Europe River Cruise: Tips & Tricks

European river cruises are gaining in popularity and cruise lines everywhere are hustling to get their ships included in this luxurious industry. River cruises allow travelers to explore numerous cities in one trip without having to worry about making their own transportation plans such as luggage shipping. Everything is taken care of for you, so you can just relax and enjoy the trip. Doesn’t that sound amazing? We think so!

When taking a Europe river cruise, you can also choose from endless itineraries that will let you explore the best cities in European countries. For example, you can travel from Paris to Bordeaux, Avignon to Lyon, Basel to Amsterdam, Lisbon to Madrid, Vienna to Prague…the list goes on.

Although ocean cruises and river cruises have a few similarities, there are also many differences (besides the most notable difference being the size of the ships). For example, on a river cruise, the shoreline is always changing and there are plenty of scenic landscapes you will pass by every day.

Along with these differences, here are a few other tips and tricks you should know for your next European river cruise.

  • Create your own tour

    Although the cruise ship often have tours included in the pricing, these tours can often feel rushed or just not your style of traveling. Instead of feeling like you have to follow the group, go explore on your own! It’s your vacation, do what you want with it.

  • Eat locally

    Again, although food is included on the boat – you are in Europe! – eat locally, find small restaurants and experience the culture of the city.

  • Book a room with a lot of windows or a balcony

    Imagine sitting on your balcony, drinking wine as you pass by beautiful, quaint European towns. On a river cruise you will constantly have something to look at (with a few miles of exceptions). Make sure you always have a view no matter where you are – even if you are in your room!

  • Bring a power converter

    Check with your cruise line first to see what voltage your outlets are and pack accordingly. You don’t want to pack chargers and then find that they don’t work!

  • Spend a few days in the embarkation and disembarkation ports

    You will likely be getting on and off the boat in major cities in Europe – take this time to explore them!

  • Have your camera ready

    Ask your cruise director or concierge when you will be going through the most scenic passes so you are camera-ready. You don’t want to be in your room or napping and miss the most beautiful landscapes.

  • Pack a few snacks

    Dinners and dining are a typically a little fancier on river cruises and there often isn’t a full-time buffet available 24/7

  • Ship luggage ahead

    Instead of worrying about the airlines losing your luggage, ship it from your home directly to your stateroom. With this service, you can bypass the common hassles associated with air travel such as long check-in lines, baggage fees, hauling heavy bags, lost luggage, and wasting time at the baggage claim.

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