We frequently get asked the question: “what is the best time of year for a European cruise?” The short answer is that it depends. While the actual river cruising season starts in March and ends around December, the optimal time of year to visit mostly depends on your own preferences. Things like weather, events, foliage, and cities are all factors that make the time of year you choose to cruise important. Depending on the time of year you choose for your European river cruise, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a sunny summer or cozy winter, each with their own great reasons to visit. Read on to learn more about the best times of year to cruise Europe’s rivers.
Best rivers for Spring cruises
Best rivers for Summer cruises
Not limited to Springtime, the Danube offers some of our favorite summertime river cruises. In addition, Douro River cruises through Portugal are at their best this time of year. Regardless of the river, this time of year affords cruisers warm, sunny weather and plenty of time outdoors.
The Danube River, traveling across a very large portion of Europe, visits the great cities of Budapest, Hungary and Bucharest, Romania. These two are especially fun to visit during the summer, when the cities have long days filled with light and beaches are just a hop away.
Along Elbe cruises, you’ll get to see some of Europe’s best Fall foliage while cruising through Germany and the Czech Republic’s tree-lined mountains.
With Fall Seine cruises, you’ll be cruising right into Paris at the perfect time of year. The city’s crowds have usually tapered off somewhat, and the daytime weather tends to hover in the 60s. Along with fewer visitors and inviting weather, September cruisers may catch glimpses of the ever-popular Paris Fashion Week.
Lastly, the city of Munich -- a commonly included excursion on Danube cruises, features it’s world famous Oktoberfest during the month of October. It’s the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the world, seeing approximately 6 million visitors each year.
European river cruise questions?
If you have trouble deciding which time of year is best for you, or just want to learn more about European river cruises, contact one of our cruising experts today. We’ve done it all -- and are excited to share it with you.