The sights and sounds of a Viking River Cruises Europe River Cruise are unparalleled in the cruising world. Frolic in the idyllic countryside of Germany. Walk in serenity through the windmills of the Netherlands. Spend time meeting amazing people and sampling the famous pastries of Paris. Sail the Seine, the romantic Rhine, the Danube, and more. Eccentricities on the Elbe, tapas off the coast of the Douro, all this and more on a Europe river cruise with Viking River Cruises.
Things to Do on an Europe Cruise with Viking River Cruises
Rhine River – Explore the variety of countries and cities that line the Rhine River’s banks. On this Viking Rivers cruise you can learn about cologne in Cologne, you can explore an important castle in Marksburg and see picturesque windmills in The Netherlands.
Windmills (Kinderdijk, The Netherlands)
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinderdijk is filled with windmills which were important for grinding grain and other natural products for decades. Now windmills are important for creating natural wind energy. In this town you’ll have lunch and learn how to play sjoelen, which is Dutch table shuffleboard game. You’ll also sample some Dutch cheeses and juniper liquer.
Tastes and Smells of Cologne (Cologne, Germany)
After touring the city of Cologne you can learn about one of its most famous exports, cologne. The traditionally male perfume is from the city. At the Farina Fragrance Museum you can learn how perfume is made and learn the history of Eau de Cologne. Then if you are looking for a tasty treat, visit the Chocolate Museum to learn about the history of this sweet dessert.
Marksburg (Koblenz, Germany)
Explore Marksburg Castle, which is considered the best preserved castle on the Rhine. Inside the gate you’ll see coats of arms of all the noble families who have lived at the castle. There is a cannon that dates back to 1640 and a garden with 160 plants that were grown during the Middle Ages. More highlights of the castle are the wine cellar and horse stables, where punishments were carried out.
Main River – Uncover the amazing history of Germany as you sail on the Main River with Viking River Cruises. You’ll stop in and tour Bamberg, Heidelberg and Nuremberg, among other German cities.
Nativity Scenes (Bamberg, Germany)
If you are lucky enough to sail through Bamberg during the holiday season you’ll want to explore the “Route of Nativity Scenes.” Throughout the city you can find different depictions of the birth of Jesus. Some of the scenes are depicted using more modern styles, while others are Baroque, and in some the creators have put in subtle references to modern topics.
Tour Heidelberg (Heidelberg, Germany)
Spend a day in Heidelberg, which is home to Germany’s oldest university. The highlight of this experience will be touring the Heidelberg Castle, which dates back to AD 1214. Over the years it has housed royalty and popes. It has also been mentioned by famed writers Victor Hugo and Mark Twain. You’ll also visit the Old Town and have a hearty German lunch in a local café.
World War II History (Nuremberg, Germany)
Explore the shocking history of the Nazi regime on a tour of the Documentation Center Museum in Nuremberg. The museum is located in an area where the Nazi party had many rallies. You’ll learn about how the regime gained power in Germany. You can also visit the Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials took place.
Danube River – The Blue Danube is a wonderful river stretching into Central Europe. On a Viking Rivers Danube River cruise you can see the extensive Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and visit the oldest brewery in the world.
Hungarian History (Budapest, Hungary)
Spend a morning touring the two different sides of the capital of Hungary. You’ll start in Pest where you’ll see the National Opera House, the Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge. On the other side of the bridge you’ll be in Buda, where you’ll be taken in by the beautiful Royal Palace which was at one time under the rule of Turks. You’ll also visit Fishermen’s Bastion and Matthias Church.
Schonbrunn Palace (Vienna, Austria)
Spend an afternoon getting lost in the glorious Schonbrunn Palace, summer home to the Hapsburgs. The 1,441-room residence didn’t become imperial until Maria Theresa was put in charge at the age of 23, after her father Charles VI died unexpectedly. She added beautiful gardens and luxurious furnishings. In the evening, enjoy a concert performance in Vienna, a city known as the home to both Mozart and Beethoven.
Danube Narrows (Regensburg, Germany)
Take a ferryboat to the Danube Narrows where the river is surrounded by 400-foot high chalk cliffs. This amazing scenery is the perfect backdrop for vacation pictures. Then you’ll visit the Weltenburg Abbey, where the monks have been brewing dark ale since 1050. The brewery is thought to be the oldest monastery brewery in the world.
Elbe River – Live the bohemian life as you sail along the Elbe River with Viking River Cruises. Here you can try beer in the Czech Republic, stop in a famed porcelain factory in Germany and explore the life of Martin Luther by visiting his house in Wittenberg.
The Life of Martin Luther (Wittenberg & Torgau)
Explore the life of Martin Luther, who went against the Catholic Church and started the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s. In Wittenberg you’ll visit his house and the church where he preached. You’ll also visit Castle Church where Luther posted his 95 Theses. This document argued against the practice of paying money for absolution of sin.
Porcelain Factory (Meissen, Germany)
Visit the Meissenware factory, which has been producing fine porcelain since the 1700s. On this tour you’ll learn how they make their porcelain by hand and tour a museum that traces the company’s history and most cherished creations. Meissenware was considered a luxury only afforded by the rich. In America, the Vanderbilts were known for their collection.
Bohemian Beer (Litomerice, Czech Republic)
Enjoy a day in Bohemia, a region that encompasses most of the Czech Republic. Litomerice is an idyllic town and you’ll spend the day touring its most beautiful buildings, like the St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Jesuit Church and Market Square. Then you’ll have a tasting of beers made in the region.
Seine River – The lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkle along the calm surface of the Seine River. When cruising the Seine River with Viking River Cruises, you can visit the most visited city in the world, Paris, head to the Normandy coast and stop in Giverny to learn about Monet.
Paris Sights (Paris, France)
Take in the world’s most written about sights on this overview tour of Paris. You’ll see the Orsay Museum, home to many impressionist masterpieces. You’ll see the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with its beautiful stained glass, and drive past the Louvre and Champs-Elysees. Of course your overview of Paris would not be complete without seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower. In the afternoon you can return to your favorite spot to explore more.
Monet’s Majesty (Giverny, France)
Explore the home of Claude Monet, who many consider the father of Impressionism. His home in Giverny is filled with interesting Japanese art and surrounded by a water garden. You’ll instantly recognize the space from some of Monet’s most famous paintings. You’ll see the Japanese bridge and the water lilies, which were the inspiration for many of his masterpieces.
Normandy Beaches (Normandy, France)
Delve deep into your memories and the history of one of America’s most challenging moments when you visit Omaha Beach, where the troops landed on D-Day in WWII. This battle is perhaps the most commemorated of all battles. You will also visit the American Military Cemetery to honor those who fought to free the world from tyranny.
Rhone River – Eat, drink and be merry on your Viking River Cruise in the South of France along the Rhone River. On the way you’ll stop in Burgundy, Arles and Avignon, among other cities.
Viniculture (Burgundy, France)
Discover one of the true treasures of France, the wine region, as you drive through the Burgundy wine route to Beaune, Burgundy’s capital. Here you’ll visit the Hotel Dieu to learn about the local wine culture and growing techniques. Then you’ll get to taste the fruit of their vines and later visit the town’s Musee des Beaux-Arts.
Roman Riches (Arles, France)
Arles is a city that is filled with Roman ruins. Visit sites like Les Arenes, a 20,000 seat arena, and the Church of St. Trophime. The church is believed to have been built as early as the 12th century. Inside you’ll find intricately carved columns and sculptures that depict scenes from the bible.
City of Popes (Avignon, France)
Avignon was home to the papacy from 1309 to 1377. Here you’ll visit the Palace of the Popes, which served as home to seven popes, and uncover the fascinating history that led to the papacy leaving Rome for a period. The Palace includes a fortress and church. Then you can visit the Chateauneuf-du-Pape commune for a taste of the region’s wine.
Douro River – Enjoy the tasty delights of Portugal on a Douro River cruise with Viking Rivers. River cruises along the Douro highlight the region’s natural beauty and natural bounty, port wine. Guests can also learn how to make Pinhoa, a special bread.
A Capital Day (Lisbon, Portugal)
Take in the beautiful sights of Lisbon on a tour that starts at Jeronimos Monastery, which was built in 1459 by Henry the Navigator. Then you’ll visit the Tower of Belem, which was built as a fort to protect the mouth of the Tagus River. Then you’ll ride up the hill to walk around the Bairro Alto to learn about the history of Lisbon and Portugal.
Port Wine (Porto, Portugal)
Learn how port wine is made at a wine making facility in Porto. Port is a wine that is fortified with grape spirit or brandy. In Porto you’ll also visit a quaint fishing village called Foz where you’ll see many summer homes of rich Porto families. You’ll also stroll along the cobblestone streets and beautiful bridges outside the romantic buildings built from the 16th to the 19th century.
Retro Baking (Pinhao, Portugal)
In Pinhao you’ll visit the village of Favaios where you’ll learn about the region’s traditional bread making at a local bakery. Some of the traditional breads are made using meat and olive oil. You’ll also visit a museum devoted to the wine and bread of the region. Then at night you’ll have dinner at Quinta da Avessada, an old winery where you’ll be treated to some of their port.