Trier is everything you think of when you imagine a fairytale German town. Founded in 16 B.C. by Roman Emperor Augustus, Trier is known as the oldest city in Germany. Because the city was so spectacular, it eventually became known as the second Rome (Roma Secunda). Therefore, you can see both Roman ruins as well as enjoy Trier's rich German history.
Best Time To Visit Travel experts recommend that you visit sites in Trier in September when crowds taper off and you can focus more on sight-seeing.
You Should Know Suggested places to visit include the Trier Toy Museum and Eltz Castle. The Porta Nigra is the largest ancient Roman gate in Europe. The city is also home to an ancient Roman amphitheater and old Roman thermal baths. Trier University makes Trier a thriving university city. The city is the birthplace of Karl Marx, who was born in 1818 in a three-story house on Bruckenstrasse – a historic street in Trier.
Traben-Trarbach - Germany
If you appreciate Art Nouveau, you will love the town of Traben-Trarbach. Many of the town's buildings were built during the height of the movement or during the early part of the 20th century.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Traben-Trarbach is when the temperature begins to cool, or when crowds begin to diminish during September and October.
You Should Know The best way to see Traben-Trarbach is to schedule a walking tour. You can find one of several tours featured, including a city tour, a night watchman's tour, an Art Nouveau tour, and a Mont-Royal tour. If you cannot participate in a wine festival event, plan to visit one of the town's many wine cellars and take part in a wine tasting activity. Popular Art Nouveau mansions in Traben-Trarbach include Villa Bruecker (built 1905) and Villa Huesgen (built 1904).
Cochem is considered a dropping off point for visitors who wish to see the vineyards of the nearby municipal district of Winningen or wish to make a trip to Reichsburg Castle overlooking Cochem. The castle, which was first erected in 1000 AD, can be accessed by cable car. During the 1800s, the castle's façade was renovated, and it was upgraded to a neo-Gothic design.
Best Time To Visit Based on tourism weather information, the best time to see Cochem for warm-weather sightseeing is anywhere from late June to the last part of August.
A small town in the Moselle River valley, Zell is known for its climbing and hiking trails, and its wine – specifically, Zeller Schwarze Katz. If you are less active, you can always stroll to and visit the city's church, constructed in 1792.
Best Time To Visit If you love to hike or climb, you will find the summer temperatures amenable as well as the cooler temperatures in early fall. However, if you want to experience drier weather, plan a visit around September.
You Should Know After Piesport, Zell is known as the largest wine-growing center in Moselle wine-growing country. Traditionally, Zell is known for its production of Riesling wines. The town is the seat for winemaker, Zimmermann-Graeff & Mueller.
Koblenz - Germany
Sitting where the Moselle meets the Rhine River, 2,000-year-old Koblenz has been described as one of the most beautiful and historic towns in Germany. See sites, such as the Basilica of St. Castor (which goes back to the ninth century) and Liebfrauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady), built during the 12th century.
Best Time To Visit Travel experts suggest you see Koblenz from June through August when the Rhine River region is lush and green.
You Should Know Take a look around the reconstructed medieval square of Florin's Market. The square features a clock tower, built in the 1700s, a church, and a Gothic jury house, built in the 16th century. Go by cable car to the Ehrenbreitstein fortress. You will be able to see amazing views of the Rhine Valley at the top of the hill where Ehrenbreitstein stands. If you are not squeamish about heights, one of the gondolas in the cable car system features a glass floor.
Bernkastel-Kues - Germany
Notably pretty, the German town of Bernkastel is often called the wine capital of the Moselle River Valley. That appellation is fair, as the town stores wine in its cellars from 5,000+ vineyards. The medieval Marktplatz in Bernkastel features a town hall that was built in 1608, which also displays a pillory. Across the River in Kues, the heart of the founder of the town's Gothic chapel, Nicholas of Cusa (born in 1401), can be found within the church. The cardinal and philosopher's astronomical instruments, including the oldest celestial sphere in the world, are featured in the St. Nicholas Hospital library, located next door.
Best Time To Visit If you go during the first weekend in October, you can also take part in nearby Piesport's wine festival. Other favorable times to visit are June through August.
You Should Know Established in 1458, the St. Nicholas Hospital has been renovated and now serves wine connoisseurs. The basement of the building has been turned into a vinotheque, which allows visitors to sample up to 160 varieties of wine. Most of the restaurants in Bernkastel-Kues stock a large selection of wines.
Piesport - Germany
Sitting on a bend of the River Moselle, Piesport is an ancient wine-producing town. In 1985, a Roman wine press was found in Piesport, made around the fourth century. It is the largest wine press of its kind discovered north of the Alps.
Best Time To Visit Visit the Piesport is when it holds its wine festival during the first week of October.
You Should Know Piesport's signature wines originate from the Goldtropfchen vineyard, which refers to "droplets of gold." In fact, the Rieslings produced from the vineyard are some of the finest wines in the Moselle River Valley. An interesting winery in Piesport is the Weingut Vereinigte Hospitien. Cellars of the winery were built around 330 AD. The Roman brickwork is still noticeable today.
Famous for its university, Mainz also is dominated by its cathedral, which sits in the center of the city. The church is notable, as the stone for its foundation was laid in 975 AD. The contrast of the city's history with delightful timber-framed homes, cafes, boutiques, and small shops, make Mainz an interesting and memorable cruise stop on a Moselle River Cruise.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Mainz is when the vineyards are lush and growing, or during the months of August through November.
You Should Know One of Mainz's three main festivals is the Weinmarkt. It was introduced in 1946. French occupying forces gave the town 100,000 liters of wine in a gesture of conciliation and friendliness. The Gutenberg Printing Museum and the city's Romano-Germanic Museum stand out as being two of the best museums to visit in Mainz.
Starting your Moselle River cruise adventure is straightforward. The cruise typically begins in one of the larger cities along the river, such as Trier in Germany, known for its Roman history, or Metz in France. These cities are well-connected by major European transportation networks, including airports and train stations, making them easily accessible from various parts of Europe and beyond. Once in these cities, the transition to the cruise port is a breeze, with ports conveniently located and well-equipped to welcome travelers embarking on their river journey. The Moselle's accessibility and the seamless connection between land and water travel make it an ideal choice for a hassle-free and memorable river cruise experience.
The Perfect Time for a Moselle River Cruise
A river cruise along the Moselle River, renowned for its stunning landscapes and quaint towns, can be enjoyed year-round, but certain times of the year particularly enhance the experience. The spring months, from April to June, offer a splendid time for river cruising on the Moselle. During this season, the vineyards awaken and the countryside bursts into bloom, creating a picturesque setting. The weather is typically pleasant, ideal for engaging in outdoor activities and exploring the sights along the river.
The summer season, encompassing July and August, brings the warmest weather, perfect for appreciating the scenic beauty of the Moselle River and its surroundings. However, it's important to note that summer is also the peak tourist season, so be prepared for a busier river cruising experience with more fellow travelers.
Autumn, from September to October, is a particularly enchanting time on the Moselle River. The vineyards transform into a stunning array of gold and red hues, and the region's wine festivals are in full celebration. The cooler weather during this period makes it a comfortable time for river cruising and participating in the festivities.
Winter along the Moselle River offers a different but equally captivating experience. The Christmas markets in the towns dotting the river provide a festive and cozy atmosphere, adding a unique charm to river cruising during this season.
For the best overall experience, river cruising on the Moselle in late spring or early autumn is recommended. These periods offer a harmonious blend of favorable weather, fewer tourists, and the special allure of the vineyards and local festivals, making them ideal times for a memorable Moselle River cruise.
Immerse Yourself in European Culture Along the Moselle River
The Moselle River flows through regions rich in history and cultural diversity. In Germany, you'll encounter a culture that values tradition, precision, and a love for nature. Small towns along the river often celebrate local festivals, especially during the wine harvest season, which are vibrant displays of local customs and community spirit.
In Luxembourg, the culture blends Germanic and French influences, evident in its languages, customs, and cuisine. Luxembourg City, in particular, offers a mix of historical and modern attractions, reflecting its status as a significant European capital.
In the French part of the Moselle, the influence of French art, literature, and culinary tradition is predominant. The laid-back lifestyle, focus on culinary excellence, and the importance of family and community life are integral aspects of the culture here.
Across these regions, respect for local traditions, an appreciation for the arts, and a deep connection to history are common cultural threads. Engaging with locals, participating in traditional festivals, and exploring historical sites provide a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural landscape along the Moselle River.
Experience the Flavors of the Moselle River
The Moselle River region, winding through France, Luxembourg, and Germany, offers a rich culinary journey. In this region, the focus is on fresh, local ingredients and traditional recipes. German cuisine here is known for its comforting and hearty dishes. Don't miss the chance to try regional specialties like "Zwiebelkuchen" (onion pie), "Sauerbraten" (marinated roast), and, of course, the various locally produced sausages. The Moselle is also renowned for its wines, particularly Riesling, which is a must-try.
In Luxembourg and France, you'll find a blend of both countries' culinary influences. French quiches, Luxembourgish "Gromperekichelcher" (potato pancakes), and the delightful pastries and bread are highlights. The region's restaurants range from cozy local taverns to upscale dining experiences, all offering a taste of the local culture.
For a truly immersive experience, visit local markets or partake in wine tastings at vineyards along the river. These experiences not only give a taste of the region's culinary offerings but also provide insights into the local culture and traditions of winemaking and cooking.
Why Book a Moselle River Cruise?
A Moselle River cruise is an ideal way to explore the heart of Europe, combining the ease of travel with a rich cultural experience. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the convenience it offers. Unpack once and relax in your comfortable cabin as each new destination comes to you. This means more time enjoying your vacation and less time worrying about logistics. The Moselle River, known for its serene beauty, offers unique views that can only be appreciated from the water. You'll glide past terraced vineyards, historic castles, and charming villages, all while enjoying the comfort of your cruise ship.
Another benefit of a Moselle River cruise is the value. Your fare typically includes accommodations, meals, and guided tours at various stops, making it a cost-effective way to see multiple destinations. Many cruises also offer exclusive activities and excursions that aren't available to the general public, such as private wine tastings in centuries-old vineyards or behind-the-scenes tours of historic landmarks.
The Moselle River cruise is more than just a trip; it's an immersive experience that allows you to explore the culture, history, and natural beauty of this unique region at a leisurely pace. Whether you're a history buff, a wine connoisseur, or simply someone who appreciates stunning landscapes, a cruise along the Moselle River is an experience you won't want to miss.
Ready to Book Your Moselle River Cruise?
Are you considering a unique and memorable journey? A Moselle River cruise is an excellent choice, offering a perfect blend of scenic beauty, rich history, and cultural depth. Glide through tranquil landscapes dotted with vineyards, charming villages, and historic towns. This cruise is not just a journey — it's an exploration of a region steeped in tradition and natural beauty. From tasting exquisite wines in the famed vineyards of Germany to exploring the blend of French and German influences in Luxembourg and the quaint towns of France, every moment is an opportunity for discovery. Whether you're a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a culinary connoisseur, the Moselle River has something to enchant you.
So, why wait? Book your Moselle River cruise today and embark on an adventure that promises relaxation, discovery, and unforgettable experiences.