Rivers in Serbia with an international or interstate navigation regime are the Danube, Sava and Tisa. The Velika Morava and Tamiš rivers are partly navigable and sailing is also possible on some lakes. Besides large cruise ships, owners can also take their boats out onto the the rivers and lakes, and boats and sailboats can also be hired.
The Danube is the most popular river in the world for river cruises, with vessels sailing during the day and docking in Novi Sad or Belgrade at night. Additional activities are organised for cruise passengers in the cities (coach trips and cultural and historical sightseeing for example).
The Danube is the longest river in the European Union and flows for 588 km through Serbia, from Bezdan to Timok. The section through Serbia can be divided into four main parts:
- The Vojvodina plain – this part of the Danube’s course has all the characteristics of a lowland river: it floods at high water levels, creating many inlets and river islands which are inhabited by characteristic animal and plant species. The most important destinations on this part of the course are Apatin at 1401.1 km from the head of navigation, Karađorđevo at 1310 km, Bačka Palanka at 1298.6 km, Novi Sad at 1255 km, Sremski Karlovci at 1244 km and Zemun at 1173 km.
- Belgrade – Đerdap (Iron Gate) – As it flows through Vojvodina, the Danube receives water from the Tisa and Sava rivers and becomes a large and powerful river, the wildlife and landscape changing downstream from Belgrade. The main destinations on this part of the course are Belgrade at 1170 km upstream, Pančevo at 1154 km, Vinča at 1145.5 km, Grocka at 1132 km, Smederevo at 1116 km and Veliko Gradište at 1059 km.
- Đerdapska Klisura gorge – This, the largest river gorge in Europe, extends upstream from 931 km to 1048 km and is divided into two parts: the upper gorge, which comprises the Golubačka Klisura gorge and the Gospodin Vir gorge, and the lower gorge, which comprises the Kazanska Klisura gorge and Sipska Klisura gorge. The main destinations on this part of the course are Golubac at 1042 km upstream, Lepenski Vir at 1004.2 km, Donji Milanovac at 991 km and Tekija at 956.2 km.
- Kladovo-Timok Confluence – Leaving the Đerdapska Klisura gorge, the Danube continues its journey surrounded by gentle slopes through the 80 km-long Đerdapsko Jezero lake, from 943 km to 863.5 km upstream, from Karataš to Prahovo. The main destinations on this part of the course are Kladovo at 993 km upstream, Brza Palanka at 883.5 km and Prahovo at 861 km.
The Sava river is an international waterway which flows through four countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Large vessels can navigate the river from Belgrade to Slavonski Brod (377 km) and smaller vessels to Sisak (583 km).
The Tisa river begins in Ukraine and flows through Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. It is navigable for a length of 532 km and flows through Serbia for 168 km. The Tisa has interstate waterway status which means that boats flying the Hungarian or Serbian flag may freely navigate it.