The age-old question – when is the best time of year to go on a river cruise? The best part is that you can pick a river cruise with Avalon Waterways for practically every month of the year.  

See a sea of colour: April – June 

Video by @visitkeukenhof on Instagram

April heralds the start of warmer months in the Northern Hemisphere as springtime begins. What instantly comes to mind is flora and fauna in bloom – particularly at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands. Over 7 million flower bulbs are planted each year over 70 acres in anticipation of spring when they all turn into a glorious sea of colour. Keukenhof only opens its doors to the public for approximately two months each year, so it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

Which river cruise should I pick?  

Tulip Time Cruise 

On this 8-day round trip from Amsterdam, you’ll experience the Netherlands and Belgium in their spring finest. Our top highlight (apart from an excursion to Keukenhof Gardens!) is exploring Ghent, known as ‘The Diamond of Flanders’. Its unique Flemish roots are found in churches, streets and buildings. 

Dive into summer: July – September 

Hello, European summer! Whilst this time of year brings many travellers, it also lends itself to a vibrant atmosphere in every new port you arrive in – especially in France! From the lavender fields in Provence to the bright lights of Paris, France certainly comes alive in summer. Hot days are also perfect for taking advantage of your Open-Air Balcony in Avalon’s industry-only Panorama Suites. Watch the world pass you by as you sail along the Rhône, Saône or Seine.  

Which river cruise should I pick? 

Active & Discovery on the Rhône 

Carrieres de Lumieres

Sail between Lyon and Arles to experience the South of France on a river cruise like no other. Our top highlight is a guided hike in the Val d’Enfer (the Valley of Hell) followed by a magical audio/video experience at the Carrières de Lumières in a disused quarry.  

Join the festive spirit: October – December 

Nuremberg Christmas market
Photo by @agirlastyle on Instagram

As we wind down to the end of the year, central Europe starts to come alive with the festive season on its doorstep in late November and December. Each port holds a Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) just waiting for you to discover! Filled with charming stalls selling tasty local specialties, souvenirs and presents to take home, you can then return to your Suite Ship to warm up.  

Which river cruise should I pick?  

Christmastime from Basel to Vienna 

Enjoy 16 days sailing in relaxed luxury from Basel to Vienna, ticking off some of central Europe’s best-dressed Christmas markets – including Nuremberg, one of Europe’s oldest. Our top highlight is wine tasting in Breisach, Germany. Visit a local family-owned-and-run winery to learn about how Germans produce their wine varietals, complete with a tasting.  

Go beyond the ordinary: January – March  

January to March presents itself as an opportune time to go beyond the ordinary with your river cruise. Think the Amazon, Mekong or Nile Rivers! While Europe is often associated with river cruising, don’t look past our itineraries in South America, Egypt and Vietnam and Cambodia. 

Which river cruise should I pick? 

Taste of Egypt 

Video by @oceandreamstravel on Instagram

Join us on a 10-day adventure to ancient Egypt, complete with all the comforts and modern enjoyments on a Nile River cruise. Our top highlight is seeing 63 royal tombs first-hand in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, found on the west bank of the Nile. This is where Tutankhamun’s tomb was first discovered in 1922!  

There really is no best time of year to go on a river cruise; it all depends on where you want to go, what you want to see and when you can go! Avalon Waterways have a wide range of options year-round which makes it easy for our guests to pick. Take a look at our website today.  

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