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Autumn Along the Rhine: Munich's Oktoberfest

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Uniquely Tauck

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Experience with tauck

TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Reserved seating for lunch in one of the traditional brewery tents at Munich's Oktoberfest

TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Beer-paired German lunch in historic Heidelberg with the brew master of an award-winning brewery

TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – "Beers & Bites" Old Town walking tour in Amsterdam

tauck value includes

All private Tauck shore excursions – $3,366 Value

Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director

A private Amsterdam canal boat cruise

Tour of Heidelberg Castle with guide

SEE WHAT YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES

Guests should be able to easily walk one to two miles, which may include climbing one or two flights of stairs and walking over uneven pavement, groomed hiking trails or cobblestones. Standing up to one hour or more may be required.

Often robust – may include long days, active sightseeing, early starts, evening activities, significant travel times.

Exclusively inclusive river cruising

Along the river Rhine… where mountains rise abruptly from the water's edge, ancient castles perch aloft, keeping watch over comings and goings, gentle valleys and ancient winelands lure, spas give respite, cathedrals speak to powerful times, plains and woods catch the eye, and a river travels, connecting centuries of history, cities of the arts and crossroads of thought.

Experience munich's oktoberfest, celebrate the "real" oktoberfest in munich... although it's in september.

There are "Oktoberfest" celebrations all over the world, but until you experience the one in Munich, where it began, you haven't really "done" the true Oktoberfest – a unique mix of beer consumption, Bavarian feasting, live brass bands, communal singing, and dancing. It all started in 1810 when a royal couple invited the citizens to their wedding festivities on the fields in front of the city. Today Munich's Oktoberfest – always held in September – is the largest festival in the world. Tauck has reserved seats for you in the center of the action, in one of the exclusive brewery tents... come join the party!

Düsseldorf's craft breweries

A walk to discover the beers and brewing traditions of düsseldorf.

A city well-known for its beer in a country well-known for its beer, Düsseldorf is celebrated for its Altbier ("Old beer") tradition, which preserves the pre-lager, pre-19th-century brewing method employing a warm, top-fermenting yeast to produce a hoppy, cleaner, crisper beer. Düsseldorf's alt breweries are concentrated in the city's historic center, the Altstadt, which has often been jokingly referred to as "Germany's longest bar" for its wealth of pubs and breweries… which you'll explore during your visit.

By cog railway to Mt. Pilatus

To and from mt. pilatus by cogwheel train or gondola.

Since the 1880s, the world's steepest cogwheel train has been bringing travelers up and down Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland, climbing nearly 7,000 ft. from the edge of Lake Lucerne to the mountain's summit (Oberhaupt). On your visit to Lucerne, you'll take this thrilling ride that has you traveling upward at a 48° angle. Or, if the weather is uncooperative, you may make the ascent by gondola (cable car). Either way, getting there is definitely part of the fun, as you enjoy soaking up views of Alpine meadows and mountain streams, goats and flowers.

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Ship Specifications

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Diamond Deck

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(Note: All Category 7 cabins are three-guest capacity suites with a pull-out couch)

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Emerald Deck

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Tauck Riverboat

Hotel bayerischer hof.

Munich, Germany

Your Journey

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About Booking This Tour

Travel Documents

If you are a U.S. citizen traveling internationally , you will need a passport valid for six months beyond the completion of your Tauck journey for entry into The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France. You are not required to obtain a visa to enter any country visited for the short duration of this tour.

If you are a citizen of another country traveling internationally , you should contact a consulate or embassy of the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and France to determine what travel documentation is required.

Please Note: Longer stays abroad for any purpose may require additional travel documentation.

We recommend that you make at least two photocopies of all the travel documents that you bring with you. Include copies of the photo page of your passport that contains the date of issuance, the date of expiration and your citizenship. Secure one set of copies in the safe in your room while traveling and leave one set behind with someone at home who will assist you in the event your documents are misplaced, lost or stolen.

To facilitate Travel Requirements, destinations are increasingly utilizing online forms that require digital proof that you've successfully completed your submission (via an email, QR code, etc.) To ensure smooth travels and peace of mind, we strongly recommend all guests carry a personal smart phone and sign up for international data plans before traveling overseas.

Cruise Regulations – International maritime security guidelines require that your passport information be provided to us prior to your embarkation. You need to provide this information to us as soon as you book your cruise or boarding may be denied. Once you board the riverboat, your passport will be held by the purser temporarily to make copies.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN AS A GUARDIAN: If you are traveling as the guardian of a child/children, we strongly suggest that you carry a letter from both parents of the child authorizing emergency treatment in the event of illness or accident. For travel abroad, many foreign countries have specific entry requirements for children under 21 who are traveling internationally without BOTH parents. (These requirements are in response to the increased incidence of children being abducted and taken abroad.) PLEASE NOTE THAT TAUCK IS NOT RESPONSIBLE for the disruption of travel caused by improper documentation for children traveling without both parents.

How to Book a Tour

See your travel advisor, or call Tauck at 800-468-2825 to make a reservation.

At the time of booking, please have the following information ready for all members of your party:

  • Tour Name and Departure Date
  • Traveler's Name: First and last names as they appear on your passport or driver's license
  • Traveler's Address(es)
  • Email Address*
  • Traveler's Phone Number(s)*
  • Emergency Contact Information: Please provide the name and phone number  of a relative or friend (not travelling with you) whom we could contact during the tour in the unlikely event of an emergency
  • Interest in purchasing a travel protection plan (US and Canada)
  • Interest in extending your trip by staying in a Tauck recommended hotel before your trip begins or after it ends
  • Interest in our specially negotiated airfares

* Required Fields

Deposits & Final Payment

The deposit and the fees for the optional Protection Plan or Cancel Fee Waiver [CFW] coverage are due at time of booking.

The deposit amount is $900 per person

Final Payments:

Final Payment is due to Tauck  60  days before departure for lands trips, and  120  days before departure for cruises and rail journeys. If your deposit was made by credit card, final payment will be automatic unless you opted out at time of booking. Bookings without full payment at this time may be subject to cancellation without notice. Failure to make payment will be a considered a cancellation by the guest and all applicable cancellation fees will apply.

Cruise Protection Plan

Effective for plans purchased as of July 1, 2021:

Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection

Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection provides you with cancellation protection before your journey begins as well as insurance benefits while you are traveling. It must be purchased within 10 days of your initial deposit. Guest Protection includes the following:

Cancellation Waiver – Provided by Tauck:

Under Tauck's Cancellation Fee Waiver you can cancel your tour for ANY REASON and Tauck will  reduce the regular cancellation fees outlined herein, provided we are notified of cancellation before your cruise departs. Certain terms and restrictions apply (see below*).

*Extreme Circumstances:  In the event of an act of God, war (whether declared or undeclared), terrorism, accident, natural disaster, outbreak of disease, or other event or circumstance beyond our control that contributes to or results in cancellation rates above our historical cancellation rates in the absence of such event or occurrence, Tauck reserves the right to issue a credit to you in lieu of a money-back refund, applicable to a future Tauck journey.  Travel Insurance Benefits – Underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company.

  • Trip Cancellation –  Should you cancel for covered reasons, the plan reimburses cancellation fees imposed, up to your total trip cost. 
  • Trip Interruption –  If you have to interrupt your tour for covered reasons, the plan provides reimbursement to catch up to your tour or return home.
  • Travel Delay –  Provides reimbursement for missed, prepaid travel arrangements if you are delayed by a common carrier, natural disaster, unannounced strike, or other reasons as cited in the plan.
  • Medical Expense –  Reimburses covered medical expenses incurred in the event you become injured or sick during your trip. 
  • Baggage / Personal Effects Protection –  Provides reimbursement in the event your luggage or personal effects are, lost, stolen, damaged or delayed during your trip.

Worldwide Emergency Assistance Services –  Provided by Carefree Travel Assistance; 24-hour emergency telephone assistance hotline for medical and travel related problems.

The cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection is:   $799   per person

This plan provides cancellation coverage for your trip and other insurance coverages that apply only during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home and automobile policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker.

This optional Cruise and Event Protection must be requested at time of booking and fee must be included in initial payment. Details will be provided with written confirmation of your reservation. Cruise and Event Protection does not protect travel agent commissions. Reimbursements will be made according to original method of payment. The amount of any refund shall be reduced by any recoveries obtained by you from any third parties.

To obtain your state-specific Certificate of Insurance that contains the complete terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of the certificate, visit  affinitytravelcert.com/docs/TACCREINTL

If You Have To Cancel

If you cancel within 10 days of initial deposit

Within the first 10 days after you place your initial deposit, you may cancel your reservation for any reason with no cancellation fees.

If you cancel more than 10 days after initial deposit

Regardless of reason, cancellations result in costly charges from our travel and hotel providers covering penalties and fees incurred by canceling confirmed bookings. These fees vary from tour to tour. Therefore, the following fees apply for this tour.

Cancellation Fees with Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan:

120 days or more before departure: Loss of cost of Tauck's Cruise and Event Protection fee per person 119 – 60 days before departure: Loss of 25% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person 59 – 1 days before departure: Loss of 50% of the cost of the cruise, not including air (if applicable), plus loss of Cruise and Event Protection fee, per person Cancellation Fees without Tauck's Cruise Protection Plan: 120 days or more before departure: $900 per person 119 – 60 days before departure: Loss of 50% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person 59 - 1 days before departure: Loss of 100% of the cost of cruise, not including air (if applicable), per person Time of cancellation will be when notice is received in our Wilton Woods, CT office.

Tour Interruption Fees

If you have to interrupt your tour en route, you may be entitled to a refund for the unused land portion if it exceeds 24 hours; certain restrictions apply. Such refunds are based upon the number of overnights missed less a fee of $40 per person per day for unused transportation and other fixed expenses.

Partial Room Cancellation

A person who cancels or leaves a tour while a roommate remains constitutes a cancellation of one type of accommodation and rebooking of another type of accommodation. The price charged to the remaining person is the new, higher price for the new accommodation.

In the event of an unforeseen circumstance beyond our control, Tauck reserves the right to amend the cancellation and transfer terms outlined herein. Note: All Guests, regardless of residency, who book a Tauck journey have the option of purchasing the Cancellation Waiver provided by Tauck in the event they need to cancel their trip after making their reservations. Tauck's Cruise & Event Protection, which includes both the Cancellation Fee Waiver and the Travel Insurance Benefits and Assistance Services described above, is not available to residents of Puerto Rico.

Travel Terms and Conditions

Click here  to find Tauck's Travel Terms & Conditions.

Travel Requirements For This Tour

Air Information and Luggage Restrictions

AIRFARE: Airfare to and from this destination is not included in the journey cost. If purchasing your air elsewhere, it is very important to provide us with your confirmed arriving and departing flight information no later than 3 weeks before your arrival date. Flight information can be submitted to Tauck (or verified, if you've already provided it) in the My Account section of Tauck.com.

TAUCK AIRPORT TRANSFERS are included at the start and end of the journey between the airport and the Tauck hotel. Airport transfers are available for any pre tour or post tour hotel stays immediately consecutive to the tour, providing flight information is received in the Tauck office no later than three weeks in advance. Details on locating your transfer upon arrival to the tour start city will be included in your final documents.

AIRLINES and CHECKED LUGGAGE: Due to space limitations during your Tauck journey, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one average-size suitcase per person. Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and are free to revise luggage policies without notice. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies. PLEASE NOTE that if you are booked on a tour that includes on-tour flights, the checked luggage weight restrictions for these flights may be lower than the weight restrictions for your international flights.

Checked Luggage – General

Due to space restrictions, we ask that you please limit your checked luggage to one suitcase per person weighing no more than 50 pounds (23 kg) and with overall dimensions (length + width + height) not exceeding 62 inches (158 cm).

Besides complying with the Tauck restriction noted above, you should also be sure to research and comply with all airline baggage restrictions relating to your flights to and from your Tauck journey. Airlines have become much more strict in enforcing size and weight limits in recent years, and luggage exceeding airline standards for size or weight may result in expensive overage fees or other consequences.

Airlines are free to revise luggage policies without notice, and certain airlines have different baggage allowances for different classes of service. Researching and complying with airline luggage restrictions is the responsibility of the guest, and Tauck cannot be held responsible for any costs or disruptions to travel caused by the failure to research and comply with airline policies.

Tauck luggage tags will be provided by your Tauck Director on Day 1 of your itinerary. Please do not attach a Tauck luggage tag to any carry-on items, as the Tauck tags designate luggage that is to be handled and transferred by ground operators and hotel staff during your journey.

Carry-on Luggage - General

Although oversize bags and wheeled, carry-on luggage are popular for airline travel, they are often not convenient or appropriate for motor coach travel or for many on-tour flights. Most modern sightseeing motor coaches offer limited space for numerous or larger items. Space under seats or in the overhead rack is typically small, and designed to accommodate items like coats, hats, purses, and small camera bags, etc.

For your day-to-day travel while on tour, we recommend that you limit your hand luggage to a small, soft-sided carry-on piece, and that you bring only those items you need handy during the day such as make-up, medications, cameras, film, etc. Items too large to fit under the motor coach seat or on the overhead rack must be stored in the luggage bays beneath the motor coach, and may be inaccessible during daytime travel.

Health, Safety and Mobility

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

The ms Grace is registered in Basel, Switzerland; ms Inspire is registered in Valleta, Malta. Please check with your health insurance provider to determine whether you are covered while traveling. If you will not be covered under your current policy, we strongly suggest that you arrange for adequate coverage while on tour. Please refer to the Tauck Travel Protection Product section above for details on the coverage we can offer you.

If you have a medical condition that might limit your participation in activities, please consult your physician for pre-departure health advice and notify us as soon as possible, if you have not already done so. We will advise your Tauck Director accordingly.

VACCINATIONS

If you are a resident of the U.S. , no vaccinations are currently required for travel to the Netherlands, Germany, France or Switzerland. For complete vaccination and inoculation information, contact your physician, the public health service in your area, or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia by clicking here .

If you are a resident of another country , please contact an embassy or consulate of the Netherlands, Germany, France and  Switzerland to determine what vaccination(s) may be required for you to visit.

While a cruise from Amsterdam to Munich is very relaxing and the pace leisurely, to enjoy all the cruise has to offer, you should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surfaces. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. There is a moderate to significant amount of walking during our excursions, often along cobblestone streets, and at many sites there are multiple stairs or steps; for the most part, however, the amount of walking you do is at your discretion.

Your riverboat has four decks: Sun, Diamond, Ruby and Emerald. The elevator runs between the Diamond Deck and Emerald Deck; there is no elevator access to the Sun Deck. There is no chair lift between any of the decks.

Because you will be cruising on a river and not on the open sea, you are never far from land and, therefore, there is no doctor onboard the riverboat. In case of emergency, we can easily dock the boat and call for an ambulance or medical assistance.

PLEASE NOTE:  We regret that this Tauck itinerary cannot accommodate wheelchairs or motorized scooters.  Likewise, we regret that we're unable to provide individual assistance to guests with walking difficulties or other personal needs.  The responsibility of the Tauck Director who accompanies your trip is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest.  Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate service animals on any river cruise for medical and legal reasons.

SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS

The restaurants, hotels, caterers and numerous other partners we work with all do their best to accommodate special dietary requests from Tauck guests. However, given the diverse nature of those food providers (from small wineries to grand hotels to world-famous restaurants in more than 70 countries worldwide), some of our partners are better able than others to accommodate such requests. We therefore cannot guarantee that all dietary requests can be accommodated at every meal. Also, please note that where dietary requests can be accommodated, choices will frequently be limited.

On board the riverboat, smoking is permitted in a limited area of the Sun deck. Smoking (including e-Cigarettes) is not permitted in any cabin, the restaurant, the lounge or any other interior space.

Reading List

We have compiled a reading list of recommended books to give you more information about the destinations you will be traveling to on your upcoming journey!

You can view the reading list  here.

The climate along the Rhine is temperate and unpredictable. From May through October, the average high temperatures increase as you travel south along the river.

To read about current weather conditions, we suggest you log on to the Internet website, noaa.gov , by clicking here.

What To Pack

Bringing the right clothing for your trip is important – we've partnered with Necessary Gear who provide an "easy-to-use, one-stop shop" for your Tauck travel needs, specifically selected for this trip. Click here to visit their site .

Your journey is designed with leisure in mind. Dress for comfort and convenience with a wardrobe that is flexible and allows for layering. Casual, cotton clothing is recommended. A light jacket or sweater for the sun deck is also recommended. Pack comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes that have already been broken-in, as many of the sites visited were built centuries ago and have uneven surfaces, some steep inclines and many steps.

During evenings aboard the riverboat, dress is resort casual.  Items such as slacks and collared shirts are appropriate for men.  For women, slacks, a dress or a skirt and blouse are suitable.  For dinner and throughout the evening, guests should refrain from wearing shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops or sneakers.  Your journey also includes one or two special occasion dinners, where a sport coat and tie for gentlemen and a dress/pantsuit for ladies are suggested.  (Your Tauck Director will advise you prior to those evenings.)

Bathrobes, slippers and hairdryers are provided in each cabin.

Valet laundry service is available on the riverboat for a fee. There is no valet dry cleaning available on the riverboat. Ironing facilities are available by request to the front desk. Category 7  suites feature their own irons and ironing boards.

We recommend that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medication in its original container to last through your entire journey, together with a copy of your doctor's prescription or a letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you, a list of the generic names of your medication, your travel documents and a change of clothing in your carry-on bag to avoid any inconvenience in the event that your flight or luggage is delayed. No medications are sold on board the riverboat.

Following is a list of recommended items to pack for your cruise: 

  • Flat, rubber-soled walking shoes for onboard the ship
  • Comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes that have already been broken-in
  • Casual daytime wear – shorts, slacks, long and short-sleeved shirts
  • An optional jacket and tie for men
  • Casually elegant evening wear for ladies
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat
  • A light sweater or jacket for higher elevations or a breezy night
  • Camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and chargers
  • Travel alarm clock/cell phone with alarm function (many hotels do not have clocks in the rooms)
  • Rain poncho and collapsible umbrella
  • Reusable zipper-lock bags or other waterproof bags
  • Daypack for camera equipment
  • Sundries and toiletries that may be difficult to find en route
  • Copies of your travel documents that should be secured in the safe in your ship cabin while traveling

The Tauck Experience

Tauck's River Cruise Guide

Rhine river facts, first timer's guide, why take a tauck river cruise, choosing the best european river cruise for you.

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FREEPHONE 9am - 7pm

08001970854

Germany river cruise.

View Cologne River Cruises View Germany River Cruises

When it comes to Europe river cruises , Germany is a country rich in both waterways and heritage, and a river cruise is the perfect way to experience both, which makes for a truly memorable holiday. Indeed, the country is one of the most popular with river cruisers, and with good reason. It’s home to one of the world’s most famous and scenic rivers, the Rhine, which acts as the perfect showcase for some of Germany’s most noted areas of natural beauty along the Rhine Valley. Make it a Germany river cruise to remember and book your 2024 river cruise now at River Voyages.com.

The Main is possibly the Rhine’s most well-known tributary and lies entirely in Germany, meaning it’s a great way to explore the country’s history. It delivers an authentic taste of the Europe of old, a voyage through the Bavarian heartland, and the chance to explore some truly memorable towns and cities. With many amazing cruises through Germany, why not look for a mini river cruise to pack a full cruise experience into a neat little holiday package?

Another Rhine tributary is the Moselle, which offers the perfect laid-back German river cruise experience and is a must for wine-lovers, as it goes through one of the country’s celebrated wine-growing regions. The Elbe is one of Europe’s major rivers and the perfect way to see what Eastern Germany has to offer, including the beautiful region of Saxony and the chance to explore the country’s historic capital, Berlin.

Germany River Cruise Destinations

There are many amazing destinations to explore on our range of river cruises in Germany. A Cologne river cruise gives you the chance to explore one of Germany's oldest cities. With there being many rivers flowing through Germany, let's take a look at each of them and what you can expect to see on your river cruise in Germany. 

At over 760 miles long, the Rhine is one of Europe’s key rivers, winding its way through numerous countries and their histories. It begins its journey high in the Swiss Alps on a Switzerland river cruise and continues across Germany before ending up in the Netherlands, which you can explore on a Holland river cruise . 

German river cruises are a great way to explore the river’s most picturesque area, the beautiful Upper Middle Rhine Valley, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. German Rhine River cruise highlights include one of the country’s most famous cities, Cologne. A city tour excursion will reveal numerous architectural treasures, most notably one of the world’s largest and most beautiful cathedrals, the Dom. 

The Rhine offers a great way to see some of Germany’s most splendid castles, and a stop at Koblenz, where this majestic river meets the Moselle, gives you the chance to explore one of the finest, the 700-year-old Marksburg Castle.

Rudesheim delivers plenty of picturesque village charm and lies at the heart of the country’s Rheingau wine region, while Heidelberg is another popular port and home to the oldest university in Germany. The country’s Black Forest is one of its national treasures, and Breisach marks many Rhine river cruises’ entrance into this truly majestic region. Some itineraries also offer a taste of France with a stop at the Germanic French town on a Strasbourg river cruise , the official seat of the European Parliament.

A tributary of the Rhine, the Main is the perfect place for a Germany river cruise; the river has formed part of Europe’s largest continuous waterway since 1992, when the completion of the Main-Danube Canal connected it with the Danube. A number of longer European river cruise itineraries explore the entire length of this 2,200-mile waterway, but the Main itself boasts a number of memorable sights and offers a fascinating journey through Germany’s history. 

Frankfurt marks the start of many Main river cruises and it’s a place where old and new sit side by side, a fact which is best evidenced by scaling Main Tower to take it all in. Don’t miss the historic city hall and the beautiful botanical gardens. Wurzburg and Rothenburg both offer a taste of northern Bavaria, the former being home to the Baroque Bishop’s Residence and the latter offering a rich mediaeval heritage and some splendid architecture. Take a  luxury river cruise and see some of Germany's most historic settlements.

  The Moselle

The Moselle is one of the Rhine’s tributaries, and after beginning its journey in France on a France river cruise , it flows through Luxembourg and into Germany. A Moselle cruise offers an idyllic river cruise experience and the chance to drink in one of Germany’s numerous wine-growing regions. Many Moselle cruises begin in Trier, the oldest city in Germany. One key relic from its past is the Black Gate, the only remaining part of this city’s ancient Roman walls. The Moselle is the perfect place for an all inclusive river cruise .

Bernkastel is situated in the beautiful Moselle Valley, and as well as taking in the gorgeous scenery as you approach, you’ll be able to disembark and explore this quaint town at your leisure. Being that the town is situated in one of Germany’s key wine-growing regions, a number of river cruise deals also offer wine-tasting excursions from here. Cochem’s celebrated castle offers some fabulous views of this beautiful region as well as a fascinating tour, while Koblenz marks the point where the Moselle joins the Rhine. Indeed, you can visit Deutsches Eck, the symbolic meeting point of these two rivers, during your time in Koblenz.

The perfect way to experience eastern Germany, an Elbe river voyage offers you the chance to see the country’s capital too, because although it doesn’t sit on the Elbe, Berlin acts as the point of transfer either at the start or at the end of your voyage. As well as the famous Reichstag, you can visit the Berlin Wall memorial and a wealth of museums. 

Magdeburg is the port where many river cruises in Germany begin, while Dessau offers the chance to explore Worlitz Park, the first landscaped garden in Germany, complete with an English-style country home. Wittenburg is where you’ll be able to explore the past of one of the region’s most famous historical figures, Martin Luther. 

Dresden is another jewel in Germany’s historic crown, and indeed, it’s home to the celebrated Green Vault, where many of the treasures and relics of Saxon monarchs-past are housed. Before the Elbe crosses into Eastern Europe, it passes through the beautiful Saxon Switzerland region, where breath-taking rock formations and enchanting spa towns ensure a truly memorable cruise. Take advantage of our cheap river cruises and enjoy a Germany river cruise for a great price.

  Get In Touch

Make sure to book your river cruise in Germany for 2024, or plan ahead and be ready with a river cruise in 2025 . If you are looking for a Germany river cruise and need some help with your booking or just need some travel advice , then be sure to get in touch with us and call our freephone service at 0800 1970854 or email us at [email protected] , and one of our friendly and helpful staff will be on hand to assist you with any queries. 

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Anderten, Hanover

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Breisach is a town located in Southwest Germany on the Frenc...

Traben-Trarbach

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Zeil am Main

Niederfinow, bremerhaven.

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Rüdesheim am Rhein

Rudesheim am Rhine is a town in the Rhine Valley in Germany...

Tangermünde

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Passau is a German city located in the Southeast of Germany...

Lahnstein sits at the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine ri...

Germersheim

Hohenwarthe, spandau/berlin.

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Lichterfelde

Königswinter, bad schandau, berlin-tegel.

Speyer is a town located in southwest Germany situated besid...

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Aschaffenburg

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Schweinfurt.

Kehl is a town located in southwest Germany on the River Rhi...

Bernkastel-Kues

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Brandenburg

The third largest city in Germany, and one of the most pr...

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Heligoland Archipelago

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Marktbreit am Main

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List, Sylt Island

Oberammergau.

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Sankt Goarshausen

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Gerlachshausen

Baden-baden, hennigsdorf, plittersdorf, ludwigsburg.

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Frankfurt/Oder

Frankfurt, birthplace of the iconic writer Johann Wolfgan...

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Hilpoltstein

Lauffen am neckar.

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Rügen Island

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river cruise germany 2023

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river cruise germany 2023

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river cruise germany 2023

Warnemünde, officially a suburb of Rostock, is a quaint seaside resort town with the best hotels and restaurants in the area, as well as 20 km (12 miles) of beautiful white-sand beach. It's been a popular summer getaway for families in eastern Germany for years.There is little to do in Warnemünde except relax, and the town excels brilliantly at that. However, Warnemünde is a major cruise-ship terminal. Whenever there is more than one ship at dock, the town explodes with a county fair–like atmosphere, and shops and restaurants stay open until the ships leave at midnight. The city celebrates the dreifache Anlauf, when three ships dock simultaneously, with fireworks.

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Known for the Kiel Canal and Kiel Week, the city boasts an important maritime history. Kiel is also a great place to sight-see, do some shopping and take part in one of the many festivals taking place there.

river cruise germany 2023

World-renowned for its vivacious arts and fashion scene, Düsseldorf sits along the Rhine River in western Germany and beautifully blends contemporary architecture with historic significance, offering its visitors a wonderfully diverse experience. Düsseldorf boasts an array of museums, galleries and boutiques, making it a key cultural hub.

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A charming town known for its winemaking traditions, Kitzingen is located in Bavaria alongside the Main River, home to historic landmarks including the Old Main Bridge and the Kitzingen Fortress, reflecting its medieval past. With festivals and events celebrating its wine culture, Kitzingen's vibrant atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, as well as those seeking a taste of regional Bavarian hospitality.

river cruise germany 2023

Travemünde is a beach resort with history: The town was founded in 1187 by Count Adolf III zu Schauenburg, who recognized the strategic value of its site at junction of the River Trave and the Baltic Sea. In 1329, Lübeck bought the village and its castle, thereby securing access to the Baltic for international trade. Fishing was the village's main source of income until the late 18th Century, when tourism entered the picture. Throughout the 50s and 60s, Travermunde was to Germany, what St. Tropez was to France. Even though that is perhaps not the case anymore (you’ll see no megayachts or Russian billions here), Travermunde has retained a very charming and inviting olde-worlde appeal of beach huts, boats and barbeques. A long river of sand greets the happy traveller who disembarks here and if the gentle Baltic sea and distinctive – and very comfortable – wicker strandkörbe (hooded beach seats), are not enough to keep you busy, then exploring the attractive riverfront is a worthwhile pastime. The stroll into town provides the perfect excuse to sample some of the excellent many draft beers on tap and for these feeling a bit peckish, the fish restaurants are reputed to be some of the best in the country. Do not miss a chance to taste the local speciality of young herring served with salad and salted, boiled potatoes that have been rolled in cumin. To work off your feast, then the short hike or cycle ride (bike hire shops are found almost everywhere) to the conservation area around Brodtener Steilufer is well worthwhile, and commands spectacular views.

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Breisach is a town located in Southwest Germany on the French border. The town is situated in the Rhine Valley on the banks of the river Rhine and dates back over four thousand years. Breisach and its history can be experienced through the City History Museum, which houses a permanent exhibition taking you from Stone Age through the Celtic, to the Romans and Middle Ages, right up to modern day. St Stephen's Cathedral is home to the city’s famous art treasures, the wheel wells, which are housed in the neighbouring Radbrunnenturm with the forty one metre deep water well. The cathedral is also home to many other treasures including the High Altar of Master HL and wall paintings by Martin Schongauer as well as High Gothic and Roman architecture. A visit to the Blue House, the former Jewish Community Centre, is highly recommended. Now owned by the Friends of Former Jewish Community House Breisach it exhibits memorials to Breisach’s Jewish heritage.

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Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city with a history dating back to Charlemagne. A major port, this vibrant city is home to art and culture, extensive shopping facilities, Baroque buildings and waterfront vistas. With its well-known fish market, art galleries and Museums together with several beautiful parks including a botanical garden, this is a city with something for everyone. British visitors who remember the Swinging Sixties may like to visit the streets around Grosse Freiheit, where an unknown pop group called The Beatles gave their first public performances in various local clubs before achieving worldwide fame.

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Bremerhaven was founded in 1139. In 1827 the decision was taken to make this small fishing town a huge deep-sea port, and today Bremerhaven, along with Bremen, forms the smallest of Germany’s federal states. This busy port is still part of the municipality of Bremen, and half of Germany’s fishing fleet deposit their catch here. Bremerhaven’s lighthouse, a famous landmark, dates back to 1853 and is the oldest working lighthouse on Germany's mainland North Sea coast. Bremerhaven is home to the German Shipping Museum, founded in 1971, which houses many interesting exhibits including a well-preserved 14th-century Hanseatic trading vessel, found at the bottom of the River Weser during dredging operations. Another attraction is the German Migration Museum, which tells the stories of Germans who migrated to the New World and of foreigners who have made their homes in Germany.

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A town characterised by enchanting medieval charm, Cochem sits along the stunning Moselle River in Germany, overlooked by the fascinating hilltop Reichsburg Castle. Cochem's skyline looks as though it were lifted directly from a postcard, decorated with half-timbered houses, charming streets and the Moselle river meandering alongside. A reputable hub for impeccable Riesling wines, Cochem is also famed for its local vineyards, offering visitors a taste of traditional German wine production. 

river cruise germany 2023

Rudesheim am Rhine is a town in the Rhine Valley in Germany and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Rhine Gorge. It is known for its production of Riesling wine and has been popular for its wine making since ancient times. The Medieval Bromserburg Castle is home to the Rheingau Wine Museum and wine is a crucial part of Rudesheimer culture. The town is surrounded with vineyards and wineries, as well as many local wine bars and seasonal wine taverns. Wine tasting is a must do in Rudesheim and dining out is a great accompaniment. The local cuisine is seasonal and is closely intertwined with the wine growing traditions together with soups such as Zwiebelkuchen, Handkäs mit Musik and Spundekäs. Nordic Walking is popular around town, with five adventure trails around the vicinity, as well as many popular cycling routes. Great views of the town can be found from the water, the cable car to Niederwald Monument and the Monument itself. Old Town has the best examples of the town’s architecture with Eagle Tower, Oberstrasse and Rheinstein Castle some key sites to visit.

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One of the oldest cities in Germany, Trier's rich history dates back over 2,000 years as the former capital of the Western Roman Empire. The city is home to an impressive array of well-preserved Roman ruins, including the iconic Porta Nigra, a massive city gate. What's more, Trier boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Roman amphitheater and the Imperial Baths. Besides its captivating past, Trier also offers a unique blend of contemporary and traditional elements, with an enchanting old town, lively market squares and a vivid cultural scene.

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Passau is a German city located in the Southeast of Germany on the Austrian border. It is situated at the confluence of the rivers Danube, Inn and Ilz. The Three Rivers City, as it’s also known, is unique for its three contrasting currents of blue, green and black. Old Town of Passau is home to towering buildings of striking architecture: the majestic fortress Veste Oberhaus, the Pilgrimage Church Mariahilf and St Stephen's Cathedral. Many of Passau’s attractions can be found in this area, including the New Bishop’s Residence, the Gothic Town Hall, as well as many churches and museums. Visitors can stroll along the riverfront promenades and romantic lanes whilst enjoying the picturesque landscape. For modern art, The Museum of Modern Art and Glass Museum Passau are recommended as they offer something a bit different. Theatre and cabaret are a popular evening pastime, with performances at the former Prince Bishopric Theatre or some lively cabaret and Jazz at the Scharfrichterhaus. Visitors will also find many traditional local Bavarian and Austrian cafes and restaurants offering a cosy atmosphere with home cooked food from local produce.

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Lahnstein sits at the confluence of the Lahn and Rhine rivers, and is decorated with stunning medieval architecture such as the famed Lahneck Castle. The picturesque German town is bursting with character and rich history, located along the Rhine Gorge and offering a serene experience for visitors exploring Germany.

river cruise germany 2023

Located at the confluence of the Tauber and Main rivers, Wertheim is a German town best known for picturesque medieval architecture, including the impressive Wertheim Castle overlooking the quaint Old Town. The cobblestone streets are testament to the town's rich history, and the timber-framed houses paint a vivid picture of Germany's past.

river cruise germany 2023

Speyer is a town located in southwest Germany situated beside the river Rhine. Originally founded by the Romans, it is one of the oldest settlements in Germany and is situated in the popular wine growing region of the Palatinate. A key attraction of Speyer is the Historical Museum of the Palatinate, which is one of the most celebrated culture-history museums in Germany. It features five permanent collections including Prehistory, Roman Times, Cathedral Treasury, Modern Era and Wine Museum. Not far from the museum, visitors will find the Imperial Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is considered the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe. Originally constructed by Konrad II, this magnificent and looming building was intended to demonstrate the Lord’s religio-political claim to power against the papacy. Speyer has been producing wine since its Roman beginnings and wine tasting, festivals and events are popular all year round. The town is popular for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling as well as guided walking tours of the town.

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Nuremberg is a medieval city located in northern Bavaria in Germany. It is Bavaria's second largest city and is noted for its iconic red roofed buildings and medieval architecture. The imperial Castle overlooks Nuremberg and was one of the most important fortifications of the Roman Empire. For more significant cultural history, the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, one of the largest cultural history museums in the German speaking world, offers visitors exhibitions from Prehistoric all the way to present day. Walking tours around the city offer an enjoyable and active way to learn of Nuremberg’s history and culture. Through Old Town, discover fountains, wells, churches, and art treasures, as well as learning of the colourful past and cosmopolitan present of the city and its people. Nuremberg is also home to one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany, the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, where visitors can purchase traditional handmade decorations and enjoy the famous gingerbread, mulled wine, and grilled sausage from over one hundred and eighty wooden stalls.

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In the heart of Bavaria, Roth is home to charming streets, historic architecture and lush countryside, offering a tranquil retreat for visitors looking to explore nature and appreciate the outdoors. Famed for its annual world-renowned Challenge Roth triathlon, the town draws athletes and spectators from all over the world, bolstering community spirit. 

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Situated on the banks of the Rhine, Mainz is a German city with an intricate history dating back to the Roman era, as the capital of the Rhineland-Palatine state. Celebrating its cultural heritage, Mainz is home to several iconic landmarks that represent the city's historical significance, including the Mainz Cathedral, the Old Town and the Gutenberg Museum, which honours the inventor of the printing press. 

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Kehl is a town located in southwest Germany on the River Rhine, across from the French City of Strasbourg. The town is not known as a tourist destination, however it benefits from idyllic landscape and a water-rich environment. Walk or cycle along the Reinpromenade or the garden of the Zweubüchter and enjoy a picnic at one of Kehl’s numerous excavation lakes. Nature lovers will enjoy spotting animals hiding along the rivers, lakes and bushes. Discover Kehl’s turbulent war and peace history with a guided tour of the centre and its surrounding villages. Visitors will also experience the town’s habitat and culture which is characterised through the half timbered houses and streets. Kehl town centre features a large pedestrian zone with many retail outlets, street cafes and outdoor dining to enjoy. A few minutes by public transport and visitors will find themselves in the centre of metropolitan Strasbourg.

river cruise germany 2023

Bernkastel-Kues is an enchanting fairytale town situated along the Moselle River, Germany, with streets paved with cobblestone and lined with half-timbered houses. Famed for its medieval architecture, the lively market square is home to the iconic Spitzhäuschen (Pointed House), a narrow, gabled timber-framed building dating back to the 15th century. Alongside its rich cultural heritage, the town is renowned for its vineyards and wine production, offering its visitors delightful wine-tasting experiences and stunning views of the surrounding vine-covered hills.

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The third largest city in Germany, and one of the most prosperous and fastest growing, Munich is a city characterised by its lively energy blended seamlessly with its tranquil atmosphere. For tourists looking to explore the city and discover its rich history, or for those interested in the finest beers, stunning views or mind-blowing cuisine, Munich is host to an incredible variety of beer gardens, museums, parks, lakes, historical sites, retailers and restaurants, meaning that there really is something for everyone in Munich.

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Located in the West of the country, Koblenz is one of the oldest cities in Germany. It is situated on both banks of the river Rhine, at its confluence with the Moselle River. The beginnings of Koblenz can be traced back to its military beginnings around 8 BC. The city is rich in its history and heritage and is easily explored on foot. Take the cable car crossing over the river Rhine for spectacular aerial views or enjoy the city from the one thousand year old fortress, Ehrenbreitstein. The upper middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its unique landscape can be enjoyed and discovered through the interactive multimedia journey at the Romanticum. Historical and architectural sites of interest include Stolzenfels Castle, the Electoral Palace of Koblenz and Old Town. From the romantic winding streets and small squares of Old Town, stroll through the alleyways from the Church of the Holy Virgin to the St Kastor Basilica and enjoy the picturesque buildings and squares along the way. Koblenz is also very popular for its Riesling and strong Spatburgunder wines since the Romans introduced it two thousand years ago.

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Deggendorf is a city and district capital located in Bavaria in Southeast Germany. The city is situated on the banks of the river Danube which provides a natural border from the south. Deggendorf is populated with many hills, creating plenty of outdoor space to walk, cycle, horse-ride, and hike around or downhill and cross country skiing in the winter months. The wooded mountainous backdrop to this city has given Deggendorf its title as the Gateway to the Bavarian Forest and visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the countryside between the Danube and the Bavarian Forest. Head back down into the historical town centre and pass through the Spitaltor town gate where Deggendorf’s first iconic landmark can be seen: the Church of St Peter and St Paul. Further into the centre is the Old Town House, featuring its Gothic tower and original night watchman's apartments. As well as historical sites, Deggendorf offers traditional Bavarian hospitality and a lively atmosphere in its bars and restaurants, together with the city square and broad market streets for modern and traditional shopping.

Regensburg is a medieval city of Bavaria in southeast Germany. It is situated on the northern point of the Danube River at its confluence with the Regen and Naab rivers. The city is famous for its iconic 12th Century stone bridge and sixteen arches, crossing the Danube into Old Town and is the oldest preserved bridge in Germany. Regensburg is also noted for its 13th Century Regensburg Cathedral and Gothic twin spires that feature prominently on the city’s skyline. Recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the city is home to many preserved sites. Visit the the 2nd Century Porta Praetoria which served as the north gate to a Roman camp and St Peter’s Cathedral, with its French Gothic architecture. Also the 18th Century Thurn and Taxis Palace and the Old Town Hall, which is now home to the Imperial Diet Museum, are also worth a visit. Regensburg benefits from lots of parks and gardens for visitors to relax in, as well as walks and cycle paths along the banks of the rivers.

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Cologne is a city in western Germany located across the Rhine river. It is the oldest in Germany, dating back 2000 years and is considered the region’s cultural hub. The city is known for its iconic landmark of the twin-spired Cologne Cathedral set against the reconstructed Old Town buildings. When in Old Town, visit the historic Old Town Hall and the Roman Church Great St Martin, or take time out and sit at one of the traditional breweries and enjoy the scenery around you. Historical sites such as the Roman Dionysus mosaic and the medieval Overstolzenhaus are worth a visit too. Another iconic sight in Cologne is at Hohenzollern Bridge. Here, local and tourist couples affix padlocks to the railings of the bridge and swear their loyalty to each other, they then throw the key into the Rhein to ensure everlasting love. Cologne is home to over 30 stages providing cabaret, free ensembles, theatre and dance and also celebrates its openly gay culture.

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Boppard, Germany, is home to the iconic Romanesque St. Severus Church, a well-preserved medieval building that exudes timeless elegance and captivates visitors, situated along the scenic Rhine River. Surrounded by picturesque vineyards, stretching along the Rhine Valley hillsides, the town is known for its fine wine production, drawing attraction from wine enthusiasts worldwide. Boppard offers historical charm combined with natural beauty, complemented by warm German hospitality, making it a must-visit destination. 

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Bamberg is a German town located over a landscape of seven hills and the confluence of Regnitz and Main rivers. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre with Old Town home to structures dating back to the 11th century. An iconic landmark to visit in Bamberg is the town hall Altes Rathaus, located on an island in the Regnitz and covered in murals. Bamberg Cathedral, with its four towers and numerous stone carvings, is a striking example of Romanesque architecture. Head to the Market Gardeners District and visit the historical houses where centuries ago the town gardeners would grow and export produce such as onions, seeds and liquorice. In the town centre and heart of Little Venice, the rivers and arched bridges connecting the island city are reminiscent of Venice, with a lively atmosphere and modern shops set in historical surroundings. After a day shopping, head to one of the many Brewery pubs for some popular German beer. Bamberg is famous for its beer and is where its name originated from, with the town being populated by nine traditional breweries.

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Würzburg is a city in Bavaria in southern Germany. It is located on the River Main and is famous for its lavish baroque architecture and Franconian wine. The Residence Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is highly recommended. It is a well known example of Baroque architecture with its acclaimed staircase, impressive frescos and imperial hall. Other impressive sites in Würzburg include the towering fortress of Festung Marienberg, the Alt Mainbrücke old bridge, which offers ideal views of the Marienberg, Dom St. Kilian cathedral and the many churches of Würzburg including the Romanesque Neumünster. Many of these sites have their own museums for visitors to learn of the history or view unique collections. Other museums of interest are the Mineralogical Museum, exhibiting the world of minerals and stones, and the Botanical Gardens, with various greenhouses and outdoor areas to enjoy. Wine lovers will find an abundance of wineries in Würzburg, offering cellar tours and wine tasting as well as traditional Bavarian cuisines and hospitality. Enjoy wine soup, Gerupfter (cheese spread) and Sauerbraten (braised beef in wine) in a friendly traditional wine tavern.

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Situated in the Franconia wine region of Bavaria, Germany, Volkach is celebrated for its impressive vineyards and wine culture. Delightfully blending historic buildings, such as the Pilgrimage Church of Maria im Weingarten, with scenic landscapes adorned with vineyards, Volkach invited wine enthusiasts to explore its idyllic surroundings and savour the local wines.

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Miltenberg is a city located in Bavaria and Southern part of Germany. Located on the banks of the river Maine the city grew from its medieval roots through Viniculture, wine trade, fishery, and general river traffic, into the established and preserved town of today. Visit the Museum Stadt Miltenberg, housed in the half timbered house called the Alte Amtskellerei (The Provost’s Office) and discover the town’s history through collections depicting culture back to the Romans. A visit to castle Miltenberg is also recommended. The castle dates back to the 11th century and is now owned by the city administration. With the castle in need of rehabilitation, the Museum Burg Miltenberg was opened to exhibit classic icons and contemporary art in a historical and significant setting. The keep of the castle, which reaches twenty seven metres high, offers picturesque views of the Main Valley below and is the perfect setting to relax and enjoy some refreshments.

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Rüdesheim is a popular stop on the Rhine, renowned for vineyards and medieval architecture. A notable feature of the town's vibrant cultural scene is the Drosselgasse, a narrow street paved with cobblestone and lined with wine taverns and local retailers, showcasing a delightful combination of local wine and traditional German hospitality. Encompassed by rolling vineyards and adorned with historic landmarks, Rüdesheim provides a quintessential German experience in a setting that seamlessly marries natural beauty with cultural richness.

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Frankfurt, birthplace of the iconic writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, boasts a wealth of cultural attractions, vibrant modernity and rich history. The cityscape is dominated by sleek skyscrapers, a showcase of the city's status as a dynamic metropolis and the financial capital of Europe. Home to world-class museums, diverse cuisine and lively markets, Frankfurt offers a varied array of experiences that complement its cosmopolitan character and enduring legacy.  

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Ludwigshafen is situated on the Rhine in southwestern Germany, and is best known for its significance as a major chemical industry hub. Alongside its industrial brilliance, Ludwigshafen blends cultural attractions and rich history as home to the iconic Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, the Fredrich-Ebert-Park.

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The charming seaside resort town of Ahlbeck, situated on the island of Usedom in north-east Germany, invites visitors to indulge in serene beaches, historic architecture and tranquil ambiance. Recognisable for its elegant pier, Ahlbeck offers panoramic views of the Baltic Sea and serves as a focal point for leisurely strolls and scenic sunsets. The town's well-preserved villas, built in the traditional Bäderarchitektur style, exude a nostalgic charm, harkening back to the golden age of seaside holidays in the late 19th century. Visitors can indulge in wellness treatments at luxurious spas, explore the lush parks and gardens, or sample freshly caught seafood at waterfront restaurants. With its timeless allure and idyllic coastal setting, Ahlbeck provides a tranquil escape for travellers seeking relaxation and rejuvenation by the sea.

river cruise germany 2023

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Germany and Switzerland River Cruises

Find a River Cruise that explores Germany And Switzerland. There are 258 cruises to choose from, that range in length from 5 days up to 27 days. The most popular month for these cruises is October, which has the most tour departures. Considering other destinations? Check out all river cruise tours .

250+ river cruises through Germany And Switzerland with 479 reviews

Classic Rhine cruise (Basel-Amsterdam) MS Crucevita Tour

River Cruise Family Historical +1

Classic Rhine cruise (Basel-Amsterdam) MS Crucevita

"The cruise was beautiful and very scenic especially the loreley strip. The restaurant staff were extremely friendly and warm." Minelli, traveled in July 2023

Romantic Rhine (Southbound) 2024 Tour

River Cruise Family

Romantic Rhine (Southbound) 2024

"The ship, the staff, the food, the wines were excellent. Everything was beyond expectations." Gail, traveled in October 2019

Captivating Rhine 2024 Start Amsterdam, End Basel Tour

River Cruise Historical

Captivating Rhine 2024 Start Amsterdam, End Basel

"The ship was perfect accommodation room superbe. The breakfast lunch and dinnner very good and tasty." FIONA, traveled in August 2019

Classical Rhine Cruise (Amsterdam - Basel) Tour

Classical Rhine Cruise (Amsterdam - Basel)

"We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise. It was well organized and the food was superb." Geoff, traveled in June 2022

Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps 2024 Start Amsterdam, End Basel Tour

River Cruise Historical Christmas & New Year +1

Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps 2024 Start Amsterdam, End Basel

"Fantastic trip all staff amazing" Paul, traveled in August 2018

Romantic Rhine (Northbound) 2024 Tour

Romantic Rhine (Northbound) 2024

"Everything was fantastic! The excursions were fun and all except one of our guides went the extra mile to make the tours spectacular." Torie, traveled in September 2019

Rhine Highlights with Switzerland 2024 - 12 Days (from Zurich to Amsterdam) Tour

Rhine Highlights with Switzerland 2024 - 12 Days (from Zurich to Amsterdam)

"The trip itself was the usual wonderful Scenic Cruise. Our admiration and respect for Scenic remains very strong." DAVID, traveled in June 2022

Classic Rhine cruise (Amsterdam-Basel) MS Crucevita Tour

Classic Rhine cruise (Amsterdam-Basel) MS Crucevita

"The whole experience was amazing. The onshore tours were great." Barbara, traveled in June 2023

Zurich & the Rhine River Valley (2024) (Nuremberg to Zurich, 2024) Tour

Zurich & the Rhine River Valley (2024) (Nuremberg to Zurich, 2024)

Zurich & the Rhine River Valley (2024) (Zurich to Nuremberg, 2024) Tour

Zurich & the Rhine River Valley (2024) (Zurich to Nuremberg, 2024)

River cruises in germany and switzerland reviews.

The cruise was beautiful and very scenic especially the loreley strip. The restaurant staff were extremely friendly and warm. Special mention of Ida, Kenan and Sugana . The rest of the crew were very accommodating too. The tour leader Jessica and Jordi was super and helpful although we were the only few English speakers she made us feel included. On the whole it was a very beautiful experience although the rooms are a bit old design and the boat is not a very new but the staff were phenomenal .
It was a great cruise. The food was amazing, the crew was really helpful, and the tours and tour guides were great. The only thing to imporve on if the WiFi which only worked half the time.
Very knowledgeable and very nice.

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River Cruises in Germany

Moselle bend | Bramm | Germany | River Cruises in Germany

With sixteen very different states - known locally as “Länder” - the Federal Republic (Bundesrepublik) of Germany is a country of dramatic variations. From towering Alpine peaks and glaciers to dense forests, lush vineyards, national parks and majestic rivers such as the Rhine, Danube, and Elbe, its shifting landscapes are endlessly beautiful and fascinating.

Although our perceptions of Germany may be dominated by the two World Wars of the 20th century, its national identity and culture have also been shaped by other huge historical events – the Holy Roman Empire, the Protestant Reformation, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Kingdom of Prussia to name but a few. After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the country was divided by allied occupation into two separate states, East and West Germany. Only in 1990 was the country reunified, after seismic shifts in the former Eastern Bloc and the fall of the Berlin Wall that had come to symbolize the Iron Curtain.

Today, with more than eighty million inhabitants, Germany has the highest population in the European Union. The world's fourth largest economy and its second largest exporter, it’s once again the major economic and political power on the European scene.

But Germany is also a historic leader in many cultural, artistic and technical fields. The home of countless influential philosophers, composers, painters, scientists, and inventors, it’s often been referred to as “Das Land der Dichter und Denker” (the land of poets and thinkers) thanks to the huge contribution that its famous sons and daughters have made to Western thought and culture. For most of the 20th century, Germany had more Nobel Prize winners than those of any other country, especially in the sciences and medicine: Albert Einstein, Hans Geiger, Gottlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel and Karl Benz for starters. Where would our musical heritage be without Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Wagner, and Strauss? How much duller would generations of children’s bedtime stories have been without the Brothers Grimm and where would our best libraries be without Goethe, Schiller and Thomas Mann? From philosophy and poetry to physics and painting, Germany’s mark on the world is huge and undeniable.

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The 10 best places to go on a river cruise in Europe 

Jun 7, 2024 • 8 min read

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Appreciate the beautiful architecture of Budapest from the Danube © Sanga Park / Shutterstock

Cruising down a quiet, traffic-free river, surrounded by scenic riverfront views is an ideal way to see Europe . You can sip your wine while watching picture-perfect scenery breeze past – taking in castles, medieval villages and fields of flowers. 

By necessity, European riverboats are small and passenger numbers are often fewer than 200, making these cruises a far more social and intimate experience. There’s also plenty to do and see onshore, and with more frequent stops you can enjoy more onshore activities. Cruise lines are now also offering more immersive learning experiences such as cooking classes and home visits, or activities like bicycle trips and long hikes.

The hardest part is choosing where to go — which is why we've rounded up the 10 best places to go on a European river cruise. 

River cruise boats float down a village-lined river in Germany.

1. Northern Rhine (Germany)

From gorgeous river meanders and noble German cities

The northern section of the Rhine features dramatic landscapes and a host of interesting towns. Cologne (Köln), Germany ’s fourth-largest city, offers numerous attractions starting with its famous cathedral, while Koblenz, at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers, is a park- and flower-filled delight. Heading south, the Rhine meanders between hillside castles and steep fields of wine-producing grapes. Idyllic villages appear around each bend, their half-timbered houses and Gothic steeples seemingly plucked from a fairy tale. Scarcely damaged during WWII, handsome Speyer is crowned by a magnificent Romanesque cathedral. 

2. Southern Rhine (France, Germany & Switzerland)

Explore intriguing towns in this border land

The Southern Rhine forms the border between Germany and France before becoming Switzerland ’s northern frontier. Strasbourg is the perfect overture to all that is idiosyncratic about Alsace – walking a fine tightrope between France and Germany, between a medieval past and a progressive future. Further south, the Black Forest spills into Alsace in the German town of Breisach. Unsurprisingly, given its geographical and cultural proximity to France, the locals here have a passion for a good bottle of wine. Basel, at the juncture of the French, German and Swiss borders, is perhaps where Switzerland’s Franco-Germanic roots are most evident.

3. Rhône (France)

Indulge in gourmet experiences cruising the south of France

Commanding a strategic spot at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, grand old Lyon is France’s gastronomic capital. Downstream, the Rhône forges past Vienne’s Roman ruins and the centuries-old Côtes du Rhône vineyards, opening to sunny vistas of fruit orchards, lavender fields and the distant Alps as it continues south. During the 14th century, the Provençal town of Avignon was the center of the Roman Catholic world. Its impressive legacy of ecclesiastical architecture most notably includes the soaring, World Heritage-listed Palais des Papes .

Sunset's golden light signs on the Italianite city of Passau and the Danube river.

4. Western Danube (Austria & Germany)

Romantic landscapes in the heart of Europe

The baroque streetscapes and imperial palaces set the stage for Vienna ’s artistic and musical masterpieces alongside its coffee-house culture and vibrant epicurean and design scenes. Moving into Germany, the Danube gently winds its way to the Italianate city of Passau . Top billing in eastern Bavaria goes to Regensburg, a former capital and one of Germany’s prettiest and liveliest cities. Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Bavaria’s second-largest city and the unofficial capital of Franconia, is an energetic place with a history that ranges from undeclared capital of the Holy Roman Empire to the trials that judged Nazi war crimes.

5. Eastern Danube (Hungary & Serbia)

Travel a cross-section of Europe’s less-touristed east

The two great cities of this stretch of the Danube are the capitals of Hungary and Serbia respectively. Budapest has something for everyone – from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters. Outspoken, adventurous, proud and audacious: Belgrade ("White City") has a gritty exuberance and eclectic architecture making it one of Europe’s most happening cities today. While it hurtles towards a brighter future, its past unfolds before your eyes: socialist blocks are squeezed between art nouveau masterpieces and remnants of the Habsburg legacy contrast with Ottoman relics.

Lush green vineyards line the banks of the Duoro.

6. Douro (Portugal)

See spectacular terraced vineyards, the home of port wine

The Douro region, home to port wine, is simply one of the most glorious spots on earth. The Douro Valley showcases steep terraced vineyards carved into mountains, granite bluffs, whitewashed quintas (estates) and 18th-century wine cellars that draw visitors from around the world. Humble-yet-opulent Porto entices with its higgledy-piggledy medieval center, divine food and wine, and charismatic locals. Its charms are as subtle as the nuances of an aged tawny port, best savored slowly.

7. Elbe (Czech Republic & Germany)

A little-cruised but picturesque stretch of Central Europe

Covering the Czech Republic and a thick slice of eastern Germany, Elbe cruises are under-the-radar options. Prague , not on the Elbe but usually included on river cruises, contends with cities like Budapest and Paris in terms of beauty. Its maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is perfect for the aimless wanderer. The classic view of Dresden from the Elbe’s northern bank takes in spires, towers and domes belonging to palaces, churches and stately buildings: hard to believe that the city was all but wiped off the map by Allied bombings in 1945. While the city of Wittenberg is first and foremost about Martin Luther, the monk who triggered the German Reformation in 1517.

The pedestrian Pont des Arts crosses the River Seine, linking the Palais du Louvre (shown) and the Institut de France

8. Seine (France)

Cruise out of Paris through northern France

Paris has a timeless familiarity, with instantly recognizable architectural icons, memorable cuisine and chic boutiques. Dining is a quintessential part of the Parisian experience, and its art repository is one of the best, showcasing priceless treasures in palatial museums. Don't miss Rouen is one of Normandy’s most engaging and historically rich destinations, with its soaring Gothic cathedral, beautifully restored medieval quarter, excellent museums and vibrant cultural life. At the mouth of the Seine, Le Havre is a love letter to modernism, evoking France’s postwar energy and optimism.

9. Main (Germany)

A seductive German river connecting to the Rhine and Danube

Rising in Franconia and joining the Rhine near Mainz, the Main (pronounced "mine") is the longest German-only river. From Bamberg to its confluence, it travels some 400km through locks and picturesque scenery, dotted with historic towns. Frankfurt ’s skyscrapers are quite a contrast to the picturesque towns that follow, though it too has a rather traditional and charming old town. Scenic Würzburg is renowned for its art, architecture and delicate wines. A disarmingly beautiful architectural masterpiece, Bamberg’s entire Altstadt is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

A river flows through lush farmland in Germany.

10. Moselle (Germany)

An intimate stretch of the wine-producing German region

Having traversed France and Luxembourg , the Moselle heads through Germany to meet its destiny with the Rhine at Koblenz. It’s a very pretty stretch of river flanked by vineyards, and makes for great leisurely cruising and exploration. With an astounding nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, gorgeous Trier shelters Germany’s finest ensemble of Roman monuments, and is enlivened by a characterful medieval center and large student population. Bernkastel-Kues are lovely twin settlements in the heart of wine country, while Cochem’s castle and pretty buildings make it a visual highlight of the Moselle .

How do I choose a route for a European river cruise?

The two major rivers for European cruises are the Rhine and the Danube. Together, they were once the northern boundary of the Roman Empire. Rhine cruises often run from Amsterdam to Basel, following the course of the river through Germany. Danube cruises start in southern Germany, wend their way through Bratislava, Slovakia; Linz and Vienna, Austria; and Belgrade, Serbia; then skirt the Bulgarian and Romanian border to reach the Black Sea.

While many first-time European river cruisers stick to these two rivers, there are many other options available. In Western Europe, you can cruise through the French countryside on the Rhône and Seine, or check out the vineyards of Portugal on the Douro. 

Even on the same river, distinct routes can be offered. One company might zip up the Rhine, allowing you to see the highlights in a few days; another might take longer, exploring smaller places along the way and offering more time for onshore experiences. You'll need to decide whether you’d like to get a look at more destinations, or more of a feel for fewer places.

When is the best time to go on a European river cruise?

Cruises on European rivers tend to begin in the spring, around March, and go through to October. Some cruises, operating in areas where Christmas markets are a feature, run right through December but inclement weather or river flooding could put a dampener on plans. Winter cruises tend to focus on places where Christmas experiences are on offer. Shorter daylight hours mean you’ll see less scenery, but the charm of the festive season has its own appeal. 

Choosing your season is very much a matter of personal preference, and there are pros and cons for each season. Summer cruises offer the most spectacular scenery, the longest daylight hours and the best weather, but the towns you visit will be far busier and you won’t be alone in port; in some smaller places, you may have to scramble across the decks of other boats to reach the shore.

Spring and autumn mean less time around the pool on the top deck, but quieter times ashore. Expect rains in spring, but also blooming flowers. Autumn is a great time to cruise the Douro, with grapes being picked and clement temperatures.

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  • River Cruise Ship Evacuated, Danube Shut Down Amid Historic Flooding

high waters on the danube river in budapest hungary in 2023

Parts of the Danube River are already flooding, or expected to flood soon. Photo: Daniel Zsingor / Shutterstock.com 

Updated June 7: Updated to identify the ship that was evacuated as the Tui Isla, a Tui River Cruises vessel. 

Around 140 passenger were evacuated from the Tui Isla on the Danube River in Southern Germany early this week. Simultaneously, Austria has shut the river down to all traffic. This amidst historic flooding that led Germany to declare a state of emergency on Monday. 

According to reports passengers from the United States, the U.K., and Australia were removed from the ship, which had been stuck in place since Sunday.

Rain has been heavy for several days in southern Germany, with some regions – particularly Bavaria and Baden-Wurttemberg – experiencing heavy flooding. Several people have died, including a firefighter involved in rescuing a family, MSN reported .

According to DPA International , Austria shut down the entire 350 kilometer course of the Danube within its borders between the border cities of Passau in Germany and Bratislava in Slovakia. The closure, the report stated, forced "some cruise ships" to dock in Linz. The Danube burst the banks in Linz on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the state waterway company, Via Donau , said "Safety cannot be guaranteed above a certain water level."

Hungary is also expecting trouble, with the mayor of Budapest issuing a flood alert (first-degree, lowest level) on Tuesday. The lower embankment of the river in Budapest is expected to close to traffic from 8 p.m. on Thursday. 

TMR reached out to river cruise lines to find out how their sailings have been impacted. At least one -- Avalon Waterways -- has already made the decision to cancel two sailings. 

"The Danube is experiencing higher-than-average water levels, due to an unprecedented amount of rain in the last month. This week, we made the decision to cancel two cruises on the lower Danube, due to ship access and availability," Pam Hoffee, president of Avalon Waterways, told TMR. 

The canceled sailings are the June 7 Balkan Discovery sailing and the June 13 Active & Discovery on the Lower Danube departure. 

"For both, we provided cruisers – and their travel advisors – options, recognizing the inconvenience" Hoffee said. "Other cruises departing this week on the upper Danube are experiencing itinerary deviations. Our operations team is constantly monitoring the situation and making any necessary updates to accommodate the conditions while ensuring the best possible experience for our guests."

Viking directed TMR to its website and the following statement: "Currently, sections of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers are experiencing high water levels. To varying degrees, these conditions may affect select itineraries. Our Switzerland-based nautical team is continually monitoring the situation and will make any necessary adjustments to accommodate the conditions. Guests and their Travel Advisors will continue to be notified directly if we think that their itinerary might be impacted."

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A Danube River cruise unveils Europe’s rich and dramatic history. Glittering cultural capitals, lush vineyards, magnificent monasteries and endless scenic splendor line the river’s banks. Here are some sample highlights you will see with Viking:

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  1. 10 Best River Cruises in Germany 2024/2025

    Our Cruise Director, Jessica, went out of her way to make sure we enjoyed every part of our vacation. Christmas Markets Rhine Cruise (Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf) Anonymous 28 Nov, 2023. 4. Very interesting, enjoyable cruise and the land tours.Meals amazing. Moselle River Cruise (Mainz-Mainz) - MS Crucevita 4*sup. paula oswald 19 Jun, 2023.

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    11 tours. 6 countries. $7,398 from. Learn More. Request a Quote. Raise a glass of <i>Kölsch</i> to our Rhine, Elbe and Baltic cruises through Germany, where you can discover stunning cathedrals, magnificent riverside castles and the fabled Black Forest. Let Viking immerse you in German history, cultural treasures and famed UNESCO Sites.

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    The river offers a plethora of destinations -- cities, villages, and nature -- that travelers can plan their cruises around. Since the river is over 1,700 miles long, voyagers will get to choose between a variety of countries along the Danube River. It originates in Germany, but travels through or near Austria , Hungary, the Czech Republic, and ...

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    Travel made your way ™. Build your ideal Germany trip. Call 1.406.541.2677. The best way to experience Germany is on a river cruise along the enchanting Rhine, Danube, Moselle, Main, or Elbe Rivers. You'll float past majestic castles and modern cities, taste world-class wines, explore medieval villages and ride bicycles through the quaint ...

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    Jun 14, 2023. Read time. 6 min read. Facebook; ... New itineraries for 2024 include an extended 10-night Cologne, the Rhine Gorge & Medieval Germany River Cruise from Cologne to Nuremberg.

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    Germany River Cruise. Enjoy Deutschland's finest culture, art, cuisine and music with a Germany river cruise package. Sail upon legendary rivers like the romantic Rhine or blue Danube. Choose one of the German Christmas Market river cruises and enjoy the sounds, sights and aromas of festive markets and holiday cheer.

  8. Germany River Cruises & Oktoberfest Cruises 2024 / 2025

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    Germany River Cruise June 2023. Embark on an Germany river cruise in June 2023. River cruises on Germany's waterways, with their medieval towns, romantic castles and magnificent cathedrals, stunning countryside, provide a means of time travel through a turbulent European history, with gorgeous scenery thrown in for good measure. ...

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  13. Germany River Cruises

    Choose from 348 unique river cruise itineraries to Germany, departing from Amsterdam, Arles, Avignon, Basel, Berlin and more. May is the most popular month to cruise through Germany and we have over 4,900 departures available from nine of the world's leading river cruise lines.

  14. Top 32 Germany River Cruises for 2024-2025

    Jun 15, 2024. After spending two nights in both Zurich and Lucerne, Switzerland, board the MS Amaprima on an exclusive 7-day Rhine River cruise through the …. 0. Castles along the Rhine. $3499. 8. Jun 8, 2024. Cruise the Rhine between France and Germany on this 8-day cruise aboard S.S. Antoinette.

  15. Germany Cruises

    Explore exciting cities like Munich, Heidelberg and Basel. From awe-inspiring cathedrals to museums to wine and beer tasting, German cruises are the experiences of a lifetime. Sail through Germany's legendary rivers on an Avalon Waterways cruise. Explore the Rhine Gorge, Heidelberg and Cologne, and indulge in local cuisine.

  16. Rhine Getaway

    Explore one of Europe's best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region's renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne and ...

  17. Germany River Cruises Cruise Reviews (2023 UPDATED): Ratings of River

    Germany River Cruises Cruise Reviews: Read 2,022 Germany River Cruises cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  18. Germany and Switzerland River Cruises

    Find the best Germany And Switzerland river cruises with TourRadar. Choose from 259 cruises with 479 real tour reviews. Book now and save with TourRadar.com! Shop 2,500 operators. 4.5 stars on ... Minelli Gomes 16 Jul, 2023. 4. The cruise was beautiful and very scenic especially the loreley strip. The restaurant staff were extremely friendly ...

  19. River Cruises in Germany

    River Cruises in Germany. With sixteen very different states - known locally as "Länder" - the Federal Republic (Bundesrepublik) of Germany is a country of dramatic variations. From towering Alpine peaks and glaciers to dense forests, lush vineyards, national parks and majestic rivers such as the Rhine, Danube, and Elbe, its shifting ...

  20. Germany River Cruises

    This country's got the lottery on landscapes - think alpine peaks, vineyard-filled valleys and forested mountains. As such, our Germany river cruises are as varied as its 16 states. They all start in Frankfurt, which fuses a reconstructed old town with futuristic skyscrapers. From here, you can follow the Main River until it joins the Rhine.

  21. European River Cruises 2023

    2023 European Cruises by River. Find the perfect 2023 European cruise by our select rivers. Sail the most beautiful waterways of Europe, from the Danube to the Douro. Or, if you're unsure of which itinerary fits you best, engage our knowledgeable experts, who can navigate the cruises for you. Set sail with our 2023 European River Cruises ...

  22. River Cruises Starting In Munich

    Choose from 28 unique river cruises starting in Munich, and travelling to Bucharest, Budapest, Prague and Zagreb. May, July and August are the most popular months to join a river cruise from Munich and you can select from 180 departures available from six leading river cruise lines.

  23. River Cruises Starting In Frankfurt

    Choose from 7 unique river cruises starting in Frankfurt, and travelling to Basel, Nuremberg and Zurich. June and July are the most popular months to join a river cruise from Frankfurt and you can select from 29 departures available from three leading river cruise lines.

  24. The 10 best places to go on a river cruise in Europe

    5. Eastern Danube (Hungary & Serbia) Travel a cross-section of Europe's less-touristed east. The two great cities of this stretch of the Danube are the capitals of Hungary and Serbia respectively. Budapest has something for everyone - from dramatic history and flamboyant architecture to healing thermal waters.

  25. River Cruise Ship Evacuated, Danube Shut Down Amid Historic Flooding

    According to DPA International, Austria shut down the entire 350 kilometer course of the Danube within its borders between the border cities of Passau in Germany and Bratislava in Slovakia. The ...

  26. Danube River Cruises

    Danube River Cruises. Coursing through Germany, Austria, Hungary and seven other countries all the way to the Black Sea, the Danube is the soul of Central Europe. Join us along these culture-rich banks, whose scenic vineyards, ancient monasteries and elegant cities have inspired travelers for centuries. Departure Date.

  27. Luxury cruise vacations 2024, 2025 & 2026

    Cunard has been sailing around the world for over 100 years. Join the pioneers of the world cruise in 2025 and 2026, with a choice of Grand and World Voyages that visit Asia, Australasia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, and overnight calls in cities that truly come to life after dark. Queen Anne embarks on her maiden World Voyage in 2025 ...

  28. Best Cruise Vacations

    Travel + Leisure's comprehensive cruise coverage directs you to the newest ships, best deals, and most-exciting itineraries on the high seas.

  29. Best Cruises 2024: See Photos, Reviews and Start Planning

    The 12 Best Mississippi River Cruises for 2023-2024. See all cruise advice » ... Europe Hotels. Hotels by Brand. Cruises. Best Cruise Lines. Cruises for the Money. Cruises for Families.