The Danube, the Rhine and the Seine are three popular river cruise destinations in Europe. River cruises can last anywhere from a few days to up to a month. So, if you have limited vacation time or are short on funds, you can still take a European river cruise. Thanks to the proximity of various countries along Europe's river ways, you will see a variety of cities and sights in multiple countries, and in a relatively short amount of time.
If you are looking to take a short river cruise down the Danube, Europe's second largest river, there are many options available. Several companies offer cruises lasting three to five days, visiting some of the ten countries the Danube passes through, including Germany, Austria, Hungary and Romania. One of the more popular short cruises starts in Vienna and ends in Budapest. This cruise passes through Wachau Valley, where many different types of wine are grown and produced; and through Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia.
There are also three- to four-day cruises down the Rhine River. One cruise option goes one way from Düsseldorf, Germany to Basel, Switzerland, stopping in the German city of Cologone, notable for its cultural and art scene. This cruise also passes German castles in Koblenz and Mainz and stops for wine tasting at Rüdesheim am Rhein, a wine making city in the Rhine Gorge. Before the cruise's ending in Switzerland, expect a stop in the French city of Strasbourg, known for its medieval architecture.
Many short cruises on France's River Seine last seven days or less. Cruises here often begin in Paris and stop at a variety of French cities. Cruising through Paris, you will see many of the main tourist sights, including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. Stops may include Auvers-sur-oise, the town most famous as the location where artist Vincent Van Gogh lived and died. If you are a lover of art, you may be interested in the stop in France's Vernon, where there are guided tours of painter Claude Monet's home. A stop at the beach of Normandy, a historical World War two site, includes vists to Omaha Beach, the Pointe du Hoc monument and the American Cemetery. If you are interested in other short French cruises, there are also cruises of similar length that go through France's wine country, Burgundy and Provence.
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