The beautiful and historic Rhine winds nearly 830 kilometres north-east from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.
This mighty river has formed a significant and defining role in the area for hundreds of years as a commonly disputed border, that being between Germany and France. Historically the river has also formed a barrier between Celtic and Germanic tribes.
The Rhine offers much to her river cruise visitors, from picture-perfect vineyards to fairytale castles. Having a source that begins with mountain gorges and waterfalls, the river eventually turns into a calm and tranquil 'heroic Rhine'.
The actual name of the Rhine is derived from Middle High German Rin and means “to flow” or “to run.” Historically the river was known as Renos, Rhenus and now the Germans have added “Father” to its name. The Rhine.
Most Rhine cruises either start or end in Amsterdam and include Holland, Germany, France and Swirtzerland on their travels, with the principal ports of call being Cologne, Koblenz, Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Breisach, Strasbourg and Basel.
Some cruises branch off along the Moselle to the south-west or east along the Main River, linking to the Danube by the impressive Main-Danube Canal. Additional ports can include Miltenberg, Wurzberg, Bamberg and Nuremberg.
WHO GOES THERE: All European river-cruise operators feature the Rhine.