Running over 766 miles from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea, the Rhine Valley is a great choice for those looking at river cruises to book. It takes you on a picturesque journey like that of a pop-up fairytale book, with gorgeous and Gothic European architecture dotted along rolling green hills and plains. There’s even the odd castle here and there for a really magical feel! Take a look at these destinations that a cruise along the Rhine calls in at, and see if a river cruise is for you.
The canals or the Dutch capital meander through a city of intriguing museums (Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Heineken Experience), trendy eateries (Bord’Eau, Daalder, De Silveren Spiegel) and pretty architecture (Royal Palace, Rijsksmuseum, Nieuwe Kerk). Change your mode of transport to a bicycle for the day to fit in with the locals, then sit down and enjoy a coffee while doing some people watching.
The Kolner Dom cathedral is one of Germany’s most famous landmarks, drawing people into the city of Cologne. After exploring this magnificent building, there are plenty of museums to get stuck into: Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Museum Schnütgen and Schokoladenmuseum. Cologne is also well known for its chocolatey offerings, so be sure to indulge and take home some goodies.
Home of the French national anthem, European Commission on Human Rights and the Council of Europe and the tallest Medieval building in Europe, Strasbourg is a popular stop off point for Rhine Valley cruises. Book for a Christmas voyage to enjoy its excellent Christmas market! Otherwise, there are plenty of other treats such as the UNESCO World Heritage island called Grande Ile. Top tip: sample the gingerbread in a local bakery!
The Netherlands’ second largest city has rebuilt itself as a must-visit destination since the devastating blows it took in WW2. Today is is a bustling port city with an inviting nightlife scene, fascinating museums and a buzzing atmosphere. Head to the Markthal indoor food market, wander around Delfshaven district and find some peace in Het Park. Kunsthal hosts about 20 exhibitions a year and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen holds a permanent collection of Dutch and European art spanning hundreds of years.
Bavaria’s second largest city and is perhaps most famous as the setting for the war crimes tribunal for WW2. its captivating history can be retraced through its museums: Memorium Nuremberg Trials, Kaiserburg Castle and Germanisches National Museum. Hauptmarkt is a bustling square, home to daily markets, the Gothic Frauenkirche and the Schöner Brunnen fountain.
With so much history, culture and scenery to soak up, a cruise down the Rhine Valley is an educational yet thoroughly enjoyable choice of a getaway, and it is becoming more and more popular to run tours down this part of the world, thanks to travel companies like Saga who promote these kind of adventures. Be sure to take a good camera, some high quality walking shoes and an appetite for sweet treats and stodgy dinners!