Rhine River Cruise

ON leaving Venice we once again used our EuroRail passes and headed through Italy and up the Swiss Alps to Basel; our starting point for our Rhine river Cruise.

View of "The River Ambassador" our boat for the Rhine River cruise

Our boat “The River Ambassador”

Day 1

We had stayed in Basel overnight. Getting up early we caught a taxi down to the embark point for our cruise dropped our bags onto the boat and went for a walk along the Rhine while the boat was being readied.

Day 2

Our first stop saw us taking a walk through a Alsatian village and then on to a Colmar city tour.

Colmar of the Alsace region in north-eastern France

Colmar of the Alsace region in north-eastern France. Photo of house on canal.

we started from Medieval Breisach, the gateway to the Black Forest, then jumped on a coach for a tour crossing the Rhine and headed for the Alsatian Wine Road, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Charming villages, pastoral land- scapes, and lush vineyards line this beautiful winding road.

We visited the historic center of enchanting Colmar then continued on to the wine villages of Kayserberg and Riquewihr, rambling along the narrow lanes past crooked-timbered Medieval houses with conical roofs that are straight out of a fairytale illustration.

View of front of the Colmar Customs House in France

Colmar Customs House in France

that night back on the boat we enjoyed the Captain’s Welcome Gala dinner.

Day 3

We arrived at Strasbourg overnight and after breakfast then ventured into town with our guides to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Situated halfway between Paris and Prague, the Alsatian town of Strasbourg is known as the “Crossroads of Europe.

Photo straight out of a fairytale.

fairytale buildings

The heart of the old city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and crisscrossed with Medieval canals. We boarded a canal boat and cruised past ancient covered bridges and their watchtowers, the picturesque Petite France district with its beautiful half-timbered houses and window boxes, and magnificent Gothic cathedral.

This dynamic modern city hosts numerous European Union organizations. We spent the afternoon in the beautiful city, home to a large and lively student population and the only national theater outside Paris.

Day 4

Photo of Speyer Cathedral with fountain in foreground on a foggy morning.

Speyer Cathedral UNESCO site Germany

Today we went on a fantastic guided walking tour through Speyer; a Medieval town with a grand heritage and a compact historic center dominated by the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe- a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its basilica laid out in the form of a Latin cross, including four towers and two domes, this marvel is a symbol of Medieval imperial power; the rulers of three dynasties are interred here. Nearby, a well-preserved mikvah, or ritual bath, bears witness to a Jewish community that dates to roughly the same era; it is the oldest remaining bath of its kind in Europe.

View of 4 Kings and 4 Emperors bronze Statue Speyer Germany

4 Kings and 4 Emperors Statue Speyer Germany

Day 5

We visited Rüdesheim which has been a magnet for romantics since the 19th century. Among its most famous sights is the Drosselgasse, a narrow alleyway lined with wine taverns and shops.

the area is situated in the vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau. Though it is one of the smallest wine-growing regions of Germany, it is world famous for its Rieslings—and Castle Vollrads is one of the world’s top wine estates for the varietal.

View from our boat of a Castle on the banks of the Rhine River

Castle along the Rhine

We have rarely been on the boat during the day while it was moving but this afternoon it was time for some scenic cruising along the romantic Rhine—the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage-designated Upper Middle Rhine Valley. Picturesque castles appear around every bend in the river for a 40-mile stretch, a sight that inspired poets, painters, and composers throughout the 19th century.

View of a Castlebuilt on rock from our Boat on the Rhine River

Castle on rock along the Rhine

Day 6

We Awaken on the romantic Rhine and enjoy a morning cruise along the castle-lined river. German Corner,mwith its famous monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I, announces our arrival in Koblenz, where the Moselle and Rhine rivers meet.

Photo of Statue of German Emperor Wilhelm the 1st where Rhine and Mosel meet at Koblenz

Statue of German Emperor Wilhelm the 1st where Rhine and Mosel meet at Koblenz

We went on a group walking tour highlighting the appeal of Koblenz—its romantic narrow streets and historic squares,the picturesque alleyways and fountains in the old quarter, and the 12th-century churches of St. Florin and Our Lady.

The Marksburg is a fortress above the town of Braubach in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the only medieval castle of the Middle Rhine that has never been destroyed. It is one of the principal sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Rhine Gorge. The fortress was used for protection rather than as a residence for royal families.

View of display of 3 Suits of Armour Marksburg Castle in Braubach Germany

Suits of Armour Marksburg Castle in Braubach Germany

Day 7

Today we Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Town with our guide, passing by tiny squares and small churches as we made our way to Cologne Cathedral, the city’s most famous landmark. It took 632 years for Germany’s largest cathedral to be completed, and it is one of the most important Gothic churches in Europe. Inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the earthly remains of the fabled Three Kings—the Magi—are believed to lie at rest.

View of Cologne Cathedral Germany

Cologne Cathedral Germany

Day 8

This morning we arrived in Amsterdam, Disembarked from the ship and walked across the landing point to the train station- not more then a few hundred metres away- jumped on a EuroRail train and headed to Paris.