Castles Along tHe Rhine

7 Nights Among the Castles of Europe

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Discover the legendary beauty of the Rhine River. Find inspiration in rolling storybook hills, and wander the French and German villages where fairytales were born.

Taste authentic cuisines inspired by the different ports you’re exploring.


Of the Fabled Rhine River

Cruise along the Rhine: Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage combine in fabulous food and winemaking traditions that go all the way back to the Romans. Marvel at picturesquely ruined castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an up-close look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and historic Strasbourg, stroll through the fairytale town of Rüdesheim, and taste delightful wines in the villages where the grapes were grown. Beethoven and Byron loved the romantic landscapes of the Rhine River, and the beauty that inspired them is still yours to experience. 

Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture. Its port is the largest on the Rhine after Duisberg in Germany, and the fourth-largest river port in France. 

Daily Itinerary

This day-to-day schedule is subject to change. Your final day-to-day schedule will be provided onboard on the first day of your cruise.

Day 1 - Amsterdam

Amsterdam is nourished by a wealth of museums, concert halls, and avant-garde theater and dance venues. Its relaxed and tolerant attitudes draw those looking for a creative, anything-goes atmosphere.

Day 2 - Cologne

Located on the Rhine River, the delightful city of Cologne can trace its origins back to the Roman era. It has the largest and most famous church in Germany (and that’s quite a statement).

Day 3 - Koblenz & Boppard

In the Moselle valley, not far from Koblenz, is one of Germany’s most beautiful intact castles—Burg Eltz, an authentic medieval castle begun in the 12th century by the Eltz family, which still owns the castle. The interior is also authentic, from the toys in the children’s room to the massive tree stump used as a chopping block in the kitchen. Castle Eltz is best reached by car, though for the more adventurous, an option is the train from Koblenz to Moselkern and a 35-minute hike to the castle.

In the course of history, all kinds of people have felt at home in Boppard. Whether Celts, Romans or Franconians, each has left their mark on the 2,000-year-old history of the town. Present day Boppard is home to about 17,000 inhabitants and host to more than a million tourists annually. Boppard’s history has been influenced by different royal families, electors and bishops, giving it a very unique cultural aspect.

Day 4 - Rudesheim & Vollards Castle

Ruedesheim is a lively winemaking town on the Rhine River. It is tourist friendly and is a popular stop for Rhine River cruises. Visitors are usually transported into town on a small train, given a tour of Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum—a collection of music boxes—and a taste of traditional Ruedesheim coffee, and then have the chance to explore the town on their own.

Day 5 - Germersheim & Speyer

Germerseim, a quaint town in the German state Rhineland-Palatinate, contains Deutsches Strabenmuseum, Europe’s only road museum.

Speyer is a beautifully historic town that is dominated by its most important landmark—an 11th-century imperial cathedral. Speyer Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most significant, and largest, examples of Romanesque architecture in all of Europe. Additionally, it contains the tombs of eight Holy Roman Emperors and German kings, as well as several bishops.

Day 6 - Kehl & Strasbourg

Strasbourg, France, a 2,000-year-old city on the Rhine River in Alsace-Lorraine, offers an intriguing blend of cultures. It is the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union as well as being the home to a number of other international institutions.

Day 7 - Breisach, Kaysersberg & Riquewihr

In Breisach, a Romanesque cathedral dating from the 13th century, St. Stephansmunster towers majestically on a hill above the town and draws visitors to see the late Gothic altar that was created by an unknown craftsman. The steep walk up to the cathedral offers a nice tour of the historic and colorful town center. Those who reach the top are afforded sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, featuring rolling hills and the many vineyards of the Kaiserstuhl hill range.

The flower-filled Alsacian town called Riquewihr (pop. 1,230) is near Colmar and worth a stop if it’s harvest time. The town has several nice 12th-century houses.

Day 8 - Basel

The Rhine is at the heart of Basel, and much of the life of the city is centered on the river, from bathing stations to restaurants to international trade. The four ferries across the river, powered only by the river currents, are favorites with locals and tourists alike. The great Rhine swim, once a year, sees thousands take to the water to take advantage of the currents, and there is no better way to see the city than by taking one of the river cruises.

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