Taking a voyage through one of Germany’s scenic rivers is always worth it. These river cruises take travelers to many of the best spots that the country has to offer. Germany’s rivers all offer a distinct experience that guests will remember for a lifetime. Visitors will have the chance to immerse themselves in Bavarian culture, explore Germany’s bustling metropolises, and sightsee with the beautiful nature lining the country’s waterways.
Voyages on Germany's most popular rivers
River voyages in Germany will often travel the country’s major waterways. Travelers most often choose between cruises on the Danube, Rhine, or Main rivers. The three rivers are some of the most popular cruise routes in Europe.
Germany's Danube River
The Danube River is the second longest river on the continent. It’s arguably the most common European river cruise route. The river offers a plethora of destinations -- cities, villages, and nature -- that travelers can plan their cruises around. Since the river is over 1,700 miles long, voyagers will get to choose between a variety of countries along the Danube River. It originates in Germany, but travels through or near Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and a number of other countries along the way.
Germany's Rhine River
Germany’s Rhine River isn’t quite as long as the Danube, but definitely holds its own with what it offers cruisers. The majority of the river is found in Germany, but it finds its beginnings in Switzerland. The Rhine eventually spills out into near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The area in Germany to the river’s west is known fondly as the Rhineland. It’s an agriculture-rich region with plenty of wineries -- including the Moselle River Valley, another popular river cruise route.
Germany's Main River
The Main River is actually a tributary of the Rhine, but is a great way to see Germany, being the longest river that lies entirely inside the European country. The river is fast-moving, and its surrounding areas feature lots of history. Travelers will find relaxing river voyages on the Main River, along with an astounding amount of architectural masterpieces.
Cities along Germany’s river cruises
River voyages in Germany travel to and come to port in several different cities. Depending on the city and region, each location is an entirely unique experience. Some cities are more historic, heavy on Bavarian tradition, while others are modern hubs for innovation and commerce. Here, we’ve listed some of our favorite cities visited by German river cruises and some of the best things to see in each of them.
- Nuremberg. The city of Nuremberg along the Danube is a bustling place proud of its involvement in the arts. There’s plenty of history too, as it was home to famous Nuremberg Trials after World War II. Travelers can still visit the spot where Nazis were tried for war crimes, and it even has a museum now. The Nuremberg Opera House is an excellent place to catch a ballet or concert while in the city. Overall, Nuremberg river voyages offer plenty to do in a lively, yet historic, city that’s a pleasure to explore.
- Munich. Munich, Germany is another city with lots of history. It’s currently one of the most livable cities in the world, and its population enjoys a very high standard of living. It’s a place full of innovation, attracting the likes of BMW and other industries. Munich river voyages bring travelers to tons of museums and famous architecture, and history. The town square Marienplatz has been around since the 12th century. Marienplatz is a great place to visit for its market, shopping, food, and entertainment. Munich is an exciting and diverse city that still has lots of tradition, and is a great stop along Rhine River cruises or Danube River voyages.
- Frankfurt. The Main River runs right through Frankfurt, another of Germany’s largest cities. Frankfurt is a modern hub for commerce, home to several financial centers. A large percentage of its population is made up of immigrants, ensuring a diverse and colorful city that’s interesting to explore. Frankfurt river cruise travelers will find all kinds of great food, museums, and the tallest buildings in Germany. The Museumsufer district is a place that can’t be missed, home to several museums right on the Main. Römerberg is a town square in the city surrounded by medieval buildings, where visitors can shop, eat, and be entertained by street performers. Frankfurt is a great German city to explore, and is an exciting stop on the fairly calm, rural Main River.
Preparing for a German river cruise
Planning a river trip through scenic Germany is most definitely worth it. The climate is usually pleasant and temperate, with mild summers and winters. Like much of Europe, it's best to always have an umbrella handy. Though a little chillier, visiting during October or December makes for a great time. Germany goes all out for Oktoberfest and Christmas, both of which make for great visits.
Traveling Germany by way of river voyage is the way to go, since you’ll be guided to the best spots and always have a nice place to rest overnight. Luxurious cruise ships take visitors on all of Germany’s major rivers, offering them the choice of what they’ll experience. It’s a fantastic country to visit, made even better with a German river cruise.
German River Cruise Gallery