11 Best River Cruise Itineraries to Book in 2023 and 2024

These stunning river cruises will whisk you away to Vietnam, Egypt, Colombia, and more.
11 Best River Cruise Itineraries to Book in 2023 and 2024

The best river cruises have always had a mystique to draw travelers in—even those who are new to cruising. For history buffs, they could be an excellent way to visit ancient sites or historical landmarks. For those that love the outdoors, river journeys are a way to experience the natural landscape of the dream destinations. This year, the river cruise market has been anticipating more travel, so consider booking these once-in-a-lifetime voyages as early as you can. 

Here, we’ve highlighted 11 of the most exciting river cruise itineraries to book for this year and next—from Amazonian expeditions to kid-friendly European voyages, these cruises have something for every kind of traveler.

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Colombia's Magdalena River with Amawaterways

Amawaterways is now accepting reservations for its highly anticipated cruises on Colombia's Magdalena River departing from both Cartagena and Barranquilla in 2024. Both seven-day itineraries explore Colombia's rich musical and cultural history, along with a chance to experience the country's natural wonders and local cuisine. Amawaterways is the first major river cruise line to highlight Colombia’s beauty with these types of voyages. Ship amenities are plentiful, as both vessels feature staterooms with balconies, a main restaurant, a fitness center with three spa treatment rooms, and a sun deck with a relaxing whirlpool.

Family river cruises on the Danube and Rhine with Emerald

Emerald is opening up two of its Europe river itineraries to younger guests, with kid-friendly menus and exciting onboard activities such as video games, movies, and tournaments. Children must be 10 years old or older to take part in Emerald’s kid-friendly voyages. Both itineraries have been modified and feature destinations the whole family can enjoy. The Danube Explorer includes stops in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. While the Jewels of the Rhine explores the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland.

Mississippi River Cruises with Viking

Float down the mighty Mississippi with Viking's first U.S. voyages. Featuring five different itineraries with stops in New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Paul, you’ll explore the French Quarter, enjoy authentic Memphis barbecue, and get an up-close look at America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Viking is offering special fares, reduced airfare and a$25 deposit on select voyages.

Black history and culture in France with Amawaterways

During Amawaterways' Black History cruise, guests aboard the AmaKristina will sail through the South of France along the Rhone River. The journey from Arles to Lyon will include stops in Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, and Vienne. After arriving in Lyon, passengers will stay in Paris for an exclusive guided tour showcasing jazz, food, and wine, all while shining a light on Black heritage.

Amazon River voyages with Seabourn

Journeying through the Amazon's small channel of the Boca dos Botos, Seabourn's expedition team, will immerse you in the region's one-of-a-kind ecosystem. The three itineraries are broken up into regions: Flooded Forests and Blackwater Tributaries; The Frontier Amazon; and The Peruvian Amazon. Each major region exemplifies a new, unique environment that differs from the next. Take in the natural beauty of the flora and fauna as you share space with sloths, howler monkeys, and more. 

Christmas markets in Europe with Scenic

Scenic Cruises is amping up the holiday cheer with six itineraries this November and December. Each city will showcase a unique Christmas experience as you stop in Amsterdam, Munich, Paris, and Prague, just to name a few of the festive ports in store. It will be a holiday like no other as you dock at quaint riverside villages aglow in fairy lights. Walk over the cobblestones with mulled wine in hand while you browse handmade goods and enjoy festive treats and age-old traditions.

Viking's Nile River Cruises

Follow the footsteps of the ancient Egyptians with Viking's voyages down the Nile. Delve into the history of those that called Cairo home, built the Pyramids, and looked upon the great Sphinx. With stops in Luxor, Quena, and Esna before docking in Aswan—it’s a timeless voyage you won’t want to miss. As part of Viking’s anniversary sale, a $25 deposit is applicable for this booking. 

India’s Golden Triangle aboard Uniworld

Immerse yourself in India’s “Golden Triangle”—Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra. The 10-day itinerary features visits to the Taj Mahal, Rajbari temple complex, and Mother Teresea’s home. While en route, you’ll enjoy meals created with fresh ingredients, take part in welcome and farewell gala dinners, and have complimentary house wine, local spirits and beer, soft drinks, and tea served throughout your voyage. 

Portugal's Douro River with Scenic 

Experience the past and present of Portugal as you travel through the Douro River Valley. The river flows from Spain to the Northern Portuguese countryside, which is known for its wine production. Five different tours are being offered with stops in Lisbon, Porto, Madrid, and Salamanca. Passengers will have the chance to explore charming villages, see the Palace Duques de Bragança, kayak along the Pinhão River, and sample delicacies of the region. Plus, every stateroom aboard Scenic's ship comes with private butler service to ensure the journey is truly stress free.

Aqua Expeditions Mekong River cruise

Along with visits to bustling cities like Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, Aqua Expeditions' Mekong River cruises also visits serene ports in the countryside. Imagine kayaking to floating villages, watching silk weavers at work, and biking to village markets. Beyond the beautiful sights in Cambodia and Vietnam, the ship, Aqua Mekong, is a marvel in itself. The vessel has 20 suites that feature full-length windows and onboard amenities include a cinema, top deck plunge pool, and sun deck with lounge chairs and cabanas. If you book a river cruise between now and 2025, you can receive 30 percent off your voyage.