Travel the Waterways of the Rhine River

A primary river in Europe, the Rhine River flows from the base of the mountainous Swiss Alps and travels through Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and France before reaching The Netherlands and the North Sea. 

The second longest river in Central Europe has played a prominent role as a key waterway since the Holy Roman Empire.

A diverse geography makes it scenically enjoyable while historically and culturally rich cities offer options for exploring the medieval rich Upper Rhine. The many UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Middle Rhine. The historic cities of the Lower Rhine and the river delta region.

Switzerland – It is here at the knee of the river where the High Rhine and Upper Rhine meet.  The river city of Basel is the gateway to the majestic Alps and the key cities of Zurich and Lucerne. Also known for its forty museums, Basel is the original art center of Europe and home to the largest collections in Switzerland. Basel is the perfect destination  for starting or ending your Rhine river journey.

France – At the borders of Switzerland and Germany on the western bank of the Rhine is the Eastern French Alsace region. Having spent years with both French and German influences you can enjoy a little bit of both countries while visiting the medieval and gothic landmarks and French village influenced timbered buildings in the cities of Strasbourg and Riquewihr. As a prominent wine region, here you can pair a visit with white wines of the Vin d’Alsace wine route.

Germany – As the longest river in Germany, the river flows through the Upper, Middle and Lower regions of the Rhine. From Breisach in the Upper Rhineland of the Rhine Valley you can reach the storybook villages of the Black Forest and the city of Freiburg at the heart of the German Baden wine region known for its medieval Cathedral. Or from the river city of Ludwigshafen visit the Castle’s of nearby Heidelberg.

The Middle Rhine aka the “Romantic Rhine” takes you to the alluring village of Rüdesheim. Here you can decide which is better, the views or the wines. Before the river meanders through the scenic UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge known for its prehistoric rockscape and the stretch of river that features storybook fortresses and castles. It is here that the local vineyards produce some of the best Riesling wines in Germany.

The city of Cologne in the Lower Rhine is a charming city on the west bank. As the fourth largest city in Germany, Cologne is best known for cobble-stoned streets, historic gothic architecture and Kolsch beer.

Netherlands – Whenthe river turns and heads west creating the widest portion of the river and where the Rhine enters the Delta region you have entered the Dutch Netherlands. You pass the confluence of three rivers, making it the largest delta in Europe before reaching the Amsterdam – Rhine canal in the central Netherlands. The global city of Amsterdam is considered “Venice of the North” for its elaborate canal systems. Also a key location to visit for its number of museums, artistic legacy and nightlife makes it an ideal starting or ending point for your river itinerary.

Filled with endless options for sites to see,  guided hikes and bicycles on board will provide the opportunity to enjoy the cities and villages with the chance to explore further on your own.

Boutique accommodations and world-class dining, plus local entertainment offer you luxurious comforts for traveling one of Europe’s historic and most traveled waterways. 

Sample activities included with your cruise:

  • Scenic Canal cruise through the city of Amsterdam.
  • Sample Kolsch beer at a local Cologne tavern.
  • Visit the 13th century medieval fortress Burg Lahneck in Lahnstein.
  • Cruise along the scenic Rhine Gorge spotting castles and the ancient hillsides along the river.
  • A hiking tour through the vineyards of Rüdesheim will have you sampling some of Germany’s best local wines.
  • Bike from Ludwigshafen along the Neckar river to the cozy town of Ladenberg.
  • Travel Germany’s Castle Road to Heidelberg Castle.
  • Take a panoramic tour of the Alsatian capital, and the Le Petit France district of Strasbourg.
  • From the port town of Breisach visit Riquewihr the inspirational town for the animated classic Beauty and the Beast.
  • Hike the Black Forest, home of Grimm’s Fairytales and cuckoo clocks.
  • From the port of Basel, take a full day excursion to visit Lucerne the medieval town at the base of the Swiss Alps.

Your 7 night voyage travels in both directions and is inclusive of all these options. Extend your travel with two nights in Amsterdam, and/or four days visiting Lucerne and Zurich in Switzerland.

BucketList Travel Advisors are river cruise specialists and can guide with the details of planning a Rhine river experience.