TRAVEL THROUGH FIVE COUNTRIES ON A RHINE-MOSELLE RIVER CRUISE:
A Rhine river cruise is probably the most popular of all European river cruises. Combining it with a Moselle (Mosel in German) river cruise is especially spectacular as you can travel through five countries – The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland.
Rhine River Cruise
Most Rhine-Moselle cruises take a basic Rhine cruise and add in a return trip down the Moselle River to visit Trier and Bernkastel. So you start off the same way as a normal Rhine river cruise, e.g. you might start in Antwerp and travel through Germany as far as Coblenz or Koblenz . That means you pass the famous Rhine castles, see the legendary Loreley Rock (yes, that is the correct spelling), and visit Cologne with its UNESCO World Heritage Gothic Cathedral.
At Koblenz, you would then split off into the Moselle (Mosel) river valley for Cochem, Bernkastel and Trier, with perhaps an excursion to Luxembourg. After that you return up the Moselle, turn east into the Rhine again, perhaps explore the village of Rüdesheim with its Siegfried’s Musikkabinett, drink “rauchbier” (smoked beer, smells like ham-infused dark beer) in Bamberg, possibly visit Heidelberg on an excursion from Speyer, then sample the French-German ambience of Strasbourg on the way down to Basel over the border in Switzerland.
Moselle River Highlights
Highlights of a cruise on the Moselle River would be visiting Trier, Germany’s oldest city, founded in 16 B.C. by Roman Emperor Augustus, where you can see the landmark Porta Nigra and a wide range of Roman, Gothic and Renaissance monuments and churches all in one place. Other options available might be exploring the Reichsburg Castle in Cochem, or the U.S. Memorial Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg, where General George Patton is buried.
Naturally, sampling some of the Moselle region’s fine wines (although sometimes a little sweet for me) is a given. Forget red, it’s white that’s the name of the game here. See if you can try a “Bernkasteler Doktor“, claimed by some to be the world’s best Riesling, but be warned: it ain’t cheap!
Some Moselle cruises, especially independents and tour aggregators chartering smaller boats get further into France, e.g. to to Nancy, a medieval city in Lorraine where you can visit La Place Stanislas and tour a chocolate factory. There are also excursions, like one to St. Etienne’s Cathedral in Metz to see a famous Silbermann (early 18th C) organ (one of Bach’s favourites).
OUR ADVICE: The Rhine-Moselle is covered by all the major cruise operators, such as Uniworld, Viking, AmaWaterways, Scenic Tours, Tauck, who employ their latest and greatest luxurious river boats here. If you are choosing a cruise with a tour aggregator, concentrate on the ship you want to travel on and the itinerary (of course, there’s also price!). Be sure to check out our “Things to watch for” page too!