Relax, wine and dine with a cruise on the Rhine
One weekend in June, my husband and I decided to take it easy but still satisfy our craving to explore, so we booked a Rhine River cruise. It was a great opportunity to see Germany from a truly incredible view. We soaked up the quaint beauty of storybook castles and the romantic villages hidden between steep vineyards as we sailed along the Rhine and Mosel rivers.
On a Rhine River cruise, you will step into the pages of a fairytale as you serenely float along a scenic route, reaching up to five countries during your adventure. A typical cruise will begin on the Rhine River at Antwerp and travel as far as Koblenz, passing famous castles and the legendary Lorelei (or Loreley) rock, whose history will make you question fiction. At the Mosel, the Rhine’s sister river, you will sail to picturesque towns, such as Bernkastel-Kues, Trier and perhaps as far as Luxembourg!
Depending on your desire, you can take a two-day trip up to a three-week cruise. This allows voyagers to see many European countries while making land stops so that you can savor and sample the best wines and cuisine these countries have to offer.
As I was sailing along the river, it hit me – not only was I captivated by the beauty that surrounded me but even more so by the feeling that I was traveling through time. With every bend of the river, I couldn’t help but grasp that this is as close as we will get to time travel, and few people get to experience ancient history so closely.
The history that floods the Rhine will awaken your senses to the world around you. The tranquil movements of the river mirror the passage of time. It was here where Julius Caesar ordered for the construction of the first bridges to cross the Rhine as the Gallic Wars raged. And in 1945, the U.S. Third Army under General Patton crossed over the Rhine into the Nazis’ heartland; bullet casings from shots fired during World War II are still found here today.
Flanked by vineyards and crowned with history, the Mosel and Rhine rivers will lead you to postcard-worthy towns and give you the relaxing yet picturesque vacation you dream about. The gems of our world, both past and present, are hidden all around you – book a cruise to see the beauty your host nation has to offer.
There are many cruise lines out there to choose from. Below are a few user-friendly websites that will give you the quick and efficient information you need to start sailing away.
Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD) cruises are perfect for those interested in affordable day trips along the Rhine, Mosel and Main rivers. Families can spend the entire day floating hopping on and off the boat to explore the beautiful towns and castles along the river banks. Equipped with play areas, children will have a blast on KD. And if you travel on Wednesday, three children travel free per fare-paying adult!
Avalon Waterways specialize in luxury cruises. Romantic Rhine cruises are eight days, starting at $2,229 per person.
Euro River Cruises offer inclusive packages. Guests will be delighted by the jewels offered not only by the river, the cruise as well. Three-day trips on the Rhine start at under $600 per person.
Viking River Cruises travel between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, The Netherlands along the Rhine; see four countries in seven days. Prices start at 830 euros.