Rhine River cruises are among our most popular itineraries in Europe. These sailings travel through a region dotted with manicured vineyards, charming towns and impressive castles.
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The stretch of the river known as the Upper Middle Rhine is thought to be the most scenic, home to more than 40 fortifications such as Castle Katz, perched high on a bluff above the river in St. Goarshausen. It's near the Rock of Lorelei, where the mythical siren Lorelei was said to have lured sailors to their deaths with her irresistible singing.
Sightseeing excursions in Cologne explore the Old Town and the cathedral, whose twin spires soar above the city's roofs. The cathedral took more than 600 years to build, and today stonemasons, glaziers, roofers and preservationists work constantly to restore and maintain the beautiful structure.
The Rhine meets the Mosel River in Koblenz, where walking tours highlight the narrow lanes and picturesque squares, fountains and churches. While your ship is docked in Rudesheim, you can walk along the pedestrian-only Drosselgasse, an alley lined with restaurants, shops and wine taverns.
Many Rhine itineraries include an excursion to Heidelberg. This well-preserved medieval city is home to Germany's oldest university, Heidelberg University, founded in 1386. The ruins of a red sandstone Gothic castle tower over the old town center.
Explore the blend of French and German cultures in Strasbourg, located in the Alsace region of northeast France. The neighborhood known as La Petite France is a scenic place for a walk, with half-timbered homes dating to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Black Forest clockmakers have been renowned for their craftsmanship since the 17th century, and Rhine River travelers usually can join an outing that takes them to a cuckoo clock workshop.
Departures in late November and December feature Christmas markets. These outdoor holiday bazaars are a beloved tradition, where merchants sell handcrafted ornaments, toys, candles and woodcarvings, as well as local treats like grilled sausages, roasted chestnuts and gingerbread.