The Rhine is undoubtedly one of the most famous rivers in all of Europe. It is also well known as a wonderful destination for cruises, partly because of the spectacular scenery that can be found along a large part of its length.
Certain sections of the Rhine are positively littered with charming castles and ancient structures, which will fascinate any cruise passenger. For history lovers, the Rhine is arguably one of the best rivers to cruise on anywhere in the world.
The Rhine is a long river and most cruises usually operate on a specific section of it, with the most popular being between the towns of Cologne and Mainz. The distance that a cruise itinerary will cover varies significantly from company to company and does not always depend on the amount of time you are cruising for. Some operators put an emphasis on seeing the most in the shortest amount of time possible, which usually involves the vessel sailing at night. Other cruises, which operate at a more leisurely pace, will berth for the night in various ports, giving passengers the opportunity to explore the towns and attractions along the route in the evenings.
Most cruise ships on the Rhine move at a rather a high rate of knots and sightseeing is a major element of them. The number of towns and cities that the ship passes through is substantial and most cruise packages include sightseeing tours to the local towns and points of interest. Of course, it is entirely up to you how much you see, but you will find that for each destination you arrive in there will be something that you will certainly want to take a look at. To make the most of each day these tours generally start early in the morning, so it is always a good idea to get a good night’s sleep.
There are times of the year when cruising the Rhine can be a particularly magical experience. This is generally either in the height of summer or the middle of winter. Summer is certainly the most popular time for cruising and passengers travelling during July and August are likely to be treated to some incredible firework displays, visible from the river, which are organised by many of the historic castles and fortresses along the route.
If you choose to travel in winter, on the other hand, you will be treated to a different experience as you are going to able to explore the charming towns along the way while the winter festivities are in full swing. The squares in the old parts of these towns are generally filled with Christmas markets, giving you the opportunity to taste seasonal specialities and perhaps even pick up a few gifts for those back home.
Cruises along the Rhine are a wonderful combination of exploring ancient towns, sightseeing and simply sitting back and enjoying some great scenery. Comfortable accommodation aboard a cruise ship, combined with the interest along the banks of the river, will create a remarkable experience for anyone who decides to cruise the Rhine.
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