Between seasonal events, weather, and discounts, deciding where to go and when can be tricky. Consider this your definitive cheat sheet.
The Nile at New Year's
Start the year off right sailing a traditional felucca down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor. The cruise focuses on archaeological wonders like the Philae Temple (gct.com, 15 days from $2,095).
Tulip season in Holland and Belgium
Explore the medieval city of Brugge, stop and smell the 7 million flowers blooming at Keukenhof Gardens, and snap shots of 16th-century windmills—on the canals from Amsterdam to Antwerp (uniworld.com, 10 days from $2,243).
Dry season on the Mekong
Cruise past floating village markets, dense jungles, and 12th-century temples from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (amawaterways.com, seven days from $1,599).
Summer on the Yangtze
Wind past the 4,000-foot-high walls of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze in early June, when the heat isn't yet scorching, reservations are easy to snag, and fares are reduced (victoriacruises, eight days from $1,260).
Autumn wine cruises
Sip Beaujolais in France or Riesling in Germany (paired with local artisinal cheeses), visit wineries, and watch the foliage change along the Rhine (avalonwaterways.com, 10 days from $3,569).
Hoist steins with 6 million beer-obsessed revelers from around the world in Munich; then retreat to your cabin and private balcony for a cruise from Nürnburg to Amsterdam (amawaterways.com, 11 days from $2,832).
Sample brandy-filled chocolates and shop for handicrafts at traditional markets in Budapest and Vienna on a Danube River holiday cruise (vikingrivercruises.com, 10 days from $1,622).