How To Choose A European River Cruise
Updated: Jan 11
If you are just getting ready to take your first European river cruise, or you’ve been on several, you will want to consider both the Rhine and Danube Rivers. There’s a reason why they’re the most popular river cruises in the world!
The Rhine and Danube River cruises have some similarities.
They flow through some of the most scenic places in Europe. You will see hustling cities, charming villages, and even picturesque fields. Castles dot the countryside.
Both rivers will have you cruising through several locks along your trip. These engineering marvels will have you captivated. They might also keep you awake, so pack earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.
It is the differences between the Rhine and Danube River cruises that are likely able to help you choose which cruise is right for you.
Are you a self-proclaimed foodie?
The Rhine River will take you through the Black Forest of Germany where you can enjoy afternoon tea, complete with their famous chocolate cake. Entrees will include hearty meals featuring sausage and pork. Fine wine will also be available in the form of Rieslings which are produced from the grapes in the area.
Local specialties on the Danube River include Goulash and Schnitzel, pastries, and traditional apple strudel. Street food favorites such as Hungarian Langos and Chimney Cakes can be enjoyed year-round. And don’t miss the famous Apricot Brandy made inDürnstein, Austria.
Do you prefer art or music?
Although both rivers go through historic centers, the ones on the Rhine are larger and more modern. These include Amsterdam, Basel, and Strasbourg with museums and a thriving art scene.
The Danube River’s cities have more of an old-world feel, with music playing an important role. In fact, classical music performances occur on a daily basis.
How do you feel about crowds? Do you become energized by them or do you prefer to get away from it all?
The Rhine River is typically busier. This means more ships on the river and cities which can be a bit more crowded. Some of those ships will be much larger and not nearly as sweet asyours.
Danube River Cruises have a greener feel, with fewer ships and people on the river.
To cap it all off, the Rhine is perfect for those who like romance and fairy tales, and art, and are more comfortable with crowds.
Choose the Danube if you like an old-world feel, fewer crowds, and classical music.
Once you think you know which cruise is right for you, reach out to your friendly travel advisor(me!). You’ll then be matched up to the correct cruise line based on what you want to see, how long you would like to be gone, and your budget. Then you’ll be on your way!
I wish you well. I wish you safe and happy travels. And I can't wait to see you under a Canopy of Stars!