River cruises are an incredible way to explore Europe giving you the chance to explore a new city every day while enjoying a luxury hospitality and culinary experience.
With many ships having fabulous rooftop pools, jacuzzis, and wellness programs—plus their exquisite cuisine and delicious cocktail beverages available around the clock—it’s tempting to many to never leave the ship. But the main reason travellers choose a river cruise is because of the adventure with amazing, breathtaking stops along the way. With that in mind, the countries you’ll explore with companies like AmaWaterways on the Rhine are historic, romantic and truly awe-inspiring.
Many river cruises on the Rhine begin or end in Basel, a city known for its love of art and museums. Basel has the highest concentration of museums in the country and is centred around a market square, making it extremely comfortable to tour.
As it’s situated between France and Germany, two significant influencers of Swiss culture, Basel is a great representation of Switzerland. Eat alfresco at a café along the banks of the Rhine to appreciate this blending of cultures.
Lucerne is the ideal pitstop on your trek through Switzerland. Lucerne’s picturesque streets are dotted with delightful local restaurants, chocolatiers and cafes that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Summer evenings in Lucerne make you not want to leave.
Zurich is Switzerland’s banking capital and economic hub, combining pre-medieval roots with modern-day business and entertainment.
In addition to its world-class shopping venues, there is plenty of sightseeing to do.
From the Hauptbahnhof—Switzerland’s largest railway station—you can catch a train and be on a crisp, glistening mountain peak in a matter of minutes. A different way to experience Zurich is to explore the amazing rivers and lakes, which have exceptional water quality for swimming. Whether it’s fine dining or hiking trails up Uetliberg, adventure awaits in Zurich.
Strasbourg, the capital city of the Alsace region and a charming city for a day trip. We’d recommend the Cave des Hospices for a wine tour and light beverage during the afternoon. Strasbourg is known for its Christmas markets, which are popular year-round. Visit Un Noël en Alsace, the Christmas market located on the southwest corner of the Grande Île, to check out Christmas decor.
If you’re in Strasbourg during the holiday season, we recommend a glass of vin chaud (mulled wine) to keep you warm.
Rüdesheim is a charming little city on the Rhine known for its production of Riesling wine. The first thing you’ll notice in Rüdesheim is the beautiful combination of history and modern winemaking. Old town streets and medieval-style castles surround the vineyards and tasting rooms of Rüdesheim.
A wonderful way to spend time here is to take the cable car over the vineyards, up to the Niederwald monument and then stop at the local shops on the way back to the ship.
Cologne is a 2,000-year-old city and is best known for its colourful rows of houses and amazing Christmas markets. Compared to Rüdesheim, Cologne is a much larger city and cultural hub of this region of Germany.
Where Rüdesheim is medieval and rustic, Cologne is more Gothic and modern. Visible from the Rhine River, the Cologne Cathedral is a must-see landmark. Its two towers are still some of the largest peaks in the city.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Known for its red-light district and overall laid-back lifestyle, Amsterdam offers an incredible amount of cultural experiences. One of the world’s most elaborate canal systems will show you the city’s most spectacular features.
You can also explore the canals by land in the bohemian neighbourhood of Jordaan, which has trendy cafes, bars, and shops. After grabbing a coffee, visit one of the many historical landmarks in this part of town. The Anne Frank House is located just outside Jordaan and across from the historical Westerkerk Cathedral where Rembrandt was buried in 1669.
Amsterdam has more quirky businesses and art displays than any other city in the world. From stores with cows on the ceiling to mouse mansions and displays dedicated entirely to tulips, entertainment in Amsterdam is everywhere.
These are just a few of the amazing cities located along the Rhine River cruise. Which destination is calling your name?
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