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What you can expect to find on a European river cruise

A River cruise is not only luxurious but it is also one of the best ways ways to visit European river cruise routes


A totally different way of travelling is on European river cruise routes. Discover Europe by boat and witness beautiful towns and cities and culture every day! Just think you can unpack your case only once and then explore some of Europe’s most stunning river cruise routes.

What can you expect to find on a river cruise in Europe? Well the variety it offers is spectacular such as culture, history, amazing food and of course wine. You can even cruise in winter around christmas markets or even travel the river of gold.

So here are my top 5 destinations on a European River cruise


5 top cruise destinations for a cruise in Europe

The seine in France

On these river cruise routes you will experience the enchantment of France from Burgundy as the Seine river runs through the heart of Paris and through to Normandy.

From Vernon you can visit the beautiful gardens of Claude monet in Giverny. The artist’s former home and stunning gardens where he produced his famed water lily series, are now the Fondation Claude Monet museum.

One of the most well known parts of this area is the poignant Normandy D day beaches. Visit this coastline and be taken on an excursion of the history of the 2nd world war. There are many museums, monuments and places of interest to explore along it’s coastline.

Honfleur and Rouen are also situated on the Seine river. The pretty fishing village of Honfleur will captivate you with its narrow streets and wooden buildings which have been immortalised by the impressionist artists of Frances history. Find a cafe and watch the world go by whilst eating some fantastic seafood or a creme brûlée.

The river Seine runs through the majestic city of Rouen with its huge Gothic cathedral and architecture spanning centuries. Find out about the history of Joan of Arc for this is where she was burned at the stake at Place du Vieux Marché.

Of course Paris has to be the pièce de résistance with endless opportunities to explore. Days can be spent touring this remarkable capital, touring galleries and visiting the iconic Eiffel tower. Alternatively sampling its cuisine in one of the most iconic restaurants Brasserie lipp is a must!

Pointe du Hoc in Normandy France, discover the Seine by river cruise
Pointe du Hoc along Normandy’s D Day coastline

The loire river in France

A smaller river with its pretty banks is perfect to take you down to the historic part of old Brittany. The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chaconnes has an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty. With historic towns and villages, and dotted with more than a 1000 Chateaus from all periods it is no wonder it is a World UNESCO heritage site.

Why not visit Saint Nazare and see some of the giant cruise ships in the making? Or alternatively take a trip to Nantes to see a 40 foot mechanical elephant.

Château d’Usés is one of the more well known Chateaux. It is said to have inspired Charles Perrault to write the fairytale sleeping beauty and also Walt disney to design the Disney Magic kingdom castle.


The Douro Valley Portugal

Portugal’s Douro river is a fascinating voyage with stunning scenery filled with vineyards and mediterian red brick roofs, its too good to miss. The Douro river rises in Spain and winds through to Porto, you will experience dams and even locks. The Carrapatelo lock is one of the deepest in the world at 115ft, passing through it is an amazing experience in itself.

The medieval city boasts amazing architecture and baroque churches with dramatic bridges. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Douro valley is the perfect place to try the Port of the area. Find fine wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia and learn about the different ways of the winemaking process. Why not try the local cuisine of traditional home cooked Portuguese meals whilst onshore and having a tipple.

Another place to visit is the honey coloured city of Salamanca, Spains oldest university town. The frog is the symbol of Salamanca and is said to be good luck. The huge old University’s facade is intricately carved and there is a hidden frog, I wonder if you will find the frog?


The Rhine

One of the best and most popular river cruises is the Rhine and this is true idea of what you will find on a European river cruise. This River has more castles than any other river and is a picture perfect cruise.

The Rhine winds it way through 6 countries in total Switzerland, Liechtenstien, Austria, Germany, France and the Nederlands. You will experience castles and the heart of viking voyages. The upper middle rhine valley is also World UNESCO site.

Journey your way through the likes of Cologne, Strasbourg and Amsterdam. Visit Colognes twin spired cathedral which was the only thing to survive the 2nd world war or one of Colognes many christmas markets in December.

You will see tall timbered houses along the rivers which look like they are straight out of a fairytale. You can visit the wine making towns such as Rudesheim and be wowed by the towering Lorelei rock in Germany.

Whilst in Amsterdam a must visit is Anne Franks house. The Anne Frank House is a museum with a poignant story, Anne resided here with her family hiding during the war, this museum gives a fascinating insight in to their lives. The Anne Frank House can only be visited with an online ticket for a certain date and time so be sure to book.

Anne Franks House Amsterdam View from across the river
Anne Franks House in Amsterdam a View from across the river

Venice and the river Po

Of course the most atmospheric way to be guided through venice is by water. With a maze of canals threaded throughout the city it is no wonder that Venice is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world.

History and culture can to be found on every corner, cobbled streets with endless cafes. Why not try sampling street food known in Venice as cicchetti served with a cheeky glass of italian wine. Or go and explore the Saint Mark’s Basilica and have a coffee in Saint Marks square most famous cafe, the Cafe Florian.

Venice is an island surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands some of these you can also visit by river cruise. Burano for instance will captivate you with its colourful painted houses and its intricate lace making. Alternatively Mazzorbo will take you on a journey where you will taste a historic golden wine, the list is endless.

A Venice river cruise

You will find your perfect European cruise with ROL The UK’s No.1 Independent Cruise Specialist. They have over 20 years’ experience in the cruise industry and have has also won over 30 awards. With over 2000 European river cruises and itineraries from 7 to 10 days. All you need to do now is find the right one!

D x


This post was in collaboration with ROL cruise all thought opinion are my own.


5 top destinations for a European river cruise, Cruise through Venice, Germany and France

Where to go and book on a European River cruise. Cruising Europe by river.



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