Allowing you to get up close and personal with your favourite cities, a river cruise should definitely be on your cruise bucket-list. Many of the world’s most interesting destinations and landmarks are accessed via a scenic river cruise, and cruise lines have designed smaller and more intimate ships especially to follow these routes, a truly magical experience.

Depending on the destination, river cruise deals can often be had for very little cost, although there are other luxurious options awaiting those who want to make a splash. Either way, river cruises are popular with those who enjoy city breaks or Christmas markets, but can also lead you to forgotten corners of exotic locations.

You could find yourself sailing up the historic channels of the Danube in Hungary’s spellbinding countryside or heading through the ancient city of Budapest and marvelling at its beautiful architecture. These scenic river cruises coupled with those sumptuous sunsets over central Europe’s finest mountain regions creates the opportunity for romantic evening dining. They’re also the perfect setting to soak up that picture-perfect postcard appeal of a scenic river cruise.

Why choose a river cruise?

River cruise holidays come with plenty of advantages. It’s the perfect excuse for a short break and the chance to enjoy the comfort of a more traditional, intimate ship which will become your home away from home during your delightful journey. River cruise ships ooze charm and luxury, allowing you to admire your destination in style! Much like their larger sisters at sea, you can expect mouth-watering cuisine and exciting entertainment to make your sailing one to remember.

Pricing is usually a little lower than ocean cruises, and river cruises in Europe also serve as a great way to get into the innermost cities of the continent. Cameras at the ready because with this kind of sailing, the best scenery at sea is right in front of you – culture and history buffs will be in their element.

Instead of soaking up the beaches of the Costa Del Sol or Greece’s Ionian islands, a river cruise provides you with a neatly wrapped and bow-tied holiday bundle where you can pick and choose from a selection of activities, cities, cuisines, and cultures. Often at a price that is cheaper and more value for money than your standard holiday, cheap river cruises with Cruisedeals enable guests and passengers to comfortably squeeze in as much relaxation and fun as possible.

Whether you’re taking a short weekend river cruise throughout Europe or going further afield, the value for money is undeniable.

River cruise lines and ships

Experts in river cruising, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines are ready and waiting to provide you with the ultimate cruise experience. Savouring some of Europe’s cultural hot spots, find yourself sailing down the River Danube for Budapest and Hungary or explore the wonders of Amsterdam onboard the iconic Brabant. The world’s oldest cities await!

The biggest name in the river cruising today is the multi-award winning Viking Cruises. The longboat cruise ships specialise in cruises that educate as much as inspire, frequently taking in stops at Amsterdam, Bucharest and towns dotted along the Rhine. However, trips along the Nile or China’s Yangtze River are some of the more specialised voyages to choose from.

Meanwhile, Avalon Waterways works alongside the communities it visits in styling its ships. Avalon Siem Reap, for instance, has authentic interiors designed by Asian craftsmen to suit its voyages in rivers in that region. More classic river cruises use more neutral style, and each ship benefits from panoramic windows and international dining options onboard.

What to expect onboard

While on your river cruise you’ll not only be gaining access to some of Europe’s best cities and waterways, you’ll also get the chance to soak up some of the fine hospitality and entertainment while on-board. Maybe this is your first cruise and you’re wondering what to expect or want to find out more about some of the activities you can get up to?

Offers and promotions range from ship to ship, but most now offer complimentary wine and soft drinks throughout the journey as well as a selection of daytime activities like mini-golf, indoor swimming pools, games rooms for the kids, and a live casino if you’re looking to master your poker face.

While many cruises provide you with a selection of restaurants and international dishes to choose from, there’s plenty of bars on-board where you can enjoy a delicious cocktail or a beer or two before relaxing in our spa or enjoying a professional massage treatment.

When you’re not soaking up the culture of a new European city, your evenings on-board will be spent relaxing in your cabin or appreciating the entertainment from live comedians and cabaret acts. There’s something for all passengers to appreciate while on-board, whether you’re looking for excitement or a relaxing river cruise.