rhine river cruise itinerary (OPEN DATES APRIL-dEC)

Your River Cruise Group and Vacation specialist


Thank you for your interest in European River Cruising. The Rhine River is one of our more popular cruise itineraries and features historic castles, vineyards and fairytale towns and cities along the river.

You'll enjoy the up-close encounters and authentic experiences that river cruising offers as you sail through the heartland of Europe while unpacking once. Open sailing dates available for individuals, couples and groups on this itinerary from April to December.

Let's talk River Cruising...

Top Group Travel d/b/a Meister Meetings & Travel, Tel: 561-279-2500 FL Seller of Travel Ref #ST41916

We love River Cruising and know you will too. Enjoy this introduction to river cruising along with our popular Rhine River itinerary.

Let's get started...

"Eventually, all things merge and a river runs through it. " - Norman MaClean

Quick Intro and highlights of River Cruising

Overall, river cruising is more similar to an escorted land tour but your main transportation is also your hotel and travels with you so only have to unpack once.

Ship Size: River cruise ships are small and intimate like a luxury boutique hotel (accommodating 120-200 guests compared). Perfect for Social Distancing.

Atmosphere: River cruising offers a casual, relaxed atmosphere onboard focused on the sights, attractions and culture along the river. No long lines ever, no formal nights, no casinos, no large entertainment venues and production shows, no sea days as most cruising is done at night, no late-night parties onboard and no onboard gimmicks or photographers at every event. You’ll wake up early and dock right in town with more port time. The crew will get to know your names and you'll meet more guests onboard due to the intimacy of the ships.

Costs: River cruising costs are similar to smaller, ultra- luxury, ocean cruise ships and have many inclusions to help your budget such as: accommodations, all meals and snacks, beer and wine with lunch & dinner, all day coffee and tea service, bottled water, daily shore excursions and onboard Wi-Fi.

Cabins: Typical, river cruise cabins are comparable in size to standard ocean ship balcony cabins (apx 180-220 sq. ft). Larger suites and some triple and quad occupancy cabins are available on some ships.

Dining: Buffets for lunch and breakfast with fine dining at night and awesome river views. Some ships feature a chef’s table and onboard barbecue for lunch on their top deck.

No Rough Seas: Rivers are placid and flat with little boat motion compared to ocean cruising

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” ― Laura Gilpin

Rhine River Itinerary Northbound - Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands (Available April to October cruising both Northbound and Southbound)

Day 1) Basel, Switzerland - Embark Ship

Day 2) Breisach, Germany

Day 3) Strasbourg, France

Day 4) Ludwigshafen - Rudesheim, Germany

Day 5) Rudesheim - Rhine Gorge - Lahnstein, Germany

Day 6) Cologne, Germany

Day 7) Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day 8) Amsterdam, Netherlands (disembark ship)

Day 1, BASEL, SWITZERLAND. Board the ship in Basel for your Enchanting Rhine cruise.

Fun Facts: Basel is the headwaters for the Rhine with the water flowing from the Alps northward to the sea. Basel is the birth place of tennis great Roger Federer and home to fantastic art, music and wine fairs and festivals.

Insider Tip: Zurich, Switzerland is the closest major international airport to Basel (about 60 miles) and is connected by motorcoach and train. Arrive a couple of days early to explore the beautiful Swiss Alps and alpine lakes.

Basel, Switzerland - Headwaters of the Rhine

Day 2, BREISACH, GERMANY. Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth"

Freiburg Gothic Cathedral Spire

Day 3, STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République. Then walk through its iconic UNESCO World Heritage “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale.

Strasbourg, France

Day 4, LUDWIGSHAFEN ­ RÜDESHEIM, GERMANY. Ludwigshafen is your gateway to choice of three excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city with its famous castle with panoramic views of the city. Or ride along the river Neckar to the medieval town of Ladenburg where you’ll have some free time to explore the shops and quaint Marktplatz. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate. Later in the day, sail to Rüdesheim.

Insider Tip: Some ships carry bicycles onboard and riding along the river valleys is delightful and memorable experience. On some days, the ship will allow you to ride along the river and they will pick you at the next port.

Biking along the River

Day 5, RÜDESHEIM ­ RHINE GORGE ­ LAHNSTEIN, GERMANY. Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues with your choice of three excursions. Take a gondola ride to the enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards. If you prefer a more active adventure, hike through Rüdesheim’s vineyards, taking in views of the town, the Roman Bridge and Bromersburg Castle. Or join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles to Lahnstein where you'll enjoy a visit to Lahneck Castle.

Lahnstein, Germany enjoying a castle view

Day 6, COLOGNE. Home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral, this 2,000­ year­ old city is also a bustling cosmopolitan hotspot. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town and explore the UNESCO­ designated cathedral, where the remains of the fabled Three Kings—the Magi — are believed to rest.

Insider Tip: If you're a beer lover like us, after your city tour, enjoy visiting some Cologne's taverns and breweries downtown to raise a glass with the locals and taste their famous Kölsch beer. Cheers and Prosit!

Kolsch Beer
Cologne, Germany

Day 7, AMSTERDAM. Amsterdam boasts amazing history, art, architecture, and museums, and you'll have an entire day and many choices as to how you wish to explore it.

Insider Tip: Historic Amsterdam is very walkable with many attractions close by and easy to see and tour on your own. Most of the locals also speak English. We recommend beginning your city tour with a scenic canal cruise.

Amsterdam Canals

Day 8, AMSTERDAM. Bid Farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your homeward flight. Amsterdam's large international airport is conveniently connected 30 minutes from downtown.

Insider Tip: Stay an extra day or two to visit Van Gogh, Rembrandt and other famous museums of the Dutch masters, Anne Frank House and explore the countryside to see traditional Dutch villages. Or take a high speed train to Paris or Belgium and continue your journey.

Dutch Windmill with tulips
Famous Van Gough Museum

You'll love views, service, amenities and culinary delights of your luxury floating boutique hotel as you sail through the best landscapes of Europe.

Balcony Cabin
Cabin bathroom

Your boutique ship is fully loaded for fun, food and indulgence

Click on to see as a slideshow

But wait, your river cruise can be much more...

Consider a holiday, faith, history, flower, culinary, beer or wine theme cruises or combining your river cruise with one of Europe's famous Festivals for added excitement, enjoyment and Fun...we know the best cruises for all seasons and reasons.

Wine tasting
Cooking classes
Tulip Festival in Amsterdam
Basel Tattoo Band Festival
Traditional Christmas Markets
Oktoberfest and other Beer Festivals

Pretty amazing Right?

We would love to discuss how a river cruise could be a great option for your next trip or to celebrate a milestone event. Just ask....we know the insider secrets of the rivers, ships, cabins, towns, best seasons and directions for river flow along with pre, post and onboard cruise options and will guide you all the way for stress free smooth sailing

A travel advisor can save you time, money and relieve your stress

Top Group Travel - 561-279-2500 or Dan@topgrouptravel.com

"Don't wait or be late while life sails by, jump onboard and let's have an adventure" - Dan Meister
Created By
Dan Meister - Travel and Cruise Meister


Created with images by skeeze - "rhine river middle bridge landmark" • Tama66 - "roofs houses city" • Couleur - "freiburg city münster" • Heidelbergerin - "heidelberg heidelberger schloss historically" • mripp - "Cologne" • djedj - "canal waterway barge" • Jean Carlo Emer - "untitled image" • chris1947 - "amsterdam flowers wood"