The river Rhine is one of the most scenic waterways in the world flowing from the Alps in Switzerland right through to Amsterdam in Holland. A journey along the Rhine offers up a wealth of unique experiences whilst flowing past a diverse selection of stunning scenic backdrops. From quaint towns and villages to fairy-tale castles and gothic churches. Luscious green mountain scenery to rich vineyards and wildflowers. Shore excursions will see you tasting local delicacies whilst getting to know the cultures and quirks of each treasured destination. A river cruise along the Rhine will be a momentous occasion and a journey to treasure forever more.
A vibrant, modern city bursting to the seams with art and culture, Rotterdam’s striking skyline has earned it the nickname ‘Manhattan on the Maas’. Its international outlook and bustling night-life testify to the young spirit of the city.
The cafes and restaurants in each district of Rotterdam have their own distinctive character, ensuring that you will always be spoilt for choice. For a picturesque contrast to the city centre, take a stroll down the historic streets of the area. Finally, no visit to Rotterdam would be complete without a trip to the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.
Amsterdam’s 165 canals give the city its unique landscape. In particular, the 17th-century canal ring area inside the Singelgracht is a World Heritage Site in its own right, dotted with beautifully-preserved 17th- and 18th-century houses.
It’s easy to see why Van Gogh, Rembrandt and countless other artists have chosen the city to live and work in over the years. Pop into the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum to admire their masterpieces yourself, or relax in one of the Amsterdam’s many famous coffeeshops.
Situated 15 km east of Rotterdam, Kinderdijk is a picturesque village that was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and has become one of the most well known tourist sights in the Netherlands.
Visitors from across the world flock to this sleepy village to see its famous windmills, which sit right on the riverside and present fantastic photo opportunities for snap-happy tourists.
The medieval streets in the historic city centre of Bruges present perfect photo opportunities around every corner. The Gothic architecture gives the place a fairy-tale feel, and the historic Markt, an open square. The Belfry, one of the Bruges’ most important landmarks, is situated here, and visitors can climb to the top for panoramic views across the city.
There’s no better time to visit - The Bruges Contemporary Art and Architecture Triennial 2015 will see eighteen international artists bring the city to life with new outdoor installations and indoor exhibitions.
Cologne, one of Germany’s oldest cities, boasts an impressive 2000 years of history. It was the Romans who laid down the city walls, the remains of which you can still visit today.
From the banks of the Rhine, you can gaze at the narrow alleyways and gabled facades of Cologne’s Old Town, as well as the Cologne cathedral, a landmark of Gothic architecture dating back to 1248. Cologne is also renowned worldwide for its art and culture. The city houses 42 museums and 120 galleries: the most famous include the Romano-Germanic Museum and the Museum Ludwig.
Koblenz is perhaps known for its military past, and has extensive fortifications that have been well maintained to this day for tourists to see and admire. Most people that see the city take the time to board a cable car to see the main fortress, which affords fantastic views of the Rhine.
As well as its fortifications, Koblenz is famous for its Stolzenfels castle, which sits on the left bank of the Rhine and is open after substantial renovation work that ended in 2011.
A unique and beautiful 65 km section of the Rhine river, the Rhine Gorge was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2002 for cultural, geological and historical reasons. Complete with its own microclimate, the Gorge is well known for its sloping vineyards and has been a bustling trade route for hundreds of years.
September is a particularly great time to visit the area as it hosts the annual Rhine in Flames festival that includes a fireworks festival in Sankt Goar.
Rudesheim is well known across central Europe for its fantastic wine production and romantic views of the Rhine. However, beyond a glass of quality German 'wein' Rudesheim still has much to offer adventurous tourists.
Whether it be visiting the ruined Ehrenfels castle or hiking up the town's steep hillsides, visiting Rudesheim is an opportunity that cannot be missed for visitors that enjoy traditional European architecture and - crucially - great food and drink!
The mysterious ruins of Heidelberg Castle and its garden on Königstuhl hill tower over this university city, home for five hundred years to the Prince Electors of the Palatinate.
The castle remains the city’s top attraction, but Heidelberg has plenty more to offer, including stunning scenery on both banks of the River Neckar, and the Karl Theodor Bridge, at one end of which stands the famous Heidelberg Bridge Monkey. Spend a day in the Old City, and you are sure to lose yourself in the charm of its Renaissance architecture, family-owned boutiques and outdoor cafes.
Situated in the German state of Bavaria, Nuremberg is dominated by a large castle that sits on the north-western corner of the city's old town. While it is today used as a youth hostel today, you can still visit the castle museum and get a taste for the ancient city's history.
Those who are more interested in the modern history of Nuremberg may wish to visit the Courtrooms where famous Nazis were tried and sentenced after the end of World War II.
Speyer - dominated by its 11th century cathedral - is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful towns in Germany. First populated in 10 BC, the Rhine settlement is now home to 50,000 people and features a bustling, dense old town.
Main sights here include the Altportel - an amazing city gate that sits an imposing 55 metres above the rest of the city, while the cathedral is another must-see with its amazing Romanesque architecture.
The capital of Alsace in France, Strasbourg is one of the largest cities in France and flows across the border into the German town of Kehl, which sits on the eastern bank of the Rhine.
Tourists regularly visit the city's stunning cathedral, but the Petite France area of the city is also a must-visit, with its picturesque canal and wooden-framed houses.
The Black Forest’s dense evergreens, castles and monasteries are rich with legends of sorcerers, witches and apparitions. A soaring expanse of wooded mountains, quaint farmhouses and sloping valleys, the region is a hiker’s dream.
As well as endless opportunities for communing with nature, the Black Forest is also peppered with a host of friendly and picturesque cities, from Freudenstadt in the north, to Freiberg and St Blasien in the south of the region. Finally, it’s home to the Black Forest Gateau, served at virtually every cafe and restaurant in the area!
Sat right in the south-west of Germany, Breisach is well known for its hilltop St. Stephansmünster church, which dominates the town's skyline.
Tourists would be well advised to visit the town's Municipal History museum, which has a number of impressive stone age artifacts, although wandering through the area's winding streets and admiring the amazing scenery would likely be enough to sustain any visitor's interest.
While Basel has a beautiful medieval town centre, tourists will perhaps best enjoy its vast selection of world-class art museums, built by famous central and southern European architects.
The Münster area of the city is also a popular haunt for visitors, complete with an amazing Romanesque/Gothic inspired cathedral that was finished in 1500.