Even if you’ve sailed the Rhine, the Rhone and the Danube, there are plenty of other rivers to explore in Europe.
The Elbe cuts through the eastern reaches of Germany, a chance to admire the gorgeous scenery of the Elbesandstein Mountains, where high cliffs have been eroded into strange shapes, thick forests line the banks and rugged castles gaze down on the meandering river. Highlights along the course of the river include Dresden; Meissen, famous for its delicate porcelain; and Wittenberg, home of the Protestant Reformation, as well as Berlin, Germany’s cosmopolitan capital.
In France, cruise along the Seine, through the heart of romantic Paris and the gentle countryside that inspired artists like Monet, as well as historic Rouen.
Or explore the Douro in Portugal, from Porto, a World Heritage Site, inland through steep hills and vineyards to the Spanish border, from where there are tours to Salamanca, one of the oldest and most beautiful university towns in Spain.
Smaller boats also cruise the Po in Italy, spending a few days in Venice, pottering around the vast Lagoon, before heading inland for forays (overland, not by river) to historic cities like Bologna, Cremona, Ferrara, Mantua, Padua and Verona.
For something really unusual, French line CroisiEurope combines Spain’s Guadalquivir river with the Guadiana in Portugal. This cruise takes in Jerez, famed for its sherry production, as well as the Andalucian capital, Seville, famed for its flamenco and Moorish heritage, before heading along the coast, across the border into Portugal and along the Guadiana, deep into the Alentejo, the wild, uninhabited area inland from the Algarve.
Do you think river cruising will float your boat? Discover which cruise lines travel to Europe!