Are you looking for river cruise inspiration? 

Here are some of our favourite destinations...

River Cruise Inspiration

From the Danube to the Moselle, and the Rhine to the Rhône; Europe is rich with beautiful waterways waiting to be explored and enjoyed. We’re all absolutely spoiled for choice when selecting a river to navigate for our next wonderful getaway – with the continent’s waterways flowing through stunning scenery and beautiful cities.
The continent’s beautiful waterways are wonderfully varied, offering a huge selection of different experiences. From Renaissance cities to peaceful regions barely touched by man, Europe’s waterways can take us on an endless number of journeys and adventures. We are truly blessed to have such incredible experiences on our doorstep, but it can make choosing your next river cruise that little bit harder.

If you’re finding yourself flip-flopping between different cruises and rivers before making that all-important decision, we believe we may be able to help. Over the years, our team have collected some truly magnificent photographs from the rivers we navigate – and here are some of our favourites to offer you a little river cruise inspiration. 

Whether you’re inspired by beautiful architecture, the buzz of a city rich with culture or relaxing strolls through lush wine regions; our photo collection can help shine a light on the river cruise which best suits your tastes. And for those of you who may be new to river cruising, our photo gallery demonstrates the array of experiences available when holidaying on Europe’s stunning waterways.

Our River Cruise Inspiration photo gallery is full of wonderful photographs taken by our team, and organised into sub-categories: delightful architecture, culture-rich cities, and relaxing wine regions. Simply click the type of destination and experience you’re favouring, and enjoy the snaps we’ve taken on previous trips.

Delightful Architecture

Do you enjoy exploring the wonderful architectural delights of Europe, detailing the evolution of the continent through different styles and designs? The banks of the major waterways in Europe are home to an abundance of ancient cities and settlements, whose position was chosen due to the huge selection of advantages brought by positioning close to waterways. 

Melk Abbey, Melk

The old Benedictine abbey perched above the Austrian city of Melk is one of Europe’s proudest pieces of Baroque architecture. With a history dating back to the 11th century, the abbey provides wonderful insight into the life of Monks in Europe during the middle ages. Visit Melk Abbey and you’ll be able to explore the old halls and ornate rooms, rich with ancient manuscripts and works of art.
Visit Melk Abbey as part of our Splendours of Europe itinerary.


Although the canals are often seen as the headline act in Amsterdam, the city is awash with architectural splendour. Homes and businesses are charmingly stacked alongside one another – all seemingly added at odd angles, some even protruding into the streets. However, the forward lean of the houses was useful when winching goods to the upper floors, so the residents didn’t have to navigate the narrow staircases when moving furniture in or out. There are few houses which are alike in central Amsterdam, so a walk through the streets offers up endless architectural delights.
Visit Amsterdam as part of our Splendours of Europe itinerary.

Palais des Papes, Avignon

Recognised as one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic structures in the entire continent, the Palais des Papes was the home of the Pope during the 14th century. The palace dominates the skyline of the ancient walled-commune of Avignon, in south-eastern France.
Visit Avignon as part of our Sensations of Lyon and Provence itinerary.

Culture-Rich Cities

Europe is blessed with a diverse collection of beautiful, ancient cities rich in culture and intrigue. The Danube, in particular, provides passage to a number of these cultural cities – making a river cruise the perfect way to explore these incredible sites of significance.  


A central figure in the great Renaissance era, Vienna is full of cultural intrigue. It’s hard to turn a corner in the Austrian capital without happening upon a palace, famous music venue or time-honoured haunt of Mozart or Beethoven. With more than 100 art museums, the world’s oldest zoo and an abundance of esteemed Viennese cafés, there’s no end of things to see and do in Vienna.
Visit Vienna as part of our Danube Explorer itinerary.


The old Hungarian capital has had a long love affair with the Danube, with many of Budapest’s highlights sitting proudly on the banks of the great waterway. This makes a river cruise the perfect way to get to the very heart of the city, and explore Budapest’s finest sites. Budapest’s undoubted highlight is the Hungarian Parliament building, a truly awe-inspiring spectacle on the bank of the Danube.
Visit Budapest as part of our Danube Delights river cruise.


If you’re looking for a little culinary culture, Lyon is the place to visit. Recognised as the food capital of the continent, the city is rich with amazing eateries where some of the world’s finest chefs serve up incredible dishes combining delicate French flavours with modern techniques. But the delights don’t end at the dinner table, Lyon has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the city’s architectural triumph and historical significance.
Explore Lyon as part of the Sensations of Lyon and Provence itinerary.  

Relaxing Wine Regions

Or if you’d rather escape the hustle and bustle of the cities and enjoy mile-after-mile of serene scenery and the finest vintages Europe has to offer – why not explore the stunning wine regions dotted throughout the continent.

Douro Valley, Portugal

Emptying into the sea when she reaches Portugal’s second city, Porto; the Douro benefits from a long stretch winding between beautiful vineyards. Producing Portugal’s famed port wine, the Douro region possesses a slow and idyllic pace of life – with vineyards and winemakers welcoming guests to learn how their delightful vintages are produced (and taste test the wines, of course). 
Explore the wonderful Douro valley with the Secrets of the Douro river cruise.

The Moselle, Germany

A tributary of the Rhine, the Moselle’s German stretch is regarded as one of the country’s most beautiful river valleys. Winding between the cities of Koblenz and Trier, the Moselle is banked by terraced vineyards growing the world’s favourite Riesling grapes – used for the region’s popular white wines. When sailing atop the Moselle, take time out to enjoy the local wine produce – routinely voted amongst the top three white wine varieties in the world.
Visit the Moselle region on the Legendary Rhine & Moselle itinerary.

Rhone Valley, France

Few countries have a winemaking prestige to match France, and the Rhône Valley is amongst the nation’s finest wine growing regions. The village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is renowned around the world for producing exceptional vintages, creating more than 110,000 hectolitres of wine every year. The Mediterranean climate of the south of France provides the perfect setting to enjoy a glass or two of the local fare whilst relaxing on your private Emerald Waterways balcony.
Navigate the Rhône on the Sensations of Lyon and Provence river cruise. 
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