insights from the ultimate cruising team



Ancient ruins, charismatic villages, historic buildings, baguettes and wine… we’re talking about the wonders of Europe! Now, if you’re keen to see a bit of Europe but the thought of sitting on a bus leaves you cold, river cruising might just be your thing. This is a delightful, relaxing way of seeing some incredibly beautiful countries, all in absolute comfort and not a traffic jam in sight.

One of the best things about river cruising – aside from the fantastic food and being waited on hand and foot – is that you get to explore some fantastic cities and countryside without the discomfort of sitting for several hours each day. Unlike a bus, you can get up, move around, eat, drink and enjoy whilst getting between destinations. It’s perfect for those who don’t like (or can’t) sit for extended periods. And if you do like to sit and watch the world go by, river cruising is perfect for that too!

In Europe, there’s a wide choice of river cruises to choose from. There’s the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine, the Main, Duoro rivers and more. There are large rivers and smaller rivers, cruises that focus on food and wine and some that will be more strenuous than others. You might like to spend more time in France, or start in Germany and finish in Budapest or perhaps begin in Prague and finish in Amsterdam. There’s plenty to choose from and loads to see along the way.

As well as visiting large cities like Amsterdam, Zurich and Vienna, you’ll also see some lesser known townships and villages along the river banks. On occasion also, you’ll cruise past some less pretty areas - but just as interesting - like the industrial sites, through the locks and sometimes there will be several ships in dock at the same time. You’ll see a lot in a short time, usually with stops in port every day rather than having sea days like the ocean cruises.

As far as ships go, they are generally all of a similar size due to having to be able to fit in the canals and locks. The difference in price comes down to the number of passengers on board, the facilities and the inclusions. Most river cruises will include your shore excursions which can range from walking tours, to castle visits or a full day of amazing sightseeing.

The season generally runs from April to October (with the exclusion of the special Christmas markets and New Year cruises) simply because if there is a lot of rainfall, the rivers swell and ships are unable to pass under bridges or through the locks. Likewise, if the rivers are too low, it doesn’t tend to work so well for cruising!

At Ultimate Cruising we have access to a range of river cruises, packages combining river cruising and walking tours or train journeys and the gorgeous Christmas markets. You can see our featured packages here, but if there is a cruise you like the look of, or would like other options, please give our consultants a call as we can tailor-make a package especially for you. We also include transfers from your home to/from your nearest airport so everything is taken care of the moment you step out your front door (terms and conditions apply).

You can request a call from one of our Ultimate Cruising experts by clicking here, or phone us on 1300 485 846 (or 0800 485 846 in New Zealand).