What You Can Expect From A Cruise Along The Rhine River
As part of a recent trip, Charli May took a Rhine River cruise towards Basel on board Fred. Olsen River Cruises’ Brabant. Sailing out of Koblenz, she started her journey along one of the most picturesque parts of the river and visited some of its most interesting ports of call. Here is what you can expect to see on a cruise along this historic stretch of the river.
King Of The Castles
Sailing out of Koblenz, our journey started with some scenic cruising through the famous Rhine Gorge. This UNESCO-listed area of Germany is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of the river, and it’s easy to see why. The entire section is interspersed with over forty of the region’s most impressive castles and fortifications. The dramatics landscape is littered on both sides of the river by magnificent medieval castles and several pretty towns and cities, which made for the perfect photo opportunity.
This was accompanied on board by commentary from our cruise director, who brought the imposing castles to life by recounting their history, myths and legends. This incredible part of the journey culminated in sailing past the famous Lorelei Rock, a 132m-high slate rock on the bank of the river, associated with the legend of the Lorelei mermaid.
Excursion Highlight: Visit one of the most impressive fortresses in this area, Ehrenbreitstein Fortress in Koblenz. Accessed by a cable car ride over the town, the fortress offers some of the most spectacular views of the town and river below.
One of the ports of call I was most looking forward to, was the town of Breisach, which sits in the heart of the Black Forest region in Germany. As part of our excursion, we were taken from the ship, right into the heart of the region, with a scenic drive through the pine forests and small villages to the House of 1000 Clocks in Triberg.
Here we saw one of the largest cuckoo clocks in the world and had the opportunity to explore the family-owned workshop and souvenir shop to gain some insight into how the clocks are made and marvel at the variety of traditional clocks made in this region. We were also lucky enough to sample some traditional, home-made Black Forest gateau.
Excursion Highlight: Take a trip to the Black Forest Open-Air Museum and learn all about village life in the Black Forest, with a collection of reconstructed farmhouses dating all the way back to 1612.
Travel Back In Time
Many of the stunning cities and towns along this route date all the way back to the Roman and Medieval periods and are almost fully preserved. Two examples that we visited are Speyer and Strasbourg. In Strasbourg, we took a canal tour around the city, which is one of the best ways to see the eye-catching medieval architecture and gothic cathedral, as well as the new cosmopolitan quarters.
We then had plenty of free time to further explore, which we did with a trip to Petit-France, Strasbourg’s historic quarter famous for its half-timbered homes. Speyer was equal in its beauty and well-preserved city centre. The main attraction here is also a glorious gothic cathedral, as well as a wealth of magnificent monuments and landmarks exhibiting several centuries of history.
Excursion Highlight: The Technik Museum in Speyer was a cruise highlight. Here you can discover a wide variety of aircraft, classic vintage cars and huge steam engines from Germany and beyond. Where else can you crawl through the belly of a submarine, stand in a Russian spacecraft and slide out of a Lufthansa Boeing 747 jumbo jet?
You can visit all of these ports of call, and more, on Fred. Olsen River Cruises’ ‘Exploring the Scenic Moselle Valley’ and ‘Cruising the Rhine, Main & Moselle’ itineraries. Call our friendly team on 0800 954 0064 to discuss the itineraries available and plan your Rhine River cruise.