You will discover that most of the Rhine cruises featured online will start or end in Amsterdam. This gateway to Europe is known for its canals as well as Rembrandt and Dutch master paintings. For example, the Rijksmuseum displays Rembrandt's work as well as other Dutch masters. The Anne Frank House is also another must-see attraction.
Best Time To Visit Taking a cruise in the
Netherlands normally is propitious from April to October, with peak seasons covering July and August.
You Should Know The river IJ in the city separates north and south Amsterdam. The name, which is a single letter in the Dutch language, does not technically reference a river. The "river" is actually a former bay, or more precisely a long lake, although it is still called a river. Besides having hundreds of kilometers of canals, Amsterdam also has around 1,200 bridges.
One of the highlights of a visit to Cologne is the magnificent cathedral known as Gothic Dom – begun in 1248 and finally finished in 1880. The two towers of the structure were briefly known as the tallest towers in the world. Besides this grand historical site, Cologne also offers plenty in the way of shopping and dining.
Best Time To Visit The best time to see Cologne is during the fall, from September to November, or in the spring (April to June). Both times are ideal for sightseeing. While summer (July to August) is both warm and pleasant, it does tend to get a bit humid.
You Should Know Cologne is known as Germany's capital of carnivals. The city features one of the oldest perfume factories in Europe. You can learn more about perfumes and colognes at the Cologne Museum, which is located in Glocken Alley. Old Town in Cologne blends the old with the new, which makes the area atmospheric and interesting walkthrough.
Siting where the
Moselle and Rhine Rivers meet, Koblenz is famous for its fortress, named Ehrenbreitstein, the largest stronghold in Europe. It watches over Koblenz on a towering hillside next to the waterway. The city also features a giant monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I, which dates back to 1897. The statue overlooks the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers.
Best Time To Visit April, October, and November are the best times to see Koblenz, as you will avoid the heat, humidity, cold, and rain that prevails during the other times of the year.
You Should Know The best way to travel up to Ehrenbreitstein and get rewarded with a Rhine River view is to take the cable car. Not only can you see some great river views from the fortress, you can also see some magnificent scenery when crossing the river via a cable car.The cable car system in Koblenz carries as many as 7,000 people during peak seasons, or during June through August.
Rudesheim am Reim, Germany
Popularized by the Romantics in the early 1800s, Rudesheim was noted for its remoteness and solitude. However, this busy tourist town no longer carries that distinction, as it is known for its wine-making and Rieslings. The town even features a wine museum inside a castle.
Best Time To Visit The best time to plan a visit to Rudesheim is between Easter and the middle of October. Otherwise, the restaurants and other attractions will not be open, which can put a damper on your cruise planning. The only exception is during the Christmas Market, which takes place from late November through December.
You Should Know Drosselgasse represents a lane lined with taverns, eateries, and shops – a nice place to visit when tourist season is at its peak. Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet is a museum that displays automated musical instruments. Bromserburg Castle features the Rheingau Wine Museum. If you go during a colder part of the year, try Rudesheim coffee. It is a delightful coffee that includes brandy, whipped cream, and sugar.
Middle Rhine Gorge
Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Middle Rhine stretches 40 miles between Koblenz and Bingen and features hillside vineyards and fairy tale castles. In fact, some of the Rhine day cruises only go through this part of the Rhine region.
Best Time To Visit The best time to cruise this section of the Rhine is from May to mid-October. That way, you can more easily see the sights or get a bite to eat in nearby towns.
You Should Know The Loreley is a rock found at the narrowest section of the river. The rock lies south of St. Goarshausen, where, it is said, a devious nymph lives. The rock was mentioned in a poem by Heinrich Heine, and was later made into a song. This area of the Rhine is usually featured on both long and short trips because of the scenic banks and historic sites.
Sitting on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is not directly situated on the track most Rhine River cruises take, but can be reached within an hour on a shore excursion by train. The university town is famous for its partly ruined castle.
Best Time To Visit Heidelberg bustles with events from May through August, with the highest temperatures seen during June and July (around 89 degrees Fahrenheit).
You Should Know Heidelberg was a favorite location of writers Mark Twain, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Max Weber and Friedrich Hegel. While Heidelberg easily connects to other cities by train, the train is located in the newer section of town. Most of the sights are located in the Old Town area. Therefore, you need to take a taxi if you plan to go sightseeing.
One of the most beautiful cities in
France, Strasbourg reminds visitors of Amsterdam, with it canals, museums, and charming houses. The picturesque neighborhood of Petite France is indeed Idyllically quaint. This is the ideal place to go on a food tour or on a chocolate lover's adventure.
Best Time To Visit You should visit Strasbourg during the summer (or June through August), as the temperatures are amenable and you will enjoy soft and delightful breezes.
You Should Know Rhine river cruises normally don't dock in the town of Strasbourg. Instead, they leave cruise-goers off at Kehl, Germany, which sits a short distance over the international bridge from Strasbourg. Most of the cruise lines run shuttles from Kehl into Strasbourg, which take under 15 minutes.
A noted university town, Mainz sits at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers. Known for its carnival celebrations, Mainz is also known as the former hometown of the inventor and printer, Johannes Gutenberg, who lived and work in Mainz during the 1400s.
Best Time To Visit An escape to Mainz is ideal during the months of August through November.
You Should Know Within walking distance of the river is the Gutenberg Museum, which displays examples of books and Bibles printed by the Gutenberg Press, which is also on display. A major attraction in Mainz is also the Romanesque cathedral, Mainzer Dom, built between the 11th and 13th centuries.
Starting a Rhine River cruise is straightforward. The river runs through central and western Europe, with popular starting points like Basel in
Switzerland and Amsterdam in the
Netherlands. If you're flying in, you'll likely land in a major city like Zurich or Amsterdam, where international flights are plentiful. From the airport, you can take a train, a bus, or a taxi to the cruise terminal. The ports are well-equipped and easy to navigate, making your transition from land to ship smooth and stress-free. Plus, they're often located close to city centers, offering a glimpse of urban life before you even board the ship. With everything set up for your convenience, you can begin your Rhine cruise with ease and excitement.
The Perfect Time for a Rhine River Cruise
A Rhine River cruise is an enchanting experience, with the timing of your trip playing a significant role in how you experience this iconic European river. The prime time for river cruising on the Rhine is from late spring to early autumn, typically between May and October. During these months, the weather along the Rhine is usually warm and conducive to outdoor activities, making it ideal for sightseeing and spending time on the sun deck.
The summer months, from June to August, bring the warmest temperatures and mark the full swing of the tourist season along the Rhine. This period is perfect for those who enjoy a lively atmosphere and don't mind sharing the river and its attractions with other travelers. However, if you prefer a more tranquil river cruising experience with milder weather, the shoulder months of May and September are excellent choices. These months offer the advantage of sunny days and cooler evenings, providing a comfortable climate for exploring the Rhine's scenic beauty.
For those considering river cruising during the off-season, such as November or April, there are benefits like fewer tourists and potentially lower prices. However, it's important to be prepared for less predictable weather and cooler temperatures during these times. Winter cruises on the Rhine, particularly around the Christmas season, are less common but offer a unique charm. The festive Christmas markets along the Rhine create a magical atmosphere, making a winter river cruise a special experience, albeit with colder weather. Each season on the Rhine River offers its unique appeal, allowing for a diverse range of river cruising experiences.
Experience the Flavors of Europe
A Rhine River cruise is a journey through Europe's culinary heart. In Switzerland, indulge in rich cheeses and chocolate. As you enter
Germany, savor hearty dishes like 'sauerbraten,' tender pot roast, often served with 'knödel,' dumplings. The region is also known for its 'wurst' sausages, accompanied by 'sauerkraut.' Alongside the meals, enjoy a stein of 'pilsner' or 'weissbier,' crisp German beers. In the Rhine Valley, don't miss 'Rüdesheimer Kaffee,' coffee with a kick of locally distilled Asbach brandy, topped with whipped cream.
Each region has its specialty. In France, the Alsace area combines French and German influences in dishes like 'choucroute garnie,' a lavish dish with sausages and salted meats. In the Netherlands, a must-try is 'haring,' raw herring served with onions, or 'stroopwafel,' sweet syrup waffles.
When it comes to dining, seek out local 'weinstubes' in Germany for regional wine and food or cozy 'brasseries' in France. Onboard, you'll often find menus designed to reflect the regions you're passing through, offering a taste of the locale without stepping off the ship. The Rhine cruise is a true feast for the senses, with each meal an opportunity to explore the diverse flavors of Europe.
Immerse Yourself in European Cultures
Traveling along the Rhine, you're invited into a world of rich European cultures. In Switzerland, the blend of German, French, and Italian influences is evident in the multilingual population and diverse festivals. Germany offers a deep-rooted culture with traditions like Oktoberfest and Christmas markets in almost every town along the river. The Rhine Valley itself is dotted with medieval castles, each with its own tale, and villages where festivals celebrate everything from wine to music. In Alsace, France, the blend of French and German customs can be seen in their unique celebrations, such as the colorful 'Fête des Rois' in January. Finally, in the Netherlands, Dutch pragmatism shines through inefficient design and a calendar full of events like King's Day, when the whole country turns orange. Every stop along the Rhine brings a new cultural experience, a chance to engage with the local way of life and create lasting memories.
Why Book a Rhine River Cruise?
Booking a Rhine River cruise is an investment in unforgettable experiences and convenience. It's a journey where you unpack once but wake up to a new backdrop every day. Along the Rhine, you witness unique landscapes, from the Swiss Alps to the Dutch lowlands and iconic cities brimming with culture. A cruise offers a vantage point that no road trip can, bringing the castles and vineyards of the Middle Rhine into the comfort of your cabin. Your travel is streamlined; there is no need to hop between hotels or navigate foreign train schedules. It's all about ease – your floating hotel moves with you. Onboard, you often have access to exclusive cultural talks and entertainment, enriching your journey. Then there's the value; with meals, accommodations, and transport bundled into one price, it can be more economical than arranging each separately. The Rhine River cruise is not just a holiday; it's a full-service experience that brings the best of Europe to your doorstep, or should we say, to your deck railing.
Ready to Book Your Rhine River Cruise?
Are you thinking about a vacation that offers both relaxation and a touch of exploration? A Rhine River cruise might be the perfect fit. Imagine yourself on a ship winding through the heart of Europe. Each day brings a new city filled with history, culture, and cuisine. From the comfort of your cabin, you'll see castles, vineyards, and museums. Onboard, you're treated to top-notch service and cultural programs that enrich your travel. It's a stress-free way to see some of Europe's most stunning sights. You'll learn, taste, and experience so much along the way. So, if you're ready for an adventure that combines the ease of travel with the depth of cultural discovery, it's time to book your Rhine River cruise.
Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime.