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Waal River Cruises 2024/2025

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Waal Travel Guide

Welcome aboard the serene journey of Waal River Cruises. As the busiest waterway in Europe, the Waal River charts a historic course through the Netherlands, offering an intimate glimpse into the country's heartland. It's not just a river; it's a lifeline that's played a pivotal role in shaping Dutch history and culture. From the deck, catch sight of the ever-changing landscapes, from bustling ports to tranquil stretches where greenery kisses the water's edge. The Waal's banks are dotted with inviting beaches, perfect for a leisurely stop. Culture enthusiasts will revel in riverside towns, brimming with museums and historic sites that narrate tales of a bygone era. What sets Waal River Cruises apart is the blend of relaxation and discovery. You can unwind on the gentle waves while history unfurls around you. Each bend in the river brings a new story, a fresh perspective, and an invitation to explore the vibrant Dutch way of life. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Waal river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Waal Travel Guide
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Showing 1 - 34 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Mar 29, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,699
Mar 29, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,599
Apr 12, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,999
Apr 12, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,999
Apr 26, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,299
Apr 26, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,599
May 10, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,599
May 10, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,599
May 24, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,599
May 24, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,599
Jun 07, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,499
Jun 07, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,499
Jun 21, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,499
Jun 21, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,299
Jul 05, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,999
Jul 05, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,999
Jul 19, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,599
Jul 19, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,799
Aug 02, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,799
Aug 02, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,599
Aug 16, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,999
Aug 16, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,999
Aug 30, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,499
Aug 30, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,499
Sep 13, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,599
Sep 13, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,599
Sep 27, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,599
Sep 27, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,499
Oct 11, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$6,199
Oct 11, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$6,099
Oct 25, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,599
Oct 25, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$5,399
Nov 08, 2026VikingViking HlinAmsterdamAvignon15$5,199
Nov 08, 2026VikingViking BuriAvignonAmsterdam15$4,999

Waal Travel Guide

Waal River Cruises Highlights

  • Valkhof Park, Nijmegen: Once the site of a Roman camp and later a regal palace, this park is now a serene spot that offers a window into the past with its ancient ruins and a panoramic view of the river.
  • St. Stevenskerk, Nijmegen: A historic church that stands tall in the city's skyline. It's not just a place of worship but a symbol of Nijmegen's resilience, having been restored after damage in World War II.
  • The Waal Bridge, Nijmegen: An iconic structure that's become a symbol of liberation. Walking across this bridge offers sweeping views of the river and is a moment to reflect on the city's wartime history.
  • Flipje and Streekmuseum, Tiel: This museum is dedicated to the local fruit industry and Tiel's fruity mascot, Flipje. It's a colorful dive into the region's sweetest export.
  • Zaltbommel Museum: Located in the heart of this medieval city, the museum showcases the region's art and history, including works by local artist Maarten van Rossem.
  • St. Maarten's Church, Zaltbommel: A gothic church with an impressive tower that offers a glimpse into the region's medieval architecture and ecclesiastical history.

Waal River Cruises Travel Tips

  • The Netherlands uses the Euro, and while cards are widely accepted, having some cash on hand for small purchases is wise.
  • The best time to see the tulips and take a Waal River cruise is late April.
  • The Dutch weather can be unpredictable, with a possibility of rain even in summer, so include a waterproof jacket.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are a must for cobblestone streets and nature trails.
  • Download Google Translate to help you with menus or translating signs.
  • Don't forget a power adapter for charging devices, and consider bringing a small daypack for shore excursions.

Waal River Cruises Things To Do

  • Amsterdam

    Known as the Netherland's capital, Amsterdam is known for its elaborate network of canals and narrow gabled homes. Some of the featured attractions include the Anne Frank house, the Van Gogh Museum, and city's many cycling paths.

    Best Time To Visit

    Normally Amsterdam is featured on a Rhine River cruise or Ijssel River cruise, but often connects to Waal River cruise sites. To truly enjoy Amsterdam, you should go when the tulips are in bloom, in late April. The blooms flourish from late March to May, but late April is the best time to see fields of the flowers.


    You Should Know

    Amsterdam was built on lots of poles. In fact, the city was constructed on 11 million poles, as the city sits about a meter below sea level. A house in the city needs 10 poles to stay anchored in the city's sandy foundation. Amsterdam was not officially made Netherlands' capital until 1983. While it was thought as the capital, it was not made official until that date. Keukenhof Garden in nearby Lisse is the place you want to visit during Tulip Time in the Netherlands.
  • Rotterdam

    Known as a major port in South Holland, Rotterdam provides visitors with interesting landmarks and attractions – sites that contrast the traditional with the new. For example, you might want to pay a visit to the Maritime Museum, which features vintage sailing vessels, or enjoy a little shopping along the Delfshaven, a neighborhood that was established in the 1600s, which is home to canal-side retailers. The city, which features impressive and modern architecturally styled buildings, was rebuilt after the Second World War.

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Rotterdam in late April, when tulips and other area flowers bloom, or in September, which offers fewer crowds and pleasanter temperatures.


    You Should Know

    The city features cube-shaped houses.Rotterdam is the world's second-largest port, after Shanghai in China.
  • Hoek Van Holland
    Hoek Van Holland

    The Hoek Van Holland, or Hook of Holland, is a town on the ship canal of Nieuwe Waterweg, close to the North Sea and Waal River. It connects to Rotterdam and is known for its ferry port, which has carried travelers since 1893 to the east of England.

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit the ferry port in either April or September.


    You Should Know

    The town is a walker's delight, serving as the base for a network of long-distance walking paths. The Hook of Holland features a beach, a 30-minute walk from its west border, and even a shorter distance from the Hoek van Holland train station. The sandy strand is one of the Netherlands ' finest shores. The attraction, which is free, features kiteboarding, windsurfing, and surfing activities.
  • Nijmegen

    Nijmegen is the Netherlands' oldest city, and is situated on the Waal River in Gelderland province. In 2005, Nijmegen celebrated its 2000-year-old birthday. Nijmegen is a lively university town that once served as a Roman encampment.

    Best Time To Visit

    Visit Nijmegen during April or September when the temperatures are just right for cycling. You might also think of going when the city holds its annual Four Day Marches in the later part of July.


    You Should Know

    Nijmegen holds its Four Day Marches in July, the biggest marching event worldwide. During the festival, thousands of marchers participate in walks 30 to 50 kilometers long. Following the walks, Four Days parties draw around one million visitors annually. The Valkhof Museum, in Nijmegen, once was home to Charlemagne, former king of the Franks. The museum features Roman artifacts and modern paintings. Because the city is a university town, it provides a lively nightlight in the city center, which features a wide range of cafes and bars.
  • Tiel

    Established in the 5th century, Tiel is located in the center of the Netherlands. The Waal River, Linge River, and Amsterdam-Rhine Canal surround the town. The rural area near Tiel, or the Betuwe, is known for its cultivation of fruits, especially apples, cherries, and pears.

    Best Time To Visit

    Mark your calendar to see Tiel in April when the fruit trees are in bloom as well as the tulips.


    You Should Know

    Flipje is Tiel's mascot. The marketing icon was used to sell Betuwe jam in the 20th century. Like the Michelin Man is made of tires, the fictitious character of Flipje is made up of fruit. His history is displayed at a museum dedicated to the character. Sitting next to the Waal River, Tiel is located in the Netherland's famous river-scape section.
  • Zaltbommel

    With direct access to the Waal River, the town of Zaltbommel offers Waal River cruisers a number of interesting attractions. The ancient locale was first called Bomela in 850. It received city rights in 1231, which were renewed much later in 1316.

    Best Time To Visit

    Keep a place on your calendar for a Zaltbommel visit in April or September.


    You Should Know

    Johannes van Maaren, a native of Zaltbommel, competed in the 1920, 1924, and 1928 wrestling competitions at the Summer Olympics. During the 80-Years War, the city was seized by the Spanish but was recaptured by Maurice of Orange of the Anglo-Dutch force. The city is home to the Castle of Waardenburg. The Kasteel Ammersoyen is a medieval estate and castle with a moat in Zaltbommel.
  • Gorinchem

    Gorinchem is a municipality in the province of South Holland. It also includes the Dalem area. Popular sights in Gorinchem include Loevestein Castle, which is a moated castle museum that was built during the 1300s, Gorcums Museum, and Grote Kerk. Gorinchem is one of those travel gems that often is not featured in guidebooks.

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan a journey to Gorinchem anywhere between April and September. However, if you want to get into some attractions, such as Grote Kerk, summer is the preferred travel time.


    You Should Know

    Grote Kerk's bell tower is the only thing remaining from the demolished medieval St. Martin's Church. The bell tower is open in the summer. Lingehaven is a historic harbor in Gorinchem.
  • Ooijpolder Nature Preserve
    Ooijpolder Nature Preserve

    A cycling trip along the River Waal will lead to this beautiful nature reserve. To get to the site, you can either bike or take a walk. In turn, you will be rewarded with birdsong and bird sightings, as well as wetlands and woodlands. You might say that this feat of nature is a walker's or cycler's paradise. Therefore, make sure you plan a visit when it is less likely to rain and everything is in bloom.

    Best Time To Visit

    Plan a trip to the Ooijpolder Nature Reserve in April. You can also sightsee with greater ease, as the natural area is less crowded.


    You Should Know

    You can cycle or walk to this site from Nijmegen, so rent a bicycle in Nijmegen, if that's your form of transport. The nature reserve is home to birds, such as storks and herons, as well as birds of prey. Along the river, Scottish cows and wild horses have been introduced so they can eat saplings and open up the fields.

Waal River Cruise Packages

  • Getting There

    Set your compass to the Netherlands, where the Waal River makes its gracious path through the country. Getting to your Waal River Cruise is an adventure in itself. Most international travelers touch down at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. From there, a train ride whisks you through the Dutch landscape to the historic city of Nijmegen, among other riverside towns, where many cruises set sail.

    Cruise ships navigate with ease to these ports, thanks to the well-maintained waterways of the Netherlands. The accessibility of the Waal River to larger vessels means you're often only steps away from the heart of the city upon docking. It's as simple as stepping off the ship and into the vibrant bustle of Dutch life and leisure.

  • Immerse Yourself in Dutch Culture

    Dutch culture is a rich blend of age-old traditions and contemporary life. On your Waal River Cruise, you'll see the importance of waterways in Dutch life, not just for transport but for shaping cultural norms. The Netherlands is known for its social tolerance, a trait you'll experience firsthand in the warm welcomes you receive.

    Customs such as "gezelligheid," a concept that emphasizes cozy togetherness, can be felt in cafes and public celebrations alike. Festivals are a cornerstone of Dutch culture, with events like King's Day painting towns orange or the blooming of tulips heralding spring at the Keukenhof Gardens.

    Participating in these festivals or simply enjoying a casual bike ride through historic towns allows you to connect with the Dutch way of life. It's an open invitation to not just observe but become part of the living culture that thrives along the Waal River.

  • Experience the Flavors of the Netherlands on Waal a River Cruise

    A Waal River Cruise is your ticket to a culinary exploration of the Netherlands. Dutch cuisine is hearty and satisfying, with must-try dishes like "stamppot" — a comforting mix of mashed potatoes and vegetables — and "bitterballen," savory deep-fried meatballs perfect for snacking. Cheese lovers are in for a treat with world-renowned varieties such as Gouda and Edam.

    Onboard, you'll likely find menus featuring fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. When docked, venture out to riverside eateries for a plate of fresh "paling" (eel) or "haring" (herring), often served with onions and pickles. Don't miss the chance to sample "pannenkoeken," the Dutch take on pancakes, which can be enjoyed sweet or savory.

    For a true taste of the Netherlands, seek out a "rijsttafel" — an Indonesian-Dutch feast that offers an array of flavors. And, of course, pair your meals with a local beer or "jenever," a traditional Dutch gin.

    Eating on a Waal River Cruise isn't just about the food; it's about the experience. Whether dining on the ship or in a quaint café ashore, you'll savor the rich flavors that are as integral to the Dutch experience as the view of the river.

  • The Perfect Time for a Waal River Cruise

    A Waal River Cruise in the Netherlands is a delightful experience at any time of the year, with each season bringing its unique appeal. Spring on the Waal River is particularly enchanting, as the mild temperatures create a comfortable cruising environment. Additionally, the blooming tulips along the riverbanks add a spectacular splash of color, enhancing the picturesque quality of a spring river cruise.

    The summer season transforms river cruising on the Waal with its warmest weather, making it an ideal time for enjoying the outdoor cafes in the port cities along the river. However, summer is also the peak season for river cruising on the Waal, so be prepared for a larger number of fellow cruisers during this time.

    Autumn on the Waal River offers a different experience, with fewer travelers and a landscape adorned with golden hues. The cooler temperatures during autumn river cruises call for warmer clothing, but the season's beauty and tranquility more than compensate for the chill.

    Winter river cruising on the Waal is less common, but it has its unique charm, highlighted by festive Christmas markets and a serene quietness on the river, offering a cozy and intimate cruising experience.

    For the best combination of pleasant weather and fewer tourists, late spring and early autumn are the prime times for a Waal River Cruise. These seasons provide the ideal conditions for a comfortable and relaxed river cruising experience, allowing you to fully appreciate the Waal's natural beauty and cultural offerings with a more laid-back and less crowded atmosphere.

  • Why Book a Waal River Cruise in the Netherlands?

    Choosing a Waal River Cruise for your Netherlands adventure offers a unique blend of value, convenience, and exclusive experiences. Cruising provides a cost-effective way to see the country, wrapping accommodation, transport, and sightseeing into one neat package. As you glide along the Waal, you're treated to coastal views that are inaccessible by other means of travel, giving you a fresh perspective on the Dutch landscape. The ease of waking up each day in a new location without the hassle of repacking makes for a truly leisurely holiday. Additionally, cruise passengers often enjoy exclusive excursions that delve deeper into the local culture, history, and natural beauty. These experiences, from private tours of historical sites to tastings of local cuisine, enrich your journey and create memories that are as unique as the views. A Waal River Cruise isn't just a trip; it's your gateway to an immersive Dutch experience that combines relaxation with exploration.

  • Ready to Book Your Waal River Cruise?

    If you're looking for a unique way to explore the Netherlands, a Waal River Cruise offers an unforgettable adventure. Glide past picturesque landscapes, historic cities, and vibrant cultural scenes. You'll indulge in the rich flavors of Dutch cuisine, partake in local festivals, and feel the warmth of "gezelligheid" that defines the Dutch spirit. Each port along the Waal promises new discoveries, from medieval architecture to modern museums, against the backdrop of the tranquil river.

    Booking your cruise is the first step on a journey of exploration and relaxation. Whether you're soaking in the scenic views from the deck or mingling with locals in a cozy riverside cafe, the Waal River Cruise is an experience that caters to all your senses.

    Don't just dream about the perfect getaway; make it a reality. The Waal River is waiting to welcome you aboard.

Waal River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Are Waal River Cruises?

    Waal River cruises normally begin and end in Amsterdam and usually connect with other river cruises sailing the Ijsling or Rhine rivers. You can get to the Waal River by going through the Amsterdam-Rhine canal waterway. The Waal River is fairly short, so the ports you will see may include linking ports on other waterways. The main Waal River cities include Zaltbommel, Tiel, and Nijmegen. While river cruises may run up to two weeks, most Waal River cruises last about 7 days.

  • What Is Included on Waal River Cruises?

    Once you set sail, you can enjoy free onboard meals and complimentary beverages, as well as off-shore excursions, some with a knowledgeable travel guide. Airport transfers are usually included in river cruise packages.

  • What’s the Best River Cruise of Waal River Cruises?

    You will find the best river cruise for you by speaking to a travel representative first. He or she can prepare you for your journey by explaining some of the amenities and what is featured on the trip. River cruise lines, such as Viking River Cruises and AmaWaterways, feature river cruise holidays that are themed and customized to your preferred travel itinerary. 

  • How Much Do Waal River Cruises Cost?

    Your river cruise choice will depend on the demand for the river cruise. However, on average, Waal River cruises cost about $500 per person.

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