Rhine River Cruises

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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 on Our Rhine River Cruises

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.

See the Jewels of Germany on Our Rhine River Cruises

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.

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