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Which river is right for you? A guide to choosing the best itinerary for your Viking River Cruise

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

Planning your Viking River Cruise can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many rivers to choose from, deciding which European river cruises are best can seem like an elusive task. But don't worry—this guide will help you determine which itinerary best suits you!

River Cruises in Europe visit some of the most beautiful cities
River Cruises in Europe visit some of the most beautiful cities

How to Choose Your Ideal River Cruise


How to Choose Your Ideal River Cruise

To make an educated decision about how to choose the best European River Cruises Viking offers, here are six essential criteria you should consider:


1. Destinations and Routes

With its carefully crafted itineraries, Viking River Cruises allows travellers to explore different rivers in Europe and beyond. With its carefully crafted itineraries, Viking River Cruises enables travellers to explore diverse rivers in Europe and beyond. How do you decide which is best for your needs? The following descriptions will help!


Canadian travellers can experience the timeless beauty of Europe’s Danube River on a Viking cruise. From Germany’s legendary Black Forest to the culture-rich banks of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, Danube River Cruise itineraries offer unique experiences that allow you to explore cultures past and present.


Set sail upon the Rhine and drift past timeless cities such as Heidelberg, Amsterdam, and Antwerp. On this trip, travellers will view vineyards, Dutch windmills, and impressive fortresses while gaining insight into the region's history.


Discover some of France's most celebrated locales with France river cruises. Be it the Rhône, Seine, Dordogne, or Gironde rivers, these extraordinary voyages travel from historic Normandy to gastronomic Lyon, picturesque Provence, and majestic Bordeaux.


You may not realize Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest-known winemaking regions. Douro River cruises follow the passage of barcos rabelos (traditional wooden barges) laden with casks en route to Porto and Lisbon and make stops at ancient wine estates and other nearby sites of interest.


Explore Majestic Berlin and Prague during an unforgettable Elbe River Cruise! Uncover Saxon Switzerland while delving into Wittenberg’s religious history as an expert tour guide reveals sights rarely seen in Germany or the Czech Republic.


A cruise along Egypt’s Nile will reveal amazing secrets! Discover ancient temples and explore magnificent pyramids with an expert Egyptologist as your guide. In contrast to the vast history you will experience on shore, you'll enjoy modern amenities aboard your ship as you cruise towards Aswan, the desert oasis city near Sudan's border.


2. Duration of the cruise and the ports of call

The duration of your Viking River Cruise and the ports you visit can significantly affect your overall experience. Longer cruises will allow for more time in each port, allowing for more time to explore and fully immerse yourself in a culture. On the other hand, short cruises will likely offer fewer ports of call and less overall time ashore.


The type of ports visited is another also critical consideration. Different rivers will offer different experiences. Some have larger cities with plenty of sightseeing opportunities, while others have smaller hamlets or villages with unique cultural attractions.


For instance, you may want to choose a France River Cruise to immerse yourself in the country’s culture and cuisine or an Egypt River Cruise if you prefer adventure and discovery. Whether you have a specific interest or simply want to explore, it is vital to research the various ports of call to select experiences tailored to your preferences.


3. Time of Year and Weather

When planning a river cruise, it is vital to consider the availability of certain tours only offered during specific times of the year. For example, the Christmas markets along the Danube River in Germany or the tulip-filled meadows along the Rhine River in April are only available for a limited time window. It's essential to check when these special events are happening, as it could make all the difference in deciding which river cruise is right for you.


No matter which season you choose, it's always important to pack appropriately to prepare for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Make sure you bring plenty of layers so that you can adjust accordingly depending on how hot or cold it gets throughout your journey.


4. Personal Preferences and Interests

When deciding which river cruise itinerary suits you, it's essential to consider your interests. Some travellers may enjoy the more leisurely pace of Europe’s Rhône, Seine, Dordogne, or Gironde rivers, which offer a relaxed atmosphere with access to some of France’s finest locales. Those seeking a more educational experience should consider the Danube or Elbe Rivers; these provide numerous opportunities to explore iconic castles, famous landmarks, and religious sites across Germany and the Czech Republic.


For those who prefer something unusual, Egyptian cruises along the Nile provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore majestic pyramids in a dramatic desert oasis. And lastly, Portugal’s Douro River provides guests with hidden gems and chances for exploration.


If you can identify your priorities before selecting a cruise, you can pick one tailored to your interests.


5. Budget and Pricing

Regarding pricing, Viking River Cruises offer a range of options depending on the itinerary, season of travel, and cabin type. Before booking your cruise, consider additional expenses such as excursions, gratuities, and onboard purchases that may need to be added to your budget.


When looking for the best deals and discounts on Viking River Cruises, visit their official website to check for available promotions. And for expert advice and insight into current offers, trust local experts like Yaycations specializing in river cruising. We have an exclusive relationship with Viking River Cruises and are always up to date on the latest discounts, promotions, and offers. Let Yaycations work for you, so you get the most out of your dream cruise!


6. Pre- and Post-Cruise Options

In addition to selecting a suitable itinerary based on personal preferences and interests, budget, and time of year, you should consider pre and post-cruise options. Many Viking River Cruises offer land extensions for those who want to explore the cities and countryside that line the rivers before or after their voyage.


These options can be anything from a city tour to a special excursion or an overnight stay in an elegant hotel. They're a great way to maximize your experience and get the most out of your river cruise. Your budget may factor in here as well, however, so be sure to carefully consider how you will river cruise Europe.


At Yaycations, we can create custom-tailored pre and post-cruise options for you, including city tours, special excursions, and an array of gorgeous accommodation options. Whatever your dream trip may be, our travel experts will have you ready to embark on a luxurious river cruise that will have you saying, "YAY!"



Choosing the right Viking River Cruise requires careful consideration of various factors. Once you determine your budget, timeframe, and interests, you can narrow down the choices. Pay attention to pre and post-cruise options, as well.


If you need help or advice, contact us and let us answer all your questions. We love talking about river cruises and can help you find the perfect itinerary for your trip!


Bon Voyage.


Want to learn more about river cruising? Check out this article Discover The Most Unforgettable River Cruises Not in Europe


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