The Danube and the Seine are two of the most fascinating European rivers. Travelling through the Danube means to discover the famous Mitteleuropa, the central and eastern part of the Old Continent and so countries as Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria. Instead, the Seine is located in France and it passes through Paris, the most romantic place in the world, and Rouen, a city made famous by Monet paintings. You can discover both from the fascinating perspective of a boat.
Travel to: Danube
|Length||2,860 km||777 km|
|Main Attraction||Vienna||Eiffel Tower|
|Weather||0-27 °C||5-20 °C|
Pros and Cons
Pros Danube Cruise
- Docks near the cities
- Runs through many different countries and cities (Vienna and Budapest among them)
- Provides the chance to discover a unique European area
- Many cities on the cruise path are cheaper than the European average
- Scenic landscapes
We absolutely loved our Budapest Danube cruise and we couldn’t recommend it enough. We loved the food, the ambiance and absolutely loved the way we were treated by the staff. Although it was a little cold, we could still go out and take amazing pictures of Budapest from the deck. The cruise is best experienced at night because Budapest really looks outstanding after twilight. In all fairness, I think the cruise is best suited for 2+ travelers. I honestly believe that if you are a couple or a group of friends, then the Danube cruise will be awesome. Everyone has a companion so it can get a bit lonely, as this experience was meant to be shared. For a solo traveler, I think there are better things to do in Budapest. I honestly thought it was fun and romantic, but kept casual enough for everyone to enjoy. – Cory & G, You Could Travel
Cons Danube Cruise
- Some little cities are too similar
- Chance of bad weather
- Chance of too much heat
- Doesn’t give you the chance to discover a single country or city in depth
Pros Seine Cruise
- Impressive views of Paris
- A different way to discover Paris and France
- You can add other rivers to your journey (i.e. Rhône)
- You’ll stay in only one country, making your trip easier in terms of currency exchange, border controls, etc.
- France is one of the most beloved European destinations
- France is easily reachable
The major highlight of the Seine river cruise experience was the chance to experience Paris from an entirely new angle. The architecture comes to life in a whole new way, you get to watch people enjoying riverside picnics or dance lessons as you float by, you get to see the way the city looks when it’s lit up at night and the streetlights glimmer on the water’s surface. It’s really something special to take in Paris from the vantage point of a river cruise. I recommend going around sunset for a truly magical experience.
I think this type of trip is suitable for anyone, really! Solo travelers, couples (it’s quite romantic!), families, friends. If you enjoy photography, if you enjoy architecture and history, you will love seeing Paris on a Seine cruise. It is an experience that you will not soon forget. – Leah, The Sweetest Way
Travel to: Seine
Cons Seine Cruise
- Be ready for the heat
- You don’t have the chance to discover different countries
Companies and Tours
Companies and Tours for a Danube Cruise
The companies providing river cruises in Danube river are: Avalon, CroisiEurope, Lueftner, Scenic, Uniworld.
Generally speaking the river cruises last at least two weeks.
Here some of the most popular tours in Danube river: Magnificent Europe – Eastbound, The Legendary Danube, The Blue Danube Discovery, The Beautiful Blue Danube, Jewels of Europe.
Companies and Tours for a Seine Cruise
The companies providing river cruises in Seine river are: Avalon, CroisiEurope, Lueftner, Scenic, Uniworld.
Generally speaking the river cruises last a couple of weeks.
Here some of the most popular tours in Seine river: Paris Normandy, Grand France – Cruise Only Northbound, A Portrait of Majestic France – Paris to Bordeaux, From the Côte Fleurie beaches to Paris, Gems of the Seine & Unforgettable Douro (from Paris to Porto).
Attractions on a Danube Cruise
- Vienna, a fascinating city, cultural and historical centre of the Mitteleuropa
- Budapest, the charming capital of Hungary with its grand architecture
- The picturesque European countryside between the major cities
- Belgrade, one of the most interesting Balkan cities
The highlights of any river cruise are the attendant tours. The best thing about river cruising (other than the food, of course) are the tours. You’re not stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You are cruising through populated and fascinating areas, and a good touring company will offer daily tours of ancient cities, spectacular cathedrals, historical battlefields, and, yes, wineries. All of these are great experiences which make river cruising special. I would recommend river cruising to anyone who has interests outside of pure leisure cruising. The cultural addenda to the cruises are what really make them special. If you’re historically and culturally curious, river cruising is for you. – Tom & Kristin, Travel Past 50
Attractions on a Seine Cruise
- Paris, the capital of France, known also as “the city of love”
- Eiffel Tower, the world famous French monument
- Notre Dame, one of the most famous and iconic churches in Europe
- Rouen, where you can visit the famous cathedral, painted also by Claude Monet
The highlights of our Seine River cruise in Paris was being able to see many of the famous monuments and buildings from a new vantage point, and some of the riverside buildings are much easier to see from the river than from the street. We also did it around sunset so we had lovely light. It was a very relaxing experience expect for the fact that it rained. I would recommend this to any traveler, especially if it is their first visit to Paris. Seeing a city from the river, especially a city like Paris, is a great experience. – Jessica & Laurence, Independent Travel Cats
So which is best?
The Danube is a river that passes through different countries and cities. This can provide you with a general idea of the Mitteleurope, the heart of the Old Continent. On the other hand, you won’t discover a single country in depth while on this cruise. The Seine, however, runs only through France and so you can get under the skin of this country and Paris, its amazing capital, much more. As a rule of thumb, if you want to discover a typically European area, the Danube is the river that you’ll love. If you are more fascinated by Paris and its landmarks, go for a Seine cruise.