River Cruise Cancellation Fears Loom As Rhine Threatens Closure
Water levels on the Rhine River are set to fall close to the point where the river cannot hold ships anymore. This would mean that river cruise lines could face severe disruptions over the coming weeks.
The river has been slowly dropping since early July as the European heatwave rages. The river at Kaub, Germany is set to drop to 47 centimetres by the weekend taking it to within 7 centimetres of being all but impassable, according to Bloomberg.
A spokesperson from The Scenic Group, which includes both Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and Emerald Cruises, told Travel Weekly that it is closely monitoring the ongoing record high temperatures across Europe and how this impacts the water levels in some sections of the river it operates its cruises.
The river conditions can change significantly, depending on rain fall and other local factors, the spokesperson said.
Thus, we are adjusting guest travel arrangements when required and altering some river cruises to allow for the safe navigation of our ships.
This is to ensure the minimal disruption to our guests experience and itineraries.
Viking Cruises released a statement yesterday saying that guests and their travel advisors will continue to be notified directly by customer relations if the cruise line thinks itineraries on the Rhine and Dunabe Rivers might be impacted.
What Should You Not Buy On A Cruise
4 Overpriced Items You Shouldnt Buy on a Cruise Ship Mainstream Liquor. Unless youre shopping for a rare vintage, local liqueur or brand thats not available where you live, we suggest not spending your money on booze. Personal Care Products. Forget toothpaste, sunscreen or feminine care products? Medication. Electronics.
Strasbourg On Christmas Day
This morning we cruise gently upstream, passing through two spectacular locks, whose elaborate engineering never ceases to fascinate. After breakfast why not find a comfortable chair in the lounge and enjoy a relaxing morning the perfect start to Christmas Day. For this special day, were on our way to Strasbourg, hailed the capital of Christmas. You are sure to be captivated by the unique atmosphere of this captivating French city at Christmas time its centre a mosaic of winding alleys and lanes lined with quirkily crooked, half-timbered houses largely unchanged since the 14th century. During its history, Strasbourg has been both German and French, and you see the influences of both in its language, cuisine and appearance, creating a truly individual ambience. With Strasbourg locals spending time with loved ones today, the markets, shops, cafés and attractions may not be open. Take this time to appreciate this spellbinding capital of the Alsace region and its wonderful architecture in the gentle calm of Christmas Day.
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Enjoy Cocktails At The Top Of Europe With An Exclusive Tauck Reception At The Jungfraujoch’s Ice Palace
As your mountain railway train ascends into the majestic Swiss Alps, you’ll arrive at Kleine Scheidegg at the foot of the Eiger, then board a cogwheel train for the scenic climb to Europe’s highest railway station, at the Jungfraujoch . Here, at “the top of Europe,” you’ll find a restaurant, observatory, research station, a gallery of ice sculpture, and breathtaking views of the glacier-clad Bernese Alps, often called Switzerland’s “jewel in the crown.” And you’ll enjoy a Tauck Exclusive… a private cocktail reception at the Ice Palace taking time. of course, to savor the astounding views of the lofty peaks of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Mönch surrounding you!
What Is There To Do On The Rhine River Cruise
Rhine River Cruises Amsterdams charming canals and gabled houses. Windmills of Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colognes Gothic Dom. Rüdesheims wine-growing region. Marksburg Castle, perched above scenic Braubach. Multicultural Strasbourg. Breathtaking views of the legendary Black Forest.
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Roman Influence On The Rhine
Dont just visit the Rhine, experience the wealth of culture, history and beautiful scenery that the region has to offer on one of our spectacular, luxurious Rhine river cruises.From the stark beauty of the Black Forest Village in Breisach, to the intricate Gothic architecture on show in Cologne, our 8 day Jewels of the Rhine river cruise could be for you. Perhaps the Higlights of the Netherlands & the Beauty of Belgium is more suited to your tastes, especially if you like UNESCO World Heritage-listed windmills, Antwerps quaint cobblestone streets and Maastricht perfectly-Dutch churches, museums and squares.
Christmas Market River Cruises
A festive vacation is a great way to celebrate the winter season. Walking around the beautifully decorated markets with family, friends, or as a solo traveler, and trying all the delicious treats on offer is perfect for those wanting something different to your average vacation. We currently offer two Christmas Market cruises, which give the chance to see exciting cities and towns along the Rhine or the Danube, while you explore and shop for that perfect yuletide souvenir.
Walking amongst the unique market stalls with a chimney cake and a hot chocolate really make an evening special, and bringing home unique gifts can make Christmas morning more magical. During your festive celebrations at home, youll also be able to relive the marvelous memories by telling friends and family about your travels, and the amazing things you saw in the many towns and cities you visited.
Brand new for 2020 are four river cruises covering the Christmas and New Year periods. Try the Rhine or Danube rivers at Christmas and enjoy each location on-board your five-star ship. Or perhaps New Years on the Rhine or Danube rivers are more your style.
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Discovering Siegfrieds Whimsical Musical Legacy In Rdesheim
Housed in a centuries-old castle in the charming Rhine Valley wine town of Rüdesheim, Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett really must be seen and heard to be believed. Its the legacy of the late Siegfried Wendel, who founded his first museum dedicated to antique self-playing musical instruments in the 1970s. The current Musikkabinett in the 14th-century Brömserhof displays Siegfrieds mesmerizing collection of mechanized musical clocks, player pianos, fairground organs, self-playing violins and many more including the worlds largest automated doll orchestra!
Set Your Sights Higher
Between Rudesheim and Koblenz along the magnificent Rhine Gorge, more castles reach toward the sky than anywhere else on the planet a towering castle appearing an average of every two-and-a-half kilometers. Along the way, youre invited to step across centuries-old drawbridges and into storybook settings to experience the majestic and magical days of yore. Yet with Avalon, its not just about the views its about the to dos! Here are a few of the formidable fortresses you can experience up close when you set sail with Avalon:
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The Best Christmas Market Cruises On The Danube
When it comes to river competitions, the Danube is probably the biggest rival of the Rhine when it comes to European Christmas market cruises.
Its not only one of the biggest rivers in Europe, but it also passes through some of the most important Christmas market cities. Be ready to explore one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany: Nürnberg and the Regensburg.
In most cases, the Christmas market cruises on the Danube take you to Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary as well. Its thus a very convenient way of exploring the world famous Christmas Markets of Vienna and/or Budapest. And visiting several countries as well!
Generally speaking, Christmas market cruises on the Danube last longer than its Rhine counterpart. Often a minimum of 7 days are required.
Insider tip: Id recommend looking out for a Danube Christmas market cruise that includes Passau, a smaller sized but gorgeous town on the Danube. Its known for its Italian inspired architecture. I also recommend looking for Christmas cruises that include Budapest which is absolutely beautiful during the festive season.
The best Christmas market cruises on the Danube:
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A Melding Of Cultures
For much of its length, the Rhine acts as the border between France and Germany. If you were sailing north from Basel, youd find France on your left for much of your trip. On your right, Germany. And because the two countries are so close together, you get a unique blending of cultures and culinary delights. Its not uncommon to find Alsatian-style spätzle in Strasbourg, France or to find a greater emphasis on wines over beer in many German towns .
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Another Option: Colognes Beer Culture & Dinner
This excursion was a ton of fun. We learned a little and laughed a lot! If you like beer and want to try authentic German fare, which was delicious, this is a great experience. The only problem was that it had to end, but guests on the ship were dancing the night away when we returned and you only need to know one thing: there was a conga line which always signals a great time.
Pro Tip: I ended up wearing my comfortable, exercise-type clothes much more than I thought I would on this trip. Theres no need to overpack, but just dont forget to pack a few things you would normally wear when out for a good walk or bike ride.
The Best Of The Rhine
The 870-mile stretch of the Rhine is very diverse in its scenery. Its an important river in Europe that continues to be important in the modern era. The banks of the Rhine are not filled with only castles and sleepy medieval European towns. There is also the glimpse of a factory or power plant, bustling modern cities, and sprawling countryside.
Because of this diversity, the river has a little something for everyone. If you are hoping to see a bit of European history and immerse yourself in what once was, the Rapunzels Castle area may be your ideal cruise itinerary. There are many castles along the Rhine River, but you may want to look for ships that are traveling through the Rhine Gorge.
As you cruise down the river, depending on which area of the river you choose, youll see a lot of what Europe has to offer. You can choose an itinerary that hops from the main cities on The Rhine: Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Basel, Mainz, Cologne and Rudesheim. This will allow you to see a lot of what Europe has to offer without getting too rural.
If you want to stretch your European experience, look into cruise itinerary that includes the Moselle River. You will be dazzled by not only beautiful scenery but also castles and vineyards along the smaller river.
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Rhine River Cruise Port Highlights
One of the joys of a Rhine River cruise is the variety of shoreside experiences it offers. You can find yourself exploring the cobbled streets of a sleepy medieval village or taking in the sights of a vibrant city, enjoying a lazy afternoon wine tasting, strolling the banks of a tranquil canal or marvelling at a splendid Baroque palace or spectacularly spooky Gothic cathedral.
Here are just a few of the highlights…
Amsterdam. The city of cyclists, lovely tree-lined canals, offbeat shops and cafes, and fabulous museums and art galleries, Amsterdam has so much to offer that most river cruises starting or ending there allow two days to explore the city. Its most famous sites include Anne Frank’s House, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, but this great city has more than 50 museums in all and offers many more unusual options. These include the boat-shaped NEMO Science and Technology Museum and — for those with more, ahem, esoteric tastes — museums devoted to sex and erotica.
Strasbourg. With its cobbled streets, timbered medieval houses and the gorgeous canal-laced Petite France at the heart of its Old Town, Strasbourg is one of the loveliest and most fascinating cities in France . Its top attractions include the Cathedrale de Notre Dame, which dates from 1190 AD and, at 142 meters, is Europe’s tallest medieval building. Look out also for the Rohan Palace, where Marie Antoinette once stayed.
Speyer On Christmas Eve
Unwind after breakfast this morning as the ship gently cruises to Speyer. As you lounge back and enjoy a relaxing Christmas Eve, the landscape becomes much wider and flatter, with gently rolling hills and vineyards that are home to the Liebfraumilch wines. Take to the deck and enjoy the bracing as we continue our Christmas journey upstream. We berth in historic Speyer, founded by the Celts and one of Germanys oldest cities, celebrated for its illustrious past, for an afternoon walking tour. The breathtaking Imperial Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is among the largest Romanesque churches in the world its also one of the finest. Its beautiful four-roomed crypt is the resting place of many Holy Roman emperors and German kings.
Another landmark is the magnificent neo-Gothic Gedächtniskirche, built at the turn of the 20th-century to commemorate the 1529 Protestation at Speyer, a significant event when a group of Martin Luthers followers protested against his imperial ban henceforth Luthers religious followers were known as Protestants. Speyers delightful Christmas market is held on the bustling Maximilanstrasse, in front of the Old Mint. The alluring aromas of hot Glühwein and roasted almonds fill the air and local choirs and music groups provide a festive programme. Theres free time to explore the numerous stalls decorated with twinkling lights before stepping back on board for another splendid dinner.
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Rhine Gorge & Rdesheim
To really get in the Christmas mood, nothing beats waking up on board to find youre already cruising through an entrancing winter wonderland. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning and relax on board while a kaleidoscope of riverside views drifts by in all their seasonal glory. Wrap up warm and take to the deck for an invigorating breath of frosty air as we pass through the outstandingly beautiful Rhine Gorge, where the river flows a little faster, the vineyard-covered valley sides are steeper and ruined castles sit atop rocky crags. Tales of mysterious happenings here have been passed down over the generations, most famously of all the legend of the Lorelei the maiden said to have enticed sailors onto the rocks with her irresistible songs.
The festive period is a magical time to visit this picturesque part of Germany, and no country does it better. The historic Yuletide markets here are the ideal places to soak up the spellbinding atmosphere while seeking out unusual presents for friends and family back home.
As the evening light fades, amble back on board to enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the ships excellent restaurant.
*Due to event cancellation, Rüdesheim Christmas Market is unavailable for 2021 departures.
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Romantic Rhine River Cruises
2022-2023 departures available now!
Planning your 2022 and 2023 European river cruise, the Romantic Rhine Valley remains one of the most popular river cruise itinerary you could select in our wide range of cruises. The landscape made up of famous European landmarks make it an unmissable European destinatination for those looking to discover the heart of the old continent. A river cruise is ideal to make the most if your European holiday unpacking only once!
Sail with CroisiEurope, largest European river cruise line running the best all-inclusive value on the market. CroisiEurope take you away for much less, but still include it all:
Superb French cuisine and impeccable service
Explore vineyards, quaint medieval towns, castles, and breathtaking scenery with Europes largest and most experienced Rhine river cruise line.
*Price based on double occupancy
*Price based on double occupancy
*Price based on double occupancy
*Price based on double occupancy
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The Best Rhine River Cruise Lines
Choosing a cruise line is like choosing the perfect bottle of wine. The perfect bottle is going to be different for every person. River cruise lines are the same way. There are several cruise lines that sail the river and upwards of 300 ships will travel the Rhine at some point during the cruising season, if you include the local companies as well.
All of the cruise lines have ships and itineraries that range in trip length, price and destinations. Finding the right cruise does not have to be like a needle in a haystack. We recommend researching the top cruise lines first: Viking River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, AMA Waterways, Tauck River Cruises and Emerald Waterways. These will offer the most diverse itineraries and excursions.
If you cant find what you are looking for with these larger cruise lines, then start digging deeper. There are several different smaller, more specialized cruise lines, too many to list really. But you can find a lot of great information on cruise sites like cruisecritic.com and rivercruiseadvisor.com.
Best Time For Rhine River Cruises
The Rhine can be hot and busy in the peak summer months, so although this is a good time for sun worshippers to peg out on the top decks of their riverboats, some travelers prefer to cruise in the more temperate spring and autumn. A particularly good time to go is Easter, when local markets feature brightly-painted real eggs, pretty wooden decorations and beautiful circlets of flowers to hang outside your door.
Another good time to plan a Rhine cruise is during one of the region’s spectacular “Rhine in Flames” events in the summer and fall. Generally linked to local wine festivals or other celebrations, these take place at different locations along the Middle Rhine and involve spectacular fireworks displays and much jollification, music and dancing. After joining in the fun ashore, passengers take to the river for the best view of the late-night pyrotechnics.
For details of river cruises tying in with these events — and for general Rhine cruise information — useful websites to visit include www.gorivercruise.com and the German Tourist Board site www.germany.travel.
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