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13 Best River Rhine Cruises to Book Today

Empty Deck of the Avalon Waterways Cruise

Flowing from the Alps just east of Switzerland into the North Sea in the Netherlands, the Rhine River is one of the largest and most important rivers in Europe. Cruising it is also one of the most invigorating and beautiful ways to see much of the continent.

The best River Rhine cruises take you on a journey through history, into modern towns, and through a range of cultures along this European river. It’s a fabulous way to spend a few hours or a few days touring Europe.

The hard part is determining which are the best river cruises on the Rhine. Numerous options exist, and while not all of them are luxurious experiences, many offer exceptional opportunities with shore excursions, insightful history, and lots of fun on board the actual cruise. A number of Rhine River cruise lines are out there to choose from; here are some of the best and the cruises they offer.

Category Cruise Description
Best Overall Cruise

Cruce Mundo – Christmas Markets on the Rhine A festive five-day cruise, visiting some of Germany’s most charming towns
Best Long Cruise

Viking River Cruise – Grand European Tour Cruise Four countries over 15 days; the be-all and end-all of a luxury Rhine cruise
Best Day Cruise

Siebengebirge Cruise: Cologne to Königswinter Cramming some of the most beautiful parts of the German Rhine region into a 4-10 hour cruise

Best River Rhine Cruises to Book Today

1. Avalon Waterways Romantic Rhine for Wine Lovers

Empty Deck of the Avalon Waterways Cruise
Avalon Waterways / Avalon Waterways

Cruise Locations: The Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland
Length: 8 days

Spend eight days exploring the wine country on the romantic, beautiful Avalon Waterways river cruise. Explore Cologne, a city that’s 2,000 years old and noted for its stunning Gothic architecture. This river cruise also has stops in Strasbourg, France, and Breisach, Germany, including into the Black Forest and Speyer.

In Speyer, you’ll enjoy a walk through the Wine Museum, visit a castle, and shop at numerous quaint shops in the center of the city. This is the best Avalon Waterways cruise for wine and history lovers. There could be local wine festivals taking place along the trip, which is well worth exploring.

Key sights along the way include:

  • Amsterdam’s streets and canal houses
  • A guided tour of the Jewish heritage sites in Cologne
  • Wine tasting tours
  • Tour of the vineyards of Rüdesheim
  • Tour the stained-glass cathedral and explore the La Petite France…

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