River cruise lines’ year-ender offerings have been a hit among cruise enthusiasts and travellers seeking intimate voyages that offer a unique blend of luxury, culture, and celebration.

From the romantic waterways of Europe to the exotic Mekong of Southeast Asia, discerning travellers are increasingly turning to river cruises as the ideal choice for a memorable year-end getaway. 

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offers year-ender river cruises for Aussies seeking to explore Europe's finest waterways.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises in one of Europe’s waterways. Image from Uniworld

Europe, with its vibrant history and awe-inspiring landscapes, remains a top destination for river cruises. The continent’s iconic rivers offer a picturesque backdrop for holiday celebrations that combine festive cheer with cultural immersion, allowing Aussie travellers to experience the holiday traditions of multiple countries in a single journey.

On the other hand, for those seeking a more adventurous end to the year, the mighty Mekong River in Southeast Asia presents an exciting alternative. Cruising through Vietnam and Cambodia, passengers are treated to a fascinating blend of ancient temples, bustling markets, and stunning landscapes. Moreover, the warm climate of the region provides a welcome escape from the Australian summer, while the unique cultural experiences offer fresher perspectives. 

Here’s Cruise Passenger’s top 10 year-ender river cruises for 2024, highlighting the best options for Australian travellers looking to close out their year in style on the world’s most beautiful waterways.

15-day Splendours of Europe with Emerald Cruises

Emerald Cruises lines up a range of European itineraries for 2024. Its 15-day Splendours of Europe year-ender sailing also serves as the line’s best-value offering at AU$ 5,325 per person from a full fare of AU$7,825. This gives guests a total of AU$2,500 savings per person. This Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise is scheduled on November 3 and is set to visit the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.


Day 1 AmsterdamDay 9Regensburg
Day 2AmsterdamDay 10 Passau
Day 3CologneDay 11 Melk – Dürnstein
Day 4RüdesheimDay 12 Vienna
Day 5Miltenberg – WertheimDay 13 Bratislava
Day 6 WürzburgDay 14Budapest
Day 7BambergDay 15Budapest
Day 8 Nuremberg

8-day Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise with Tauck

Tauck is offering one for the books year-ender cruise via an 8-day Holiday Magic: Danube Family River Cruise. This exciting pre-Christmas river cruise journey on the storied Danube is offered at AUD 6770 (4490 USD) and is scheduled on December 20 via MS Savor. 


Day 1ViennaDay 5The Wachau Valley – Dürnstein & Melk or Krems
Day 2BudapestDay 6Oberndorf and Salzburg
Day 3BratislavaDay 7Passau
Day 4ViennaDay 8Passau

8-day Secrets of the Douro with Emerald Cruises

For travellers wanting to cruise through Portugal’s stunning and sun-drenched vineyards, charming villages, and awe-inspiring landscapes, an 8-day Secrets of the Douro year-end cruise by Emerald Cruises is truly one for the books. Scheduled on November 23, this Porto-embarked roundtrip voyage is offered at AU$4,945 per guest from AU$5,745 per person. Each guest gets to have a savings of AU$800. 


Day 1PortoDay 5Pocinho – Regua
Day 2Porto – PinhaoDay 6Regua
Day 3Pinhao – Vega de TerronDay 7 Porto
Day 4Vega de Terron – SalamancaDay 8 Porto

13-day Wonders of Cambodia, Vietnam & the Mekong with Emerald Cruises

For cruise enthusiasts seeking to explore the mighty and enchanting Mekong River, Emerald Cruises has lined up a 13-day Wonders of Cambodia, Vietnam & the Mekong year-ender cruise scheduled on December 4. In addition, this pre-Christmas sailing is offered at AU$5,995 per person via its Suoer Earlybird promo from a full fare rate of AU$7,495. This allows guests to enjoy AU$1,500 savings per person. 


Day 1Siem ReapDay 8Gieng Island – My An Hung
Day 2Siem ReapDay 9Sa Dec – Cai Be
Day 3Siem ReapDay 10My Tho – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 4Siem Reap – Koh Khsach KraoDay 11Ho Chi Minh City
Day 5Oudong – Phnom PenhDay 12Ho Chi Minh City
Day 6Phnom PenhDay 13Ho Chi Minh City
Day 7 Border crossing – Tan Chau – An Long

12-day Cities of Light with Viking

Viking highlights a well-crafted river cruise itinerary that explores the stunning landscapes, quaint villages and the castle-accentuated Europe’s storied rivers: The Main, Rhine, and Moselle. This cruise is Viking’s 12-day Cities of Light scheduled on November 20. Additionally, this European river adventure is offered at AU$5,395 from AU$6,395 which gives every guest a total savings of AU$1000. Moreover, this Paris to Prague cruise via Viking Alsvin features 10 guided tours in three countries. 


Day 1Paris, FranceDay 7Heidelberg, Germany
Day 2Paris, FranceDay 8Würzburg, Germany
Day 3Reims, FranceDay 9Scenic Sailing: Main River, Spessart
Day 4Trier, GermanyDay 10Nuremberg, Germany
Day 5Cochem, GermanyDay 11Prague, Czech Republic
Day 6Koblenz, GermanyDay 12Prague, Czech Republic

8-day Danube Dreams with Avalon Waterways

For river cruise enthusiasts wanting to explore the storied Danube through Central Europe’s stunning capitals, Avalon Waterways highlights an 8-day Danube Dreams scheduled on November 4. This year-ender sailing is offered at a best-value fare rate of AU$3,864 from AU$5,614 per person which gives guests a total of AU$1,750 savings per guest. Moreover, this Budapest to Vilshofen river cruise is set to visit four countries namely: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. 


Day 1  BudapestDay 5Durnstein-Wachau Valley
Day 2  BudapestDay 6Linz
Day 3 BratislavaDay 7  Schlogen-Oxbow-Passau
Day 4 ViennaDay 8Vilshofen

8-day European Holiday Markets with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

A year-ender cruise is perfect for river cruisers who wish to experience some of the most famous and charming holiday markets in Central Europe. Consequently, Uniworld offers a pre-Christmas voyage via an 8-day European Holiday Markets scheduled on December 16. This Nuremberg to Vienna sailing is offered at a best-value rate of AU$5698 (US$3,799) via S.S. Beatrice. 


Day 1NurembergDay 5Cruising Danube, Linz
Day 2 Nuremberg Day 6Wachau Valley, Dürnstein
Day 3RegensburgDay 7Vienna
Day 4Deggendorf, PassauDay 8Vienna

18-day The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam with Avalon Waterways

Avalon Waterways offers several river cruises for Aussie travellers and river cruise enthusiasts wanting to explore the mysterious Mekong River. One of its best-value deals is the 18-day The Heart of Cambodia & Vietnam cruise scheduled on November 18. This sailing is offered at AU$13,137 per person. 


Day 1Siem ReapDay 10Vinh Long
Day 2Siem ReapDay 11Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3Siem ReapDay 12Ho Chi Minh City. Excursion To Cu Chi Tunnels
Day 4Phnom PenhDay 13Ho Chi Minh City-Hanoi
Day 5Wat Hanchey-Angkor BanDay 14Hanoi
Day 6Kampong Tralach-Konpong Louang-Phnom PenhDay 15Hanoi-Ha Long Bay
Day 7Phnom PenhDay 16Ha Long Bay
Day 8Border Crossing-Chau Doc, VietnamDay 17Ha Long Bay-Hanoi
Day 9Long Khanh A-Cu Lao GiengDay 18Hanoi

15-day Magnificent Mekong with Viking

Viking River Cruises features a 15-day Magnificent Mekong sailing on different dates throughout the year. But the line’s best-value year-ender offering is scheduled on December 20 and has a starting rate of AU$9,295  from  AU$9,795. This gives each guest a savings of AU$500 and a total stateroom savings of AU$1800. Moreover, this Hanoi-embarked river cruise visits two countries and has 16 guided tours. Furthermore, cruise passengers will explore the grandeur and mystery of the Mekong via The Viking Saigon. 


Day 1HanoiDay 9Phnom Penh
Day 2HanoiDay 10Scenic Sailing: Mekong River
Day 3HanoiDay 11Tân Châu
Day 4Siem ReapDay 12Sa Ðéc
Day 5Siem ReapDay 13 Ho Chi Minh City
Day 6Kampong ChamDay 14Ho Chi Minh City
Day 7 Kampong ChamDay 15Ho Chi Minh City
Day 8Phnom Penh

11-day Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery Cruise with Scenic

Scenic boasts its line-up of Asian itineraries this 2024 including the best-value year-ender cruise 11-day Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery Cruise scheduled on December 19. This Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap sailing is offered with a super earlybird promo of AU$8,5200 from AU$11,920. This gives travellers a AU$3,400 savings per person or a total of AU$6,800 savings per stateroom. 


Day 1Ho Chi Minh CityDay 7Phnom Penh, Oudong
Day 2Cai BeDay 8 Silk Island, Angkor Ban
Day 3Sa DecDay 9Wat Hanchey – Kampong Cham
Day 4Tan ChauDay 10 Siem Reap
Day 5Border Crossing – Phnom PenhDay 11Siem Reap
Day 6Phnom Penh