Top River Cruise Destinations on the Globe

The experience of river cruises cannot be matched. You travel through beautiful parts of the world, and enjoy multiple cultures and locations; every day or two you land in a new port. While in many ways river cruises and ocean cruises are similar, you travel great distances, and experience multiple locations, there are several differences between the two.

One of the major differences is that river cruise ships are typically much smaller. The rivers require ships that are more nimble, and that significantly limits how big these ships can be built. A river is a tighter fit than the ocean, and that is apparent in the ships’ designs.

With this size difference, the atmosphere on a river cruise ship is much more intimate than an ocean cruise ship could be. With the smaller size, there are some drawbacks. The crew size must be smaller, and there will be fewer amenities on the ship. With the lack of specialty additions, there are no five star river cruise ships. Your most luxurious ship will likely only have a four-star rating.


Do not let the lack of five stars fool you, river cruises are extremely popular for many reasons. The prime draw of a river cruise are the destinations you can visit through a river cruise. There are commercial river cruises sold all over Asia, Egypt, and Europe. River cruises let you enjoy major tourists’ spots all over the globe.


Asia, in particular Southeast Asia, has many natural waterways that can be toured by a river cruise ship. These let you take in many different villages and cities. The views are breathtaking, and it is can be a very unique way to see Asia. Many small villages are accessible through the winding rivers, and it provides a fresh perspective into the culture of the region.


In Egypt, the most popular itinerary for river cruises goes up and down the Nile. You will likely stop in many of the tourists hotspots, and can enjoy tours of the historic landmarks. There are many places along the Nile River that you will want to see.

Most cruise lines will stop at all the popular places. Cairo is generally the port that most cruise lines use as their starting city. There are a significant amount of different things that can be seen in the city. The churches of early Christianity can be found in Coptic quarter, and the Islamic quarter is home to places like Khan el-Khalili bazaar. It is a busy and hot city, so be prepared for this kind of environment.

There are many other must see attractions along the Nile. You can visit the pyramids and Great Sphinx in Giza, and you will likely stop in to see the Valley of the Kings. This is a large area where many of the great tombs are located, and it is certainly worth seeing.


Touring Europe with a river cruise is a different way to experience some common destinations. The itinerary of river cruises take you along some less seen routes. There are also spectacular views, and the relaxing sounds and motions of water travel.

There are many well used rivers that are often populated with river cruise ships, and they offer a wide variety of destination options. Most cruise lines will offer cruises that ports in most major European tourist spots. With the natural interconnections of the waterways across Europe, if you had enough time you could hit all the major stops throughout the continent.

Key ports that are used by river cruises that are touring Europe include Amsterdam, Budapest, and Prague. You can also travel to see Paris, Cologne, and Heidelberg. There are many different sites to see, from medieval castles to the lush Black Forest in Germany.

Choosing Your Destination

When you sit down to choose your destinations, you will want to consider a few things. Your first consideration is the level of comfort you want from your cruise lines. European cruises, while typically more expensive, are going to provide more comforts, and they will also have generally better service in ports.

You also must take a look at how long you are planning on being away. Your cruise duration much match with how long you expect to be away from home, and that can sway your ideal cruise. Most Egyptian cruises are going to be shorter than some of the lengthy European cruises. You do not want to rush through the ports, so most cruise lines will be schedule their cruises to include plenty of time to explore the stops.

Finally, you want to priorities what you would like to see. If you want to go inside the pyramids, then an Egyptian cruise would work well for you. However, if you wanted to see the historic cities of France, Germany, and Italy you may be best enjoying a trip through Europe. Get the most out of your river cruise by seeing all the destinations on your bucket list.

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