The Best River Cruises Around the World

sailing cruise during daytime

Discover the Best River Cruises Around the World

In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the best river cruises the world has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, an adventure-filled vacation, or a luxurious retreat, we’ve got you covered. We’ll show you the highlights of each river cruise, from the ancient history of the Nile River to the stunning beauty of the Douro River in Portugal. So sit back, relax, and let’s set sail on an unforgettable river cruise adventure!

Best River Cruises around the world

Europe’s Best River Cruises

Europe offers some of the most breathtaking river cruises in the world, with the Danube and Rhine rivers being two of the most popular choices for travelers. These river cruises offer a unique way to experience the history, culture, and stunning scenery of Europe.

The Danube River

The Danube River is the second-longest river in Europe, flowing through ten countries and four capital cities. A river cruise along the Danube takes travelers on a journey through some of Europe’s most historic and culturally-rich cities, including Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava. Along the way, passengers can take in the stunning architecture, sample local cuisine, and explore the centuries-old traditions of the region.

Highlights of a Danube River cruise include visiting the magnificent Melk Abbey in Austria, walking the cobblestone streets in picturesque Durnstein, and enjoying a Mozart and Strauss concert in Vienna.

Duration: 7-14 days
Best Time to Go: April to October
Top River Cruise Lines: Viking River Cruises, AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways

The Rhine River

The Rhine River is another popular choice for river cruising in Europe. It flows through six countries, starting in Switzerland and ending in the Netherlands. A Rhine River cruise takes passengers through some of Europe’s most famous and picturesque cities, including Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne, and Amsterdam. Along the way, travelers can take in the stunning castles and vineyards, sample delicious local wines and cuisine, and experience the history and culture of the region.

Highlights of a Rhine River cruise include visiting the charming town of Rudesheim, exploring the stunning Gothic cathedral in Cologne, and taking a canal tour in Amsterdam.

Duration: 7-14 days
Best Time to Go: April to October
Top River Cruise Lines: Viking River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Whether you choose to cruise the Danube or the Rhine, a river cruise in Europe is an unforgettable experience that combines luxury travel with breathtaking scenery and rich culture. With a variety of river cruise lines to choose from, there’s a perfect European river cruise for every traveler.

white and gray ship on body of water

The Mighty Amazon River Cruise

If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable river cruise experience, look no further than the Amazon River. This incredible river stretches over 4,000 miles through South America and is home to some of the most diverse and exotic wildlife in the world.

Embark on an Amazon River cruise and you’ll have the opportunity to explore this incredible ecosystem up close. Keep your eyes peeled for pink river dolphins, giant otters, and various species of monkeys as you travel down the river. You can even take a guided jungle tour to go deeper into the jungle and spot even more fascinating animals.

But the Amazon River isn’t just about wildlife. This area is also home to several indigenous communities, and on your cruise, you can learn about their rich history and culture. From traditional dances to ancient rituals, you’ll get an authentic glimpse into the lives of those who call this region home.

For those interested in eco-tourism, the Amazon River is the perfect destination. Many of the river cruises in the area focus on sustainable travel and offer opportunities to give back to the local communities and protect the environment.

“Embark on an Amazon River cruise and you’ll have the opportunity to explore this incredible ecosystem up close.”

When it comes to accommodations, there are a variety of options available to suit any traveler’s needs. From luxury riverboats with world-class amenities to cozy, budget-friendly options, there’s something for everyone on an Amazon River cruise.

And of course, no trip to the Amazon would be complete without admiring the breathtaking scenery. As you sail down the river, you’ll be surrounded by lush rainforest and majestic waterfalls that will leave you in awe.

Explore the Mighty Amazon River on Your Next Adventure

Whether you’re looking for wildlife, culture, or a sustainable travel experience, the Amazon River has it all. Book your river cruise today and discover the magic of this incredible region.

The Nile River Cruise

For history enthusiasts and culture buffs, the Nile River cruise is an unforgettable experience. The Nile River is the longest river in the world, and it has played a significant role in the history and development of the countries through which it flows.

The cruise takes you through the heart of Egypt, offering a unique opportunity to explore ancient temples, tombs, and pyramids that have stood the test of time. The Nile River is also lined with vast expanses of fertile land, oases, and colorful villages, offering breathtaking scenery and a glimpse into modern-day Egypt.

During the cruise, you’ll visit iconic sites such as the Karnak Temple in Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, where the ancient pharaohs were buried. You’ll also have the chance to explore the bustling markets and bazaars of Cairo, sample traditional Egyptian cuisine, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

The Nile River cruise offers a range of options to suit different preferences and budgets. You can choose a luxury cruise with world-class amenities, or a more affordable option that still provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whichever option you choose, the Nile River cruise is an experience not to be missed.

a body of water with hills in the back

The Mekong River Cruise

Get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime with the Mekong River cruise. This journey takes you through some of the most fascinating and diverse parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

The Mekong River is the lifeblood of this region, and a cruise on this majestic river is the perfect way to explore the culture, cuisine, and history of these countries. As you travel along the river, you will be treated to breathtaking scenery, charming villages, and bustling cities.

Cultural Experiences

One of the highlights of a Mekong River cruise is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. You will have the chance to visit traditional villages, meet local people, and learn about their way of life. In Cambodia, you can explore the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Vietnam, you can visit Ho Chi Minh City and experience the hustle and bustle of this vibrant metropolis.

Foodies will also be in heaven on a Mekong River cruise. The cuisine in this part of the world is known for its bold flavors, fresh ingredients, and unique spices. You can take part in cooking classes, try local delicacies, and sample street food as you explore the different cities and towns along the river.

Wildlife and Scenery

The Mekong River is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including freshwater dolphins, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species. As you cruise along the river, keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures. You will also be treated to stunning natural scenery, from lush jungles to serene rice paddies.

The Best Mekong River Cruises

There are several river cruise lines that offer Mekong River cruises, each with its own unique features and amenities. Some of the top options include :

Company Features
AmaWaterways Luxury accommodations, locally sourced cuisine, immersive excursions
Viking River Cruises Cultural enrichment programs, onboard lectures, panoramic views
Pandaw River Cruises Small group sizes, off-the-beaten-path itineraries, authentic cultural experiences

No matter which cruise line you choose, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience on the Mekong River.

“The Mekong River cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the diverse cultures, cuisine, and history of Southeast Asia. With so much to see and do, this is a journey that you will remember for years to come.”

sailing white and blue cruise ship under cloudy sky

Luxury River Cruising

If you’re looking for an upscale river cruise experience, the world’s top luxury river cruise lines have you covered. From world-class amenities to top-notch service, these cruises offer a truly unforgettable vacation.

The Best Luxury River Cruise Lines

Cruise Line Description
Viking River Cruises Viking offers luxurious river cruises throughout Europe, Russia, and Asia, with spacious staterooms and world-class dining and entertainment options.
AmaWaterways AmaWaterways offers all-inclusive luxury river cruises across Europe, Asia, and Africa, with gourmet dining, top-tier service, and unforgettable shore excursions.
Crystal River Cruises Crystal River Cruises offers all-suite river ships with a focus on personalized service, gourmet dining, and immersive shore excursions throughout Europe.

These luxury river cruises also offer unique features that set them apart from other cruise lines. For example, Uniworld River Cruises offers butler service for each stateroom, while Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours offers a signature ‘Sun Lounge’ concept, allowing guests to enjoy their balcony in any weather conditions.

Whether you want to explore the Danube River or the Mekong River, a luxury river cruise is the ultimate way to travel in style and comfort.

an aerial view of a field and a lake at sunset

The Mississippi River Cruise

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore some of the most historic and culturally-rich parts of America, then a Mississippi River cruise might be just what you need. This iconic river stretches for over 2,300 miles, flowing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery and fascinating history in the country.

During your Mississippi River cruise, you’ll have the chance to explore a variety of cities and towns along the way, including Memphis, New Orleans, and St. Louis. Each stop offers its own unique blend of culture, cuisine, and history, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

What to Expect Highlights
Luxury accommodations: Enjoy world-class amenities and top-notch service on some of the most luxurious river cruise lines. Scenic views: Take in the stunning scenery along the Mississippi River, including lush forests, rolling hills, and charming towns.
Cultural experiences: Visit historic sites, museums, and attractions along the river, and gain a deeper understanding of the rich culture of the region. Southern cuisine: Indulge in delicious southern cuisine, including Creole and Cajun dishes, while on your cruise.
Live entertainment: Enjoy live music and entertainment on board your cruise ship, featuring some of the most talented musicians and performers in the region. Adventure activities: Take part in a variety of adventure activities, including hiking, biking, and kayaking, for an added adrenaline rush.

Whether you’re looking to explore the history and culture of the American south, indulge in delicious cuisine, or simply relax and take in the stunning scenery, a Mississippi River cruise is the perfect choice for your next vacation.

man in blue jacket and blue denim jeans sitting on white rock in river during daytime

Adventure River Cruises

If you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for a more active travel experience, book an adventure river cruise. These cruises offer a range of activities, from hiking and kayaking to zip-lining and white-water rafting, catering to travelers who crave adventure and excitement.

For a unique adventure, book a Galapagos Islands cruise. These cruises take you on a journey through the unforgettable wildlife and landscapes of the Galapagos Islands, where you can swim with sea lions, hike through volcanic landscapes, and snorkel with sharks.

If you’re looking for something closer to home, consider a Columbia River cruise. These cruises take you through the Pacific Northwest of the United States, where you can hike through lush forests, kayak through gorges, and raft down thrilling rapids.

For a more exotic adventure, book a Mekong River cruise. These cruises take you through Southeast Asia, where you can explore ancient temples, cycle through rice paddies, and hike through jungle landscapes.

No matter which adventure river cruise you choose, you’ll be sure to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So pack your bags, get your adrenaline pumping, and book your adventure river cruise today!

a group of boats floating on top of a river

The Yangtze River Cruise

Embark on a journey through China’s history and culture on the Yangtze River cruise. This majestic river stretches over 6,300 kilometers and is the longest river in Asia, and the third longest in the world. The Yangtze River cruise is the perfect way to experience China’s rich culture, stunning scenery, and fascinating history.

The Yangtze River offers a range of experiences for travelers, from the modern cities to the remote countryside. The cruise takes you through the famous Three Gorges, where you can marvel at the breathtaking views of sheer cliffs and lush forests. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit traditional Chinese villages, where you can experience the local culture and cuisine.

One of the highlights of the Yangtze River cruise is a visit to the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. This impressive structure is a marvel of modern engineering and a testament to China’s progress and innovation.

What to Expect What’s Included
  • Stunning natural scenery
  • Fascinating history and culture
  • Visits to traditional Chinese villages
  • Opportunity to see the famous Three Gorges
  • Chance to visit the impressive Three Gorges Dam
  • Accommodation on board the ship
  • All meals and beverages
  • Guided excursions and activities
  • On-board entertainment and activities
  • 24-hour room service

When planning your Yangtze River cruise, keep in mind that the best time to visit is between April and October. The weather is mild and the scenery is at its best during this time. Book early to secure your spot on the cruise, as this is a popular destination for travelers from around the world.

“The Yangtze River is a journey through the heart of China’s history and culture. From the stunning scenery to the traditional villages, this cruise is a must-do for anyone exploring this fascinating country.”

Affordable River Cruising

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to see the world on a cruise, you’re in luck. There are plenty of affordable river cruises that offer great value without sacrificing the experience of a luxurious river cruise. Here are some of our top picks:

Cruise Line Route Price Range (Per Person)
A-ROSA Danube River $1,000 – $2,000
Avalon Waterways Europe $1,500 – $2,500
Emerald Waterways Douro River $1,500 – $2,000

These affordable river cruises offer world-class amenities, top-notch service, and unforgettable experiences that won’t break the bank. Depending on the route you choose, you can explore historic cities, visit quaint villages, and take in breathtaking natural scenery without spending a fortune.

One thing to keep in mind when looking for an affordable river cruise is the season. Prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and demand. For example, traveling in the offseason can often result in significant savings.

Another way to save money on a river cruise is to book through a travel agent or look for promotional deals. Many cruise lines offer discounts and special offers throughout the year, so it’s worth doing your research to find the best deal.

Overall, an affordable river cruise can be a great way to see the world without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking to explore Europe, Asia, or beyond, there are plenty of options available to suit every budget and travel style.

bridge and river

The Seine River Cruise

If you’re looking for romance, culture, and breathtaking scenery, look no further than the Seine River cruise. This cruise takes travelers on a journey through the heart of Paris, showcasing some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and beautiful scenery.

The Seine River cruise is perfect for couples looking for a romantic vacation or honeymoon. From the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame Cathedral, this cruise takes you on a journey through some of the most romantic parts of Paris. Whether you’re sipping champagne on the deck of the boat or strolling through the charming streets of the city, the Seine River cruise is sure to leave you feeling loved up and inspired.

But the Seine River cruise isn’t just for couples – it’s also perfect for anyone looking to immerse themselves in French culture. From the Louvre Museum to the Palace of Versailles, this cruise takes you on a journey through some of the most historic and culturally-rich parts of Paris and the surrounding regions.

So whether you’re looking for romance, culture, or simply a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, the Seine River cruise is the perfect choice. Book your trip today and discover the magic of Paris from the comfort of a luxurious river cruise boat.

The Douro River Cruise

Experience the beauty and charm of Portugal’s wine country with a Douro River cruise. This breathtaking journey takes you through the heart of the Douro Valley, where you’ll discover picturesque vineyards, quaint towns, and stunning landscapes.

The Douro River cruise is perfect for wine enthusiasts, foodies, and anyone who wants to experience the best of Portugal. Along the way, you’ll enjoy world-class wines, delicious cuisine, and unique cultural experiences.

Highlights Details
Wine Tasting Sample some of the best wines in the world at local vineyards and wineries
Porto Explore the historic city of Porto, famous for its port wine and picturesque streets
Douro Valley Experience the stunning landscapes of the Douro Valley, including terraced vineyards and rolling hills
Cuisine Indulge in delicious Portuguese cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional dishes

On a Douro River cruise, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit charming towns and villages along the river, such as Pinhão and Vega de Terrón. In these quaint locales, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and discover the history and traditions of Portugal.

Overall, the Douro River cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for Portugal’s wine country.

brown wooden door with blue number 8 print

FAQs – All Your Questions Answered

Are river cruises only for older travelers?

No, river cruises are for everyone! While they may have been popular among older travelers in the past, river cruises are now attracting a wider range of ages and demographics. Many river cruise lines offer activities and excursions that cater to a variety of interests and fitness levels.

What should I pack for a river cruise?

It’s always a good idea to check with your specific river cruise line regarding their dress code and packing guidelines. However, in general, it’s recommended to pack comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and shoes, as well as any necessary medication and travel documents. Don’t forget to pack a camera or smartphone to capture all the amazing scenery and experiences!

Are river cruises only for couples?

No, river cruises are great for solo travelers, families, and groups of friends as well. Many river cruise lines offer solo traveler rates and some even have family-friendly itineraries with activities for all ages. It’s a great way to meet new people and make lasting memories.

Can I bring my pet on a river cruise?

Unfortunately, most river cruises do not allow pets on board. However, some river cruise lines may have exceptions for service animals with proper documentation. It’s always best to check with your specific river cruise line for their policies regarding pets.

Do I need a passport to go on a river cruise?

It depends on the itinerary and destinations of your river cruise. If your river cruise itinerary includes international ports of call, then a passport will be required. It’s always best to check with your specific river cruise line and the countries you will be visiting for their passport and visa requirements.

What are some of the activities on a river cruise?

Activities on a river cruise vary depending on the specific cruise line and itinerary. However, some common activities include sightseeing tours, onboard cultural and educational lectures, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and musical performances. Many river cruise lines also offer active excursions like hiking or biking tours. You can also relax onboard and enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the comfort of your cabin or the ship’s lounge areas.

Are meals included on a river cruise?

Yes, most river cruises include meals in the cost of the cruise. Depending on the cruise line, meals may be served in a formal dining room, a buffet-style restaurant, or through room service. Many river cruise lines also offer local cuisine and wine pairings to provide a taste of the region’s culinary specialties.

Can I book a private shore excursion?

Yes, many river cruise lines offer the option to book private shore excursions for a more personalized experience. Some river cruise lines even have a designated concierge to assist with planning customized excursions. However, booking a private shore excursion may come at an additional cost and availability may vary depending on the itinerary and destination.

More Resources:
Sailing Into Sickness? Taking Care on Cruise Ships
Surf’s Up: Discover the Best Surfing Destinations for Your Next Adventure!
Tips for traveling to tropical destinations

the 6 Best Cruise Insurance Plans for 2023 – U.S. News Travel


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here