Day Cruises on 7 Popular Rivers in Europe 



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Europe is a very popular region for river cruises. When you think of this type of travel, you're most likely thinking of boat trips that last for several days. There are plenty of those available!

But did you know that there are also many options for day, evening, scenic and sightseeing river cruises that may last from an hour to several hours? Yes, there are many of these trips available on some of the most popular rivers in Europe. Let's take a look at seven of them.




Danube River

Chain Bridge on the Danube River in Budapest. Photo by © Robert Balog.

The Danube River is one of the most well-known rivers in Europe and is featured in several overnight itineraries by itself or combined with other waterways, including the Main-Danube Canal, Main River and the Rhine River.

Day cruises are available in several cities commonly associated with the Danube River. You'll find day, evening and scenic cruises in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia with departures from Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.




Douro River

Douro River in Porto, Portugal. Photo by © Jörg Peter.

While not quite as well-travelled as the Danube and Rhine, the Douro River, has become increasingly popular over the past few years with several of the major river cruise companies now featuring itineraries on this waterway. Travel is typically listed as roundtrip from Porto with visits to many cities along the Douro River Valley as well as an excursion to Salamanca, Spain.

Day, evening and scenic cruises are available on the Douro River from Porto.




Main River

Main River in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by © James Wheeler.

You really won't find overnight cruises on just the Main River. It is often combined with Rhine and Danube River cruise itineraries. The Main is a tributary of the Rhine, and the Main-Danube Canal connects the Main River to the Danube.

Prominent cities along this river in Germany include Frankfurt, WertheimWürzburg and Bamberg.

Day, evening and scenic cruises are featured on the Main River departing from Frankfurt.




Moskva River 

Moskva River in Moscow, Russia. Photo by © Artur Janas.

You've probably heard of the Volga River in Russia but might not have heard of the Moskva River. It's not specifically mentioned in these itineraries. The focus tends to be more on the destinations that are visited. But Volga River cruises take place on several different inter-connected waterways between St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Day, evening and scenic cruises are available on the Moskva River in Moscow.




Neva River

Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia

The Neva River is another waterway in Russia that you might not be familiar with, but it's also included in Volga River cruises that travel to St. Petersburg. Like the Moskva River, it's not specifically mentioned in Volga River cruise itineraries.

Day, evening and scenic cruises are available on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia.




Rhine River

Rhine River in Düsseldorf, Germany. Photo by © Jörg Krusekamp.

The Rhine River is one of the most well-known and most commonly travelled rivers in Europe. Itineraries are often between Basel and Amsterdam, and many are combined with other waterways, including the Moselle, Main and Danube. 

Since this is such a popular river to cruise, there are several options for day, evening and scenic cruises. Departures are available from several German cities along the Rhine River, including Cologne, Dusseldorf, Mainz, and Koblenz.




Seine River

Seine River in Paris, France.

Overnight cruises on the Seine River are also very popular among travelers. They are typically 7-day itineraries roundtrip from Paris with visits to several cities along the Seine River, such as Les Andelys, Conflans, Rouen, Vernon and Normandy.

But if you just happen to be visiting Paris and would like to take a day, evening or scenic cruises, departures are availalbe on the Seine River in Paris.




For each of the seven rivers that were listed, a recommendation for a river cruise was made for each city. But maybe you're interested in seeing all of the available options. You can click here to see a list of all day, evening and scenic cruises in Europe that are offered by Viator. [Please note this lists cruises on other waterways too, not just rivers.]

In case you're curious, this is the reason why I recommend Viator.com.


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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in  river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.



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