Cruises are often associated with the sea and distant lands. We overlook the fact that the good is very close.
What is meant are cruises on the picturesque Rhine, one of the longest and most beautiful rivers in Europe. Historic cities such as Strasbourg, Speyer, Mainz or Bingen invite you to visit. Koblenz, Cologne or Düsseldorf as well as wonderful river landscapes are waiting to be "discovered" and admired.
The source of the Rhine in the Swiss canton of Graubünden is quite unspectacular. After leaving the Alpine region, it flows into Lake Constance near Bregenz. It leaves the lake at Stein am Rhein, and soon after it forms the border between Switzerland and Germany. The border line ends at Basel; from then on the river divides Germany from France. The longest part of its way it flows through Germany before flowing into the North Sea as the “Waal” in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Rhine - Speyer Cathedral and town house
Large sections of the river are used for river cruises on the Rhine. The trips on the Middle and Lower Rhine are very popular. At the middle Rhine between Bingen and Koblenz is the 65 kilometer long and historic UNESCO World Heritage “Upper Middle Rhine Valley”. According to UNESCO, the Middle Rhine Valley has facilitated cultural exchange between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe for two millennia. Forty castles, forts and palaces were built on the hills and mountains along the river over a period of a thousand years. Most of them have survived the centuries as picturesque ruins. Writers, painters and composers traveled to the region and were inspired by the landscape. That alone is reason enough to follow suit on a river cruise.
The landscape of the Lower Rhine also looks very appealing. Geographically, the beginning of the Lower Rhine region is located near Bonn. Then the river touches Cologne and the foothills of the Ruhr area. The landscape turns into flat land and the view sweeps over wide meadows. At Emmerich the longest suspension bridge in Germany comes into focus. It is the more than 800 meter long "Emmerich Rhine Bridge" that connects Kleve with Emmerich.
Board life river cruise
On a multi-day Rhine cruise, passengers disembark in a different city each day. The excursion offers are varied: castles, churches and picturesque inner cities invite you to stay. And the physical well-being is not neglected either: rustic restaurants offer tasty regional wines and hearty dishes. Back on board, the ship's guests take in the impressive landscape of the Rhine. The highlight of the cruise season in summer is the “Fire Spectacle Rhine in Flames”. The annual "Rhine in Flames“Events that include fireworks in different cities take place between July and September.
Some rivers that flow into the Rhine are also cruise destinations. Mention should be made of the Main, the Moselle and the Neckar. The Frankfurt financial center is the starting point for cruises. Who would have thought that? Wine connoisseurs are drawn to the Moselle because of the top wines. The beautiful Moselle valley with its steep slopes and the many castle ruins is an encore.
Strasbourg Place Benjamin Zix
Rhine cruises that touch several countries are very popular with ship guests. For example, a “three-country cruise” leads from Germany to Switzerland and France. Stops are Basel and Alsace. Cruises to Belgium and the Netherlands start from Cologne or Düsseldorf. Cities like Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the highlights of such trips.