The Best Wine River Cruises for Wine Lovers

The best wine in the world is….the wine you likeour Hermitage wine expert pronounced, as we sampled her delicious local produce.
The steady climb through thriving vineyards above the Rhône in anticipation of our wine tasting was worth the energy. We listened to stories about the estate and wine production. Some mouth-watering, fresh bread and cubes of scrumptious, local cheese completed the experience.
If you’re a wine enthusiast and relish the idea of travelling through local wine regions, then a wine river cruise could be perfect for you. Wine river cruises that travel through famous wine producing will normally include a wine tasting and pairings with meals. A themed option will benefit from a focus on wine with more tours and tastings and a dedicated expert onboard.

Here are some of the best European, wine river cruise itineraries:

  1. Bordeaux River Cruise: A cruise along the Garonne and Dordogne Rivers is a perfect way to discover the world-renowned wines of Bordeaux. You’ll visit wineries and vineyards in the famous Médoc, Pomerol, and Saint- Émilion regions, and taste some of the finest wines in the world.
  2. Rhône River Cruise: You’ll travel through the heart of some of France’s most famous wine regions, including the Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A Rhône River cruise will take you through picturesque vineyards and charming wine towns. You’ll have the opportunity to taste the region’s famous wines.
  3. Douro River Cruise: The Douro River in Portugal is known for its excellent port wines. You’ll sail through the heart of the Douro Valley, where you can sample port at some of the region’s oldest and most famous wineries.
  4. Danube River Cruise: The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe, running through some of the continent’s most famous wine regions. A Danube River cruise will take you through Austria’s Wachau Valley, where you can sample the region’s famous Riesling and Grüner Veltliner wines.
  5. Rhine River Cruise: The Rhine River is home to some of Germany’s most famous wine regions, including the Moselle Valley and the Rheingau. A Rhine River cruise will take you through these picturesque wine regions, where you can sample Rieslings and other German wines.
  6. Loire River Cruise: The Loire River in France is known for its excellent white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. A Loire River cruise will take you through the heart of the region, where you can taste these famous wines and discover the region’s rich wine history.

Wine river cruises are a fantastic way to experience the world’s best wine regions. From Bordeaux to the Douro Valley, there are a variety of destinations to choose from, each offering unique wine experiences. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass of wine, a wine river cruise is an unforgettable experience.

River Cruise Line Options

Several river cruise lines offer wine-themed cruises and provide exceptional experiences for wine lovers. Here are some of the best options:
  1. AmaWaterways is known for its exceptional Celebration of Wine River Cruises, with itineraries that focus on the wine regions of Europe. Celebration of Wine River Cruises are hosted by a passionate sommelier who leads tastings and pairings and joins some of the shore excursions to vineyards and cellars. Wines are carefully chosen to accompany delicious culinary treats. On their Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle itinerary, you’ll take a gondola ride high above the vineyards of Rüdesheim before enjoying a local wine tasting.
  1. Avalon Waterways offer specialist Wine Lovers itineraries, and a certified Master of Wine will join the river cruise providing an exclusive wine and dine experience. Wines will be carefully selected to pair with meals and your Master of Wine will share knowledge and experience. Visit local cellars on several itineraries including the Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Rhône and Saône river cruises.
  1. Uniworld offers a range of river cruises that will take guests to some of Europe’s most famous wine regions. Onboard, guests can enjoy wine tastings, pairings, and lectures from wine experts. Uniworld offer a Connoisseur Collection, which provides exclusive access to some of the region’s best wineries. On the Brilliant Bordeaux itinerary, take a picturesque drive through the celebrated Médoc wine route, followed by a wine tasting at a beautiful wine estate.
  1. Scenic offers a range of river cruises that take guests to the wine regions of Europe, including Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, and the Moselle Valley. Onboard, guests can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and culinary classes with local chefs. On their Delightful Douro itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the local Port and to visit Quinta da Aveleda, a 150-year-old wine producer for a fascinating tour and tasting.
  1. Emerald Cruises offers wine-inspired cruises that take guests to the wine regions of Europe, including the Douro Valley, Bordeaux, and the Rhine Valley. Onboard, guests can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and food and wine pairings.
  1. Tauck offer exclusive experiences as you explore Europe’s waterways, from the Seine and the Rhine to the Rhone and the Danube, on their all-inclusive, intimate river journeys. On their Savouring France: Paris, Lyon & Provence itinerary you’ll experience private wine tastings in Beaujolais and Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Tauck pride themselves in offering unique experiences for their guests.
  1. Riverside offer ultra-luxury itineraries on the Danube and the Rhone and Soane with the Rhine to be added. You’ll be treated to some excellent wine pairings with meals. On their Treasures of the Danube itinerary, you’ll have the opportunity to join their Discover Dürnstein and its Wines walking tour, including a visit to a local winery to learn about and taste the wonderful wines this region, known as the Pearl of the Wachau.  This is one of the most picturesque areas along the Danube.
  1. Croisi Europe offer gourmet river cruises for wine and food enthusiasts on the European waterways. Their Valleys of the Rhône and Saône: Gastronomy and Vineyards option offers discovery tours and tastings from the Rhone Valley to the Beaujolais vineyards.
These river cruise lines are among the best for wine-themed river cruises. Each offers a fantastic experience for wine lovers, with tastings, vineyard tours, and wine pairings.

How do I choose a wine river cruise?

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Jenny Cookman