Why River Cruising in November is Our Best-Kept Secret

When it comes to travel, timing is everything. Spring and summer are, of course, popular times to travel. But we are going to let you in on a little industry secret. One of the best times to embark on a river cruise journey? November.  

While river cruising is a pleasure year-round, sailing in November offers unique opportunities unavailable at any other time of year. From seasonally exclusive events to stunning autumnal foliage and Christmas Markets with reduced crowds, November truly is a hidden gem of river cruising.

The seasonal events are perhaps the biggest draw to river cruising in November. It is a special month for wine lovers around the world: the time when the year's new wine, called Beaujolais Nouveau, is released in France for all to enjoy. And what better way to celebrate this enchanting harvest time than with a wine tasting in Beaujolais, France, on our Essence of Burgundy & Provence itinerary? Here, you will experience a small taste of the 120+ wine festivals held across southern Burgundy during this time.  

Budapest and Vienna also commence their holiday celebrations early in the form of their world-famous Christmas Markets. Debuting annually as early as November 18th, the grand Christmas Markets are ornately decorated traditional marketplaces filled with artisanal gifts and seasonal treats. AmaWaterways guests can beat the holiday crowds on any of our Taste of Christmas Markets itineraries, all while cruising on the most elegantly decorated ships on the rivers.  

Many of our November itineraries sail during American Thanksgiving, which takes place on November 28, 2024 and on November 27, 2025. In the spirit of the season, we include a full-fledged Thanksgiving meal on board complete with all the festive trimmings you know and love. Bring along your family and celebrate together as you always would -- but leave the cleanup to us! 

We have not even mentioned the best part of our November sailings yet. Compared to springtime and summertime, November cruises and airfare are typically offered at some of the lowest rates of the year, making river cruising more accessible for the entire family. Enjoy more intimate excursions, unique seasonal events, and beautiful landscapes in transition when you sail with us in November.  

With so many itineraries to choose from, here are five of our favorite river cruises especially well-suited for November departures. Each offers something unique, but every itinerary is sure to leave you with lasting memories.  


Essence of Burgundy & Provence

7-night cruise from Chalon-sur-Saône, France, to Arles, France 

November is nothing if not a time to share delicious meals with your loved ones. Indulge in French flavors on a palate-pleasing itinerary that highlights the essence of French cuisine. Taste your way through the French culinary capital of Lyon, visiting destinations that will linger on your palate – and in your heart – for years to come.  

2024 Departure Date: November 7


Enticing Douro

7-night roundtrip cruise from Porto, Portugal 

Rambling vineyards and charming native farms cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, where golden foliage sways in the autumn breeze. This unspoiled country is the perfect November getaway, as Portugal's Mediterranean climate provides a balmy reprieve for guests traveling from around the world.  

2024 Departure Dates: November 2; November 5**; November 9; November 19; November 23*, November 26*; November 30 

Romantic Danube

7-night cruise from Vilshofen, Germany to Budapest, Hungary

Those longing for the romance of Old-World Europe will get to travel into the very heart of the continent. On these special Celebration of Wine River Cruises, you will visit one of Austria’s greatest wineries, Schloss Gobelsburg, which has a documented viticulture history dating back to the 12th century. You may also get a taste of the Christmas season with a chance to explore the Christmas Markets in Vienna and Linz early in the season. 

2024 Departure Dates: November 6**; November 18** 


Magna on the Danube

7-night cruise from Budapest, Hungary, to Vilshofen, Germany 

Reimagining river cruising on the Danube, our flagship AmaMagna is a destination in and of itself. With four distinctive dining venues, unique wellness amenities, and now a full-sized pickleball court, AmaMagna is unlike any other river cruise ship on the waters. Sail to the world-famous Christmas Markets of Budapest and Vienna ahead of the holiday crowds, then enjoy the luxury of space once you are back on board!  

2024 Departure Dates: November 3; November 24*


Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps

7-Night cruise between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Explore popular destinations along the Rhine River, like canal-laden Amsterdam, grand Cologne and charming Rüdesheim, during the off-peak season. Plus, enjoy the autumnal colors as you cruise along the Rhine Gorge, marveling at the grand castles that line its majestic hills.

2024 Departure Dates: November 4; November 11**; November 18; November 25**


*Thanksgiving departure 

**Wine cruise 


Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve your November river cruise journey today!  

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