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Europe has so many navigable rivers that offer wonderful river cruise experiences that travellers are spoilt for choice. The Danube is the key to river cruising in Europe as the great river crosses from Germany through Serbia, Austria and Hungary into Romania before emptying into the Black Sea

It offers the greatest range of river cruise itineraries. The Saone and Rhone Rivers let you explore the famed region of Burgundy, the lavender-scented hills of Provence and the wild, majestic scenery of the Ardeche region. The Seine is of course the river that Paris sits on
Cruise along the Seine from Paris, through the historic heart of Normandy, to the endless beaches of the Atlantic Coast. The Elbe/Havel/Moldau rivers cover Czech and Germany
The Elbe rises in the mountains of Bohemia and flows via Prague through the Czech lowlands into Germany
The river continues north-westwards towards Hamburg and the North Sea

The Havel and Moldau rivers branch of the Elbe and allow river boats to travel from Prague to Berlin (Postdam). Oder River cruises are a great way to discover the Old World charm of interesting and little-known towns in Germany and Poland. The Rhine is one of Europe’s major arteries
It flows into the North Sea from its beginnings in the Alps, through Switzerland, Germany, France and Holland
Rhine cruise itineraries can include the Moselle and Main rivers
The Moselle branches from the Rhine at Koblenz and flows down to Trier

The main leaves the Rhine at Mainz and flows to Basle
The Main-Danube canal also allows River cruises to offer Rhine and Danube itineraries. The Douro is one of Europe's most untouched and beautiful rivers
Rising in the hills north of Madrid the river meanders through northern Portugal to the fascinating city of Porto and then into the Atlantic
Most cruises are round trips from Porto. The Volga river in Russia allows you to discover the stunning architecture and unique cultural heritage of Russia's most interesting cities

Moscow and St
Petersburg, can be visited on a cruise that combines the Volga River, the Moscow Canal and other waterways
Cruise types All cruises are on River Boats and today these are mostly luxury 5 star boats with all the comforts of top hotels and many of the facilities of cruise ships
So the cruise choice is really destination driven. Cruise season Cruises generally commence in Spring (March) and the main season ends in September/October, however a limited number of cruises are available up to Christmas and New Year

The Russian season is shorter and runs from April to October. Main ports Danube – Prague, Budapest, Passau, Bucharest, Nuremburg, Rhone - Chalon-sur-Saône, Avignon, Arles Seine – Paris, Harfleur (Le Havre) Elbe – Prague, Dresden, Berlin (Potsdam) Oder – Berlin (Potsdam), Wroclau (Breslau) and Szczecin (Stettin) Rhine – Amsterdam, Passau, Basel Duro - Porto Volga - Moscow and St Petersburg Weather European river cruises operate from Spring to Autumn, so the weather will change with the seasons
Cruises also run from Portugal in the South, where temperatures in mid summer reach the 80’s to Russia In the north where the daytime temperature is around 50f/10c at the start of the season and rises to the high 60’s by mid summer. Photo Credit: John Simos