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The 10 Best River Cruises in the World for Luxury Vacation 2022

The 10 best luxury river cruises in the world for vacation 2022, including summer cruise itineraries in France, Portugal, Germany, and more.

Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of the 10 best river cruises in the world for a luxury vacation in 2022, including summer cruise itineraries in France, Portugal, Germany, and more.

where’s the best place for a luxury river cruise right now?

Ready for your summer vacation? Why not try a luxury river cruise? Travel is supposed to be relaxing, but more often than not, it becomes its own part-time job. Figuring out where to go, where to stay, how to get there, and what you’ll do along the way – it can be exhausting.

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Well, with a river cruise, all of that is taken care of. Sink into the comfort of a luxurious ship and let someone else do the planning. If you put yourself in the capable hands of one of these ten summer voyages, you can feel confident that you are in for an unforgettable experience.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

The best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

10 best places in the world for a luxury vacation river cruise in 2022

1. Delightful Douro from Adventure Life

This eight-day trip aboard the luxurious Scenic Azure has got to be one of the most “delightful” river cruises of the summer. The journey starts and ends in Porto, Portugal, and in between? Eight glorious days and nights exploring the hidden jewels of the Douro Valley.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

The best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. The Douro River, Porto, Portugal.

Cultural highlights include the Douro Museum, the Côa Valley Museum, the stunning Baroque architecture of Lamego, and a visit to the beautiful town of Salamanca. With a small boat (only 96 passengers!) and a relaxed itinerary, you’ll have ample opportunity to unwind. And as for the Scenic Azure itself, well – the luxurious cabins are spread across four decks, and nearly all include a private sun deck for optimal relaxation. You can also enjoy entertainment rooms, social lounges, and many dining options. From $4,595.

2. Danube Waltz from Viking River Cruises

Eight days. Four countries. A summer’s worth of memories. This incredible river cruise kicks off in Budapest, then makes its way to Slovakia, Austria, and Germany.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

The best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. The Danube River in Budapest.

You’ll be able to experience stunning architecture and scenery, delicious Austro-Hungarian cuisine, and special once-in-a-lifetime activities like the famous Budapest thermal baths and a Viennese dance class. The Danube ships are award-winning, housing only 188 passengers. There are exceptional views, deluxe accommodations, and even hybrid engines. Take a virtual tour of the vessel online. From $2,799.

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3. Magic in Iceland from Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Hop from aboard the Seven Seas Splendor for an epic eighteen-day adventure – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, and of course, Iceland. With a trip like this one, you’ll have the chance to dig in deep, and get to know these places in a more intimate way.

The best places in the world for a luxury summer river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. The Faroe Islands.

Shore excursions include everything from hikes and waterfalls, to whale watching and baths in the blue lagoon. And that’s not to mention the food, shopping, and cultural immersion. And there is never a dull moment aboard the Seven Seas Splendor, as it boasts a casino, karaoke, nightly cabarets, trivia, bocce ball, shuffleboard, boutiques, and of course a spa and fitness center. From $15,999.

4. 10 Night Greece Intensive Voyage from Azamara

Many river cruises offer a kind of cultural buffet. A whirlwind survey of so many beautiful places, you may need to look back at your photos to remember what happened where. Well, if that’s not what you feel like doing this summer, how about a ten-day intensive trip in one place? And if we had to pick any one place to sink our teeth into in just that way, then we, like Azamara, would pick Greece.

The best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. Mykonos.

 

Anchoring in nine ports across the country, you’ll get to explore Athens, Kavala, Thessaloniki, Volos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Chania, and the Turkish city of Marmaris. Every day will be jam-packed with the centuries’ worth of splendor – everything from ancient ruins and monasteries, to beaches, wineries, and museums. There are 51 possible shore excursions. Of course, you may have trouble pulling yourself away from the ship, where there’s first-class cuisine, a spa and fitness center, enrichment programs and classes, full-stage musical revues, and more. From $2699.

5. Reykjavik to Dublin from Silversea

Twelve days on this Scottish Island Cruise – twelve memories you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. You’ll visit twenty ports in four countries, with excursions in St. Kilda, Isle of Skye, the Faroe Islands, and many other stunning locations. Silversea promises “more than a little magic,” and with destinations like these, we believe them.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. Isle of Skye, Scotland.

The suites on Silver Cloud are among the most spacious on any cruise ship, and almost all include a private veranda. The ship boasts every amenity you can imagine, including a photo lounge for photographers to retouch, print, and display their work. From $36,000.

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6. The Seine, Paris, and Normandy from Riviera River Cruises

All aboard the Ms Jane Austen, for an eight-day rendezvous through France. With nine visits and guided tours, you’ll have a chance to learn in-depth about the history of each stop – Les Andelys, Rouen, Bayeux, Honfleur, Giverny, Vernon, and of course – Paris.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. Honfleur, France.

And with only 140 guests aboard this luxurious ship, you’ll be able to enjoy a more personal and intimate experience.  From $3299.

7. Jewels of Europe from Scenic Luxury Cruises

Though you may be riding in the Scenic Space-Ship – don’t be fooled. You’ll be sailing along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, all the way from Budapest to Amsterdam.  This fifteen-day expedition is one of the most comprehensive we’ve seen, with stops in Hungary, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

The best places in the world for a luxury summer river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany. Amsterdam.

You’ll see everything from “grand palaces to fairytale castles,” as well as walking tours, meet and greets, and more. And make sure to take full advantage of the Scenic Space-Ship’s many amenities, including butler service, salt therapy, and e-bikes. From $6295.

8. Taste of Bordeaux from AmaWaterways

Calling all wine-lovers! This unique voyage is the one for you. Starting and ending in Bordeaux – France’s famous wine capital – the boat will travel through Libourne, Blaye, Bourg, Pauillac, and Cadillac.

The best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in summer 2022, including France and Germany. Chateau de Saumur in the Loire Valley.

Along with wine tastings and vineyard tours, you’ll also have the opportunity to hike, bike, and set your eyes on some of the region’s most charming chateaus. If you consider yourself a wine person, you won’t find a trip like this anywhere else. From $3,449.

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9. The Rhine & Moselle: Canals, Vineyards, and Castles from Avalon Waterways

Two rivers, three countries, eight magical days. This journey begins in Amsterdam, with a canal cruise through the grachten. You’ll then sail the Rhine River to Cologne, Germany, where you’ll enjoy guided tours, spectacular sightseeing, and yes – ancient castles.

the best places in the world for a luxury river cruise in 2022, including France and Germany.

The village of Cochem on the Moselle River, Germany.

The Moselle River then takes you to the town of Cochem, which is known for their vineyards and, of course, their wine. And last but not least, the trip wraps up in historical Luxembourg City, with an exquisite view of the river valleys. You don’t want to miss this. From $2749.

10. Mystery Cruise from Uniworld

Any daredevils out there? If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, then we suggest booking Uniworld’s Mystery Cruise. That’s right – destination unknown.

The Uniworld “Mystery Cruise.” Courtesy Photo.

Luckily, Uniworld is known for their meticulous curation and their luxurious ships, so you know you’re in good hands. We can’t imagine a better grand finale for the summer. Sign up for this September. From $7,299.

best places in the world for a luxury vacation river cruise in 2022

That’s our take on the the 10 best luxury river cruises in the world for a perfect vacation in 2022, including summer cruise itineraries in France, Portugal, Germany, and more. Happy travels, dear reader!

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in m

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