The Main River

Our Main River cruises offer a fascinating journey through the heartlands of Germany. This peaceful river winds its way through velvety Bavarian forests and vine-covered hills to fairytale castles and flower-bedecked towns. The Main River’s long history is evident along its banks. Ancient Celtic tribes settled along its shores and, during Roman times, numerous towns sprang up by its waters. In the 8th century AD, Charlemagne consecrated the original Würzburg cathedral and dreamt of connecting the Main and Danube – a vision realised 1,000 years later with the 1992 opening of the Main-Danube Canal. In World War II, Allied bombs ravaged many of its towns, although all have now been restored to their former glory. Main River cruises are also ideal for visiting Germany’s magical Christmas markets. Each December, the medieval towns along the river host traditional fairs packed with stalls selling festive souvenirs, ‘Lebkuchen’ gingerbread and warming ‘glühwein’.

Highlights of our Main River cruises

  • Nuremberg
    • Famed for its post-World War II War Crime Tribunals, Bavaria’s second-largest city is blessed with half-timbered townhouses and pretty squares crowned by an impressive castle.
  • Bamberg
    • Founded in 902 AD, this UNESCO-protected town boasts winding streets and a majestic ‘Kaiserdom’ cathedral.
  • Würzburg
    • This ancient wine town is famous for its UNESCO-listed Residenz, a superb Baroque bishops’ palace.
  • Wertheim
    • A chocolate box-pretty town peppered with crooked streets and glass-blowing studios.
  • Frankfurt
    • The skyscrapers of German’s business centre tower over botanical gardens and absorbing old town.

Request a brochure

Get our latest brochures delivered to your door

Click here

Main River cruises

Christmas in the Heart of Germany - Prague to Frankfurt

from £2,524 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 07 Dec 19
  • 2 dates available

This Christmastime river cruise begins in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, and one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Set on the banks of the Vltava River, you will be immersed in holiday spirit as you explore the famous Christmas markets with rows of brightly decorated wooden huts that sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. Stand in front of the medieval Astronomical Clock, which amazes as an intricate art piece and visualization of time unlike anything else in the world—and don’t miss the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town. Board your ship in Nuremberg, the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire. Guided sightseeing shows you its historical treasures, as well as Old Town, illuminated with holiday lights and decorations. There’s plenty of time to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in Germany. And be sure to savor some traditional lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), a specialty of Nuremberg. Next stop is delightful Bamberg, where nativity scenes built by local citizens are exhibited throughout town. Learn about Christmas traditions as you cruise to charming Würzburg, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” and surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Walk through the halls of the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted. Learn how to bake a traditional cookie before arriving at one of the charming small towns with half-timbered houses and narrow streets that are dotted along the Main River. Take a guided walk of one of these picturesque Bavarian villages—sure to be even more appealing lit up with festive lights and decorations. As this unforgettable Europe river cruise ends in Wiesbaden, you will never forget the historical treasures of Germany and magnificent Prague perfectly paired with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the joyous holiday season..

Central European Experience - Prague to Remich

from £3,085 per person

  • 10 days
  • Price based on 16 Apr 19
  • 5 dates available

This Central European river cruise will take you from the gothic skyline of Prague to Remich on the Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers. It begins with two overnights in Prague, one of Europe’s most magical cities. You’ll see Prague’s best-known treasures like St. Vitus Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline. Your river cruise will get underway as you sail through the Main Danube Canal with stops in some of Germany’s most intriguing cities. Also sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, considered the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River. See ancient castles standing majestically on cliffs 400 feet above the water. In the heart of the Moselle region, the wine village of Bernkastel, surrounded by Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, will fascinate you with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses which have been standing since the Middle Ages.Before you leave, we’ll introduce you to some of the famed wines of the area. Along the enchanting Moselle River, make your way to the ancient city of Trier, Germany—believed to be even older than Rome. Many remnants of ancient Rome can still be found, such as imperial baths and the Roman Bridge, with stone pilings dating from 144-152 AD. Your European river cruise through Central Europe comes to a close in the Luxembourg city of Remich. You’ll take many beautiful memories with you to recall this fantastic trip on the Main, Rhine, and Moselle Rivers.

Central European Experience - Remich to Prague

from £3,182 per person

  • 10 days
  • Price based on 24 Oct 19
  • 5 dates available

This river cruise through central Europe will take you from Remich to the gothic skyline of Prague on the Moselle, Rhine, and Main Rivers. Embark on your European river cruise in Luxembourg on the enchanting Moselle River. Make your way to the ancient city of Trier, Germany—believed to be even older than Rome. Many remnants of ancient Rome can still be found, such as imperial baths and the Roman Bridge. The wine village of Bernkastel, with Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, will fascinate you with its narrow streets and half-timbered houses still standing from the Middle Ages. Continue through the dramatic Rhine Gorge—considered the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River—and see the rock of the Lorelei and ancient castles standing majestically on cliffs 400 feet above the water. Stop in Rüdesheim, a quintessential Rhine Valley wine town, before proceeding into the Main River. Visit the magnificent Bishop’s Residenz in Würzburg and marvel at medieval Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your journey concludes in Prague, one of Europe’s most magical cities. See its treasures, such as St. Vitus Cathedral, a gothic masterpiece that dominates the skyline, the Astronomical Clock, and Charles Bridge—the oldest bridge in the city. In your free time get a taste of the local cuisine with plum dumplings and Pilsner—the perfect ending to this unforgettable European river cruise vacation! 

Christmas in the Heart of Germany - Frankfurt to Prague

from £3,204 per person

  • 8 days
  • Price based on 06 Dec 19
  • 1 date available

Treat yourself to a European river cruise to remember! In Wiesbaden, board your Avalon Suite Ship® that is decorated and dressed up in festive Christmas colours, and embark on this festive Christmastime river cruise through the heart of Germany—ending with two nights in marvelous Prague, Czech Republic. Behind medieval walls and towered gates, enjoy a guided walking tour in a picturesque village along the Main River. Celebrate the season in charming Würzburg, known as the “Pearl of the Romantic Road,” and surrounded by sloping hills covered with vineyards. Visit the ornate Bishop’s Residenz—home to the largest ceiling fresco ever painted, then stroll through the Christmas markets while you sip Glühwein (hot mulled wine). Continue your Christmastime river cruise to Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the many nativity scenes exhibited throughout the town are sure to delight. Then Nuremberg, where, after your guided tour, you are free to visit the Christmas market, one of the most famous in the world. Be sure to savour some traditional lebkuchen (spicy gingerbread), a Nuremberg specialty. While on board, you’ll also learn how to bake a traditional cookie and hear all about German Christmas traditions. Disembark your ship and travel to Prague, Czech Republic—a 1,200-year-old city preserved in time. Stand in front of the medieval Astronomical Clock, and browse the Christmas markets where rows of brightly decorated wooden huts sell Christmas tree ornaments, wooden toys, and Czech handicrafts. And you can’t miss the beautifully decorated tree in Old Town! Historical treasures of Germany and magnificent Prague are perfectly paired with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the joyous holiday season on this unforgettable European river cruise.

Magnificent Europe - Amsterdam to Budapest

Most popular

from £4,598 per person

  • 15 days
  • Price based on 15 Apr 19
  • 16 dates available

From Amsterdam to Budapest, and many exciting stops along the way, you’ll be immersed in the culture of Central Europe in a unique way on this timeless river cruise holiday. Amsterdam is Holland’s lively capital—both historical and modern. This popular city is set amongst sophisticated architecture and classic squares and canals. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city from a unique perspective—on a canal cruise along the elegant grachten. On to Germany where there’s a guided city walk in Cologne—a 2,000-year-old city known for its gothic architecture. Sail through the dramatic Rhine Gorge, the most beautiful stretch of the Rhine River, and stop in the charming wine town of Rüdesheim. There’s guided sightseeing in Würzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Regensburg, and you’ll sail the Main Danube Canal connecting the Main and Danube Rivers. First stop in Austria is Melk for a visit of its magnificent Benedictine Abbey, then sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley to Dürnstein—famous for its blue and white baroque Stiftskirche. And in the last days of your holiday, local experts will introduce you to three capital cities: Vienna, Austria, also known as “The City of Music” for inspiring the creative genius of Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss; Bratislava, Slovakia, where winding cobblestone streets twist and turn in the Old Town and you’ll visit St. Martin’s Cathedral; and lively Budapest, Hungary, with its unique energy and countless must-see sites. This truly is a river cruise to remember!

Magnificent Europe - Budapest to Amsterdam

Most popular

from £4,754 per person

  • 15 days
  • Price based on 13 Apr 19
  • 17 dates available

From Budapest to Amsterdam, and many exciting stops along the way, you’ll be immersed in the culture of Central Europe in a unique way on this timeless river cruise vacation.Your river cruise adventure begins with visits to three of Europe’s vibrant capital cities: Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia and Vienna in Austria. A local guide will show you the must-see sites in each city and you’ll have plenty of time to explore on your own. See the famous Heroes’ Square in Budapest, stroll through Bratislava’s Old Town with its winding streets and bronze sculptures, and stop in a classic Viennese cafe for a decadent treat. Sail through the picturesque Wachau Valley and the dramatic Rhine Gorge. Visit Melk’s magnificent Benedictine Abbey and Würzburg’s Baroque Bishop’s Residenz. Enjoy a tasting of Wachau wines. Explore quaint towns like Dürnstein with its blue and white Baroque Stiftskirche; Passau, known for its narrow cobbled streets and stunning St Stephen’s Cathedral; and Bamberg, with its town hall straddling the River Regnitz. Enjoy guided walks in historic Nuremberg, Würzburg, and Regensburg—one of Germany’s best-preserved medieval cities. In the charming Rhine Valley town of Rüdesheim, enjoy a stroll through its famous cobbled Drosselgasse that's lined with shops, restaurants, and lively taverns. Straddling both sides of the Rhine River is Cologne, Germany—a 2,000 year-old city known for its Gothic architecture. Here, enjoy a guided walk and see its famous twin-spired cathedral.This European river cruise would not be complete without a visit to Holland’s lively capital of Amsterdam. See the treasures of this 700-year-old city from a unique perspective—on a canal cruise along the elegant Grachten. Your European cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam is filled with new discoveries and simple pleasures of ancient cultures that you’ll hold in your memory for many years to come.