Best for short holidays: A-ROSA
- No free room service
- No free alcohol
- Food included
- No price matching
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Once an integral cog in the industrial heritage of Europe, the Rhine now serves as the perfect river cruising destination. Starting from the Swiss town of Basel, the river flows for 435 miles through Germany, past France and eventually to the Netherlands, where it spills out into the North Sea.
When singling out our top picks for this shortlist, we searched for culturally immersive itineraries that stopped at a number of key ports along the Rhine. Together with this, we took into consideration the quality of food onboard, the entertainment offered, the cabin amenities provided and the overall value to cruisers.
We compiled all of this information using our own experiences, along with highly-revered blogs, travel websites and reviews on unbiased sites, to bring you the most transparent information.
Similar to the rest of Europe, the peak time for cruising down the Rhine clusters around the summer months, thanks to guaranteed warm weather and plain sailing conditions. Of course, peak season coincides with crowded streets and busy waterways.
While the crowds will have disappeared by September, warm sunshine will remain, making this the ideal season to cruise. Prices are also lower at this time, so you’re more likely to bag a bargain for your dream cruise.
It’s worth noting that snow-melt in spring can cause the water levels of the Rhine to rise, making some bridges impassable. This can limit your itinerary significantly, as some areas will be completely inaccessible or the cruise may be cancelled altogether.
To experience the best of the Rhine, you’ll want to book a range of shore excursions in different countries along the way. Just to name a few…
Whether you’re looking for a quick trip down the river or a longer cruise to really relax into, you’ll find something that suits you along the Rhine. Stay on top of the best cruise deals here.
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