The Rhine River: What can I expect from a European river cruise from Amsterdam to Basel?
History meets romance in eight days along the Rhine River on a European river cruise
The Rhine River flows through a region of Germany that takes you on a medieval journey through a storybook land than is filled with history. Castles, forests and charming medieval villages make you feel like you’ve stepped off the modern world of a luxury ship and into a fairytale. The Rhine River flows through the best of Germany—so grab your red-hooded cape and your big, bad wolf and let’s go for a little stroll.
Avalon Waterways, Viking River Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise and AmaWaterways all offer seven- or eight-day European river cruises along the Rhine River from Amsterdam, Holland to Basel, Switzerland, with stops in two of Europe’s most traveled countries: Germany and France. On any of the most popular European river cruises, you’ll learn about the area’s rich history, visit quaint villages and 300-year old castles, experience good local wines and view beautiful landscapes. And to enhance your experience, cruise lines often include free shore excursions and onboard activities such as classical music performances, culinary classes featuring local cuisine, art fairs, and relevant history lectures. While individual cruise line itineraries and shore excursions may vary slightly, you are guaranteed to have a memorable experience cruising the historic, and often called, Romantic Rhine River.
The Rhine is an 800-mile trading route that starts in Switzerland and flows to the North Sea. Its intersecting rivers make it a very important river for the trade industry—and now the tourist industry.
Over 40 castles can be seen along the bend south of Koblenz which is the densest population of castles along the Rhine. Several hundred years old, the castles stand locked in time representing a time when prince and princesses sought true love at the expense of losing their wealth—or hair in Rapunzel’s case!
Many major events in history involved cities along the Rhine River. Military-control built and destroyed many buildings beginning with Roman rule, then the German take over, the French Revolution and of course WWII. Also, the religious battles between Protestant and Catholicism began in the cities along the Rhine, and included John Calvin’s flight to Strasbourg in search of refuge in Basel and Martin Luther’s efforts to Christianize the region.
What cities are along the Rhine River?
Starting in Amsterdam, Holland, the waterways running through Amsterdam are legendary and the windmills along the way are a must-see on this river cruise.. One of the highlights is visiting the hiding place of Anne Frank.
You’ll pass through Cologne, Germany and have the opportunity to visit the UNESCO site of a gothic cathedral that took 600 years to build.
Further down the Rhine, you’ll stop in Rudesheim, one of Germany’s most popular tourist centers. And if you love wine, this town is famous for its Riesling wine. While there don’t miss the amazing mechanical music museum.
The Black Forest, famous for the Brothers Grimm fairytales, is another memorable stop along the Rhine. You’ll have the opportunity to visit a local traditional woodcarver’s shop, and by the way, it’s home to the Black Forest ham, cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks.
After several stops in France, where you’ll experience delicious local French cuisine and wines, your river cruise will end in Basel, Switzerland.
Basel, a German speaking Swiss town is where the Swiss, French and German borders meet. This large city is home to over 40 museums and is described as a multicultural city of art, boasting one of the oldest collection of fine arts that is open to the public . And on a side-note for tennis fans, Basel is also home to World Champion Roger Federer.
As you can see, cruising the Rhine is an experience in European culture and history like no other. River cruising is an amazing way to see so many famous and historical places all in one week’s time.
Our agents at CruiseExperts.com specialize in European river cruises. We can help you choose the itinerary and river cruise line that meets your expectations and matches your style. Perhaps you’re ready to check that Alaska cruise off your bucket list. We can help you plan the vacation of your dreams – just give us a call!
Call your CruiseExperts.com agent at 1-888-804-CRUIse(2784) or visit our website at www.CruiseExperts.com. Join our Inner Circle email newsletter for last minute cruise deals or current cruise specials.
Have you been to any of these towns? What do you recommend—guided tours or exploring on your own?
Linda Brandt joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in November 2011. She has been working with the marketing team in many capacities. Her new role is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. She studied journalism and writing in college and was a writer for The Campus newspaper for two years at the College of the Sequoias. She is also currently working on her Bachelor’s degree.