A Photo Tour of the World's Best River Cruises

With bookings up over 200 percent in the past decade, river cruising has never been bigger, especially along the old-country routes of Europe. Here's a look at the most popular routes.

  1. The Rhine River: Fairy-tale castles, picturesque towns (like Germany's Bacharach, above), and a Black Forest setting straight out of the Brothers Grimm.

  2. The Rhine River: The source of the river, Tomasee lake, in Grisons, Switzerland.

    (Courtesy Capricorn4049/Wikimedia Commons)
  3. The Elbe River: Rugged cliffs and sandstone formations, flecked with baroque cities and wine villages.

  4. The Elbe River: The fortress Königstein in Saxony.

    (Maria Teresa Weinmann/
  5. The Volga River: Multicolored, onion-dome cathedrals (like this temple in the city of Uglich) and ornate palaces fit for a czar.

  6. The Volga River: A flooded bell tower in Kalyazin, Russia.

  7. The Dnieper River: Tranquil Ukrainian countryside, dotted with birch and pine forests, that gives way to the elegant gold domes of Kiev (above).

    (Natalia Bratslavsky/
  8. The Dnieper River: Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine.

    (Courtesy Dmitry A. Mottl/Wikimedia Commons)
  9. The Danube River: Stretching from the BlackForest to the Black Sea, it's the grande dame of rivers, seen here at the Iron Gates gorge between Romania and Serbia.

    (Courtesy Cornelius Bechtler/Wikimedia Commons)
  10. The Danube River: The Chain Bridge in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

  11. The Rhone River: Food lovers’ territory, through the wine regions of Burgundy, the lavender fields of Provence, and the culinary capital of Lyon.

  12. The Rhone River: Lavender fields and vineyards in France's Rhone-Alpes region.

    (Richard Semik/
  13. The Douro River: The terraced vineyards of the world's oldest demarcated wine country (above), where Portugal's sweet, sticky port is made.

    (Nuno Leitão/
  14. The Douro River: Port wine vineyards in Portugal's Douro region.

    (António Jorge Da Silva Nunes/
  15. The Seine River: The City of Light (above, as viewed from the Eiffel Tower) and the serene Normandy landscapes that inspired Monet.

    (Alex Zarubin/
  16. The Seine River: The riverside town of Samois-sur-Seine, France.

    (Courtesy Myrabella/Wikimedia Commons)

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