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Rhine River cruises travel anywhere from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Cruises on the Rhine are offered by most river cruise lines that operate in Europe.
The Rhine River is connected to a few other popular European rivers: the Main; the Danube; the Moselle; and the Dutch & Belgian Waterways. So, your itinerary could include any combination of these rivers.
An itinerary that includes the Main and/or Danube will connect with the Main River in Mainz, Germany. Your trip would then begin on an easterly course to meet the Danube River in Regensburg, Germany.
Rhine River cruises that do not take you toward Eastern Europe will have you sailing along the Rhine River through western Germany to meet the Moselle in Koblenz, Germany. As you travel along the Moselle River, your cruise will take you through Luxembourg and northwestern France.
Most river cruise suppliers offer Rhine River cruise packages. There will often be some combination of the following: Rhine only; Rhine & Moselle; Rhine, Moselle and Dutch & Belgian Waterways; Rhine, Main & Danube; or Rhine, Moselle, Main & Danube.
Rhine River in Basel, Switzerland
The Rhine River starts in the Swiss Alps in southeastern Switzerland. The flow of the river follows a northwesterly course and empties into the North Sea.
It’s 766 miles long and is the longest river in Germany and the 12th longest river in Europe.
There is a waterfall on the Upper Rhine between Schaffhauesen and Zurich, Switzerland. The Rhine Falls are 450 wide and 75 feet high and is one of seven waterfalls located in Switzerland.
Speyer, Germany - Speyer Cathedral in the Distance
By PQ3 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Rhine River flows on the border of Austria and France and flows through Switzerland, Germany & the Netherlands. In addition to Basel and Amsterdam, you'll visit several other cities on your Rhine River cruise - many of which are UNESCO sites.
Some UNESCO World Heritage Sites that could be in your itinerary:
Kinderdijk, Netherlands – Windmills of Kinderdijk
Cologne, Germany – Cologne Cathedral
Koblenz & Rudesheim, Germany – Rhine River Valley with Castles
Heidelberg & Speyer, Germany - Speyer Cathedral
If you happen to just be traveling in Germany, there are also options for day, evening and scenic cruises on the Rhine River in cities, such as Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz, and Dusseldorf.
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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.
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8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. . .
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