These New Epic 7-Week River Cruises Sail Through More Than a Dozen Countries in Europe (and Beyond)

Passengers on these weeks-long river journeys will float to and through myriad UNESCO World Heritage sites and European cities—and even travel across continents.

Danube River, Romania

Visit lesser-known stretches of the Danube River in Romania.

Photo by Balate Dorin/Shutterstock

If you like the idea of spending weeks floating along the inland waterways of Europe, exploring cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, and Budapest from the comfort of a small ship, river cruise line AmaWaterways has you covered. If you want to combine weeks of sailing the rivers of Europe with an epic Nile River adventure, that’s an option, too, courtesy of luxury river cruise line Uniworld.

AmaWaterways recently unveiled a new 49-night “Seven River Journeys” itinerary that will sail the complete length of the Rhine and Danube rivers, including the less-visited Danube Delta region in Romania, which leads to the Black Sea. The cruise will visit 15 countries between the North Sea and the Black Sea—the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova.

The seven-week-long journey, which will set sail in 2024, will be the longest in the company’s history, breaking the previous record of 46 nights in 2023. And for the first time the entire length of the blockbuster itinerary will take place on a single ship, the 156-passenger AmaMora; multi-river cruises offered by AmaWaterways typically involve sailing on more than one river cruise ship.

AmaMora features cabins and suites with balconies, a top deck pool with swim-up bar, and dining options that include the Chef’s Table, an intimate chef-led dinner experience.

Rhine River, spring

Sailing past terraced vineyards along the Rhine River.

Photo by Benny Marty/Shutterstock

There are two departure choices, in spring and summer 2024; they are priced from $25,650 per person in spring and from $26,600 per person in summer. The springtime cruise embarks on April 22, 2024, in Amsterdam, and concludes on June 10, 2024, in Giurgiu, Romania. Bonus feature: Flowers should be in full bloom along the Rhine, Scheldt, Maas, Waal, Main, Moselle and Danube (including along the Main-Danube Canal) during the springtime sailing. The summer cruise is the reverse journey, embarking on June 10, 2024.

AmaWaterways is also offering slightly shorter versions of the weeks-long cruises in 2023, which will sail on a combination of three of its ships. The 45-night “Springtime Edition Seven River Journeys” cruise will sail to 14 European countries and 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites along the Danube, Rhône, Rhine, Main, Moselle, Scheldt, and Maas. Passengers will have the chance to explore the cities of Lyon in France, Vienna, Budapest, and Amsterdam, among many others.

The three ships will be the 156-passenger AmaKristina (a sister ship of AmaMora), which passengers will embark in Avignon, France, on April 20, 2023. After that they will board the 162-passenger AmaCerto in Basel, Switzerland, before transferring to the 196-passenger, extra-wide AmaMagna for 14 nights. The AmaMagna is the flagship vessel of the AmaWaterways fleet, with five bars, four restaurants, and a Zen Wellness Studio. The cruise concludes in Giurgiu, Romania, on June 4, 2023.

A 46-night summertime river cruise extravaganza will embark in Paris on June 1, 2023, after which it will sail the Seine, Saône, Rhône, Rhine, Main, Moselle, and Danube rivers, concluding in Giurgiu, Romania—a journey through 14 countries on four river cruise ships. These two cruises have proved so popular that the company added a third 46-night fall foliage cruise embarking in Paris on August 24, 2023, and sailing to 14 countries along the Seine, Scheldt, Mass, Rhine, Main, Moselle, and Danube to Giurgiu, on three ships.

Uniworld’s “Rivers of the World” itineraries combine river cruises across continents

Not to be outdone, luxury river cruise line Uniworld is upping the ante for its seven-week river cruises, having recently revealed the details of its first-ever 46-night “Rivers of the World” cruise. Passengers on the itinerary will travel from Cairo to Lisbon, touching on two continents and nine countries as they explore Egypt, the Mediterranean, Swiss Alps, central Europe, and northern France. Flights between the countries and some luxury hotel stays, such as in Cairo, are included. The epic journey will begin on May 20, 2023, with fares starting at $39,000 per person,

Nile River, Uniworld, S.S. Sphinx

Sail the Nile in style on the S.S. Sphinx.

Courtesy of Uniworld

The trip will take place on five different river cruise ships starting with the 84-passenger S.S. Sphinx on the Nile. Guests will also sail on the 126-passenger S.S. La Venezia, a ship that cruises the Po River from Venice complete with extravagant Italian decor, Fortuny fabrics, and Murano glass. Through Austria, Hungary, and Germany on the Danube, the ship will be the 150-passenger S.S. Maria Theresa, with opulent baroque-inspired interiors in honor of its namesake, the Archduchess of Austria, who ruled the House of Hapsburg from 1740 to 1780.

Guests will also sail the S.S. Joie de Vivre through France, a vessel inspired by 20th-century Parisian design, for a week on the Seine before popping over to Portugal for a sail along the Douro River aboard the 100-passenger S.S. São Gabriel, which debuted in 2021.

Included in the cruise fare are intercountry flights and hotel stays. Highlights of the trip include welcome and farewell special events; a side trip to see the Nubian monuments in Abu Simbel, Egypt; a lakeside stay in Lugano, Switzerland; a tour of Milan; VIP access to the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna; a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris; and visiting Sintra with its palaces and charming oceanfront Cascais from Lisbon.

Amazon, Uniworld

Sail through the Amazon rain forest before heading to Europe and Southeast Asia on Uniworld’s 2024 “Rivers of the World” journey.

Courtesy of Uniworld

Uniworld will then top itself—and claim the title of offering the world’s longest river cruise—in 2024, with a 54-night itinerary. The line opened a waiting list for the nearly eight-week itinerary that starts in Lima, Peru, and ends in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The trip is limited to 68 passengers and will kick off on October 3, 2024. It will explore 10 countries across South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Cruises will take place on four river cruise vessels that will sail the Amazon, Rhine, Danube, Rhône, Saône, and Mekong. The journey includes overnight hotel stays in Lima, Peru’s Sacred Valley (as a base for visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu), near Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, and in Rio de Janeiro, as well as in Hanoi, Siem Reap, Cambodia, and Ho Chi Minh City. Flights between the destinations will also be included. Pricing has not yet been disclosed.

Fran Golden covers cruises for AFAR.
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