It’s often hard to know when the best time is to cruise Europe’s many rivers and waterways; they each offer something different as the seasons change.

The River Cruise Line offers a wide variety of European river cruises operating all-year-round and has highlighted its recommended trips for winter, spring, summer and autumn.


Christmas Market
Cologne Christmas Market

Many streets and squares across Europe are taken over every winter by festive markets selling handcrafted gifts and delicious treats. Each Christmas market is different and a river cruise is a fantastic way to see a variety of markets as part of a short break. The River Cruise Line’s four-day German Christmas Markets cruise is one of its most popular festive cruises and visits the markets in Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Cologne, while travelling through the beautiful Rhine Valley. The River Cruise Line’s festive breaks aboard the MPS Lady Anne are full of Christmas cheer and are always popular with clients looking for a great value getaway. This cruise costs from £279 per person, departing in December.


Keukenhof Gardens
Keukenhof Gardens

The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s most beautiful gardens and floral displays, which are at their prettiest in spring – none more so than the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens. This picture-perfect landscape, filled with more than seven million flowers, is undoubtedly the best place in the country to see the iconic tulips, and in April 2017 the River Cruise Line is offering an opportunity to explore them in the company of celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock. The former Ground Force star will be entertaining guests with talks and Q&A sessions throughout the four-day Amsterdam & Bulbfields Spectacular cruise, which will also stop at the Aalsmeer Flower Auction, where more than half of the world’s cut flowers are traded every day. This cruise costs from £289 per person.


Hungarian Parliament
Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest

While the Danube looks beautiful all-year-round, it is undoubtedly at its best in the summer months, when the sunshine reflects off the water and mirrors the breathtaking sights along the riverbank. The River Cruise Line offers a number of trips along this river, including the 17-day Danube to the Black Sea cruise. Visit some of Europe’s most picturesque destinations, including Vienna, with its impressive architecture and eye-catching remains of the city’s imperial glory; Austria’s Wachau Valley; and Budapest, which is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This cruise costs from £1,999 per person, departing in July and August.


Rhine in Flames Festival flotilla

The Rhine in Flames festival takes place every September and this is a wonderful time to cruise the Rhine, not just to witness the celebrations, but also to admire the autumnal colours of the trees that line the banks of the river. The River Cruise Line offers three departure dates for guests to experience the festival and is one of the only operators – possibly the only operator – offering an opportunity to sail as part of the flotilla of small ships under a firework-lit sky (5th September departure only). The eight-day Rhine in Flames cruise costs from £809 per person and visits Boppard, Rudesheim, Mainz, Koblenz, Andernach and Bonn, as well as the Rhine in Flames festival.

All prices are based on two sharing a twin cabin on full board basis and include return coach travel from joining points nationwide, return ferry crossing, transfers and the services of a tour manager/director throughout.