Places to See on a Rhine River Cruise



Cruising the Rhine River is a great way to maximize your travel experience. Multiple stops along the route provide opportunities for exploring several countries without transferring luggage or checking into a hotel until the end of your cruise.  But, the enjoyment will last a lifetime. 



Breisach, Germany – Gateway to the Black Forest

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Breisach, Germany

St. Stephen's Cathedral in Breisach, Germany

Photo by Ron Elledge


Breisach is a medieval town located on the river’s edge not far from the Swiss-German border.  Enjoy a flaky strudel at one of the sidewalk cafés or tour the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral perched on the hillside overlooking the town.  For the wine enthusiast, visit a 600-year old cellar or a local wine shop offering products from the Baden region.  


Dwelling in Black Forest Region of Germany

Dwelling in Black Forest Region of Germany

Photo by Ron Elledge


For those wanting to explore, Breisach is one of the gateways to the legendary Black Forest.  A land tour rambles through adorable communities nestled between the dense green forest and snow-capped mountain ranges, cattle grazing contentedly in knee-deep grass.  Pastoral scenes of sturdy wooden barns with low-hanging thatched roofs contrast adorable villages decorated with window boxes and gingerbread trim.  Shoppers can purchase handmade cuckoo clocks, local wines, and internationally famous cherry-topped Bavarian Black Forest cake. 



Koblenz, Germany – Land of the Castles
 

Statue of Wilhelm in Koblenz, Germany

Statue of Wilhelm in Koblenz, Germany

Photo by Ron Elledge


Koblenz is an ancient city located in the Middle Rhine region where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers converge.  Stroll the banks of the river past an enormous statue of Emperor Wilhelm I or visit the centuries-old Fortress Ehrenbreitstein.  For outstanding views of the city, board the aerial tramway or wander the elegant Empress Augusta Gardens.  Be sure to leave enough time to visit one of the local eateries, as Koblenz is famous for its beer gardens and wine taverns. 

The region surrounding Koblenz, and following the winding river 40 miles south, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Also known as the Middle Rhine, cruisers experience the sights of the impressive fortresses, storybook castles, and tall towers while floating down the river.  This region attracts historians and sightseers alike because of the natural beauty, as well as geographical and historical significance.


Marksburg Castle in Koblenz, Germany

Marksburg Castle in Koblenz, Germany

Photo by Ron Elledge


Take a walking excursion up to the Marksburg Castle to get a feel of what life was like hundreds of years ago.  Although it is a bit of a climb, the views of the river and surrounding countryside are exceptional.  



Strasbourg, France – and the Alsatian region

A Casual Stroll Through Comptoir d'Alsace

Photo by Ron Elledge


Strasbourg is one of the largest and most diverse cities in France.  The city’s close proximity to major waterways and land routes made it was a trade epicenter during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it still is today.  

Architectural styles range from the gleaming European Parliament complex to the impeccably preserved gothic cathedrals and medieval buildings.  Ornate gardens abound.  As do specialty shops and patio restaurants.  

Astronomical Clock in Strasbourg, France

Architectural styles range from the gleaming European Parliament complex to the impeccably preserved gothic cathedrals and medieval buildings.  Ornate gardens abound.  As do specialty shops and patio restaurants.  

Cuisine is a unique blend of Alsatian, French, and German traditions, along with Spanish, Greek, and Italian specialties.  Take a walking tour and see the delightful half-timbered buildings along the canals, or marvel at the centuries-old astronomical clock that still works today.

Photo by Ron Elledge

The Alsatian region is located near Strasbourg along the upper Rhine River, an area famous for the production of wine.  Take a bus tour of this area to highlight some of the beautifully landscaped vineyards and rolling hillsides of eastern France.  Sample wine tastings from a privately owned wine cellars.

The cruise ship tour guides are excellent at pointing out landmarks and places of interest along the way, and it is a relaxing way to see the picturesque  smaller communities.



Guest author, Shelli Elledge, is a teacher and a freelance writer. She loves to write about river cruising, family travel, and staying healthy on the road. Since Shelli has a background in Finance, she also likes to write about ways to make travel more affordable.

You can connect with Shelli on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Also be sure to visit Shelli's website, Written FYI.



Shelli Elledge and her husband, Ron, enjoyed the 8-day Rhine Getaway cruise by Viking River Cruises. All photos in this article were taken by Ron Elledge, who has his own photography website at Ron Elledge Exposed.


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