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23rd January 2013

Rhine River Cruises

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posted in Europe, Getaways, Vacation, weekend getaway, holiday, River Cruise |

by Stephen1011

If you asked a random member of the public to name five of the world’s rivers, they’d perhaps look at you a little strangely, but it’s a safe bet that if they fulfilled your request, the Rhine would be on their list. One of the world’s most iconic rivers, it has long had a historic role to play, as a frontier for the Roman Empire, as a defensive feature, a border and as a vital trade route. Today, Rhine river cruises are a great way to step back in time, explore the legacy of this great river and see some truly memorable sights and cities along the way.

The Vorderrhein in Switzerland is the Rhine’s primary source, from where it passes through several countries on its journey to the North Sea. The Rhine is divided into High, Upper, Middle and Lower areas, with full Rhine river cruises typically taking the journey from Upper to Lower, or vice versa, depending on the cruise line and itinerary. Some Rhine river cruises meanwhile, offer itineraries which concentrate on a particular region of the river.

Basel is a popular port of call to either begin or end your Rhine river cruise. Situated in the Upper Rhine, it borders and has suburbs in France and Germany, so offers a rich blend of cultures. There are museums galore to explore and Munster Cathedral is a particular highlight.

Also located in the Upper Rhine region, Strasbourg in France is picturesque city which is a delight to explore. From the charming and historic La Petite France neighbourhood, with its fine cuisine and cobbled streets to the iconic Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, there’s so much to do.

Speyer and Heidelberg in the Upper Rhine region are two popular Rhine ports of call you’ll typically visit in the same day. The former is one of Germany’s oldest towns, famous for its cathedral and medieval town, while Heidelberg’s Haupstrasse is said to be the longest shopping street in Germany and a favourite for Christmas markets.

Rudesheim and Koblenz in the Middle Rhine offer you one of the most picturesque parts of your Rhine cruise, as you’ll pass through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, famous for the beautiful medieval castles lining your route. Sample local wine in Rudesheim and explore 700-year-old Marksburg Castle in Koblenz.
Cologne in the Lower Rhine is a must-see port of call on any Rhine cruise, where you’ll explore history and culture in abundance. There’s a wealth Roman and Gothic architecture to experience in this 2000-year-old city but the absolute must see is the World Heritage Site Cologne Cathedral. If art’s your bag, don’t miss one of the largest Picasso collections in the world in the Museum Ludwig.

Located in the Lower Rhine region, Amsterdam is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations in its own right, and an enduring port of call too. Its legendary canals are the ideal way to explore the sights of the city and if you choose to travel on the Prinsengracht canal, you’ll be exploring a beautiful World Heritage Site. Be sure not to miss the famous Anne Frank House, but book early to avoid the queues.

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And when you’re ready to start exploring your next viking river cruise, I’d like to invite you visit the river cruise experts at

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