River cruising guide

River cruising

River Cruising on a Viking River Cruises Longship. Photo Viking River Cruises.

River cruising is a great way  to travel through many of the world’s rivers, waterways and canals. Purpose-built vessels are small (in comparison to their larger ocean sailing competition) but because of their size, the vessels can can dock within the city center. Most cruise lines include guided tours in the cruise price.  Guided tours that are conducted by knowledgeable escorts from the cruise line offer historical and cultural insights into the  regions visited.

Roundup of River Cruise Destinations


Customers tend to book an overland tour of China in conjunction with their river cruise to maximize their reach. Popular itineraries and destinations:

  • Yangtze river
  • Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam


Nile river cruises go between Luxor and Aswan. Cruisers look forward to learning more about  Dendera, Edfu, Karnak and Luxor while stopping in Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo.

Popular itineraries cruise on:

  • The Nile River
Viking River Cruises tour


Popular itineraries include trips on Europe’s major rivers:  the RhineDanube and Main.

  • Cruises on the Danube feature stops in Austria, Hungary and Germany
  • The Rhine cruises feature:  Amsterdam and Cologne
  • River cruises that cruise on the Rhone and Saone rivers take cruisers into southern France
  • River cruises on the Seine highlights Paris and the Beaches of Normady

River cruising in Russia is also popular.

  • Itineraries that sail on the Volga between Moscow and St. Petersburg tend to sell out quickly
  • Cruisers that choose the Dneiper River will experience Ukraine towns like  Kiev, Yalta, Odessa, Sevastopol, and  Zaporozhye
  • Svir River connects the two largest lakes in Europe–Lake Ladoga and Lake Onega

South America
Popular itineraries serve the largest river in South America. Cruise guests can access via Brazil and Peru.

  •  The Amazon River gives guests a front row seat to the delicate ecosystem of  the rainforest

North America

Look for a comeback of the U.S. river cruise products. New cruise lines have stepped up to fill a void, which gives guests a chance to cruise on itineraries that feature river cruises on:

  • Mississippi River
  • Hudson River
  • Columbia River
  • Snake river

Roundup of Popular River Cruise Operators

  • Abercrombie & Kent
  • American Cruise Lines
  • American Safari Cruises
  • Avalon Waterways
  • AMA Waterways
  • Lindblad Expeditions
  • Oberoi Philae Nile Cruiser
  • Tauck Cruising
  • Uniworld River Cruises
  • Viking River Cruises
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