Romantic Rhine River Cruises – Amsterdam to Basel

On a Rhine River Cruise see Amazing Rhine castles and breathtaking scenery:

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Twin towers of St. Severus Church, Boppard

Several river cruise operators do a  cruise between Amsterdam and Basel, focusing on the Romantic Rhine region.  Most of these “Romantic Rhine” cruises start from Amsterdam and finish in Basel, or vice-versa.

Here are some of the different names for an Amsterdam to Basel cruise:

  • “Castles along the Rhine” – Uniworld
  • “Romantic Rhine Cruise – Avalon
  • “Enchanting Rhine” – APT Cruises
  • “Treasures of the Rhine” – Viking

All the above are  9-day cruises (7 nights), highlighting the Romantic Rhine region.  If you’ve done the bigger cruises like the famous Amsterdam to Budapest, you would have travelled down the Romantic Rhine.

River boats used for the Amsterdam to Basel cruise include Uniworld’s River Ambassador,   Avalon’s M/S Tapestry, Viking’s Helvetia whereas APT uses various boats.

If you’re reading the websites of different tour aggregators or agents, you’ll notice that many of them use the same copy, this is usually because they’ve taken it direct from the riverboat operator’s brochure.

After checking a few websites, things can get a bit confusing.  Just focus on the  stops that the  river cruise will be making and if they say that they are stopping at Cologne, Koblenz or Rudesheim, you can be sure that they’ll doing the same sightseeing visits regardless of the colourful descriptions.

Here is a typical itinerary for a river cruise and in this case we’ve used Uniworld’s Castles Along the Rhine cruise (the links go to photos in our Destinations Gallery):

Day 1 —  Amsterdam, Netherlands (Embark)

Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where you will be transferred to your ship.

Day 2 —  Cologne, Germany

Stroll through the narrow streets of Old Town with your guide, passing by tiny squares and little churches as you make your way to Cologne Cathedral, the city’s most famous landmark and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took 632 years for Germany’s largest cathedral to be completed, and it is one of the most important Gothic churches in Europe. A visit inside features the Shrine of the Three Magi and the beautiful stained glass windows that survived WWII.

Day 3 —  Cruising the Romantic Rhine, Koblenz

Cruise along the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage-designated middle Rhine Valley with its more than 40 castles and famous Lorelei Rock. Arrive in Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Your walking tour will highlight the appeal of Koblenz—its romantic narrow streets and historical squares, the picturesque alleyways and fountains in the old quarter, and the 12th-century churches of St. Florin and Our Lady.

Day 4 —  Rudesheim, Germany

Rüdesheim has a long history dating back to Roman times and is considered one of the most charming of the Rhine Valley towns. Spend time there at your leisure.

Day 5 —  Speyer

Your guided walking tour through Speyer reveals a Medieval town with a grand heritage and a compact historic center dominated by the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its basilica laid out in the form of a Latin cross, including four towers and two domes, this is a marvel to behold.

Day 6 —  Strasbourg, France

Situated halfway between Paris and Prague,the Alsatian town of Strasbourg is known as the “Crossroads of Europe.” It is home to a magnificent Gothic cathedral and beautiful half-timbered houses. View Strasbourg in the way it has been seen through the centuries—on a canal cruise. In addition to viewing the town’s covered bridges, Medieval watchtowers, old tanners’ district, and the modern building that houses the European Parliament, you will see Petite France, the picturesque district that seems as if it has been lifted from the pages of a fairytale.

Day 7 —  Breisach (Colmar), Strasbourg, France
Starting from Medieval Breisach, the gateway to the Black Forest, you’ll cross the Rhine and head for the Alsatian Wine Road, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges Mountains. Charming villages, pastoral landscapes, and lush vineyards producing great white wines line this winding scenic route. You’ll visit enchanting Colmar with its winding old streets, Medieval historic center, and St. Martin’s Church, which is made of pink stone. You’ll also see the picturesque timber-framed houses in the village of Riquewihr.
Day 8 —  Basel, Switzerland

Disembark the ship and transfer to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home, or extend your stay in Switzerland.

So, what is your thought on this? Let me know!


  1. avatarMary says

    We are scheduled to take a Rhine River cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, departing on 20 March 2010. However, I have read that low water levels can be a problem. Can you let me know if the area has experience sufficient rainfall recently?

  2. avatar says

    Hi Mary,
    It’s best that you address your query to the rivercruise operator that you booked with. They can also tell you what happens when a certain part of the Rhine is inaccessible – usually they transfer passengers by coach to the next port.

    Enjoy your cruise.

    Kind regards,

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