6 Unique River Cruise Packages in Europe

If you've ever searched for a river cruise, you may have noticed that there are similar itineraries among suppliers. There are some river cruise packages that are unique, though. You won't find them offered  by multiple companies.

Some of the itineraries, however, are limited to only a few cruises each year. Others are available during most of the river cruise season.

Let's  take a look at 6 of these unique river cruise packages.

1. From Berlin to Copenhague: The Baltic Sea and the Oder and Havel Rivers

Amagertorv Square in Copenhagen

By Furya (DSC_0078) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Oder River is the main river for this itinerary. It's connected to the Havel River via the Oder-Havel Canal. Much of the trip is either along the border of Germany and Poland and through Poland itself. 

The cruise begins on the Havel River in Berlin and ends on the Oder River in Szczesin, Poland. The other waterway for this itinerary is the Baltic Sea.

Transportation across the Baltic Sea is by ferry boat from Sassnitz, Germany to Trelleborg, Denmark and from Trelleborg to Copenhagen.

  • Rivers & Seas: Havel, Oder and the Baltic Sea
  • Countries: Germany, Poland and Denmark
  • Major Cities: Berlin, Germany; Szczecin, Poland; and Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Other Cities: Eberswalde, Oderberg, Stolpe, Wolgast, Peenemunde, Island of Usedom, Island or Rugen and Greifswald

CroisiEurope offers an 8-day cruise with packages with departure available between June and August.

2. From the Tisza to the Danube: Experience Hungary

Novi Sad, Serbia on the Danube River

Novi Sad, Serbia on the Danube River

By Ivan Aleksic from Belgrade, Serbia (Novi Sad) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This trip begins on the Tisza River in the city of Tokaj, Hungary and ends on the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary. Tokaj is located in northern Hungary and is about 300 miles north of Novi Sad, Serbia. The Tisza and Danube rivers form a confluence in Novi Sad.

Most of the destinations visited on this cruise are in Hungary.

  • Rivers: Tisza and Danube
  • Countries: Hungary, Serbia and Croatia
  • Major Cities: Budapest and Tokaj, Hungary; Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Other Cities: In Hungary - Tiszafured, Csongrad, Csanytelek, Szeged, and Mohacs. In Serbia: Bezdan

CroisiEurope offers this 9-day cruise package. Cruise is available in June only.

3. Bordeaux: Vineyards, Vintages & Châteaux

Château d'Amboise on the Loire River

Château d'Amboise on the Loire River

By Владимир Шеляпин (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

This is an interesting itinerary, because transportation is provided by motor coach rather than by high-speed TGV train from Paris to Bordeaux.The trip is longer in duration than most other packages for Bordeaux river cruises, because there is a land tour in France before the river cruise begins.

The river cruise is round trip from Bordeaux and lasts for 8 days. And the land tour prior to embarkation is 6 days. After departing Paris, you’ll spend a couple of days in the Loire Valley region and a day and an evening in the lovely seaport town of La Rochelle, which is located on the Bay of Biscay.

  • Rivers: Dordonge & Garonne rivers, and the Gironde Estuary
  • Major Cities: Paris and Bordeaux
  • Other Cities: Chartres, Amboise, LaRochelle, Cadillac, Pauillac, Blaye, Libourne and Saint Émilion

Grand Circle Travel offers this 14-day itinerary with packages available from March through November.

4. Berlin to Amsterdam

Spree River in Berlin

Berlin on the Spree River

By Robert Debowski (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktz/59433562/) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This cruise begins in Berlin and travels westward toward Amsterdam through several cities and Germany and along many different waterways. Almost every city in the itinerary is located on a different river.

  • Rivers: Spree, Havel, Elbe, Leine, Weser, Aller, Hunte, Haaren and Ems
  • Cities: Berlin and Amsterdam 
  • Other Cities: In Germany: Potsdam, Brandenburg, Burg, Madgeburg, Wolfsburg, Anderten, Minden, Nienburg, Bremen, Oldenberg, Papenburg; and Groningen, Netherlands

CroisiEurope offers this 12-day cruise with packages available in August and September.

5. Cruising the Seine plus Versailles, Paris & London 

Seine River in Conflans, France

Seine River in Conflans, France

By user Alexandrin (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The river cruise for this itinerary is on the Seine River between Paris and Le Havre. Your trip may begin in London or in Paris. If it begins in London, you'll enjoy land tour before your river cruise and a a 3-day visit to Versailles after your cruise.

And if it begins in Paris, you'll begin with a two-night stay in Versaille at the Trianon Palace Versailles, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. On day 3 you'll board the ms Swiss Sapphire to begin your Seine River Cruise.

Transportation between England and France is via the EuroTunnel, which connects the two countries between the cities of Calais, France and Folkestone, England.

  • Rivers: Seine
  • Major Cities: Paris, Versailles and London
  • Other Cities: In France: Conflans, Auvers-sur-Oise, Giverny, Vernon, Rouen, Normandy Beaches, Honfleur, Le Havre, Étretat, Caudebec-en-Caux, Calais; and Folkestone, England

Tauck offers this 12-day cruise with packages available from April through October.

6. Belle Epoch to Monte-Carlo

Overlooking the Coast of Monte Carlo

Overlooking the Coast of Monte Carlo

I, Katonams [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Itineraries are available from London to Monte Carlo or from Monte Carlo to London. You'll enjoy two separate cruises on this trip. Depending on the direction of your itinerary, your river cruise will either begin on the Seine or on the Rhône

If your trip begins in London, you'll spend a few days touring the city before traveling to France via the EuroTunnel. Your first river cruise will be on the Seine River from Honfleur to Paris; and from Paris, you'll be transported by high-speed TGV train to Lyon where your second river cruise will begin on the Rhône River.

After your cruise on the Rhône, you'll be transported to Monte Carlo for the remainder of your trip.

If your trip begins in Monte Carlo, the reverse will apply. You'll enjoy a few days in Monte Carlo followed by a Rhône River cruise and then a cruise on the Seine. After your river cruises in France, you'll travel to England via the EuroTunnel.

  • Rivers: SeineRhône and Saône
  • Major Cities: London, Paris, Lyon and Monte Carlo
  • Other Cities: In France: Conflans, Auvers-sur-Oise, Giverny, Vernon, Rouen, Normandy Beaches, Honfleur, Le Havre, Étretat, Caudebec-en-Caux, Calais, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mâcon, Vienne, Vivers, Avignon and Arles; and Folkestone, England

Tauck offers this 23-day itinerary with packages available from April through September.

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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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