A landscape of gorgeous scenery awaits you as you sail through five countries on a Rhine river cruise combined with a Moselle river cruise. Beginning in the Netherlands and wending your way through Germany, Luxembourg, and France, you’ll arrive in Switzerland having experienced picture-perfect views and centuries of European history, culture, and tradition.
Amsterdam: Venice of the North
Though it is known for its “anything goes” reputation, Amsterdam will astound you with its beauty and charm. Make your way around the city’s canals that are lined with lovely townhouses. Amsterdam is also known for its world-class art collection. Don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum or the nearby Rijksmuseum, showcasing the works of famous Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. For a refreshing break from touring, relax with a local brew in a friendly pub.
Cologne Germany: Twin-Spired Cathedral Pierces the Sky
Once a part of the Roman Empire, the city of Cologne boasts a 1,000-year history. The icon of this sprawling city is the Cologne Cathedral, a fine example of Gothic architecture that took more than 600 years to complete. Walk through this UNESCO World Heritage Site and stand in awe of its stained glass windows. Climb up the stone steps of the spiral staircase, if you dare. Although there are more than 500 steps to the viewing platform, exquisite views of the Rhine are your reward.
Cochem: Reichsburg Castle and Riesling Wine
Along the Moselle stands Reichsburg Castle, an enchanting medieval castle that will take your imagination to new heights as you dream about the royalty who once lived here. Cochem is surrounded by luscious grapevines that produce the famous riesling wines of the Moselle region. Sample these fragrant vintages and find out how to tell the difference between the riesling varietals.
German Burgs Delight Your Imagination
The Rhine and Moselle are lined with scenic German towns whose ancient architecture and streets cobbled with worn stones will make you feel like you’ve taken a step back in time. Visit the museums and cathedrals of Speyer, which, you’ll discover, is an appropriately named town as majestic spires stand silhouetted against the sky no matter where you look. Another town, Mainz, boasts a 2,000-year history but is still vibrant enough to be considered young and hip. Or breath in the cool, fresh mountain air in the Black Forest town of Baden-Baden, which is known for its rejuvenating mineral springs and spas.
Another can’t-miss stop is Trier, the oldest city in Germany. Settled by the Romans, its impressive archaeological treasures stand stoicly over the ebb and flow of patrons going in and out of trendy cafes and shops. As you explore the ruins of the Roman baths, bridges, and cathedrals, you can feel the echoes of the past, imagining what life was like in the colossal empire. If you’re lucky, you might even catch an open-air concert at Trier’s Roman Amphitheater, which once held 20,000 people during battles between animals and gladiators.
Beautiful Alsace Region
Love wine, beer, and great food? Strasbourg is the place to enjoy it all. Half-timbered houses that stand along narrow alleyways carry secrets of a medieval past. In the picturesque “la Petite France” neighborhood of the Grande-Île (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), you’ll feel like you’ve walked into an ancient fairy tale. Don’t miss the chance to experience the Alsatian Wine Route with a stop in the picturesque resort town of Colmar.
Basel: Museum Capital of Switzerland
As the trip concludes, you’ll reached Basel, with its charming medieval old town center, vibrant festivals, and more than 24 museums. Will you visit the Basel Museum of Cultures, the Museum of Ancient Art, or the Swiss Paper Museum? For a walk in the park, try the zoological gardens in the city center. As you further explore what this city has to offer, a sweet smell will beckon you to the closest chocolatier. On the way, your eyes will be distracted and dazzled by the gleam of fine jewelry and precision watches.
With glorious scenery, great wine, and fascinating lore all around you, a feast for your senses awaits you on a Rhine and Moselle river cruise.