When you think of a cruise, you likely think of a massive ship complete with pools, many restaurants, and a variety of entertainment hopping from one tropical locale to another. But, when it comes to river cruising, it’s a much different picture.

River cruises, a booming travel trend this year, have a boatload of differences from ocean cruises. River cruise ships are low, many with floor-to-ceiling windows to give you a constant view of the shoreline and river. These ships are also generally smaller, with accommodations for 120 to 160 passengers.

They typically dock in the heart of the cities they stop in, even staying overnight, to give guests the chance to really explore. In fact, one of the reasons river cruises have become so popular is that they allow passengers to intimately experience many cities without having to pack and unpack in between. Plus, the waters aren’t nearly as rough at the ocean, so sea sickness isn’t as big of a concern for river cruisers.

If you want to try out a river cruise, here are some of the best to check out:

Seine River

If you’re an art lover or looking for a romantic cruise with your significant other, try a cruise on the Seine. Your typical week-long cruise on the Seine will largely focus on sightseeing in and around Paris. You’ll spend a day or two in Paris and travel northwest to Honefleur and the English Channel. You may stop at Giverny – the home of Claude Monet – Rouen, and the beaches of Normandy to see D-Day memorial sites.

Rhine River

Cruising on the Rhine is incredibly popular since it flows through four countries: Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. If you cruise between Switzerland and Holland, you’ll get a full cultural experience, getting to see famous cathedrals, taste Riesling wines, and more.

Danube River Travel 

Like the Rhine, cruising on the Danube means you’ll be sailing through many countries, which is why it’s one of Europe’s most popular rivers for cruises. It flows through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and more for about 2,000 miles. You’ll have easy access to Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava, the Austrian Lake District, medieval towns, monasteries and more.

 Mekong River

You’re in for an adventure on this river cruise through Cambodia and Vietnam. It boasts daily excursions along the Mekong’s tributaries and rural shore points. You’ll get to visit floating fish markets, temples, royal residences, villages and more. With cruises on the Mekong, boats generally anchor in the river and ferry you ashore on local panga boats.

Nile River

You can fuel your appreciation for history and antiquities on Nile River cruises. Most sail out of Cairo, taking you on a journey through the country’s 5,000 years of history, including pyramids and colonnaded temples.

Yangtze River

When you cruise on this river, you’ll get a combination of a cruise and land-based tour of China. Many of the country’s great cities like Shanghai, Yangzhou, Chongging and more lie along the 4,000-mile waterway.

Have you taken any river cruises? Let us know us know about your experience in the comments!



About The Author

Nicole Jenet is a writer at Scribewise. There's nothing she loves more than the feeling of warm sand beneath her feet and trying new, exotic cuisine. Visit

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