Mozart Danube cruise

Europe’s best rail cruise holidays

A cruise doesn’t have to take place entirely on water. But whatever forms of transport combine to make up the journey, be it a train thorough the verdant mountain ranges of the continent or on the waters of the Rhine, Rhone, Danube or Seine, you’re guaranteed to witness stunning historical towns and cities, majestic architecture, eclectic cuisine and, crucially, relaxation.

Read on for our top picks of European breaks in which you can combine the novelty and luxury of a cruise with the speed and ease of train travel; cruising by rail really does combine the best of both worlds.

Rhine Cruise New Year 2012

Departing from the imposing and beautiful surrounds of St Pancras International by Eurostar, you’ll change trains at Brussels, head for Cologne and board the 5-star MS Princess Amadeus. Your journey on the waters of the Rhine will take you past charming villages, imposing hilltop castles and ancient fortified towns, mooring at Strasbourg on New Year’s Eve.

Disembark and explore this stunning and picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site before ringing in 2013 in high style on board the ship. The following day, begin the new year with a blast of culture in Basel’s many museums and galleries before heading back to Cologne and finally London via Breisach and the Roman city of Mainz.

Mozart Danube cruise

Mozart Danube cruise

flickr image by Ralph Grizzle

Travelling on Eurostar to the continent and sailing from Cologne on the MS Mozart, this 10-day cruise takes in four different countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary), all with their own rich seams of history waiting to be mined.

Stopping at Pasau, Bratislava, Budapest and Vienna among others, the cruise will take you through ancient towns brimming with baroque architecture and romantic valleys and vineyards, where you can sample the area’s best wines.


A trip of high romance. After arriving at Les Anderleys by train and boarding the Anacoluthe, you will make a leisurely journey up the Seine, while dining on French haute cuisine and partaking of the on-board complimentary wines. Highlights include a visit to Claude Monet’s home at Giverny, historic Mantes, and a twilight sail through Paris, allowing you to experience the City of Light at its most charming.

After a visit to the baroque Château Vaux le Vicomte – the original model for Versailles – you will sail to St Mammes to disembark and drive to central Paris before heading for London.

Venice Lagoon Cruise and Lake Garda

After taking the Eurostar to Paris and connecting to Turin, you’ll board the MS Michelangelo and embark on a two-week cruise that’ll take you from the romance and mystery of the Venetian Lagoon all the way to Paris, via Milan and Verona.

Along the way you’ll take in basilicas, palaces, a wealth of Byzantine architecture, a litany of galleries and their artistic treasures, 13th-century castles and the historic town of Murano, famous for its glassware.

Date posted: 18th August, 2016

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