We arrived in Cologne at 9:45 a.m. and by 10 a.m. we were transported by mini-trains to the Kölner Dom, Cologne's famous gothic cathedral in the main square. We were given time to visit the inside of the cathedral on our own before a guided tour around the city. The time given to roam was limited and on the whole we felt our time in Cologne was quite rushed.
However, you have to bear in mind that the boat has to stick to schedules for the locks and as long as you appreciate this, you'll be more understanding as to why visits can be a bit compressed at times.
We were split up in groups and assigned local tour guides to take us around. During the tour, people were switching groups as they perceived that a particular guide was better, or easier to understand than others. At the Old Market Square, look out for the sculpture of a man in a squatting position with his backside exposed. Your guide will enlighten you as to toilet practices in the past and how Eau de Cologne came to be invented, very interesting...
Statue of Wilhelm II
At noon, it's back to the ship for departure to Koblenz. The first of our on-board activities was a visit to the ship's galley between 3:30 - 4:30 pm. Majority of the passengers were more interested in being on the sundeck as the scenery was fantastic, the weather was great and we were passing a piece of WWII history, the famous Remagen Bridge (info) (photos)
We arrived in Koblenz at 8:30 p.m. and the program indicates that you can take a short walk in Koblenz in the evening. A few people attempted to find their way into town, but gave up as it wasn't clear how 'short' the walk was, the streets were dark and there might not have been anything happening downtown at night.
As the boat is moored in Koblenz for the night, we do recommend strolling along the river to the "Deutsche Ecke" or "German Corner" to view the statue of Emperor Wilhelm I. By the river, you'll also find beer gardens and restaurants if more sustenance is required. Ice cream is also available...