Best summer month for river cruise?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!


Unregistered, just back from your river cruise? Get published on Cruise Critic; Write a Review!
River Cruising
Find Others on Your River Cruise! River Cruising Roll Calls
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 08:08 AM.
#1
NW Ohio
8,016 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Planning for 2014, Budapest to Bucharest or reverse on Viking. The couple we will be traveling with are limited to the summer months due to her employment at a pre-school so June would be the earliest we could travel. Which month would be the optimal month for us to plan to cruise to avoid the issues I've read about with low water levels, high heat, and high tourist influx?
Any advice appreciated, as this is only my 2nd trip to Europe. Thank you!
#2
Nuremberg
371 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Usually a typical cruise season looks like this:

March: Ships are back on the rivers. But it is still rainy.
April: Every bathtub goes to the Netherlands for the tulip cruises. The Rhine Main Danube Canal is closed as well.
May - September: Main season.
September - early October: Kind of a shoulder season.
November: Everyone brings their ships into pole position for the
December: Christmas cruises

As Summer vaccations are spread over the summer (not just country to country, but e.g. in Germany state by state) there is no chance to avoid main season from June on (your earliest date).

Waterlevels & weather issues are priced in
#3
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
We sailed from Budapest to Amsterdam on the 15th aug 2012, we had problems with low water levels and had to be bussed to some towns, for the tours etc as per the itinerary, cant complain because its just nature....its different every year. Loved our first river cruise.
Despite the water levels we had magic weather :-)
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
HAL Oosterdam, Mediterranean Dream , Venice to Rome , 17th -29th June 2016
#4
milwaukee wisconsin
496 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by ingo_e
Usually a typical cruise season looks like this:

March: Ships are back on the rivers. But it is still rainy.
April: Every bathtub goes to the Netherlands for the tulip cruises. The Rhine Main Danube Canal is closed as well.
May - September: Main season.
September - early October: Kind of a shoulder season.
November: Everyone brings their ships into pole position for the
December: Christmas cruises

As Summer vaccations are spread over the summer (not just country to country, but e.g. in Germany state by state) there is no chance to avoid main season from June on (your earliest date).

Waterlevels & weather issues are priced in

1st time I've ever heard cruise ships called 'bathtubs'. Interesting!

To the OP - We've been to Europe a number of times and have always been there in late May to/thru June. I don't recall anything but nice weather at that time although we may have been just be lucky. We're going again this June so hopefully our luck will continue.
#5
San Tan Valley, AZ
572 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
My favorite month for a river cruise is June. The days are longer and it is nice to have some daylight to walk around a village after dinner so simply sit on the sun deck.
#6
FL
14,123 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
If I had to go in summer, I would only choose June. And I would go as early as possible in the month.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.

Our river cruising history:

Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016

Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018

#7
NW Ohio
8,016 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Thanks to all of you for your input! We are booked on the Viking Rinda (an upcoming new longship) for June 12, '14. Now trying to decide on precruise stay.
#8
Tasmania, Australia
654 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by rjscott
Thanks to all of you for your input! We are booked on the Viking Rinda (an upcoming new longship) for June 12, '14. Now trying to decide on precruise stay.
Stay in Budapest, loved it, spent 3 days pre cruise in august at the Intercontinental, fantastic position on the Danube looking straight across the river to the Royal Palace..will definitely visit Budapest again, beautiful city and so much to see.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Avalon Panorama, Magnificent Europe, Budapest to Amsterdam August 15 -29th 2012
Avalon Scenery, Grand France , Cote D'Azur to Paris, 30th June - 8th July 2014
Avalon Creativity, Grand France, Paris-Normandy Beaches-Paris, 8th - 15th July 2014
HAL Oosterdam, Mediterranean Dream , Venice to Rome , 17th -29th June 2016
#9
Adelaide, South Australia
61 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Hello, DH and I are looking at booking a cruise Budapest/Amsterdam in June 2014 and are interested to hear of cabin positions regarding the summer sun. Would a northern facing cabin be hot during the day?
#11
milwaukee wisconsin
496 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
ausjack - the weather is not notoriously hot during June in Germany or Austria. (of course you may luck out and hit some 80 F temps). I don't think you need to worry about which sides of the ship are hotter. You will no doubt spend little time in your cabins.