Europe’s top river cruises – compare costs and packages

(Last Updated On: April 30, 2023)

River cruising in Europe has become a popular way to explore some of the most beautiful and historic rivers in the continent.

With luxurious amenities, intimate and personalized experiences, and sustainable travel options, it’s no wonder that river cruises are becoming increasingly popular among all age groups, including younger travelers.

Why are they becoming popular amongst younger travellers?

River cruise companies are offering more active excursions and itineraries that cater to younger travelers. It’s mainly because apart from the usual cruises, many river cruises now incorporate various activities including biking, hiking, and kayaking excursions, as well as cultural experiences that appeal to a younger crowd.

Plus, river cruises offer a more relaxed and less crowded atmosphere, which can be a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Top 5 most popular river cruises in EU

Some of the most popular river cruise destinations in Europe include the Danube, Rhine, Seine, Douro, and Elbe rivers. Each of these destinations offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making them a popular choice for travelers of all ages and interests.

Rhine River Cruise

The Rhine River is one of the most popular river cruise destinations in Europe, with itineraries ranging from 5 to 15 days.

Packages often include shore excursions to historic cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne, and Strasbourg, as well as cultural experiences like wine tastings and castle tours. The cost of a Rhine River cruise can vary depending on the time of year, but prices typically start at around $2,500 per person.

Danube River Cruise

The Danube River: The Danube River is the second-longest river in Europe, stretching from Germany to the Black Sea. It’s a popular river cruise destination, with itineraries ranging from 5 to 14 days.

Packages often include shore excursions to cities like Budapest, Vienna, and Nuremberg, as well as cultural experiences like classical music concerts and local market visits. Prices for a Danube River cruise start at around $2,000 per person.

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Seine River Cruise

A popular river cruise destination in France, with itineraries ranging from 7 to 10 days. Prices for a Seine River cruise start at around $3,000 per person. Packages often include shore excursions to cities like Paris and Rouen, as well as cultural experiences like cheese tastings and art museum visits.

Douro River Cruise

The Douro River is a lesser-known river cruise destination in Portugal, but it’s gaining popularity among travelers looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. Itineraries on the Douro River typically range from 7 to 10 days, and prices start at around $3,000 per person. Packages often include shore excursions to cities like Porto and Salamanca, as well as cultural experiences like port wine tastings and olive oil tastings.

Elbe River Cruise

It is a popular river cruise destination in Germany, with itineraries ranging from 7 to 10 days. Prices for an Elbe River cruise start at around $2,500 per person. Packages often include shore excursions to cities like Dresden and Prague, as well as cultural experiences like brewery visits and folk music performances.

Tips for comparing the best river cruise packages

When comparing river cruise packages, it’s important to consider factors like itinerary, cost, and included amenities. Look for packages that include shore excursions to the cities and attractions that interest you, as well as cultural experiences that are unique to the region.

Be sure to read reviews of the cruise company and ship before booking, and compare prices and amenities across multiple companies to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Consider the time of year you’ll be traveling and whether you prefer a more crowded or less crowded cruise experience. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect river cruise package for your European adventure.

When comparing river cruise packages, it’s important to consider several factors, including the itinerary, accommodations, shore excursions, and onboard amenities. Here’s a closer look at each of these factors when comparing different package options:

Itinerary

The itinerary is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when comparing river cruise packages. Look for packages that visit the cities and attractions that interest you the most, and pay attention to the length of the cruise and the number of ports of call.

Look for packages that include everything you need: When comparing packages, be sure to factor in the cost of airfare, shore excursions, gratuities, and any additional expenses like alcoholic beverages. Look for packages that include these items, so you don’t have any surprises when it comes to the total cost of your trip.

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Accommodations

Consider the level of accommodations. The level of accommodations can vary widely among river cruise companies, so be sure to research the ships and staterooms carefully. Consider factors like the size of the staterooms, the number of onboard amenities, and the level of service provided by the crew.

Discounts and promotions

Check for any promotions or discounts. Many river cruise companies offer promotions or discounts throughout the year, so be sure to check for any available deals before booking your trip.

Shore Excursions

These are a highlight of many river cruises and can provide an opportunity to explore historic cities, taste local cuisine, and experience unique cultural activities. Look for packages that include a mix of guided tours and free time to explore on your own.

Onboard amenities

River cruise ships offer a range of onboard amenities, from swimming pools and fitness centers to onboard lectures and live entertainment. Consider which amenities are important to you and look for packages that include them.

Cost

Finally, cost is, of course, an important factor to consider when comparing river cruise packages. Be sure to factor in the cost of airfare, gratuities, and any additional expenses like shore excursions and alcoholic beverages.

Well-known river cruises in Europe

  1. Viking River Cruises: Viking is one of the most well-known and popular river cruise companies, with itineraries that cover many of the most popular European rivers. Viking offers a variety of packages, ranging in price from around $2,000 to over $6,000 per person, depending on the length of the cruise and the level of accommodations.
  2. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Uniworld offers luxury river cruises that cater to a more upscale clientele. Packages typically range in price from around $3,000 to over $10,000 per person, depending on the itinerary and level of accommodations.
  3. Avalon Waterways: Avalon offers a variety of river cruise packages that cover the most popular European rivers, with prices ranging from around $2,000 to over $7,000 per person, depending on the length of the cruise and the level of accommodations.
  4. AmaWaterways: The company offers river cruise packages that cover many of the most popular European rivers, with prices ranging from around $2,000 to over $7,000 per person, depending on the itinerary and level of accommodations.
  5. CroisiEurope: CroisiEurope offers budget-friendly river cruise packages that cover a variety of European rivers. Prices typically range from around $1,000 to $3,000 per person, depending on the itinerary and level of accommodations.
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River cruises were once primarily popular among older travelers, but in recent years, they have become increasingly popular among younger generations. Here are a few reasons why:

Convenience: River cruises offer a convenient way to travel, with all of your accommodations, meals, and transportation taken care of. This makes them an attractive option for younger travelers who may not have the time or resources to plan a multi-city trip on their own.

Authentic experiences: River cruises offer the opportunity to experience authentic local culture and cuisine in a way that’s often difficult to do on your own. Many river cruise packages include guided tours and cultural experiences that can give younger travelers a deeper understanding of the places they visit.

Socializing opportunities: River cruises offer the opportunity to meet and socialize with other travelers from around the world. This can be an attractive option for younger travelers who may be looking to make new friends and connections while traveling.

How much do river cruises cost for US travelers?

The cost of a river cruise can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the length of the cruise, the level of accommodations, and the time of year. For US travelers, the cost of a river cruise will also depend on the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro.

On average, river cruises in Europe can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per person, depending on the factors mentioned above. It’s important to keep in mind that this price typically includes accommodations, meals, and transportation, so it may be more cost-effective than planning a multi-city trip on your own.

When comparing river cruise packages, be sure to factor in the cost of airfare to and from Europe, as well as any additional expenses like travel insurance, visas, and pre- or post-cruise accommodations.

Going in river cruises are a fantastic way to explore Europe’s most beautiful cities and landscapes, and are becoming increasingly popular among younger travelers.

When comparing river cruise packages, it’s important to consider the itinerary, level of accommodations, and any additional expenses like airfare and shore excursions.

With ample research and planning, you can find a river cruise package that fits your budget and travel preferences, and embark on the trip of a lifetime.

River cruises in Europe are an excellent way to explore some of the continent’s most iconic cities and landmarks. From the romantic canals of Venice to the historic castles of Germany, there is a river cruise itinerary to suit every traveler’s interests and budget.

However, with so many river cruise companies and itineraries to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best ways to compare river cruise packages and how much they typically cost, especially for travelers coming from the United States.