Europe

To explore Europe by river cruise is one of life’s great adventures. A unique and singular journey through an exciting melting pot of art and music, history and architecture; the sights, sounds and smells of historic cities, medieval towns and riverside villages on grand waterways.

On an Avalon cruise, we'll take you on Amsterdam’s leafy canals and to the Louvre in Paris, through Austria's glorious Wachau Valley and into the epic canyon of Romania's Iron Gates Gorge. Discover this wonderful collision of culture and food, empires and dynasties, traditions, quirks and rich natural beauty for yourself.

Europe at a glance

  • Rhine Gorge – The Rhine
    • Cruise past ancient castles on lofty cliffs and the rock of the Lorelei, where siren song once lured sailors to their doom.
  • Budapest – The Danube
    • Visit the ornate, hilltop setting of Fisherman’s Bastion and mix with the locals in the bustling Central Market Hall.
  • Normandy beaches – The Seine
    • Explore some of the most poignant sights of World War II such as Juno Beach and the Pegasus Museum.
  • Arles – The Rhône
    • This charming French town was inspiration to the artist Van Gogh, who produced some of his most famous paintings here.
  • Kerkenhof Gardens – Dutch Waterways
    • Experience a spectacular explosion of colour in these world-famous flower gardens.

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Rivers

From the terraced vineyards of the Rhine and wooded hills along the Seine to the iconic sightseeing of Paris, Vienna and Budapest, Avalon cruises take you right to the heart of Europe’s grand waterways. Christmas markets, wine country, dramatic canyons and spectacular mountains: wherever your cruise takes you, from the maze of Holland’s waterways to the Black Forest, a huge adventure awaits.

Countries

On an Avalon cruise, you’ll explore grand European cities and medieval hamlets, cruise to riverside villages, and wend your way past terraced vineyards between towering cliffs. Wine gardens in Austria, a great cathedral in France, a hilltop fort perched on the banks of the Danube: classic sightseeing in a cultural, historic and gastronomic treasure trove. Explore underground tombs and shady orchards, wander delightful flower gardens, and discover unique places from unusual angles in the heart of Europe.

New Active Discovery cruises in Europe

An Active Discovery cruise offers the perfect opportunity for more authentic local experiences and more dynamic activities in the Danube and Rhine areas.

More choice at every stop

At each port of call, you'll have a choice of excursions, so you can get experience it in the way that most inspires you. In Amsterdam, you can imitate the techniques of Van Gogh and Rembrandt in a painting class, take a canal cruise or see the city on a running tour. In Koblenz, take a guided walk and cable-car ride up to Ehrenbreitstein Castle, walk through the glassy corridors of a volcano mine or climb the steps of Marksburg Castle for an unforgettable view of the Rhine Gorge. The choice is yours.

Engelhartszell, Austria

Cruises in Europe

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Frankfurt to Basel

from £1,715 per person

  • 5 days
  • Price based on 14 Dec 19
  • 2 dates available

This Christmastime river cruise is a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your Avalon Suite Ship® in Wiesbaden, Germany, then sail up the Rhine River to Basel, Switzerland, passing beautiful landscapes and quaint villages festively lit and decorated. This one-of-a-kind Christmas river cruise through France and Germany takes you on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. At this time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. You’ll also find an array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts. Strasbourg, located on the border of France and Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit the Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. Your Christmas river cruise along the Rhine River takes you to Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest—an area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Your delightful holiday cruise ends in Basel, Switzerland. Don’t miss this experience to savour the holiday season in traditional and beautiful Christmas traditions of European winter markets and festivities!

A Taste of the Danube - Budapest to Vienna

Most popular

from £2,062 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 11 May 19
  • 2 dates available

From the Gypsy violins of Budapest to the romantic sounds of Vienna, the “City of Music,” this Europe river cruise highlights the natural beauty of Austria’s Wachau Valley, and the fascinating capital cities of Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria. Enjoy two nights in Budapest, where guided sightseeing shows you the highlights of this vibrant capital. You’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own—take pictures from Fishermen’s Bastion, walk across Chain Bridge, or enjoy a cream cake in the renowned Gerbeaud Café. Board your river cruise vessel and head upriver to Bratislava. For a 58-mile stretch, the middle of the Danube forms the border between Hungary and Slovakia, and guided sightseeing awaits you in Slovakia’s capital. In Melk, you will visit Austria’s majestic Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest monasteries, sitting high on a bluff so you can take in the breathtaking views of the Danube River and surrounding countryside. Cruise through the picturesque Wachau Valley and spend free time in Dürnstein, overlooked by the ruins of the castle where England’s King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192, and best known for its magnificent baroque Stiftskirche with its blue façade. To end your river cruise, there’s guided sightseeing in Austria’s capital, Vienna, with time on your own to relax, perhaps visit the famous Sacher Hotel for a taste of Sachertorte (a special chocolate cake), and stroll along the famous pedestrian street of Kärntnerstrasse. Sweet surprises with new experiences along your Danube River cruise are sure to give you more than a taste of the many beautiful discoveries of this legendary river.

Tulip Time

New for 2018

from £2,243 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 23 Mar 19
  • 8 dates available

This European river cruise in Holland gets underway in its popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. This 700-year-old city offers an abundance of classic architecture, cafés, and restaurants to explore before you embark on your river cruise through Holland and Belgium. Sail through Rotterdam’s harbor, said to be the world’s busiest port. Garden enthusiasts will delight in a visit to see the breathtaking colors of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Alternatively, an excursion to the city of Gouda, famous for its cheese, is available, before sailing to Antwerp—Belgium’s second-largest city, combining ancient buildings and monuments with modern architecture. In Ghent, Belgium, join a local expert for a guided tour of the city, including a visit to St. Bavo’s Cathedral. Back in Holland, Middelburg was formerly an important trading city and you’ll get a sense of its wealth today with its impressive structures like the gothic Town Hall, Abbey Tower, and bustling Market Square. No trip to Holland is complete without a visit to the technical miracle that is the Delta Works, a storm flood barrier almost six miles long, constructed after the floods of 1953. This beautiful and historic springtime river cruise during tulip season in Holland and Belgium concludes with more chance to explore the colorful city of Amsterdam. See the most fascinating areas of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” From seemingly unending fields of color from Holland’s gardens, to windmills and waterways of Amsterdam, to the ancient and modern mix of Belgium’s architecture, this European river cruise is sure to grow in your memory for endless seasons to come.

Tulips of Northern Holland

from £2,273 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 29 Mar 19
  • 7 dates available

Explore the well-known sites of Holland, plus some off the beaten path, for a unique and fascinating river cruise. In northern Holland, you may opt to see the colourful fields of tulips that make this part of the country so beautiful. Alternatively, in Enkhuizen, you may prefer to visit the Zuiderzee Museum to experience the local culture and history. Also, there’s an opportunity to meet some of the locals before continuing your river cruise through the area of Friesland. Here, you’ll visit the Royal Planetarium, nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll visit the Batavia shipyard in Lelystad and board an exact replica of the Batavia ship itself. Get a true taste of the culture with an introduction to local cheese and genever! Cruise through the modern harbour of Rotterdam and go on a guided excursion to Gouda, famous for its cheese of the same name. For garden enthusiasts, you may, instead, choose to see the breathtaking colours of Keukenhof, also known as the “Garden of Europe.” With over 70 acres of parkland and lakes, it’s one of the world’s largest flower gardens. A river cruise through Holland would not be complete without some time in Holland’s popular, modern capital of Amsterdam. The city combines its historical 17th-century buildings, sculptures, and museums with a modern feel. See the most fascinating areas of the city on a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten lined with homes dating back to the city’s “Golden Age.” Sail into new worlds to discover the stunning beauty, ancient history, and welcoming traditions that await you! 

Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Basel to Frankfurt

from £2,309 per person

  • 4 days
  • Price based on 02 Dec 19
  • 2 dates available

This Christmas river cruise begins in Switzerland and takes you down the Rhine River to France and Germany, with beautiful passing landscapes and quaint villages festively lit and decorated—a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate the season! Board your ship in Basel, Switzerland, then stop in Breisach, considered the gateway to Germany’s Black Forest. An area of unrivaled natural beauty, best known for Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and the cuckoo clock. There is no better setting than at this time of year when smoke curls from the chimneys of the traditional Black Forest houses. Strasbourg, France, located on the border with Germany, perfectly blends the cultures of both countries. The city is home to one of the oldest and finest Christmas markets in Europe—dating back to the 16th century. Take in the aromas of mulled wine, spice cakes, and biscuits. Bask in the holiday atmosphere as you visit Strasbourg Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece made of red sandstone, and containing ancient murals and fascinating astronomical clock. You’ll go on an excursion to Heidelberg, Germany, to visit the fascinating ruins of Heidelberg Castle, towering magnificently over the city. This time of year, an ice rink can be found at the foot of the castle and the Christmas market is spread over five town squares. Delight in the holiday cheer with Glühwein (hot mulled wine), bratwursts, and other regional delicacies. There’s plenty of time to find just the right Christmas present amongst the array of crafts, Christmas decorations, and gifts before this magical European river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, Germany.