Best European Cruises to Get Away This Season

Best European Cruises to Get Away This Season

All-inclusive European cruises give you a new way to travel. You pay for airfare, and the cruise company handles the rest. Boutique cruise lines offer luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, unlimited beverages, and complimentary shore excursions for a surprisingly affordable package price. These awe-inspiring international trips will change the way you think about cruises.

1. Tauck Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy

Traveling from Paris to the shores of the Le Havre, the Seine never leaves France. Impressions from the Seine: Paris to Normandy is a brand-new out-and-back route from Tauck. It takes you from the City of Lights through the fertile farmlands of Normandy. After leaving Paris, you’ll tour the royal palace of Versailles before heading to the medieval city of Rouen, which was home to Joan of Arc.

When you reach the coast, you’ll relax on the beaches and view the World War II memorial on Omaha Beach before spending the evening exploring Caudebec-en-Caux. As the ship travels home, you’ll enjoy a calvados tasting at an orchard in Les Andelys and a tour of Monet’s home and gardens in Giverny before disembarking in Paris.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. The all-inclusive fare covers accommodations, meals, beverages, and taxes.
  2. The package provides free shore excursions valued at more than $2,000.
  3. This route is serviced by the recently redesigned MS Sapphire.
  4. Tauck’s riverboats feature spacious suites and staterooms.
  5. Guests can choose from casual and formal dining options.
  6. Free transportation is available between the ship and the airport or train station.

2. AmaWaterways Colors of Provence

The Rhone is another quintessentially French river. On the seven-night Colors of Provence cruise from AmaWaterways, you’ll immerse yourself in one of the most well-known winemaking regions in France. The journey takes you from the cultural hub of Lyon to Arles on the Cote d’Azur.

At your first port of call in Collonges, you’ll sample Beaujolais and Cotes du Rhone wines before sailing to Vienne, which you’ll tour the following day. Next, it’s off to Tournon to enjoy a train ride or hike followed by another wine tasting. In Avignon, you’ll have a full day to explore the city’s famous medieval landmarks, including the Papal Palace and Pont du Gard, or you can visit surrounding attractions in Provence. For the final day, you’ll be in Arles learning about Van Gogh, visiting an olive farm or discovering the city by foot before your trip concludes.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. The all-inclusive fare covers meals, unlimited beverages, taxes, and tips.
  2. AmaWaterways has an excellent selection of complimentary excursions.
  3. Bicycles are available if you’d like to explore an area on your own.
  4. This route is serviced by the 144-passenger AmaCello cruise ship.
  5. All staterooms feature luxury accommodations with views of the river.
  6. AmaWaterways is known for its award-winning dining options.
  7. Fitness, wellness, and spa services are also available on board.

3. Crystal River Cruises the Legendary Rhine

The Rhine is one of the longest rivers in Western Europe. This iconic waterway travels from the Swiss Alps through Germany, Alsace, and the Netherlands before flowing into the North Sea. The Legendary Rhine is a seven-night European cruise that starts on the upper Rhine in Basel, Switzerland. The first port of call is in Germany, but you’ll be visiting France to tour Strasbourg’s canals or to sample Alsatian specialties.

Your next destination is Heidelberg where you’ll learn about the area’s world-famous philosophers, visit a castle, and tour the old city. In Rüdesheim and Koblenz, you’ll sample Rhineland wine and discover the UNESCO-protected Rhine Gorge. The penultimate stop is Cologne, the largest city on the river. You’ll have a chance to try Kölsch beer, view the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, or visit Beethoven’s home in Bonn. Finally, you’ll arrive in Amsterdam where you’ll have the whole day to explore the city.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. The route is serviced by the ship Debussy, which features all-suite accommodations.
  2. With this all-inclusive package, meals, and beverages are complimentary.
  3. Free and paid excursions are available at every port.
  4. The Debussy has several dining venues staffed by world-class European chefs.
  5. The ship has a fitness center and spa. Daily yoga classes are also available.
  6. Guests enjoy butler service and twice-daily housekeeping.

4. Uniworld Delightful Danube

The Danube is Europe’s second longest river. It travels over 1,700 miles through 10 countries. Uniworld’s seven-night Delightful Danube cruise passes through Hungary, Austria, and Germany. You’ll embark from the diverse city of Budapest and conclude your trip in Nuremberg or vice versa.

After touring Budapest, you’ll take in the art, music, and architecture of Vienna. The next port of call is the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley, which is famous for its vineyards and orchards. Once in Germany, you’ll discover two charming cities. Passau is a diverse village where three rivers and nations converge. Regensburg is an idyllic World Heritage Site that’s home to BMW’s flagship factory. As you approach your final port of call in Nuremberg, the ship travels through the intricate Main-Danube Canal, which is an engineering marvel.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. Delightful Danube is an all-inclusive European river cruise.
  2. All meals and beverages are included as well as tips and ground transportation.
  3. Guests are invited to dine at any of the ship’s four on-board restaurants.
  4. The tour includes six guided tours or shore excursions.
  5. Complimentary bike rentals are available if you’d like to explore on your own.
  6. The route is serviced by the newly built S.S. Beatrice, which has 57 staterooms and 16 suites.

5. Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours Delightful Douro

Portugal’s Douro Valley is one of Europe’s oldest winemaking regions and one of its youngest cruise destinations. This 550-mile river originates in Spain’s lofty Iberian mountains. It meanders across Portugal before flowing into the Atlantic at Porto. The scenic river is known for its charming flat-bottom rabelo boats that transport wine from the vineyards to the local cities.

The eight-day Delightful Douro itinerary, which begins and ends in Porto, takes travelers through the valley to the grand city of Salamanca, Spain. The river winds past rolling hills, terraced vineyards and spectacular ancient cities. You’ll have a chance to sample local vintages, tour the UNESCO-protected Alto Douro Vinhateiro wine region and explore the villages of Regua, Vega de Terron, Pocinho, and Pinhão. After seven days of cruising, you’ll return to Porto and travel home.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. Delightful Douro is an all-inclusive itinerary.
  2. All meals are included as well as excursions, taxes and tips.
  3. Guests can dine at one of five exceptional on-board restaurants.
  4. This route is serviced by the five-star Scenic Azure.
  5. The cruise line offers luxury amenities and 24-hour butler service.

6. Viking River Cruises Elegant Elbe

With its deep blue color and sparkling clarity, the Elbe is one of the most pristine rivers in Europe. Its headwaters emerge from the Czech mountains above Prague. Near the German border, the river flows past dramatic sandstone mountains and palisades. The Elegant Elbe is a 10-day European tour offered by Viking River Cruises. The trip begins in Berlin and ends in Prague.

Before sailing, you’ll visit the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. The first stop is Wittenberg where you’ll spend two days exploring the city’s picturesque parks and charming city center that survived World War II unscathed. While in Germany, you’ll view ornate ceramics in Meissen, visit Dresden’s baroque palaces and trek through the dramatic Elbe Sandstone Mountains. During the final three days of your trip, you’ll explore Prague and its outlying villages.

Cruise Features and Amenities

  1. This all-inclusive itinerary covers meals, beverages, taxes, and tips.
  2. The fare includes one guided tour in each port.
  3. Free ground transportation is also available.
  4. Cruise ships Astrild or Beyla were custom engineered for navigating the Elbe.
  5. Each ship has 49 luxury Scandinavian-style staterooms and suites.

With flexible itineraries between seven and 15 nights, these all-inclusive European cruises are perfect for maximizing your vacation time while discovering a foreign country in a whole new way. Because they’re all inclusive, they could be more affordable than you think.