The Best Of The Rhine
Avalon Felicity on the Rhine River in Lorelei Rock, Germany.
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.
More About The Sights Not On Board Entertainment
River cruising is a much more intimate experience, with unreserved seating at meal times so you get to mix and mingle with almost everyone on board by the end .
Theres less on-board entertainment but each evening people congregated in the lounge by the bar and Viking had an on-board pianist.;
A couple nights during the week, Viking hosted either singers, dancers or local activities.
My favorite was the glass blowing demonstration by a glass master from Germany! He was quite an artist and had different glassblowing techniques than what I saw when I went to Venice.
Enchanting Rhine & Yuletide Cruise
If you want to cruise in Europe, try the Enchanting Rhine and Yuletide Cruise. This is a great way to see some of Germanys most beautiful towns and cities during this particular time of year.;
Youll enjoy an enchanting river cruise along the romantic River Main. Besides, you go through charming medieval villages with quaint shops lined by ancient buildings.
It is luxurious accommodation aboard. The elegant ship that will take you on your journey from Frankfurt, Main to Koblenz. The cruise begins at 7:00 pm and ends around 10:30 am the next day.;
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Concluding Thoughts On River Cruises
Bottom Line:River cruising is a great option for culture-hungry travelers. Pay attention to the travel package details to get the best value for your money.
River cruise lines make researching their adventures fun, with video tours and details to suit the needs of many different types of travelers. Our three river cruise lines, for example, have well over 100 river ships between them and offer destinations around the globe. Consumers who dive into this research and understand the details of the packages they consider will get the most out of the experience. It also helps to get input from friends, family and acquaintances who have taken part in a river cruise experience. Look for feedback on travel websites and customer review forums. Finally, working with a travel agent can help you understand your options, and get you started on the voyage thats right for you.
Rhine Or Danube River Cruise: Food And Drink
When choosing a Rhine or Danube river cruise, perhaps a preference for food and drink will help sway a decision.
Local specialities on a Rhine river cruise may include hearty dishes of sausages and pork, and afternoon tea with a slice of Black Forest chocolate cake. Fine wine will be in no short supply either with plentiful Riesling being produced on the Rhines steep vineyards. Wine lovers can enjoy excursions to both Mainz and Rüdesheim and a tour of the Asbach brandy distillery shouldnt be missed. And heres an interesting Rhine river fact while less than 1% of Swiss wine is exported, over 200 different grapes grow in Switzerland. Cheers!
As for a Danube river cruise, you can expect to eat goulash and Wiener schnitzel, along with some delicious Viennese pastries and traditional apple strudel perhaps enjoyed with a glass of crisp Grüner Veltliner from the attractive Wachau Valley.
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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.
Best And Worst River Cruise Lines
Our river cruise ratings reveal a gulf in quality between the best and worst companies, so if you’re thinking of booking a river cruise for later in 2021 or beyond, it’s essential you do your research.
Offering a smaller, more intimate proposition than best and worst cruise lines, its important to know which river ships have cramped decks and which give you space to enjoy the view. And its vital that you choose the river cruise company offering the best value for money, with no hidden costs.
To help you find the best river cruise line for your budget we ask hundreds of customers about their booking and on-board experiences in our annual survey. That way, we can be sure that Which? Recommended Providers are the very best river cruise lines on water.;
Our survey doesnt just uncover the companies offering great cuisine, varied facilities and good value for money. It also highlights the brands with lacklustre cabins, unimaginative excursions and overpriced packages. Based on real experiences we can reveal what customers really think of each river cruise brand.
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Rhine River Cruises 2021 / 2022
The highlight of any Rhine River cruise, however, is the Middle Rhine Valley, also known as the Rhine Gorge. The 18th-century Romantics claimed it possessed the landscape of the soul. You only have to take one look at its steep cliffs, pea-green vineyards and hilltop castles to see why. This stretch of the Rhine, between Rudesheim and …
River Cruise Line Reviews
Of the 16 providers we’ve reviewed, just five are good enough to earn Which? Recommended Provider status: Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, APT Luxury Cruises and Tours, Emerald Waterways, Viking River Cruises and Riviera Travel.;
Not only can you rely on them to organise a fantastic cruise, but you can also count on them to promptly return your money if things go wrong and your cruise can’t go ahead. Unfortunately, that’s more than can be said for many cruise companies.
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Day : Cologne Germany
During the Holy Roman Empire, Cologne was the largest medieval town in Europe. Naturally, its Gothic cathedral is the hallmark draw!
The nice thing about this stop is the ship can dock right into town, so you can join the tour or explore on your own.
We explored the;Kölner Doms interior and were suitably awed.
If you want a great view, Viking offers an optional tour that takes you all the way to the very top! I had already been to Cologne on a previous trip so instead, we opted for a palace excursion.
I *love* an over the top, beautifully decorated mansion and have a whole series dedicated to them here.
We visited Augustusburg Castle, one of two gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site classified as Bruhl Palaces.
The castle was once home to the prince-archbishops of Cologne and is decked out in gold, marble and all-around extravagance.;I particularly liked the massive entryway staircase which was gilded and made my mouth drop open when we turned the corner.
Highly recommend this day trip if you love castleshalf as much as I do!
The interiors were really unique and the guided tour was excellent.
After the main palace, we did a quick tour of the hunting lodge as well, which was just as stunning. This is one stop I definitely wished we had more time in!
Rhine River Cruise Lines
Who goes there? Who doesn’t? An average month in the April to October summer season will see about 300 riverboat departures along the Rhine, and that’s not counting the excursion boats operating short hops along the river for people staying locally.
Rhine River cruise operators include CroisiEurope, Viking River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, AmaWaterways, APT River Cruises, Emerald Waterways, Grand Circle Cruises, Vantage, Amadeus, Sea Cloud Cruises, A-ROSA, Uniworld, Lueftner Cruises, Titan, Fred. Olsen River Cruises, Tauck River Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages, Riviera Travel and The River Cruise Line.
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Burg Rheinfels Castle In St Goar
Burg Rheinfels is the largest of the Rhine river Germany castles. Even so, historically it used to be around five times larger than it is now.;
During periods of conflict, Burg Rheinfels could hold up to 4,500 people while being besieged. Sadly, it was deliberately ruined by French Revolutionary Army troops at the end of the 18th century, after five hundred years of operation.;
Contrary to its original purpose, the castle now contains a relaxation and wellness centre, and a luxury hotel.
Rhine River Cruise Is Awesome
My husband and I recently completed a Rhine River Cruise down the Rhine in August 2010. We went on Avalon Waterways on their Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam route . The majority of the trip landed in Germany ports. I normally arrange and book my own travel but we where invited to join two other couples . We landed in Basel from Amsterdam and from Houston, Texas. Basel proved uneventful as we were immediately ferried to the embarkation and off to Strasbourg the next day. The main themes of the Rhine cruise are the vineyards that produce Germany’s exquisite white wines, the castles that line the tour from Rüdesheim to Koblenz and the 1 day to 1/2 day stops in Heidelberg, Mainz, Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Koln where we did our fair share of shopping and beer/wine tasting. For our daily excursions to the German cities and towns, Avalon provided local tour guides who provided excellent insight into the history of the region. Highlights are the Heidelberg Castle, the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim, the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, the Rhine Gorge castles and the cathedral in Koln . We probably saw and learned more on this structured tour than we would have otherwise. I recommend this or a similar river cruise to everyone to take at least once for the experience. Everything went perfectly with no incidents or complaints but praise for the consistent quality in service.
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The Verdict: Best Rhine River Cruises
The Rhine, Germany is stunning and the best Rhine cruises go through this section of the river for a reason.; The castles were beautiful, but it was the gorgeous villages that took me by surprise.
Were I to do this again, rather than taking the day trip Rhine River cruise, I would stop off along the way and explore some of the villages.
|Authenticity of experience|
Day : Kinderdijk The Netherlands
Kinderdijk is home to the Netherlands famous windmills.
Ill admit I didnt know too much about the country outside of Amsterdam and our guide was quite helpful to explain the history of the nation and the purpose of its many windmills.;
Much of the Netherlands would sink, were it not for windmills to pump away water.
We even got to tour inside the home of a windmill keeper .;What I didnt realize was that windmill caretakers actually lived inside them with their families!
I thought the interiors were particularly interesting and our guide mentioned that some Dutch families managed to fit 13 children inside.
Theyre quite small so I noticed lots of hooks for hanging, curved bunk-bed type rooms and lots of stair ladders. The Dutch windmill keepers also had a number of really unique boats which I took too many pictures of!
Fun fact: Kinderdijk is in the region of Holland in the nation of The Netherlands where the people speak Dutch.
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What Is The Best Rhine River Cruise Line
In our opinion, the following companies are the very best luxury river cruise lines in Europe:
- Crystal RiverCruises.
- Uniworld Boutique RiverCruise Collection.
- Scenic RiverCruises.
Best Time for Rhine River CruisesThe 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.
Furthermore, which is better river cruise Rhine or Danube? Most lines offer seven-night cruises on the Rhine or Danube, where you catch the highlights. While the Danube is a little more scenic than the Rhine, particularly along Austria’s Wachau Valley, both rivers have relatively flat bike paths that stretch for miles. Wine lovers will also enjoy both itineraries.
Herein, what is the best Rhine River cruise?
10 Best Luxury Cruises on the Rhine River
|The Enchanting Rhine – Cruise Only||$3499|
What is the most popular river cruise in Europe?
Like the Rhine, the Danube flows through many different nations. Route: Europe’s most popular river for cruising stretches across almost 2,000 miles. Highlights include Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, the Austrian Lake District, medieval towns, and Baroque monasteries.
Scenic Luxury Cruises And Tours Review Which Recommended Provider
Scenic specialises in luxury river cruises in Europe and Asia. It’s not cheap, but there are no nasty-surprises because everything’s included in the initial price, so the company still earns four start out of five for value for money. You have a choice of at least two excursions at every stop, while on-board, you’ll be treated to high-quality cabins, lots of space, excellent food and friendly and helpful staff.
, or read our full Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours review for more information.
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Emerald Waterways Review Which Recommended Provider
If you like the sound of Scenic’s river cruises but are put-off by the cost, you’ll want to consider it’s more cost-conscious sister, Emerald Waterways. All its ships have been built within the last 10 years, so it’s no wonder they were highly rated for spaciousness and facilities. The food is top-quality, too, making Emerald Waterways a great option for a slightly more wallet-friendly European river cruise.
, or read our full Emerald Waterways review for more information.
Combine The Cruise With A Stay In The Valley
One of the main towns to explore along the way is Boppard, and this makes a great place to get off the boat and spend a night or two. A great option for a hotel is the historic Bellevue Rhine Hotel. Read a comprehensive review of the Bellevue Rhine Hotel here.
You can also stay in several of these castles, which make a perfect place to break your journey. There are plenty of other castle hotels in Germany too. Here are some of the best castle hotels in Germany.
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The Gardens Of Holland And Belgium With Floriade
The most beautiful gardens of Holland are accessible through a river cruise.
The Dutch have been growing flowers for centuries. As such, it is part of the tourist attractions while cruising.
The first flower show was held in 1875 to celebrate Queen Victorias Golden Jubilee.
Today there is an annual event called Floriade every year from May 1st until September 30th.;
The event is huge and attracts over one million visitors each year.
The gardens of Holland and Belgium cruise is an excellent river cruise experience. On this cruise, you enjoy all the wonderful sights along the Rhine River.;
Here, youll see many famous landmarks such as Cologne Cathedral and the Lorelei rock. All these remind you of great European history.
The itinerary is six nights / 7 days and includes:
- 2-night stay in Amsterdam;
- 5-day visit to Antwerp & Bruges
- 2-night stay in Paris
- Return flight home
We liked this cruise because it includes the most important things in the cruise fare. Still, you can choose to visit different cities through the itinerary.