Discover Rhine River History


The second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, the Rhine flows nearly 800 miles from the white-dusted peaks of the Swiss Alps to the rainbow-hued blossoms of the Netherlands. With sweeping views of five countries—four of which you’ll see on this cruise—the Rhine offers an array of cultures and flavors, plus a rich history that dates to the Holy Roman Empire.

You’ll explore the Rhine’s many historic and cultural charms as you travel from Amsterdam to the enchanting Black Forest aboard this magnificent Avalon Waterways cruise. Onboard, you’ll pass through the scenic Rhine Gorge with views of ancient castles, towering cliffs, and the legendary Rock of the Lorelei.

Meandering through storied scenery including hillside castles, craggy cliffs, terraced vineyards and medieval towns, the Rhine River weaves together a tapestry of history and culture (not to mention countless UNESCO World Heritage Sites). This eight-day river cruise begins in the Netherlands and courses through Germany and France before disembarking in Basel, Switzerland.

All along the way, you’ll experience cruising elevated. With only up to 150 guests, Avalon Waterways’ cruises provide personalized attention that larger cruise operators simply can’t deliver, effectively reimagining what a cruise experience can be, with outings tailored to your specific tastes and passions. You’ll also be delighted by the modern amenities and rest peacefully knowing you’re on a ship that prioritizes sustainability and hospitality. Avalon Waterways takes sustainability to greater depths, by conserving energy, saving water, and limiting waste production across operations, dining, and housekeeping on each ship. Devoted to reducing, recycling, and repurposing at every turn, their list of green practices is longer than the river you’ll be cruising along.



The Rhine Gorge

One of the most spectacular stretches of the trip occurs along the scenic Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, punctuated by views of ancient castles perched on towering cliffs high above the Rhine River.


Avalon Waterways

Delivering unparalleled experiences and boundless exploration, Avalon Waterways puts you in the captain’s seat to navigate your journey, fuel your passions and steer clear of the unexpected as you cruise down the world’s most memorable and mesmerizing waterways.
The iconic windmills of Amsterdam

The iconic windmills of Amsterdam

Days 1-2Amsterdam

Land in Amsterdam and enjoy an onboard welcome reception on your Avalon Suite Ship. For your first day, you’re free to explore this fascinating cultural hub at your leisure, strolling over its bridges and cobblestone canals, taking in café life, robust shopping, and galleries galore, not to mention historic windmills and Dutch houses.

On your second day, you might opt for a painting class, during which you’ll be inspired by the Dutch Masters’ techniques and come home with your own canvas filled with your inner artist’s work. Or take a leisurely, guided canal cruise during which you’ll explore the iconic waterways and sites of this fabled Dutch city. Either way, you’re in for a Dutch treat.
Known as the fashion capital of Germany,  Düsseldorf seamlessly blends tradition and postmodernity.

Known as the fashion capital of Germany, Düsseldorf seamlessly blends tradition and postmodernity.

Day 3Düsseldorf

The fashion capital of Germany, also renowned for its arts and music scene (electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk hail from here), Düsseldorf seamlessly blends tradition and postmodernity. The Rhine divides this vibrant city, with the Old Town on the east bank and the more modern, commercial area on the west.

Join a guided city sightseeing tour in which you’ll visit Old Town and discover Düsseldorf’s spectacular subway line, where each station has its own character. Hit some of the city’s famed microbreweries after, and head back to the ship to take in live entertainment onboard.

A panoramic aerial view of Koblenz

Day 4Koblenz–Rhine Gorge

Get ready to encounter fortress walls and manor halls where the Rhine and the Moselle meet. Today, you’ll take a guided walking tour through the ancient city of Koblenz, including a cable car ride up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for a spectacular panoramic view.

En route to Bingen, you’ll cruise through the scenic Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with views of ancient castles perched on towering cliffs some 400 feet above the water, and pass by the legendary Rock of the Lorelei, where the siren songs of mythological nymphs are said to have lured ill-fated sailors. Cap things off with an experience fit for royalty: an exclusive, private reception at Rheinstein Castle.
A view of the city of Heidelberg

A view of the city of Heidelberg

Day 5Speyer

Today you’ll visit one of the oldest German cities, Speyer, where the first churches and monasteries were erected in the 6th and 7th centuries. Enjoy a guided tour to Heidelberg Castle to see the ruins of the renaissance treasure towering about the city, and its famed Great Vat, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” While visiting the city, you also can sample a tasting of its local specialties. Tonight, back on board, take in live entertainment as you travel onward to Strasbourg.
Strasbourg’s canals and fairytale-like houses

Strasbourg’s canals and fairytale-like houses

Day 6Strasbourg

The capital of northeastern France, Strasbourg has much to offer. You’ll be enchanted by the fairytale feel of this area when you go on a city sightseeing tour that will take you to Strasbourg’s Gothic, stained-glass cathedral—with its celebrated ancient murals and astronomical clock—as well as the magical La Petite France District. The latter, a picturesque neighborhood located at the west end of the Grand Île (the first entire city center to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its French and German architecture), is rife with canal bridges and half-timbered homes, a perfectly quaint, storybook town.
The charming river port town of Breisach is filled with pastel-colored houses.<br/>

The charming river port town of Breisach is filled with pastel-colored houses.

Day 7Breisach

Today you’ll arrive in the charming river port town of Breisach, complete with cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses. Join a full-day guided tour to the magical Black Forest to experience the Vogtsbauernhof open-air-museum, where you’ll see how life was lived in Black Forest farms of the 16th to 18th centuries. You’ll also visit an authentic water mill and see a traditional butter-making demonstration. After this jam-packed day of cultural delights, it’s off to Basel, the final port of call in this fabulous adventure.
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