  • Wittenberg, Germany
  • Meissen, Germany
  • Dresden, Germany
  • Saxon Switzerland, Germany
  • Bad Schandau, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic
Getty

02

Romantic Rhine

from $5,674 at Tour Radar

Experience the romantic magic of the Rhine River onboard this Avalon Waterways Romantic Rhine cruise. Over eight days, you’ll float down the majestic river as you make your way to four countries. During your cruise, you’ll be on board one of Avalon Waterways’ ultra-luxurious longships. The ship is decked with Wi-Fi access, a well-stocked library, a fitness centre, and a spacious Sky Deck.

Beginning in Switzerland, you’ll visit France, Germany, and Holland. Along the way you’ll be treated to stops and tours in iconic European locations such as Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Strasbourg, France, Heidelberg Castle, Cologne and finally finishing in Amsterdam.

Key stops:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Cologne, Germany
  • Rüdesheim, Germany
  • Mainz (Excursion to Heidelberg), Germany
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Breisach (Excursion to Black Forest), Germany
  • Basel, Switzerland
The Hungarian Parliament Building on the Banks of the Danube at dawn.

03

European Sojourn

from $12,395 at Viking River Cruises

Why explore one river when you could explore three? Viking River Cruises’ European Sojourn adventure will take you down the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers on a luxury longship. On board the ship, you’ll be treated to a range of elegant staterooms, sundecks and bistros as you sail through Europe.

This particular cruise spans over 23 days and eight countries. You’ll also have 19 guided tours included in your cruise so that you’ll get the opportunity to full explore all of your incredible stops along the way.

Key stops:

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Kinderdijk, The Netherlands
  • Cologne, Germany
  • Koblenz, Germany
  • Miltenberg, Germany
  • Würzburg, Germany
  • Bamberg, Germany
  • Nuremberg, Germany
  • Regensburg, Germany
  • Passau, Germany
  • Melk, Austria
  • Krems, Austria
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Kalocsa, Hungary
  • Osijek, Croatia
  • Belgrade, Serbia
  • Golubac, Serbia
  • Vidin, Bulgaria
  • Ruse, Bulgaria
  • Bucharest, Romania
Getty

04

Amsterdam to Budapest: All-Inclusive Riverside Luxury Cruise with Butler Service, Excursions & Premium Drinks

from $13,999 at Luxury Escapes

If you’re looking to truly travel in luxury, this is the cruise for you. Over 14 days, Riverside Luxury Cruises will take you across three awe-inspiring European rivers, all while sailing in style.

The cruise includes an all-inclusive dine-around access to four white-glove service restaurants, with menus inspired by regional produce. You’ll also get daily afternoon tea, plus unlimited cakes, waffles and ice cream and an all-inclusive premium drinks package including premium wines, spirits and Taittinger champagne.

But the opulence doesn’t stop there, the package also includes 24-hour butler service with complimentary in-suite dining and minibar, handpicked off-shore excursions in each port and return airport transfers to and from the cruise ship.

Key stops:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Rudesheim, Germany
  • Miltenberg, Germany
  • Freudenberg, Germany
  • Karlstadt, Germany
  • Wurzburg, Germany
  • Bamberg, Germany
  • Nurnberg, Germany
  • Regensburg, Germany
  • Passau, Germany
  • Linz, Austria
  • Melk, Austria
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Budapest, Hungary

Related stories