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Rhine River Cruises

Like so many of the rivers in central Europe, the Rhine begins its life as a stream high in the Swiss Alps. Once it reaches the city of Basel, the river widens and continues its course toward the North Sea. Since Roman times, the Rhine River has linked northern and central Europe; and as the Roman Empire grew larger and stronger, the river grew more important as a trade route. During the Romantic period, which lasted from the late 18th century to the mid- to late 19th century, the Rhine River valley became a popular subject of literary prose for the way it portrayed the natural world as untouched and wild. In fact, it was during this time that the Rhine River valley first became a popular tourism destination, and soon well-off entrepreneurs were rebuilding the castles that sat perched above the riverbanks. Today, a Scenic Rhine River cruise offers guests the perfect opportunity to explore this sought after region in luxury.

Cruising Through France Along the Rhine River

Along the stretches of the river that flow through France, Scenic Rhine river cruise passengers can stroll past half-timbered houses in the old town of Strasbourg, the largest city in the Alsatian. In the Petite France quarter of the city, the streets are level with the waterways that flow through it and the picturesque neighborhoods appear to have sprung from the pages of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. In fact, guests may choose to take a tour of the nearby Black Forest, which was the setting of Hansel and Gretel, as well as other early 19th-century tales. Alternatively, guests can pull up a seat in one of the city’s many “winstubs,” which are Alsatian restaurants that serve traditional fare and, as their name implies, pour various wines from the region.

Those who prefer to sample their wines alongside the vines that produce them can journey to Mittelbergheim, a sleepy little village about 20 miles southwest of Strasbourg, which is home to less than 1,000 people but produces some of the region’s best wine. Wine enthusiasts will want to stop at Zotzenberg, the only Grand Cru vineyard in Alsace, which specializes in Sylvaner, a full-bodied white varietal that delivers hints of earthiness and smoke.

While in Breisach, Scenic Rhine river cruise guests can visit the Black Forest Open Air Museum or opt for a hike through the forest itself. Or they can take a guided bike tour to Colmar, a French town that was previously a part of Germany on two separate occasions. The town is famous for its historic section, which—unlike many other cities in the region—escaped significant damage during the French Revolution, the Franco-Prussian War, and both World Wars.

The Jewels of Germany along the Rhine River

Much of the 764-mile-long Rhine River flows through Germany; and while the most famous German section of the river (between Mainz and Düsseldorf) is known for inspiring the Romantic movement, the Upper Rhine, which flows through southern Germany, can provide diverse cultural experiences from those of the river’s middle and lower sections farther to the north. 

In the university town of Heidelberg, for example, a Scenic Rhine river cruise guest can indulge his or her sweet tooth on a confectionary tour of the city. Or, if they prefer something that delivers a bit more adrenaline, they can head over to the Hockenheim Formula 1 racetrack, a 2.8-mile-long circuit that hosted the German Grand Prix for almost three decades. Scenic Cruise passengers are also treated to a private concert inside the Palace of Rastatt, a sprawling Baroque estate that was constructed during the early 18th century.

But a Scenic Rhine River cruise would not be complete without stops along the “Romantic Rhine.” As the ship sails from Rüdesheim to Duisburg, guests can view numerous German castles both from the comfort of the ship and up close on guided tours. These castles include Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, a Prussian stronghold; Marksburg Castle, which is the only hilltop castle along the Rhine River that was never destroyed and has changed little since medieval times; and Ehrenfels Castle, a fortress that was built in the early 13th century and now is in ruins following it’s destruction during the Seige of Mainz in 1689.

Scenic Space-Ships Along The Rhine River

Every Scenic European river cruise begins aboard one of our boutique vessels or custom-built Space-Ships, so named for their spacious guest cabins, dining, and entertaining areas. Each of these four-deck Scenic Space-Ships includes numerous dining and sightseeing areas, as well as a lounge and bar area that offers panoramic views. Additionally, guests can soak up the rays at the top-deck swimming pool or retreat to the wellness center, which is equipped with a fitness area, beauty salon, and massage rooms. These ships are noteworthy for their luxury suites, which are outfitted with sun lounges, 32-inch high-definition TVs, and complimentary wireless internet access.

Scenic Rhine River cruises take place aboard any one of eight ships, each one 443 feet in length and staffed with 53 crew members. These include Scenic Jasper, Scenic Opal, and Scenic Amber, which were built in 2015 and 2016, and can accommodate 169 passengers in 85 cabins. Other ships include Scenic Crystal, Scenic Jewel, and Scenic Jade, which were built in 2012, 2103, and 2014, and can also accommodate 169 passengers in 85 cabins. Finally, Scenic Ruby and Scenic Pearl also sail along the Danube. These two ships were refit in 2013 and accommodate 167 passengers in 84 cabins.

Rhine River Cruises

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Rhine Highlights

8 days
Basel > Amsterdam
Discover the cities along the Rhine with guided tours, museum visits and an exclusive tour of a Baroque palace on a river cruise between Basel & Amsterdam.
from $3,295

Treasures of the Rhine Christmas Markets

8 days
Nuremberg > Amsterdam
Experience mistletoe towns and enchanting festive spirit in cities along the Rhine such as Nuremberg, Cologne and Bamberg in December 2017
from $4,190
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Rhine Christmas Markets with Switzerland

12 days
Zurich > Amsterdam
Enjoy the magic of Christmas on a luxurious 12 day river cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam. Visit the iconic Christmas markets & soak up the atmosphere.
from $5,295
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Jewels of Europe

15 days
Budapest > Amsterdam
Embark on a luxurious journey from Budapest to Amsterdam. Cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers on board an all-inclusive 5-star Scenic Space-Ship.
from $6,120
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Romantic Rhine & Moselle

15 days
Amsterdam > Basel
Discover the romantic Rhine and Moselle rivers on an all-inclusive 15 day cruise. From the small canals of Amsterdam to the majestic mountains of Zurich.
from $6,395
Save up to $800 per couple

Christmas Markets

15 days
Budapest > Amsterdam
Experience Europe at Christmastime on a 15 day river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam. See the charming villages and visit the Christmas markets.
from $6,820 $6,420
Save up to $800 per couple

Christmas Wonderland

16 days
Amsterdam > Budapest
Breathe in the magic of Christmas on a 16 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. Enjoy the Christmas markets, delicacies and decorations of Europe.
from $7,440 $7,040

Jewels of Europe with Prague

18 days
Amsterdam > Prague
Be enchanted on an 18 day journey from Amsterdam to Prague. See the canals, take part in a medieval feast and explore the famous Romantic Road in Wurzburg.
from $7,645
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Romantic Rhine & Moselle with Switzerland

19 days
Amsterdam > Zurich
Experience the magic of Europe’s most romantic region on a 19 day journey from Amsterdam to Zurich. Cruise the Rhine and Moselle, create your own fairytale.
from $8,395
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Jewels of Europe with Paris

18 days
Budapest > Paris
Begin your adventure in Budapest and board a luxurious Scenic Space-Ship. Cruise the Danube, Main & Rhine rivers to Amsterdam and spend 3 nights in Paris.
from $8,495
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Jewels of Europe with Paris

18 days
Paris > Budapest
Begin your adventure in Paris before boarding a Scenic Space-Ship in Amsterdam. Cruise the Rhine, Main & Danube rivers and discover the Jewels of Europe.
from $8,595
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Jewels of Europe with Paris & Prague

21 days
Paris > Prague
Explore the wondrous cities of Amsterdam, Cologne, Vienna and more on a 21 day journey from Paris to Prague. See the Rhone Gorge, Marksburg Castle and more.
from $9,395
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Jewels of Europe with Eastern Europe Explorer

24 days
Prague > Amsterdam
Immerse yourself in tales old and new on a 24 day journey from Prague to Amsterdam. Learn about the history and culture of Europe's most alluring cities.
from $10,295
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Jewels of Europe with City Highlights

24 days
Paris > Berlin
Discover ancient and modern on a 24 day journey from Paris to Berlin. Marvel at the Eiffel Tower & the Brandenburg Gate on a luxury tour through Europe.
from $10,820
EB1: Scenic Land Tour Offers 2018

Grand European

23 days
Paris > Amsterdam
See the grand sights of Europe on a 23 day journey from Paris to Amsterdam. Explore Monte Carlo, Rome, Salzburg, Munich and more on this wondrous tour.
from $10,995 $10,495
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North Sea to the Black Sea

23 days
Amsterdam > Bucharest
Embark on a 23 day river cruise from Amsterdam to Bucharest and discover the Rhine & Danube rivers. Visit the historical cities & villages that surround it.
from $11,430
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Jewels of Europe with Dalmatia Discovery

26 days
Venice > Amsterdam
Embark on a luxurious 26 day journey across Europe. See the iconic landmarks in Venice and explore Dalmatia before boarding a Scenic Space-Ship in Budapest.
from $12,295

Jewels of Europe with Grand Alpine

26 days
Zurich > Amsterdam
The ultimate river cruising experience and more. Delight in the beauty of a 26 day journey from Zurich to Amsterdam. Majestic views and rich culture await.
from $12,635

Romantic Rhine & Moselle with Alpine Escapade

26 days
Munich > Amsterdam
Be swept away on this wonder-filled 26 day experience across the Swiss Alps and Rhineland. Marvel at the endless beauty from Munich to Amsterdam.
from $12,860
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North Sea to the Black Sea with Turkey

30 days
Istanbul > Amsterdam
Uncover the history of Europe on a 30 day journey from Istanbul to Amsterdam. From East to West see the iconic landmarks and make a pilgrimage to Gallipoli.
from $13,930
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Jewels of Europe with Italian Serenade

29 days
Rome > Amsterdam
Follow in the footsteps of the greats & discover the delights of Europe's finest destinations on an all-encompassing 29 day journey from Rome to Amsterdam.
from $13,995
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Jewels of Europe with Majestic Britain & Ireland

36 days
London > Budapest
Explore the best of Britannia & Europe on a tour that encompasses culture, cuisine, history & tradition. Arrive in London & embark on a journey to Budapest.
from $17,820
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Jewels of Europe with Grand European

36 days
Paris > Budapest
Take a Grand Tour of Europe, a once-in-a-lifetime 36 day journey from Paris to Budapest. Enjoy the endless sights & sounds of Europe's finest destinations.
from $18,320

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