River cruises in Europe

Europe’s enchanting network of rivers sweep through culture-rich cities, towns as old as time, and regions of unparalleled beauty.

A couple on an Emerald Waterways cabin balcony

European River Cruises

Europe’s enchanting network of rivers sweep through culture-rich cities, towns as old as time, and regions of unparalleled beauty. A river cruise in Europe provides the mostcaptivating passage through the history of this diverse continent.
From the fairy-tale Rhine region, blessed with its collection of medieval castles, to the sun-drenched vineyards of the Douro, many of Europe’s most beautiful places can be explored on-board a luxury river cruise.
 
With expert-led guided tours, exclusive excursions and delicious dining, an Emerald Waterways river cruise is like no other. 


  • Cruise the mighty Danube, the historical Rhine, the beautiful Rhône or the peaceful Douro
  • Immerse yourself in local culture with our EmeraldPLUS and EmeraldACTIVE experiences 
  • Well-appointed suites and spacious public spaces make an Emerald Waterways Star-Ship the perfect base for a European river cruise



These are the European rivers you can sail with Emerald Waterways:
  • Danube
    The Danube journeys through the very heart of Europe, calling in at some of the world’s most elegant, vibrant and influential cities. Multiple capitals - including Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava and Belgrade – sit along the course of this beautiful waterway, providing Danube river cruise guests with an insight into the history of the continent.
  • Douro
    The Douro runs through one of Europe’s most beautiful stretches of countryside, flanked by vineyards under the warming Portuguese sun. Traditional wineries and charming villages break up the fields of green which typify the Douro region.
  • Main
    The Main River cuts a course through the pastoral landscapes of Bavaria, revealing a region laden with Germanic splendour and fascinating heritage. This 237-mile long river connects the Danube to the Rhine, and its banks reveal much about the history of the continent.
  • Rhine
    With age-old castles and medieval towns flanking its river bank, the Rhine showcases the beautiful fairy-tale landscape of western Germany. Experience the history and ancient culture of this country with an Emerald Waterways river cruise, past sweeping countryside and the classic timber houses of the region.
  • Rhône
    Slowly flowing towards the Mediterranean Sea from beautiful old Lyon, the Rhône cuts a serene path through the heart of France. Medieval cities and Roman ruins line the waterway as it journeys south through ancient villages and prosperous towns.
2019 River Cruise Maps

Discover the rivers of Europe in style...

With itineraries ranging in length from eight to fifteen days, our river cruises along the Rhine, Main, Danube, Douro and Rhône offer an insight into the history of each magnificent waterway. What were once integral trade routes are now gateways to cultural enlightenment, to be navigated in style on-board an award-winning Emerald Waterways Star-Ship.
 
The Rhine is a reminder of the historical region’s diverse and eventful past, while the Main explores the states of Bavaria and is the primary transportation route for Frankfurt’s industrial region.
 
As Europe’s second-longest river, the Danube stretches through 10 countries, flowing through breath-taking landscapes that boast architectural masterpieces and cultural landmarks.
 
The Douro snakes its way from Spain, through Portugal, its banks lined with quaint villages and world-famous vineyards, while the Rhône, France’s second-longest river, has served as an important trade route through centuries of change and revolution.

Life on-board an Emerald Waterways river cruise

Take a sneak peak at what life is like on board an award-winning Emerald Waterways Star-Ship.

Delve deeper into the culture and beauty of Europe

Each and every one of our river cruise itineraries has been lovingly crafted to take you on a journey of discovery through the cities and regions we visit. Our guided tours and exclusive excursions help you truly immerse yourself in some of Europe’s most captivating cultural centres.

Local English-speaking experts are on-hand to share their regional knowledge; from the Renaissance cities dotted along the Danube, to the peaceful villages gazing over the Rhône, you’ll be treated to a wealth of local insight, leaving you enriched and charmed.

Adding even more value to an Emerald Waterways river cruise through Europe, every itinerary includes at least one EmeraldPLUS opportunity. EmeraldPLUS is our exclusive excursion programme, helping you delve further into local culture - from dining at a local family’s home in Bratislava to enjoying the musical stylings of a traditional Rhine Valley musical troupe.
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