Credit: Viking Cruises

10 amazing river cruises to book today for 2024

Author: Frances Marcellin

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If you dream of exploring the great cities of Europe, here are 10 amazing 2024 river cruises to book today

With summer shading into autumn, it’s time to beat the crowds and book your 2024 river cruise.

Planning well ahead not only brings peace of mind, it can also save you money with early-bird discounts – plus you get your pick of the best itineraries and cabins.

So with that in mind, here’s our choice of the best new European river cruises for 2024.

Riverside Debussy will launch in March. Credit: Riverside Luxury Cruises

Best for luxury lovers

1. Classical elegance

Riverside Luxury Cruises relaunched the five- star Riverside Mozart on the Danube this year, after acquiring it from Crystal Cruises.

Twice the width of standard European river ships, Mozart offers king-size beds, a well-equipped gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room and jogging track.

The four restaurants feature locally sourced ingredients, and guests enjoy personal butler service.

For touring three great capital cities – Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava – there’s simply no better way to go.

Get onboard

7-night ‘Treasures of the Danube’ cruise aboard Riverside Mozart, from Budapest to Vienna via Bratislava, Krems, Linz, Mathausen and Grein, departing 16 July 2024, from £2,250.

2. River rhapsody

Viking Cruises is renowned for its stylish ships and upscale service – and if you book before the end of September 2023 for a 2024 cruise, you’ll save up to £750 per person, and bag a free drinks package into the bargain.

River cruising doesn’t get much better than five-star dining on the sunny Aquavit terrace as lovely scenery glides by along the Elbe, and Viking’s local experts will introduce you to cultural discoveries at every stop (highlights include a concert by the Dresden Residence Orchestra at the stunning Zwinger Palace).

Get onboard

9-night ‘Elegant Elbe’ cruise aboard Viking Beyla, from Prague to Berlin via Dresden, Meissen and Wittenberg, departing 9 July 2024, from £3,545.

Bordeaux is full of culture and wine... Credit: Shutterstock

Best for culture vultures

3. Secrets of the Seine

Scenic River Cruises’ ‘Enrich’ events are a deep dive into the culture of each destination, and on a round-trip sailing for Paris there’s just so much to discover.

Music-lovers can enjoy a classical concert at the grand Château de La Roche Guyon, which is exclusive to Scenic; history buffs can spend the day at Normandy’s D-Day beaches, and art fans can explore Monet’s house and garden at Giverney.

Scenic Gem, one of the line’s ‘Space-Ships’, offers a five-star cruising experience, with butler service, fine dining at the L’Amour restaurant, a fitness centre and spa – and there’s a £500 discount for early bookings.

Get onboard

7-night ‘Highlights of Normandy & the Seine’ cruise aboard Scenic Gem, round trip from Paris via Rouen, departing 5 May 2024, from £4,440

4. Gallic charms

France is famous for its rich tapestry of history, culture and landscape, and this AmaWaterways wine cruise around the UNESCO-listed city of Bordeaux captures it all.

Highlights include Roquetaillade Castle, tasting legendary reds in Saint Emilion, and sipping sweet, smooth Sauternes in Cadillac. The cruise finishes with a visit to the Cité du Vin – a fun, interactive wine museum.

Get onboard

7-night ‘Taste of Bordeaux’ cruise aboard AmaDolce, round trip from Bordeaux via Fort Medoc and Cadillac, departing 18 July 2024, from £2,976

Enjoy mouth-watering food both on and off board Spirit of the Rhine. Credit: Saga

Best for foodies

5. Bon appétit

Starting on the French Riviera and then cruising the Rhone and Saone with Avalon, you’ll enjoy mouthwatering cuisine as you wind through Burgundy and Provence.

Expect perfect drinks pairings by the onboard Master of Wine, plus speciality cheese and pastry tastings. And if that’s not enough to pique your appetite, book now and you get £1,500 off selected cruises in 2024.

cuisine as you wind through Burgundy and Provence. Expect perfect drinks pairings by the onboard Master of Wine, plus speciality cheese and pastry tastings. And if that’s not enough to pique your appetite, book now and you get £1,500 off selected cruises in 2024.

Get onboard

9-night ‘A Culinary Experience in Burgundy & Provence’ cruise aboard Avalon Poetry II, from Nice to Chalon- sur-Saone via Arles, Avignon and Lyon, departing 31 March 2024, from £2,954.

6. Rhine and dine

Savour first-class dining as you feast your eyes on the Dutch tulip fields during this 5-night cruise aboard Saga’s boutique river ship Spirit of the Rhine.

The ship has an à la carte dining room with menus by Michelin-starred chef Nick Nairn, and foodies can also look forward to the Captain’s Dinner, plus a chance to sample artisan cheeses at a Dutch dairy farm.

Get onboard

5-night ‘A Taste of Holland’ cruise aboard Spirit of the Rhine, round trip from Amsterdam via Hoorn, departing 4 April 2024, from £1,529

Salamanca offers two cathedrals and a traditional food market, perfect for solo exploration. Credit: Shutterstock

Best for solos

7. Wanderlust for one

Riviera Travel’s Douro cruise is one of a new breed of itineraries that caters specifically for solo travellers.

Your assigned tour manager ensures you settle in, particularly at dinner, but you can eat alone or with fellow passengers, depending on your preference.

Exploring the UNESCO-listed site of Salamanca and the fabulous city of Porto are just two highlights on this trip, and with no single supplements it’s sure to sell out fast.

Get onboard

7-night ‘Douro, Porto & Salamanca for Solo Travellers’ cruise aboard MS Douro Elegance, round trip from Porto, departing 16 April 2024, from £1,899

8. Magic Moselle

Experience the stunning scenery of the Moselle as you sail from Koblenz aboard TUI Isla. Watch winemakers at work in Bernkastel-Kues, discover Roman history at Trier, Germany’s oldest city, and explore pretty Cochem with its pastel- painted waterfront houses.

TUI Isla has plenty of single-bed cabins, which means solo travellers get more space, with a desk and lounge chair. Dining is flexible, with guests able to eat alone or with others, and reserving a 2024 cruise before 31 October 2023 can save you £150.

Get onboard

7-night ‘The Moselle Valley – Vines & Views’ cruise aboard TUI Isla, round trip from Frankfurt via Koblenz, Bernkastel, Trier, Cochem and Boppard, departing 14 June 2024, from £1,699 including flights.

A-Rosa Sena is designed for multi-generational travel. Credit: A-Rosa

Best for families

9. La dolce vita

CroisiEurope runs Family Club deals on certain itineraries, with perks including reduced or waived fares for children, no single supplements, adjacent cabins and kid-friendly menus.

A great option for next year’s Easter break could be Croisi’s Italian tour, taking in Renaissance treasures plus the chance of a speedboat ride on the Venetian lagoon and a splashing time at Mantua’s Cavour Waterpark.

Get onboard

6-night ‘Family Club – From the Canals of Venice to Renaissance- infused Mantua’ cruise aboard MS Michelangelo, round trip from Venice, departing 6 April 2024, from £1,377.

10. Christmas spirit

With a dozen cabins that sleep five, A-Rosa Sena is a game-changer for families who love to river cruise. The 28sq m staterooms each feature a double bed, bunk beds, a sofa bed, two bathrooms and a desk area.

Elsewhere onboard there’s a kids’ club, heated outdoor pool, gym and wellness area, so parents get to relax as well.

Three children under 15 can sail for free on a ‘premium all-inclusive’ basis – so why not finish 2024 with a holiday to remember and treat everyone to a festive cruise with Christmas Day in sparkling Amsterdam?

Get onboard

7-night ‘Rhine Christmas City Experience’ cruise aboard A-Rosa Sena, round trip from Cologne via Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Dordrecht and Antwerp, departing 22 December 2024, from £1,454.

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