In the last couple of years, river cruises have seen a dramatic increase in popularity as people seek a more intimate experience than larger sea cruises. The earliest European river cruises were on the Rhine and it’s not surprising to see why! The River Rhine is dotted with romantic castles, medieval towns, stunning cathedrals and truly magnificent scenery. Below, I have listed some of my top tips for a Rhine Cruise.
When to Go
One of the best times to take a Rhine Cruise is between July and August. In particular, look out for a “Rhine in Flames” cruise when hilltop castles and palaces are lit up at night with fireworks in spectacular displays that are a sight to behold.
For something a little bit different, take a cruise along the Rhine during the Christmas holidays. During this period, seasonal markets fill the squares and at night the seasonal lights form a magical backdrop. One of the best Christmas markets is located in Cologne.
What to Do
As mentioned before, the Rhine is lined with numerous spectacular palaces, castles and churches. One of the most impressive castles you will pass is the Marksburg Castle, near Koblenz. It is the only hill castle on the Rhine never to have been destroyed. Spend a day wandering around this magnificent castle and admiring the huge array of middle aged artefacts that are on display.
Stop at the town of Rudesheim for a Rudesheimer coffee which are served in red and white cups decorated with scenes from the Rhine. The coffee is made with sugar and the local Asbach brandy and topped with whipped cream and is sure way to warm up.
A must for chocolate lovers is a trip to the Lindt chocolate museum in Cologne. The museum is located on the riverfront and was opened by Dr Hans Imhoff in 1993. The museum charts the 3000 year history of chocolate and the entry price of £6.40 is well worth it.
Finally, I recommend taking a cable-car ride over the vineyards at Rudesheim. The cable car ride offers spectacular views of the vineyards and the Niederwald monument that honours the German nation. For the more energetic, a ringtrip ticket includes a cable car ride for two, a walk back down from the top through the vineyards and a short boat ride back to Rudesheim.
Rhine cruises offer a varied and unique cruise holiday destination that displays the best this magical region has to offer.