River Cruises

River Cruising is life in the slow lane – watching towns and villages, mountains and monuments drift by in a peaceful, adult environment. More than a million people choose to holiday this way each year – it”s easy to see why.

Cruising rivers and inland waterways offers a unique insight into countries and cultures – unlike ocean cruises which by definition are coastal only – and river ships are totally geared up for viewing the passing landscapes. Most have large, eye-level picture windows and sail by day at a leisurely speed, making this a wonderful way to unwind with inland waterways being usually smooth and calm.

Ships usually dock onto a jetty right in the centre of the towns and cities giving passengers time to explore. Many head off for the evening to find restaurants and theatres, but those who stay onboard will find most ships have excellent restaurants and tasteful entertainment – and it”s all included in the price of the cruise. Service is generally excellent and most ships have a relaxed onboard atmosphere.

Excursions are organised at each stop for those that want them, and on European river cruises you”ll visit several countries in one itinerary. Some river cruise lines organise themed sailings – classical music on the Danube or wine and port tasting on the Douro, for example.

The long, narrow shape of most river ships usually means fewer cabin choices than on large ocean-going vessels, but there are almost no inside cabins –most are outwards facing with either balconies or large windows.

European rivers such as the Seine, Rhine, Danube and Douro are the most-loved among cruisers; further afield the Nile is possibly the best way to travel between the sights of ancient Egypt, China”s Yangtze is a must for anyone visiting the country, and the Russian waterways are becoming increasingly popular.

To search for your perfect river cruise, visit our Cruise Finder or use the search below.

Best River Cruises 2019

A river cruise gives you a unique perspective of a destination, with constantly changing scenery and lots of opportunities to get off and explore....

Belmond river cruise review

Julie Peasgood and her husband Patrick join a Belmond river cruise through France This Belmond river cruise could be the most intimate cruise I have...

Avalon Waterways Rhine cruise review

Intriguing history, music and plenty of fine food – a river cruise is an idyllic way to explore the Netherlands, Germany and France, discovers...
American Queen: Mississippi cruisevideo

American Queen: Cruise the Mississippi in style

The big wheel keeps on turning as Liz Jarvis joins a paddle steamer cruise along the mighty Mississippi with Titan  Dangling my feet over the...

Which cruise line is right for you?

Trying to find the right cruise line for your first cruise? Whatever your taste there’s a holiday for you – here are some top tips...

Cruise International

Cruise International is the UK’s highest-selling newsstand travel magazine dedicated to cruise holidays. Packed with inspirational reviews, the hottest destination advice, celebrity interviews and the very latest ocean and river cruise news, it helps both new and experienced cruisers alike plan their next trip. With its high production values, stunning photography and outstanding editorial, Cruise International is first choice for Britain’s 1.75 million annual cruise holidaymakers.







Liz Jarvis
Lyndal Beeton
Daniel Webb

Never miss another offer, competition or deal

Sign up today to the FREE Cruise International newsletter