A river cruise is a perfect way to see much of Central Europe. A map of the region shows the continent criss-crossed by the romantic and majestic river names we all have heard and dreamed about-the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Elbe, and Seine-just to name a few. Many of the great cities of Europe can be reached via a river cruise, and most river cruise lines offer pre- or post-cruise extensions that allow you to spend more time in some of these exciting inland cities. Anyone who has taken a bus or driving tour of Europe and hated the packing and unpacking and the traffic will love a river cruise.
Frequent visitors to this site know how much I enjoyed cruising with Viking River Cruises, and the cruise line has many exciting European options from March through the rest of the year. Most of the other passengers onboard a Viking River Cruise will be English-speaking, and all shore excursions are included in the fare.
Peter Deilmann Cruises is another option for those who want to do a river cruise with a more international group and/or like to tour independently. Whereas Viking markets some of its ships directly to English-speaking countries and other ships to European tourists, Peter Deilmann's ships are all marketed to both groups. This means that you might be among only a few other Americans onboard, but the cruise line will still have an English speaking crew, English (and German) announcements, and English-speaking tour guides. This international flavor will be different than on Viking River Cruises, making it more appealing to some cruisers and less appealing to others. Peter Deilmann also does not include many of the shore excursions as part of the cruise, so for those who like to explore on their own, it might be a better option than Viking, which does include all shore excursions in the price.
Peter Deilmann has offered European river cruises since 1983, and the cruise line has won several awards for its cruises, most recently making the top 10 small ship cruise lines in Conde Nast Traveler's 2004 Reader's Choice Awards. Peter Deilmann owns and operates nine vessels sailing European rivers on 7-night cruises -
The 5-star Casanova offers a variety of 7-night programs on the Rhine, picturesque Moselle, Rhine-Main Canal (through 16 locks in Bavaria) and the Danube.
The 5-star Mozart and the 4-star Danube Princess cruise weekly on the Danube featuring overnight stays in the grand cities of Vienna and Budapest. Ten and 11-night cruises are also available all the way to the Black Sea.
The 5-star Cezanne offers a series of enchanting 7-night cruises on the Seine river between Paris and Rouen, France including Versailles, Honfleur/Le Havre, Giverny/Vernon, Les Andelys, and Caudebec-en-Caux.
The 5-star Katharina offers 7-night programs between Prague and Berlin (Potsdam) on the Elbe River.
The 5-star Heidelberg offers a variety of 7-night Rhine itineraries including the Moselle valley, Dutch Waterways with Amsterdam and the stunning Castle Gorge region of the Rhine River.
The 5-star Frederic Chopin offers 7-night cruises on the Oder River for a cruise through Poland and Germany-all the way to the Baltic Sea including many resort islands along the Baltic Coast.
The 5-star Dresden offers weekly sailings on the Elbe River between Hamburg and Dresden with visits to Wittenberg, Meissen and Prague.
The 4-star Princesse de Provence offers weekly departures featuring the wine regions of Southern France along the Rhone and Saone Rivers including Lyon, Arles, and Avignon.
If you wish to tour the great rivers and cities of Europe with an international flavor, Peter Deilmann Cruises may just be the taste of Europe you are looking for!