Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of Europe on a river cruise with Travel With Wendy B

European river cruises are a great way to see some of the most iconic and historic cities in Europe, all while enjoying the comforts of a luxurious ship. With itineraries that range from a week long with some lines offering longer trips offering longer trips from 10 days to two weeks or more, there’s a European river cruise to fit any traveler’s interests. You’ll sail past stunning scenery, visit charming villages and towns, and learn about the rich history and culture of each place you visit.

Whether you are dreaming of castles and cathedrals or museums and vineyards. Travel with Wendy B is here to help you plan the perfect European cruise experience. Read on for more information on these incredible travel experiences. 

Why Choose a European River Cruise?

European River Cruise liner in body of water

There are many reasons why you might choose a European river cruise over a traditional ocean cruise. Here are a few of the benefits:

Smaller ships: European river cruises typically have smaller ships than ocean cruises, which means you’ll have more space to move around and enjoy the views.

Intimate atmosphere: With fewer passengers on board, you’ll have the opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers and make new friends. Many cruises have less than 150 passengers versus 5,000+ on ocean cruises. You’ll even get to know the crew from the captain to the crew that maintains the ship.

More time in port: European river cruises typically spend more time in port than ocean cruises, which gives you more time to explore the destinations you visit.

Convenience: River cruises are all-inclusive, so you don’t have to worry about booking hotels, transportation, or meals. Everything is taken care of for you, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.

Relaxing atmosphere: River cruises are a great way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can enjoy the peace and quiet of the river, or you can take advantage of the many activities and amenities on board your ship.

Scenic beauty: Europe is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. From the rolling hills of the Rhine Valley to the medieval villages of the Douro Valley, you’ll be amazed by the beauty of your surroundings.


aerial view of a beach, landscape, and cloudy skies

History and culture: Europe is a continent with a rich history and culture. Visit ancient ruins, explore medieval castles, and learn about the cultures of different countries.

European River Cruise Itineraries & Destinations

European river cruising offers a variety of locations throughout Europe. Here are some of the most popular itineraries and destinations:

Rhine River Cruise: This itinerary takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Germany, Switzerland, and France. You’ll see medieval castles, quaint villages, and the iconic Rhine Falls. The Rhine River is one of the most popular river cruise destinations in Europe for first time river cruisers. 

Danube River Cruise: Sail through some of the most important historical cities in Europe, including Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava. You’ll also see stunning natural scenery, such as the Wachau Valley and the Iron Gate Gorge. The Danube River is the longest river in Europe, flowing through 10 countries.

Homes along the water with mountains behind

Sailing on the Danube River

Seine River Cruise: Travel through the heart of France, from Paris to Normandy. You’ll see world-famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Normandy beaches where there are D-Day memorials. This cruise is a favorite of history buffs.

Rhone River Cruise: See Roman ruins, medieval villages, and the famous lavender fields of Provence as you sail through the south of France, from Lyon to Arles. The Rhine River is one of the most iconic rivers in Europe, and it flows through Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Douro River Cruise: This itinerary takes you through Portugal’s wine country, from Porto to Pinhão. You’ll visit vineyards, taste delicious wines, and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Douro Valley. A cruise on the Douro River is a great way to experience the beauty of the Douro Valley and learn about the history of port wine production.

Wendy with wine glasses

What to Expect on a European River Cruise versus an Ocean Cruise

River cruises and ocean cruises are both popular vacation options, but they offer very different experiences. River cruises are typically smaller and more intimate, while ocean cruises are larger and offer  more activities and amenities. If you’ve never considered a river cruise because you think you don’t like cruising, stay with me, and I will give you some reasons why you should consider river cruising for your next adventure.

Ultimately, the best type of cruise for you will depend on your individual preferences. If you are looking for a more intimate and scenic experience, then a river cruise may be a better option. If you are looking for a more active and affordable experience, then an ocean cruise may be a better option. 

Some factors to consider when choosing between a river cruise and an ocean cruise:

Budget: River cruises are typically more expensive than ocean cruises, but you do get more for your money.

Activities: River cruises offer more cultural activities than ocean cruises. Ocean cruises offer more entertainment and activities.

Size: River cruises are typically smaller than ocean cruises.

The River Cruise Sailing Experience: With very few waves, many travelers who struggle with motion sickness do very well on river cruises. You can see land from the ship the entire voyage and the view changes often sailing past castles, ruins, small villages, and expansive vistas. There are no ‘at sea’ days where the view is only water.

Dining: Ocean cruises upcharge for specialty dining and drinks. On a river cruise, you will enjoy regional, gourmet meals and many lunches and dinners, including regional beer and wine that is typically included in the price of the river cruise.

Packing & Onboard Experiences – Only unpack once, river cruising is like staying on a floating hotel. Staying connected is easy – if you wish – WiFi is included. Since river cruise ships are smaller, everything on the ship is close to your stateroom. No need to walk miles to get to where you want to go. If you’ve taken an ocean cruise before, you are familiar with the packing challenge that comes with the final evening aboard. On a river cruise, your bags don’t need to be outside your cabin the night before you leave allowing you to relax and enjoy your final night.

Port Experiences/Excursions: On many river cruises, excursions are included in your river cruise price. In most cases, river cruise ships dock closer to the towns/cities than many ocean cruises, making it easier to explore on your own without having to take a shore excursion. Many times, you’re right at the city center. You can walk right off the ship when you docked at the port. No need to tender to get to land. There are many different excursions available on European river cruises. You can visit castles, museums, vineyards, and other attractions. You can also go on bike rides, hikes, and boat tours.

European River cruise attraction

Traveling Solo? River cruises embrace the solo life! You’ll be embraced by the crew and other passengers.

If you are interested in finding out more about river cruising, use the following link to discuss the amazing intineraries that I can offer you now from one of my many preferred river cruise suppliers.

(312) 213-6863