With the Rhone, Rhine, Seine, Thames, Danube, and more, Europe isn’t short on iconic rivers. Centuries ago, these rivers were the lifeblood of early European civilizations and remain important and iconic to this day, attracting millions of visitors from all over the globe. One of the top ways to experience European rivers and the various towns and cities that line their banks is to take a European river cruise. With lines like Viking River Cruises and Avalon Waterways offering a whole host of different cruises along major rivers throughout Europe, there’s never been a better time to enjoy these journeys with your friends and family. See below for details on a few of the best European river cruises.

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- Viking River Cruises - 7 Night Lyon & Provence Northbound - Viking Delling

The Rhone is one of the most significant rivers in Europe and also one of the largest. Stretching out from Switzerland through France and into the Mediterranean Sea, this river was once a very important trade and transportation route for France and remains a wonderful waterway to explore on a European river cruise. This '7 Night Lyon & Provence Northbound' cruise from Viking River Cruises offers a great way to experience the beauty of this amazing river and explore some key locations along its banks. Various room types are available and the cruise runs many times per year on various dates, so you can get a good deal if you shop around and check out various price comparison sites for cruises.

This river cruise takes place on the Viking Delling, one of Viking's wonderful Longships named in honor of the god of dawn. The Delling is a great ship with beautiful rooms and plenty of nice amenities like a spacious sun deck, the Viking Lounge and Bar, a super restaurant with glass walls for amazing views all around, speedy Wi-Fi, laundry machins, a library, a shop, and more.

The '7 Night Lyon & Provence Northbound' cruise sets off from Avignon in France and visits several key cities along the course of its journey. The first stop is at Arles, a city best-known for inspiring the legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh. Next, you'll spend some time at Viviers, home to a beautiful cathedral and some amazing historic monuments. The third stop will be Tournon, another attractive historic town surrounded by vineyards and beautiful scenery. Finally, you'll visit the city of Lyon, home to some of the best food and markets in all of France, along with many great shops, museums, galleries, and more.

- Avalon Waterways - 4 Night Christmastime in Alsace & Germany - Avalon Visionary

For a European river cruise with an extra special festive touch, choose the '4 Night Christmastime in Alsace & Germany' from Avalon Waterways. This Christmas only runs at the end of the year during the holiday season, letting you and your fellow passengers really get in the Christmas spirit by visiting some beautiful locations around Alsace and Germany and stop off at a bunch of different Christmas markets along the way.

For this cruise, you'll be traveling on the Avalon Visionary. A beautiful designed with intimacy and comfort in mind, the Visionary features two decks of stunning suites with huge windows to let you look out onto the water and the scenery as you travel along the rivers of Europe. The suites on this vessel measure up at 200 square feet, so there's plenty of room to stretch out and not feel cramped or crowded. You'll also find plenty of amenities on board including an exercise area, reliable internet access, lounges, great food at the Sky Bistro, and more.

The '4 Night Christmastime in Alsace & Germany' cruise sets off from Zurich, Switzerland and lets you enjoy all the seasonal fun of some of the most Christmas-loving locations in Europe. Your first stop will be at the historic town of Breisach in Germany. Next, you'll head over to France to stop off at Strasbourg in the Alsace region, home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world and some lovely old medieval buildings too. Your third stop will be the German town of Heidelberg on the Neckar River, home to an 18th century bridge and a 16th century castle. Finally, your journey will end in the city of Frankfurt, where more Christmas fun and experiences can be enjoyed.

- Viking River Cruises - 7 Night Danube Waltz Eastbound - Viking Vilhjalm

The Danube is another significant river in Europe which has been a major trade and transportation route going back hundreds of years. On this '7 Night Danube Waltz Eastbound' cruise from Viking River Cruises, you'll visit some of the top spots along the Danube and see just why and how it played such a big role in the development of several countries.

The '7 Night Danube Waltz Eastbound' cruise takes place on the Viking Vilhjalm. Named after William I Longsword, a Viking chieftain who ruled Normany in the 10th century, this stunning longship features state-of-the-art, beautifully decorated rooms and facilities. You'll find plenty to do and see on board, including a wonderful restaurant, a shop, a library, Wi-Fi access, laundry service, flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies, a super sun deck, multiple lounge areas, a Viking bar, and more.

This European river cruise begins its journey in Passau, Germany, although there is a 'Westbound' variant which starts off in Budapest, Hungary if you'd prefer to go in the other direction. The cruise makes its first stop at Linz in Austria, a stunningly attractive city with some amazing modern and ancient architecture. Next, you'll visit Krems and Melk, also both in Austria, before visiting the Austrian capital city of Vienna, widely classed as one of the most beautiful capital cities on Earth. The Slovakian capital city of Bratislava will be your next stop, before a third and final capital city rounds out the trio as you call at Budapest, Hungary.