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.