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Rhine River Cruises

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Rhine Travel Guide

Approximately 765 miles long, the Rhine River begins as a small stream in the Swiss Alps and runs through 6 European countries, including Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. When it reaches the border of the Netherlands, the stream divides into tributaries, which cross a delta before emptying into the sea. While you will see picturesque hamlets and castles on your journey, you will also see power stations and industrial buildings during the cruise. The river serves as both a tourist attraction and commercial waterway. With river cruise volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 50% versus the brochure price! Book your Rhine river cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted river cruise headquarters.

Rhine Travel Guide
Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

River Cruises

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Showing 1 - 40 River Cruises

Sail Date Operator Ship Departs Returns Length Price
Dec 04, 2020RivieraMS Charles DickensCologneCologne5$909
Dec 05, 2020RivieraMS Oscar WildeCologneCologne5$999
Dec 06, 2020TauckMS InspireCologneBasel8$3,190
Dec 08, 2020RivieraMS Charles DickensCologneCologne5$909
Dec 09, 2020RivieraMS Oscar WildeCologneCologne5$939
Dec 12, 2020RivieraMS Charles DickensCologneCologne5$859
Dec 13, 2020RivieraMS Oscar WildeCologneCologne5$939
Dec 16, 2020RivieraMS Charles DickensCologneCologne5$769
Dec 17, 2020RivieraMS Oscar WildeCologneCologne5$859
Mar 10, 2021VikingViking UllurAmsterdamBasel8$2,299
Mar 10, 2021VikingViking AlsvinParisPrague12$2,999
Mar 10, 2021VikingViking IdiPragueParis12$3,099
Mar 13, 2021VikingViking HildZurichParis12$3,499
Mar 15, 2021VikingViking SkirnirBudapestAmsterdam15$4,099
Mar 15, 2021VikingViking ModiAmsterdamBudapest15$4,999
Mar 16, 2021VikingViking SigynBaselAmsterdam8$2,599
Mar 16, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamAmsterdam10$3,549
Mar 16, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaMoraAmsterdamLake Como13$5,049
Mar 17, 2021VikingViking UllurBaselAmsterdam8$2,499
Mar 17, 2021VikingViking VidarAmsterdamBudapest15$4,099
Mar 17, 2021VikingViking LofnBudapestAmsterdam15$4,999
Mar 17, 2021VikingViking VidarAmsterdamBucharest23$8,499
Mar 17, 2021VikingViking AlsvinPragueParis12$2,999
Mar 18, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaSerenaAmsterdamAmsterdam10$3,549
Mar 18, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaSienaAmsterdamAmsterdam8$2,799
Mar 18, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaMoraAmsterdamBasel8$2,799
Mar 19, 2021VikingViking ManiAmsterdamBasel8$2,499
Mar 19, 2021VikingViking MimirBudapestAmsterdam15$4,099
Mar 19, 2021VikingViking ViliAmsterdamBudapest15$4,099
Mar 19, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaBellaAmsterdamAmsterdam10$3,649
Mar 20, 2021VikingViking HerjaZurichParis12$3,499
Mar 20, 2021VikingViking HildParisZurich12$3,499
Mar 20, 2021Avalon WaterwaysImagery IIAmsterdamBrussels9$2,258
Mar 20, 2021Avalon WaterwaysImagery IIAmsterdamAmsterdam16$4,807
Mar 20, 2021AmaWaterwaysAmaSerenaAmsterdamAmsterdam8$2,799
Mar 21, 2021VikingViking SigrunAmsterdamAmsterdam10$3,199
Mar 21, 2021VikingViking KaraAmsterdamBasel8$2,499
Mar 21, 2021VikingViking MagniAmsterdamBudapest15$3,999
Mar 21, 2021VikingViking BaldurBudapestAmsterdam15$3,999
Mar 21, 2021VikingViking KvasirAmsterdamAntwerp10$3,399

Rhine Travel Guide

Rhine River Cruises Highlights

  • The cruise features major stop-offs at Amsterdam, Netherlands; Maastricht, Netherlands; Antwerp, Belgium; Brussels, Belgium; Cologne, Germany; Luxembourg; Strasbourg, France; Lucerne, Switzerland; and Basel, Switzerland
  • Scenic sailing through the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Koblenz sightseeing
  • Cycling along the Rhine River
  • Antwerp beer tastings
  • A visit to the Netherlands' Kroller-Muller Museum
  • A visit to Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands
  • Samplings of Rhine region wines and cheeses onboard and off-board ship
  • Short cruises during December allow you to participate in the area's Christmas markets

Rhine River Cruises Travel Tips

  • Double-check you have all your documents for your cruise and air travel, including ground transfers and hotel stays. Make sure names are spelled properly and the dates of birth are correct. 
  • Learn some of the languages spoken in the Rhine region. German can be especially helpful, as can be learning some polite Dutch phrases. This will enhance your travel experience, even if guides and other travelers speak English.
  • Check out a guidebook from the library or review an eBook online that details the Rhine region. Doing so will greatly enrich your trip.
  • Resist the temptation to over-pack your travel bag. Remember: storage space is at a premium on most river cruise ships. Also, the more luggage you tow, the more you will burden yourself during transport. The most you should carry should be a carry-on bag and one piece of luggage.
  • Pack the things you need immediate access to at the top of your travel bag. 
  • Pack your travel documents in a small separate bag in your carry-on that you can access easily.
  • Make sure you have some Euros on hand for small purchases. Some street-side vendors or cafes may not be able to take credit cards. Also, you will need Euros to tip drivers or guides.
  • Usually, it is best to travel in the Rhine region from May through September.

Rhine River Cruises Things To Do

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    You will discover that most of the Rhine cruises featured online will start or end in Amsterdam. This gateway to Europe is known for its canals as well as Rembrandt and Dutch master paintings. For example, the Rijksmuseum displays Rembrandt's work as well as other Dutch masters. The Anne Frank House is also another must-see attraction. 

    Best Time To Visit

    Taking a cruise in the Netherlands normally is propitious from April to October, with peak seasons covering July and August.

     

    You Should Know

    The river IJ in the city separates north and south Amsterdam. The name, which is a single letter in the Dutch language, does not technically reference a river. The "river" is actually a former bay, or more precisely a long lake, although it is still called a river. Besides having hundreds of kilometers of canals, Amsterdam also has around 1,200 bridges.

  • Cologne, Germany
    Cologne, Germany

    One of the highlights of a visit to Cologne is the magnificent cathedral known as Gothic Dom – begun in 1248 and finally finished in 1880. The two towers of the structure were briefly known as the tallest towers in the world. Besides this grand historical site, Cologne also offers plenty in the way of shopping and dining. 

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to see Cologne is during the fall, from September to November, or in the spring (April to June). Both times are ideal for sightseeing. While summer (July to August) is both warm and pleasant, it does tend to get a bit humid.

     

    You Should Know

    Cologne is known as Germany's capital of carnivals. The city features one of the oldest perfume factories in Europe. You can learn more about perfumes and colognes at the Cologne Museum, which is located in Glocken Alley. Old Town in Cologne blends the old with the new, which makes the area atmospheric and interesting walkthrough.

  • Koblenz, Germany
    Koblenz, Germany

    Siting where the Moselle and Rhine Rivers meet, Koblenz is famous for its fortress, named Ehrenbreitstein, the largest stronghold in Europe. It watches over Koblenz on a towering hillside next to the waterway. The city also features a giant monument of Kaiser Wilhelm I, which dates back to 1897. The statue overlooks the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine rivers.

    Best Time To Visit

    April, October, and November are the best times to see Koblenz, as you will avoid the heat, humidity, cold, and rain that prevails during the other times of the year.

     

    You Should Know

    The best way to travel up to Ehrenbreitstein and get rewarded with a Rhine River view is to take the cable car. Not only can you see some great river views from the fortress, you can also see some magnificent scenery when crossing the river via a cable car.The cable car system in Koblenz carries as many as 7,000 people during peak seasons, or during June through August.

  • Rudesheim am Reim, Germany
    Rudesheim am Reim, Germany

    Popularized by the Romantics in the early 1800s, Rudesheim was noted for its remoteness and solitude. However, this busy tourist town no longer carries that distinction, as it is known for its wine-making and Rieslings. The town even features a wine museum inside a castle.

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to plan a visit to Rudesheim is between Easter and the middle of October. Otherwise, the restaurants and other attractions will not be open, which can put a damper on your cruise planning. The only exception is during the Christmas Market, which takes place from late November through December.

     

    You Should Know

    Drosselgasse represents a lane lined with taverns, eateries, and shops – a nice place to visit when tourist season is at its peak. Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet is a museum that displays automated musical instruments. Bromserburg Castle features the Rheingau Wine Museum. If you go during a colder part of the year, try Rudesheim coffee. It is a delightful coffee that includes brandy, whipped cream, and sugar.

  • Middle Rhine Gorge
    Middle Rhine Gorge

    Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Middle Rhine stretches 40 miles between Koblenz and Bingen and features hillside vineyards and fairy tale castles. In fact, some of the Rhine day cruises only go through this part of the Rhine region.

    Best Time To Visit

    The best time to cruise this section of the Rhine is from May to mid-October. That way, you can more easily see the sights or get a bite to eat in nearby towns.

     

    You Should Know

    The Loreley is a rock found at the narrowest section of the river. The rock lies south of St. Goarshausen, where, it is said, a devious nymph lives. The rock was mentioned in a poem by Heinrich Heine, and was later made into a song. This area of the Rhine is usually featured on both long and short trips because of the scenic banks and historic sites.

  • Heidelberg, Germany
    Heidelberg, Germany

    Sitting on the banks of the Neckar River, Heidelberg is not directly situated on the track most Rhine River cruises take, but can be reached within an hour on a shore excursion by train. The university town is famous for its partly ruined castle.

    Best Time To Visit

    Heidelberg bustles with events from May through August, with the highest temperatures seen during June and July (around 89 degrees Fahrenheit).

     

    You Should Know

    Heidelberg was a favorite location of writers Mark Twain, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Max Weber and Friedrich Hegel. While Heidelberg easily connects to other cities by train, the train is located in the newer section of town. Most of the sights are located in the Old Town area. Therefore, you need to take a taxi if you plan to go sightseeing.

  • Strasbourg, France
    Strasbourg, France

    One of the most beautiful cities in France, Strasbourg reminds visitors of Amsterdam, with it canals, museums, and charming houses. The picturesque neighborhood of Petite France is indeed Idyllically quaint. This is the ideal place to go on a food tour or on a chocolate lover's adventure.

    Best Time To Visit

    You should visit Strasbourg during the summer (or June through August), as the temperatures are amenable and you will enjoy soft and delightful breezes. 

     

    You Should Know

    Rhine river cruises normally don't dock in the town of Strasbourg. Instead, they leave cruise-goers off at Kehl, Germany, which sits a short distance over the international bridge from Strasbourg. Most of the cruise lines run shuttles from Kehl into Strasbourg, which take under 15 minutes.

  • Mainz, Germany
    Mainz, Germany

    A noted university town, Mainz sits at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers. Known for its carnival celebrations, Mainz is also known as the former hometown of the inventor and printer, Johannes Gutenberg, who lived and work in Mainz during the 1400s.

    Best Time To Visit

    An escape to Mainz is ideal during the months of August through November.

     

    You Should Know

    Within walking distance of the river is the Gutenberg Museum, which displays examples of books and Bibles printed by the Gutenberg Press, which is also on display. A major attraction in Mainz is also the Romanesque cathedral, Mainzer Dom, built between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Rhine River Cruises When To Visit

Quick Facts

While the summer is, no doubt, busy, a more temperate time of year is either the spring or autumn. Many cruise travelers choose Easter to take a Rhine River cruise, as local markets feature painted Easter eggs and creative wood decorations. Flowers also decorate vendors' stalls.

The region hosts "Rhine in Flames" celebrations in the summer and autumn, which frequently coincide with local wine festivals. Many of the celebrations take place in the Middle Rhine and feature firework displays. Music and dancing also are part of the festivities.

If you want to see the fireworks come to life, a river cruise is an ideal way to do so. The pyrotechnic entertainment is well received during the summer and fall months along the banks of the Rhine. It is also fun to visit the Rhine region during Christmas when the Christmas markets are in full swing.

Rhine River Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Rhine River Cruise?

About 300 riverboats take cruise travelers along the Rhine each month from April to October. You can choose cruises that last from three to seven days (the normal cruise time) or as long as 14 days.

What’s Included on a Rhine River Cruise?

You can obtain a good value for a total package for a Rhine River cruise holiday. Not only can you book a state room, you can also enjoy your meals onboard ship and receive Wi-Fi in the cruise package. You also can include one excursion day for each day of your journey. 

What’s the Best Cruise for Rhine River Cruise?

What you choose for a cruise trip will depend on what you can spend in terms of time and money. You will enjoy top cruise amenities if you choose to go with river cruise operators, such as Viking River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, and Tauck Cruises. Tauck Cruises is a specialist in European River cruises.

How Much Does a Rhine River Cruise Cost?

Rhine River cruises cost around $4,500 per person for 7 days. This price includes shore excursions and planned activities, such as cycling. You can have a whole itinerary planned for the week and have most of your cruise costs paid at this price.

Learn More About Rhine Cruises


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