With one of the most modern river fleets in Europe, comprising 11 five-star cruisers built to the highest specifications, and offering 20 itineraries on 10 European rivers and waterways, Riviera River Cruises is delighting customers with world-class vacations that guarantee exceptional value, immersive itineraries, and competitive pricing. Riviera’s floating luxury boutique hotels, none older than six years, feature spacious accommodations ranging from 160 to 269 square feet of living space (83% of these offer a full or French balcony), fine dining with meals prepared by professional chefs and served by attentive international staff, engaging and informative excursions included in your fare and led by experienced tour leaders and local guides, complimentary bicycles for you to take on shore explorations, and Wi-Fi throughout the ship to stay connected to family and friends. Riviera leaves gratuities and drinks up to the guests and promises never to add hidden surcharges or fees to the bill.
Which River Will You Explore with Riviera River Cruises?
Europe has some of the world’s most scenic waterways and deciding on which river cruise to book may be a little daunting for first-time as well as experienced cruisers, so below please find an overview of the most popular options available to you through Riviera River Cruises. Once you experience Europe from a deck of a river ship, we guarantee you will be coming back for more.
Europe’s second-longest river, after the Volga river, the Danube flows through much of central and southeastern Europe, from Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea in eastern Romania. Along the way, the river passes through no less than ten countries and flows through four national capitals, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade, more than any other river in the world. From imposing castles, mighty fortresses, sumptuous palaces and exquisite baroque churches, elegant gardens and wonderful medieval towns and villages, there is so much history and culture related to this river, your days will be full of fascinating sights, wonder and exploration…and music. Let’s not forget the music, which is everywhere along the shores of the river Danube. From the wild genius of Mozart in Salzburg to Beethoven, Brahms and Johann Strauss' Danube inspired waltz and lullaby, if you are a classical music lover, you won’t be disappointed. Riviera offers up to ten different Danube itineraries ranging from 6 to 15 days in length, sailing from Budapest roundtrip and allowing for pre- and post- cruise Budapest or Prague extensions.
Portugal’s once wild Douro river, has been tamed by a system of dams and locks into resembling a series of finger lakes similar to Scotland’s lochs, adding greatly to the Douro Valley’s stunning natural beauty and ambience and making your cruise vacation a calm, serene experience. Explore dramatic cliffs, lush hillsides covered with olive and almond trees, medieval walled villages, and fine vineyards growing more than 80 varieties of grapes. In fact, wine is never far away from the Douro river, and there are plenty of opportunities to try out authentic local favourites during your voyage. You’ll be spoilt for choice - whether it’s the sparkling Raposeira of historic Lamego, the familiar Rosé of Mateus Palace, or the fortified sweet wine, Port, typically served with cheese or dessert. Your cruise will start and end in the coastal city of Porto, built by the Romans and made for exploring on foot. Other highlights include a stop in Castelo Rodrigo, a gateway to Santiago de Compostela, world known for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, and Salamanca, which was founded by the Romans and fought over by Hannibal, the Moors, as well as the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon, and is one of several UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this cruise. Riviera offers you an 8-day long Douro cruise with the possibility of a three day Porto or Lisbon extension.
The Netherlands, located on the delta of three major rivers - the Rhine, Maas, and Scheldt - owes its existence to the conquest of water through astonishing feats of hydraulic engineering. With around half of the country still at or below sea level, the fertile, flat land is bisected by a network of drainage ditches and canals which control the water table beneath huge open skies – while miles of protective dunes protect the long coastline to the west and north. One of the most urbanized and densely populated nations on earth, almost 17 million people (on average the tallest in the world) live in an area of half the size of Scotland. The towns and villages of the country's twelve provinces are often picture-perfect places of gabled townhouses, pretty canals, and church spires. In the spring and summer, the world-famous bulbfields turn into huge, bold vistas of colour. Originating from Turkey, tulips continue to grow extremely well on Dutch soil and have almost become part of the national identity. On Dutch Waterways cruises, you will get to explore the capital city Amsterdam, maritime Rotterdam, iconic Kinderdijk with its 19 authentic windmills, and the colourful bulb fields of Keukenhof. Sailing into Flanders, the Flemish Dutch-speaking Region of Belgium, visit the stunning UNESCO-listed Bruges, wander the picture-perfect streets of medieval Ghent, enjoy the port city of Antwerp, a major diamond trade centre. And let’s not forget the chocolate! The love story between this small country and the sweet delight has been thriving for generations. A visit to Chocolate Nation, the largest Belgian chocolate museum in the world, is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth. Choose from four of Riviera’s 5 to 8 day cruise options to explore this delightful region.
One of Europe’s main waterways, the Rhine is enriched by the culture of the six countries through which it flows. No other river in the world has so many old cities on its banks to explore and enjoy, many dating back to Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire.
Travelling over 1,200 km from the Swiss Alps to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, this majestic river will transport you through the most enchanting landscapes that change from gentle and serene to steep and dramatic. One moment you’re sailing past soaring valleys, crowned by castles and watch towers, that once extracted tolls from passing merchants, or steep vineyards where world-famous Riesling or Gewürztraminer wines are produced. Next, you are passing picturesque waterfronts of medieval towns or classic wine producing villages with narrow cobbled streets and alleyways leading to intimate squares dotted by boutiques and cafés. Myths and legends surround you – the most famous is of the Lorelei maid who sat combing her golden hair on a 132-metre high steep slate rock, distracting sailors so much with her beauty and song that she caused them to crash their boats on the rocks and drown. Riviera offers you nine different Rhine departures ranging from 5 to 11 days in length, including solo traveller cruises with no single supplement, as well as Christmas and New Year departures featuring visits to Germany’s famous Christmas Markets. No matter which cruise you choose, you will not be disappointed.
Before railroads and highways were even thought of, the Rhône was an important trade route dating back to the Holy Roman Empire times, connecting the eastern and central Roman provinces of Gaul to the Mediterranean sea. Today, the Rhône Valley continues its prominence as one of the greatest wine regions on Earth, with more than 6,000 wine growing properties – including over 1,800 private wineries, producing, distributing and exporting wine to the rest of the world. You will travel through spectacular valleys, gorges, past snowy Mont Blanc, vine-covered hillsides and medieval skylines. Starting in either Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, or the immaculately preserved medieval Avignon, your Rhône river cruise takes you through Burgundy, a true wine country, as well as picturesque Provence, showcasing its renaissance splendour that inspired many artistic works and movements. In medieval Beaune, Burgundy’s wine capital, you’ll visit the cellars of a traditional winemaker for an exclusive tour and tasting. Not to be missed are the Roman ruins of Arles and the stunning 2,000-year-old Pont du Gard, one of the wonders of the ancient world. Riviera offers many 8-day voyages departing weekly between early May and late October aboard two of their boutique style floating hotels.
Want to avoid driving through gridlocked France during summer time? Discover Paris and picturesque Normandy on a Seine river cruise! Starting and ending your trip in the most romantic capital of the world, Paris, your will travel through the İle-de-France and France’s most historic Normandy regions to the Normandy coast, where the river empties into the English Channel. The landscape changes endlessly as you glide by medieval castles and stone bridges, chalk cliffs, verdant green countryside, cider orchards, half-timbered barns and wooden farmhouses. Steep forested hills that give sanctuary to deer and wild boar make way for country estates and pretty villages. Sweeping bends reveal huge cathedrals and tranquil abbeys. There’s fascinating history to be found at every turn on your Seine river cruise. The spectacular Chateau Gaillard, a huge medieval castle completed in 1198 by Richard the Lionheart to defend Rouen from the French, is a reminder of ancient rivalries. Rouen itself, Normandy’s historic capital and one of Europe’s finest medieval cities, was where the legendary Joan of Arc was burned for her beliefs in 1431, with her ashes thrown into the Seine. There’s the magnificent Jumièges Abbey, consecrated in the presence of William the Conqueror, D-day Gold Beach, a site of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France, and the charming Bayeux, with its legendary tapestry. Your cruise would not be complete without a visit to charming Honfleur - its near perfect waterfront of tall pastel-coloured 18th century houses, traditional shops and maze of streets providing the inspiration for the Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Countless sleepy villages silently drift by as you arrive in delightful Vernon, from where it’s a short drive to Giverny, to visit Claude Monet’s home and one of the world’s most famous and most painted gardens. Extend your Seine cruise with a city stay option in Paris or explore other regions of France. The choice is yours! Riviera offers many 8-day departures to choose from and due to popular demand, will have an 11-day departure in 2024 as well.
We hope the above river overview helped you to narrow down your next adventure. There are other European rivers available to explore. If you are looking for even more options to consider, please check out additional information on the Main and Moselle rivers here.
- All meals on board from dinner on your day of arrival through to breakfast on your day of departure
- Welcome dinner and the Captain’s Dinner
- A packed lunch during full day sightseeing trips
- Five-star service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides
- Complimentary on-board tea, coffee and water
- Complimentary on-board Wi-Fi
- Services of a Riviera Travel cruise director and concierge
- All port charges and taxes
Riviera offers a selection of carefully crafted river cruises for every type of traveller, including those looking to explore Europe on their own, or simply want their own staterooms while travelling with other family members or friends. In addition to their annual selection of single-supplement-free departures, where every stateroom and suite across the whole ship is available with no single supplement, Riviera makes a limited number of staterooms available with no single supplement on every ship and every departure throughout the year. Check out all these solo travel options here.
Contact your Travel Professional for details.