The Rhine starts its life in the heart of Switzerland and travels all the way to the Atlantic Ocean via Germany, Holland and France. Along the banks of the river the landscapes are diverse featuring palaces, farms, vineyards and cities. Rhine River Cruises are very popular for this reason, there is always something different to see along the way and so many places to experience.
The itineraries are numerous ranging from the day trips from Koblenz to Rudesheim to those that last for a month between Paris and Bucharest taking in the Rhine as just one of the European waterways, but for the Rhine only cruises expect around 11 days onboard. As with most other river cruises there are a wide range of operators and classes of boats from the standard to the simply luxurious, so whatever your budget there should be something to suit. This is one of the popular routes so in the height of the summer season, June to August, expect there to be more tourists in the ports of call, if you prefer something a little quieter try May or September.
What can you expect from a typical itinerary from Amsterdam to Zurich?
After leaving Amsterdam and a good night’s sleep you will arrive in the beautiful city of Cologne. Cologne is Germany’s oldest city and amongst the popular places to visit here is the twin spired gothic cathedral which houses a jewel incrusted sarcophagus said to contain the skulls of the three Magi. Of course there are also two other things famous in this area the local beer and ‘Eau de Cologne’ not to confused.
The next stop is Koblenz where the Rhine and the Moselle rivers meet, spend a little time here before moving on through one of the most beautiful parts of the Rhine known as the Rhine Gorge. The gorge is surrounded on both banks by vineyards and high up on the mountains picturesque castles, find a spot on deck and relax as the beautiful scenery passes by.
At the different ports along the way there are some good excursions worth taking either as port of a group or alone. Here are just a few suggestions
- Visit Germany’s oldest university town, Heidelberg. Set overlooking the Neckar River the red roofed houses and antique shops mingle together in the winding streets. Standing high above are the ruins of the medieval Heidelberg Castle.
- The charming town of Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region is famous for its half timbered houses, cobbled streets and canals and of course an opportunity to take one of the very popular vineyard tours.
- The Black Forest. At the lovely town of Breisach with its cathedral and traditional pine forest scenery you’ll have to opportunity to buy two of the items that are famous in this region, Black Forest Gateaux and cuckoo clocks
Your cruise finishes in Zurich, but why not stay a while longer and discover what the beautiful country of Switzerland has to offer.