4 Incredible Countries You’ll Explore on the Rhine

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With their fabulous rooftop pools, jacuzzis, and wellness programs, exquisite cuisine and delicious cocktails around the clock, it is tempting for many to never leave the ship.

As much as they pride themselves on their impeccable service, we know that the main reason travelers choose a river cruise is adventure, the stunning, breathtaking stops along the way. With this in mind, the countries you'll explore with AmaWaterways on the Rhine are historic, romantic and truly awe-inspiring.

Many Options to Choose From

On an AmaWaterways cruise, you can choose from a selection of amazing tours that highlight a unique aspect of Europe. With 25 incredible river cruise options throughout Europe, it can be a tough decision. However, we know that we’ll find something that fits your budget, taste, and sense of adventure.

Do you want to spend more of your time in Switzerland, Germany or France? What about the Netherlands? Let’s take a closer look at our destinations on the Rhine River, and you’ll understand why our clients keep coming back for more.

Switzerland

A pristine alpine wonderland, Switzerland is beautiful any time of year. It’s known for its snowy mountain caps in the winter and lush green hills in the summer. Whether you're on a scenic train ride through the Alps or sailing the Rhine, Switzerland will make you wonder if you've just entered a fairytale.

Basel

Many river cruises on the Rhine start or end in Basel, a city known for its love of art and museums. The city has the highest concentration of museums in the country and is surrounded by a market square, making it easy to visit.

Basel is a fantastic representation of Switzerland, as it lies between France and Germany, two countries that have significantly influenced Swiss culture. Enjoy this melding of cultures as you dine alfresco at a cafe along the banks of the Rhine.

But why stop with Basel when there’s so much more of Switzerland to discover? We’d recommend tacking on a trip to Lucerne or Zurich.

Lucerne

Lucerne is the ideal pit stop on your trek through Switzerland. Wandering through its majestic streets, you will encounter a city full of beautiful bridges, cafes and chocolate shops that will satisfy your sweet tooth. A summer evening in Lucerne will make you never want to leave. Let’s book a ride on Lake Lucerne while we’re at it!

Zurich

Swiss banking capital and economic hub Zürich combines pre-medieval roots with modern business and entertainment. In addition to its world-class shopping venues, there is plenty of sight-seeing to do. From the Hauptbahnhof - Switzerland's largest railway station - you can catch a train and get on a crisp, glistening mountain peak in minutes. You can also explore the city’s incredible rivers and magnificent lake, which have superior water quality for swimming. Whether it's fine dining or hiking trails up Uetliberg, the perfect adventure is waiting for you in Zurich.

France

Parlez-vous français? Non? Well, no worries. An excellent translation app can do wonders to help you navigate the luscious countryside of France and its stunning cafes and menus. For its food, wine, and historic sights, we love this country for all the right reasons.

Wine & Dine

Wine and France go hand in hand, and if you don't have a bowl of French onion soup, you're seriously missing out. Whether you're stopping in the morning in a bakery for a fresh croissant and cafe au lait, a light lunch of a croque monsieur or a full 3-course French dinner, you'll not be disappointed.

Book a Rhine River cruise with us and stop in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, and a charming city for a day trip. We would recommend the Cave des Hospices for a wine tour and a light drink in the afternoon.

Leisure

If wine tasting isn’t your idea of a relaxing afternoon, there's no shortage of other soothing activities in Strasbourg. The Parc de l’Orangerie, Parc de la Citadelle and the botanical gardens are all equally serene places for an afternoon stroll or bike ride.

Strasbourg

Shopping

Are you looking for modern stores, local boutiques or street markets? You can find them all in Strasbourg. Most of Strasbourg’s old town is centered on Grande Île, an island in the middle of the city.
Christmas markets in Strasbourg are so popular you can find them any time of year. Make your way to the southwest corner of the Grande Île to Un Noël en Alsace to browse Christmas decor. And if you're in Strasbourg during the holiday season, we recommend a glass of vin chaud (mulled wine). This will help keep you warm on the way.

Germany

Traveling to Germany usually takes tourists to Berlin, Munich and other metropolitan areas. On a river cruise with AmaWaterways, however, you will experience a more traditional and inviting new side of the country.

Cruising down the Rhine, you’ll discover cultural hubs as well as quaint cities you may not otherwise experience. Cologne and Rüdesheim offer both various entertainment, including local musicians and museums, offering a well-rounded German experience.

Rüdesheim

A charming little city on the Rhine, Rüdesheim is known for its production of Reisling wine. The first thing you’ll notice here is the beautiful combination of history and modern winemaking. Cobblestone streets and medieval-style castles lie merely outside the vineyards and tasting rooms. During the stop, you can choose between Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, a gondola ride or a wine tasting hike in the vineyards.
Our favorite way to spend time here is to take the cable car over the vineyards, up to the Niederwald monument. Next, stop at local shops on the way back to the ship.

Cologne

A 2,000-year-old city, Cologne is best known for its colorful rows of houses and its famous Christmas markets. Comparatively, to the small-town charm of Rüdesheim, Cologne is a much larger city and cultural hub.

Where Rüdesheim is medieval and rustic, Cologne is more Gothic and modern. Visible from the Rhine River, the Cologne Cathedral is a must-see landmark. Its two towers are still some of the largest peaks in the city.
The stop in Cologne offers the possibility of a walking tour of the Holy City. Additionally, you can also visit the Cathedral, Kölsch Beer tasting or cycling tour.

The Netherlands

What better way to end the Enchanting Cruise than right in the heart of the Netherlands- Amsterdam.
A city known for its red-light district and carefree way of life, Amsterdam offers diverse cultural experiences. Cruising one of the world's most complex canal systems will show you much of the beauty of this city.

If you observe the canals by land, you can opt for a tour through the Bohemian neighborhood of Jordaan. This amazing tour boasts trendy cafes, eateries, and shops. After grabbing a coffee, head to one of the many historical landmarks in this part of town. The Anne Frank House is located just outside Jordaan and across from the historic Westerkerk Cathedral. Rembrandt was buried here in 1669.

The People

The people in the Netherlands are truly some of the kindest and friendly people in Europe. Described as modest, direct and timely, don’t be surprised by how welcomed you feel.

The Food

One of the most pleasant surprises of a trip to Amsterdam is the food. If you’re craving something with a pinch of salt, we would recommend Bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), kibbeling (deep-fried fish) or snert (split pea soup).
After dinner, enjoy various different sweets, including Dutch licorice, poffertjes (puffy pancakes) or stroopwafels (remember to eat them hot and gooey).

The Creativity

You will find more peculiar shops and art displays in Amsterdam than almost anywhere else in the world. You'll find stores with cows on the ceiling, mouse mansions and displays exclusively dedicated to tulips. Entertainment in Amsterdam lies around every corner.

These are just a few of the striking destinations on a Rhine River cruise. Which country is calling your name? Give us a call today to talk about all the options available!