Rhine River sailings are among the most popular river cruises in Europe. Some itineraries focus solely on the Rhine, while others include additional waterways in Germany, Austria, Hungary or the Netherlands. A Rhine River cruise is a great way to explore the historic cities and charming towns of Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The Middle Rhine is often thought to be the most scenic part of the river. This is where ships pass Lorelei Rock, where legend says an irresistible siren once lured sailors to their deaths. In Cologne, see the soaring twin steeples of the Gothic cathedral, and in Rudesheim, walk along the pedestrian-only Drosselgasse, lined with restaurants, shops and wine gardens. Passengers also travel to Heidelberg, one of Europe's best-preserved medieval cities and home to a Gothic castle and centuries-old university.
Here are some of the top destinations and attractions that you might see on a Rhine River cruise:
Cologne: Cologne is a historic city in Germany that is known for its stunning Gothic cathedral, the Cologne Cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other highlights of a visit to Cologne might include the historic Old Town, the Hohenzollern Bridge, and the Museum Ludwig.
RÃ¼desheim: RÃ¼desheim is a charming town in Germany that is known for its local wineries, traditional taverns, and scenic cable car ride up to the Niederwald Monument. Other highlights of a visit to RÃ¼desheim might include the Drosselgasse street, the Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet museum, and the RÃ¼desheim Wine Museum.
Heidelberg: Heidelberg is a historic city in Germany that is known for its stunning castle, the Heidelberg Castle, which overlooks the town and the river. Other highlights of a visit to Heidelberg might include the historic Old Town, the Karl Theodor Bridge, and the Philosophers' Walk.
Strasbourg: Strasbourg is a historic city in France that is known for its stunning Gothic architecture, including the famous Strasbourg Cathedral and the historic Petite France district. Other highlights of a visit to Strasbourg might include the Palais Rohan, the European Parliament, and the local Alsatian cuisine.
Basel: Basel is a charming town in Switzerland that is known for its historic landmarks, including the Basel Minster, the Basel Zoo, and the Fondation Beyeler museum. Other highlights of a visit to Basel might include a stroll along the Rhine promenade and a visit to the local markets and shops.
Amsterdam: Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands and a popular destination on Rhine River cruises. Highlights of a visit to Amsterdam might include the famous canals, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Anne Frank House. Many sailings start or end in Amsterdam at the northern end of the river. It's a city of narrow gabled homes and winding canals, and home to sites like Anne Frank's house and a Van Gogh museum. Basel, Switzerland, is often the southern terminus of Rhine sailings, and it boasts an ornate town hall and some very fine art museums.
These are just a few of the many destinations and attractions that you might see on a Rhine River cruise. Whether you're interested in history, culture, or natural beauty, the Rhine River offers a diverse range of experiences and sights to explore.
Late November and December sailings, known as Christmas market cruises, are quite popular. Passengers spend time browsing the festive outdoor markets that sell handcrafted toys and ornaments, mulled wine, grilled sausages and gingerbread.
Sightseeing guides show you the top attractions and share their knowledge of the local history and culture. Plus, these trips are easy to budget, because so much is included in one price that you pay up front.
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