There is nothing better than exploring an area from the water. There are many different vacation options where you can enjoy everything from cruises along local waterways to short, guided tours. Those wanting a different experience when exploring Europe will want to include a boat tour on their list of things to do. Many European cities, both large and small, have boat tours available for tourists to enjoy and see the area.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Barge Tours

Boat and Bike Tours offers tours of waterways in Holland and throughout other parts of Europe. The Bike and Barge tours offer eight days of all-inclusive travel combining both boating and cycling experiences. With more than 70 different tours available and stops in 15 countries, this is a unique way to see your favorite European countries. Each barge has been designed and is well-equipped to offer a comfortable cruise experience for both small (12-15 people) and large (150 people) groups. While on board, you will have access to a restaurant, large sundeck, WiFi and a cozy living room.

The city cruise offered through Boat and Bike Tours will take you on a five-day adventure in the waters surrounding Amsterdam or Berlin. These cruises are aboard a luxury passenger ship that will take you to different stops for shopping, biking and exploring. Average cost per traveler for the City Cruise is between 295 Euros and 389 Euros, depending upon the city you choose to tour. This is approximately $324 to $427 per person. For more information or to make reservations, call 0031-299-313071 or click here to visit the website.

Gondola Tours In Italy

Gondola tours offer more than just something for couples to do when visiting Italy. These tours are one of the top things to do when in Italy, mostly because it gives you a unique view of the city. During a gondola tour, you will see a stunning backdrop of historic buildings and have the opportunity to talk with the tour guide to learn more about things to see and do in the area. Local Venice Tours offers you a unique experience you can enjoy from the waterways of Italy.

There are a variety of different tours available, including a classic Venice gondola ride, a ride and serenade and a nighttime gondola tour. Prices range from $35 to $75 per person, depending upon the tour. There are also gondola ride and dinner packages available starting at $90 per person. Reservations are required to enjoy a gondola tour with Local Venice Tours. To make reservations, visit their website by clicking here.

Related: Romantic Getaway Guide to Venice, Italy

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Ferry Boats

There are ferry boats available to take to and from islands just off the mainland in Europe. Many of these ferry boats are operated by Eurail or an affiliate. Each ferry boat company offers different routes throughout many European cities, making it possible to see some of the most popular sites from the water. Ferry boats associated with the Eurail pass allows travelers access to discounted ferry routes and boats in Europe. Some ferries connected to the Eurail pass include the Balearia ferry, Blue Star Ferries, Finnlines, Grimaldi Lines ferry, Superfast Ferries and Irish Ferries. These are just a few of the many ferries accessible throughout Europe.

One fun ferry boat route to take is the one offered through Blue Star Ferries in Greece. This route will connect the surrounding islands to Greece’s mainland. Some islands included in the route are Santorini, Kos and Rhodes. This is the perfect route for those wanting to do some island hopping and have plenty of time to relax in paradise. While onboard, you will have access to a café, a children’s play area, shops and video screens. For more information or to make reservations with Blue Star Ferries call +30-210-8919010 or visit their website.

Amsterdam Canal Tours

Enjoy a canal cruise, a dinner cruise or just a day trip with Amsterdam Canal Tours. Your guided tour will take you through the canals of Amsterdam aboard a luxurious boat during a 75-minute canal cruise. While aboard, you will have the best vantage point for photos and a front row view of the city as it passes by. Guided tours are available in 19 different languages including Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Thai and Portuguese (just to name a few).

Day cruises depart every hour from 10 a.m. until 5:15-5:45 p.m. (depending upon season) from Stadhouderskade 78, just opposite the Heineken Experience. Prices start at 14 Euro for adults and $7.50 for children (5-10 years), which is approximately $15.50 for each adult and $8.30 for each child. Reservations are highly recommended to enjoy the tour and can be made online by clicking here for the reservation and ticket page. For more information call +31-20-679 -370.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Rhine River Getaway

Those wanting a longer boat tour experience will want to enjoy one of the Rhine River Cruises. These cruises combine history with culture and sails past some of the oldest cities along the Rhine, Main and Moselle. While cruising with Rhine River Cruises will sail along waterways offering breathtaking views that have fairy tale castles scattered along the shores. A typical itinerary for these cruises include a route that goes from Switzerland to Amsterdam, passing by France and Germany. A vacation with Viking River Cruises will last approximately one week, depending upon the itinerary.

The Rhine Getaway will take you on an eight-day journey starting at $2.156 per person. Your river cruise will including all of your meals, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks, free Wi-Fi and luxurious onboard accommodations. You will definitely feel like you are traveling in style. The Rhine Getaway with Viking River Cruises is the way to explore Europe from the many waterways. To book your cruise with Viking River Cruises call (800) 706-1483 or click here to visit the website.

Related: Top 5 European Cruise Destinations 

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.