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Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500

River Cruises on the Rhine

The Rhine is deservedly amongst the most popular river cruise destinations in Europe, with its mix of rich history, fairytale castles perched high above terraced vineyards and fascinating waterside towns

The mighty River Rhine is one of Europe's major arteries, flowing from the Swiss Alps through diverse and beautiful landscapes in Germany, France and Holland, where it enters the North Sea.

  • River Rhine cruises - Heidelberg
  • Reichenstein Castle
  • Marksburg Castle

About Rhine River Cruises

From Amsterdam, voyage upstream through colourful Dutch waterways and rich farmland to Cologne with its Old Town and great Gothic Cathedral. Continue to Koblenz where the Rhine meets the Moselle, and on to the ancient fortress town of Boppard.

Pass the famous Lorelei Rock on the way to the wine country town of Rudesheim with its lively Drosselgrasse street of restaurants and taverns. At Mainz the River Main leaves the Rhine which continues south, allowing a tour to romantic Heidelberg, the oldest university town in Germany.

Sail on up the upper Rhine to Strasbourg, a cosmopolitan city on the French-German border with a soaring cathedral and colourful half-timbered buildings, and Basel, Switzerland's second largest city. Some itineraries spend a couple of days in Switzerland with visits to Lucerne and the dramatic Bernese Oberland.

The River Moselle is smaller and more intimate, meandering from Koblenz through woods and vineyards for over 160 miles. Travel past hills dotted with romantic castles, and through wine villages such as Cochem, Bernkastel and Piesport to Trier, founded by the Romans 2000 years ago.

Cologne CathedralCologne Cathedral Lorelei RockLorelei Rock

Cruise Collection

All our Rhine cruises are shown below. Tick the boxes to filter by date, company, duration and type.

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  • Yuletide Markets on the Rhine

    4 Nights - Cologne and back

    Riviera Travel Ship - Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte Thomas Hardy and Emily Bronte

    Visit some of the best Christmas markets in Germany on this cruise along the River Rhine visiting the fairytale towns and cities of Rudesheim, Frankfurt, Koblenz and Cologne. Includes shore excursions and return flights from the UK or Eurostar from London St Pancras 2017 - Dec

    Yuletide Markets on the Rhine No Fly Cruise
    From £499pp
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  • The Romantic Rhine Valley

    4 Nights - Strasbourg and back

    CroisiEurope Ship - Gerard Schmitter Choice of Ships

    Enjoy this short-break cruise from Strasbourg along the scenic River Rhine towards Koblenz and Rudesheim, past numerous castles nestled in the famed vineyards, and the Lorelei Rock 2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    The Romantic Rhine Valley Cruise Break Blue Water Package
    From £935pp Cruise Only From £615pp
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  • Reflections of the Rhine and Main

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Nuremburg

    APT Premium Cruises Ship - Travelmarvel Jewel and Diamond Choice of Ships

    A superb full-board premium cruise along the beautiful Rhine River from Amsterdam to Nuremburg, travelling through Rüdesheim, Wertheim and Würzburg. Includes flights from the UK, excursions and unique Insider Experiences 2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to 50%!

    Reflections of the Rhine and Main Fly Cruise Package
    From £995pp
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  • Holland and the Rhine

    6 Nights - Amsterdam to Strasbourg

    CroisiEurope Ship - Gerard Schmitter Choice of Ships

    Enjoy time in Amsterdam with opportunities to explore the city's highlights before cruising south through picturesque Germany to Strasbourg in France 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Holland and the Rhine River Cruise - Amsterdam to Strasbourg Blue Water Package
    From £1095pp Cruise Only From £765pp
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  • Rhine to Strasbourg and Heidelberg

    7 Nights - Cologne and back

    Riviera Travel Ship - Lord Byron Choice of Ships

    Discover contrasting towns and cities, from quaint Boppard to majestic Heidelberg and medieval Strasbourg on this relaxing voyage along the Rhine from the historic city of Cologne. Includes guided excursions and return Eurostar from London St Pancras 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Rhine to Strasbourg and Heidelberg No Fly Cruise
    From £1099pp
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  • Medieval Flanders and Dutch Bulbfields

    7 Nights - Amsterdam and back

    Riviera Travel Ship - Lord Byron Choice of Ships

    Visit the battlefields of World War II and commemorative memorials in Arnhem, Oosterbeek and Ypres, and see the colourful tulips in full bloom at the Keukenhof Gardens. Includes shore excursions and return flights from the UK 2018 - Apr

    Medieval Flanders and Dutch Bulbfields Springtime Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £1149pp
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  • Romantic River Rhine

    5 Nights - Strasbourg and back

    CroisiEurope Ship - Gerard Schmitter Choice of Ships

    A 5-night cruise of the River Rhine from Strasbourg, taking in one of the Rhine's most picturesque stretches and visiting Rudesheim, Koblenz and Speyer 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Romantic River Rhine Blue Water Package
    From £1160pp Cruise Only From £840pp
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  • Rhine Getaway

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Longships Viking Longships

    Journey from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland in style discovering the impressive history, cultures and traditions. Includes travel package from the UK 2017 - Dec
    2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    Save up to £1000pp on 2018 departures!

    Rhine Getaway Fly Cruise Package
    From £1195pp
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  • Rhine and Moselle

    7 Nights - Cologne and back

    Riviera Travel Ship - Jane Austen Choice of Ships

    Visit the highlights along the scenic Rhine and Moselle rivers visiting historic villages and famous wine towns in the heart of Germany. Prices include excursions and Eurostar from London St Pancras 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Rhine and Moselle River Cruise No Fly Cruise
    From £1199pp
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  • River Rhine to Switzerland

    7 Nights - Cologne to Basel

    Riviera Travel Ship - Lord Byron and Jane Austen Choice of Ships

    Join your floating hotel in Cologne cruising through the Rhine Valley to charming riverside towns and the scenic Black Forest, home to some of the most picturesque Alpine scenery. Prices include excursions and return flights from the UK 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Includes return flights from a choice of UK regional airports!

    River Rhine to Switzerland Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £1199pp
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  • Classical Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Amadeus River Cruises Ship - Amadeus Silver II Choice of Ships

    Take in the spectacular scenery along the Rhine and Moselle rivers from Amsterdam to Switzerland in luxury and style, exploring the cultural cities of Cologne and Strasbourg and the quaint village of Cochem 2018 - Mar, May, Jun, Aug, Oct, Nov
    Save 10%!

    Classical Rhine Blue Water Package
    From £1206pp Cruise Only From £867pp
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  • Jewels of the Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Emerald Waterways Ship - Emerald Sun, Emerald Star, Emerald Dawn, Emerald Sky Choice of Ships

    See spectacular scenery, fairytale castles and ornate architecture as you journey along the picturesque River Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to £1200 per couple!

    Jewels of the Rhine River Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £1295pp
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  • Enchanting Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Choice of AMA Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    Visit the highlights of Holland and Germany including the famous house of Anne Frank in Amsterdam, the magnificent Gothic Cathedral in Cologne and the 'La Petite France' district in Strasbourg on this 7-night Rhine River cruise. Includes shore excursions and drinks with meals 2017 - Dec
    2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    FREE flights or exclusive savings up to £550pp!

    Enchanting Rhine Blue Water Package
    From £1595pp Cruise Only From £1295pp
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  • Classic River Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Mainz

    Choice of Emerald Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    Visit medieval towns and sail past spectacular scenery on this relaxing cruise along the scenic Rhine and Moselle rivers through Holland and the heart of Germany. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner 2018 - Jul, Aug, Sep
    Save up to £1200 per couple!

    Classic River Rhine Fly Cruise Package
    From £1595pp
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  • Treasures of the Rhine

    8 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    CroisiEurope Ship - Lafayette Choice of Ships

    Cruise the full navigable River Rhine between Amsterdam and Basel. See the highlights of Holland and explore historic German and French towns en route to Switzerland. Includes unlimited complimentary drinks on board 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Treasures of the Rhine in Holland, Germany and Switzerland Blue Water Package
    From £1596pp Cruise Only From £1316pp
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  • Holland and the Romantic Rhine Valley

    7 Nights - Amsterdam and back

    CroisiEurope Ship - Gerard Schmitter Choice of Ships

    This round-trip voyage from Amsterdam features the scenic Middle Rhine and the Lorelei rock, plus the main riverside towns in Germany and Holland 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Sep

    Holland and the Romantic Rhine Valley River Cruise Blue Water Package
    From £1620pp Cruise Only From £1310pp
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  • Legends of the Rhine and Main

    7 Nights - Nuremberg to Bernkastel

    Emerald Waterways Ship - Emerald Sun, Emerald Star, Emerald Dawn, Emerald Sky Choice of Ships

    View magnificent architecture, breathtaking scenery and medieval ruins as you travel along the Moselle, Rhine and Main from Nuremberg to Bernkastel. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner 2018 - Jul
    Save up to £1200 per couple!

    Legends of the Rhine and Main Fly Cruise Package
    From £1695pp
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  • Melodies of the Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Amadeus River Cruises Ship - Amadeus Silver II Amadeus Silver II

    Journey through Europe's musical heartland on this unique classical music river cruise along the romantic Rhine. Includes return flights from the UK and a superb programme of included shore excursions with guided tours, classical music concerts and private recitals in stunning venues 2018 - Oct
    Exclusive Blue Water price PLUS included excursions!

    Melodies of the Rhine Fly Cruise Package
    From £1745pp
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  • Majestic Rhine

    7 Nights - Mainz to Basel

    Choice of Emerald Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    Cruise along the stunning River Rhine past picturesque riverside towns and the scenic Black Forest, home to breathtaking Alpine scenery. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner 2018 - Jul, Aug, Sep
    Save up to £1200 per couple!

    Majestic Rhine Fly Cruise Package
    From £1795pp
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  • Rhine Highlights

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Scenic Ship - Scenic Sapphire, Emerald and Diamond Choice of Ships

    Discover the natural and historical treasures of Germany on this all-inclusive luxury cruise from Amsterdam to Basel in Switzerland. Includes shore excursions, return flights or Eurostar from the UK, butler service and all gratuities 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to £1800 per couple!

    Rhine Highlights Fly Cruise Package
    From £1845pp
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  • Heart of Europe

    14 Nights - Cologne to Budapest

    Riviera Travel Ship - Lord Byron and Jane Austen Choice of Ships

    Tour through the heart of Europe along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Cologne to Budapest visiting well-preserved historic towns in Germany and the impressive city of Vienna in Austria. Include excursions and Eurostar from London St Pancras or return flights 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

    Heart of Europe from Cologne to Budapest No Fly Cruise
    From £1899pp
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  • European Gems

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    APT Premium Cruises Ship - Travelmarvel Jewel and Diamond Choice of Ships

    Explore the heart of Germany and Austria on this superb-value premium itinerary. Includes flights from the UK and shore excursions 2017 - Dec
    2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
    Save up to 50% on 2018 departures!

    European Gems - River Rhine, Main and Danube River Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £1995pp
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  • Castles along the Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Uniworld Ship - SS Antoinette Choice of Ships

    Journey from Amsterdam to the highlights of Germany including designated UNESCO World Heritage towns and scenic villages, ending Basel in the Switzerland. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities 2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    Save up to £2520 per couple!

    Castles along the Rhine River Cruise from Amsterdam Blue Water Package
    From £2049pp Cruise Only From £1799pp
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  • European Rivers and Castles

    7 Nights - Luxembourg to Nuremberg

    Choice of AMA Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    Journey along the Moselle, Rhine and Main rivers through Germany's beautiful wine-producing areas and past historic castles. Includes shore excursions 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    FREE flights plus exclusive £50pp discount!

    European Rivers and Castles Blue Water Package
    From £2061pp Cruise Only From £1861pp
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  • Tulips and Windmills

    9 Nights - Amsterdam to Antwerp

    Uniworld Ship - River Duchess Choice of Ships

    See the colourful tulip fields and discover the heritage of Belgium and the Netherlands. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities 2018 - Mar, Apr
    Save up to £2220 per couple!

    Tulips and Windmills in Spring Cruise Blue Water Package
    From £2099pp Cruise Only From £1849pp
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  • Christmas on the Rhine

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Choice of AMA Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    This is the perfect way to enjoy the spirit of the festive season visiting traditional Christmas markets and see the towns decorated with spectacular displays of Christmas lights. Includes shore excursions 2017 - Dec
    Exclusive £50pp discount!

    Christmas on the Rhine Blue Water Package
    From £2295pp Cruise Only From £1995pp
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  • Belgium and Holland at Tulip Time

    9 Nights - Amsterdam and back

    Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Longships Viking Longships

    Discover the magnificent windmills at Kinderdijk, the vibrant Keukenhof Gardens and spectacular cities of Amsterdam, Antwerp and Ghent on this tulip time itinerary. Includes excursions and travel package from the UK 2018 - Apr

    Belgium and Holland at Tulip Time Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £2395pp
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  • Rhine Festive Markets

    7 Nights - Basel to Cologne

    Uniworld Ship - SS Antoinette SS Antoinette

    Celebrate the festive season visiting the Christmas markets in the fairytale towns and cities along the Rhine where many Christmas traditions are said to have begun. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities 2017 - Dec
    2018 - Nov, Dec

    River Rhine Festive Markets cruise from Basel Blue Water Package
    From £2499pp Cruise Only From £2249pp
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  • Splendours of Europe

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Emerald Waterways Ship - Emerald Sun, Emerald Star, Emerald Dawn, Emerald Sky Choice of Ships

    Visit the imperial capital cities of Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest and the quaint towns of Bamberg, Passau and Melk as you journey along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers past story-book castles perched high above terraced vineyards. Includes return flights from the UK, shore excursions and complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to £1200 per couple!

    Splendours of Europe River Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £2695pp
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  • Magnificent Europe

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Choice of APT Luxury Cruises Ships Choice of Ships

    An all-inclusive, luxury cruise through five magnificent countries along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, with exclusive signature experiences, guided excursions, home pick-up service and travel from the UK 2017 - Dec
    2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    Save up to £4600 per couple on 2018 departures!

    Royal Magnificent Europe Fly Cruise Package
    From £2795pp
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  • Rhine Treasures

    7 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Choice of APT Luxury Cruises Ships Choice of Ships

    A luxury all-inclusive luxury cruise from Amsterdam to Basel through Holland, Germany and Switzerland. Includes return from the UK, private home to airport transfers, complimentary drinks on board, excursions and signature experiences 2018 - May, Jun, Jul
    Save £800 per couple!

    Rhine Treasures Fly Cruise Package
    From £2995pp
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  • Grand European River Cruise

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Viking River Cruises Ship - Viking Longships Viking Longships

    Travel from historic Amsterdam along the Rhine, through the Main-Danube Canal and onto the Danube to Budapest, exploring the waterside towns and impressive cities. Includes excursions and travel package from the UK 2018 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to £500pp!

    Grand European River Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £2995pp
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  • Magnificent Rivers of Europe

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Choice of AMA Waterways Ships Choice of Ships

    Cruise through the heart of Europe along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest following the route of emperors and kings through five magnificent countries. Includes guided excursions and drinks with meals 2017 - Dec
    2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Dec
    FREE flights plus exclusive £50pp discount on 2018 departures!

    Magnificent Europe - Rhine, Main and Danube Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest Blue Water Package
    From £3023pp Cruise Only From £2723pp
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  • Jewels of Europe

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Scenic Ship - Scenic Ruby and Pearl Choice of Ships

    Discover the cultural and historical highlights of Europe along the legendary Rhine and Danube rivers on this 14-night all-inclusive luxury river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest, with return flights from the UK, butler service, all gratuities and a choice of superb included shore excursions 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    Save up to £1800 per couple!

    Jewels of Europe River Cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest Fly Cruise Package
    From £3095pp
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  • Across Europe

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Budapest

    Amadeus River Cruises Ship - Amadeus Silver II and III Choice of Ships

    Journey from Amsterdam to Budapest along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers, passing stunning castles, picturesque vineyards and lively cities 2018 - May, Jun
    Save 10%!

    Across Europe Blue Water Package
    From £3139pp Cruise Only From £2808pp
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  • Legendary Rhine and Moselle

    12 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Uniworld Ship - River Queen River Queen

    Join your elegant ship exploring five magnificent and contrasting countries past some of Europe's most spectacular scenery and historical highlights. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities 2018 - Apr, May, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    Save up to £4020 per couple!

    Legendary Rhine and Moselle River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel Blue Water Package
    From £3539pp Cruise Only From £3289pp
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  • Romantic Rhine and Moselle

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Basel

    Scenic Ship - Scenic Ruby and Pearl Choice of Ships

    A unique 14-night all-inclusive cruise along the scenic River Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel past fairytale castles rising high above terraced vineyards. Includes shore excursions, return flights or Eurostar from the UK, butler service and all gratuities 2018 - Apr, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
    Save up to £800 per couple!

    Romantic Rhine and Moselle River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel Fly Cruise Package
    From £3915pp
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  • Moselle to the Black Forest

    10 Nights - Trier to Basel

    Hebridean River Cruises Ship - Royal Crown Royal Crown

    This 10-night all-inclusive cruise on board Royal Crown along the beautiful Rhine and Moselle rivers takes in the breathtaking UNESCO-listed Rhine Gorge and enchanting Black Forest. Includes return flights from London Heathrow, complimentary drinks on board and guided shore excursions 2018 - Jul
    Save up to 15%!

    Moselle to the Black Forest Fly Cruise Package
    From £4050pp
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  • European Jewels

    14 Nights - Budapest to Amsterdam

    Uniworld Ship - SS Maria Theresa Choice of Ships

    This fantastic itinerary takes you through four magnificent countries to Europe's most scenic destinations, uncovering European art, history and culture. Includes guided excursions, unlimited complimentary drinks and gratuities 2018 - May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
    Save up to £3160 per couple!

    European Jewels Danube and Rhine River Cruise from Budapest Blue Water Package
    From £4809pp Cruise Only From £4559pp
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  • Rhine and Rhone Treasures

    14 Nights - Amsterdam to Arles

    Choice of APT Luxury Cruises Ships Choice of Ships

    This all-inclusive, luxury cruise combines the legendary Rhine through Holland, Germany and Switzerland with the majestic Rhone through picturesque Provence in France. Includes return flights, home pick-up service, unlimited complimentary drinks on board plus a choice of excursions and Signature Experiences 2018 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul
    Save £1500 per couple!

    Rhine and Rhone Treasures River Cruise Fly Cruise Package
    From £6095pp
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Rhine River Highlights


The cruise terminal in Amsterdam is a short distance from the city centre and its tall merchant houses and tree-lined canals. Chief sights are the prestigious Rijksmuseum and its large collection of important paintings, the Van Gogh Museum and Ann Frank's House. The attractive narrow streets are full of bars, coffee houses, quaint bridges and interesting shops.

Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Bamberg (Germany)

The wonderfully-preserved city of Bamberg has a four-steepled cathedral and half-timbered houses edge the winding lanes, contrasting with the vast 'New Residence' which was the seat of the prince-bishops and has a delightful Rose Garden. The old Town Hall can be found on the Island City in the River Regnitz, along with Little Venice - an area of brightly-painted fishermen's houses. A visit to a traditional Bamberg Beer Haus is an opportunity to taste the locally brewed smoky-tasting beer, Rauchbier.



Basle is a handsome city with a buzzing Marketplatz and daily food markets. In its old town are winding streets, the cathedral, red-brick City Hall, art museums and many historic buildings. The green valleys and chocolate-box villages of Switzerland are sometimes included in tours from Basle.

Basel (Switzerland)

Bernkastel (Germany)

Set beside the river in a landscape of steeply-sloping vineyards and rolling hills, Bernkastel is a lovely little town. Its red and white timber-frame houses surround the medieval square, and worth seeking out is the quaint Spitzhausen the pointed house. Bernkastel has a 500-year history of wine-making the famous Mosel riesling wines.


Breisach (Germany)

From the cathedral in Breisach there are lovely views across the Rhine to the Vosges Mountains and at the foot of the hill are inviting inns, fine restaurants and shops. The Black Forest is only 20km away, and tours pass through mountain meadows to visit cuckoo clock-making workshops or to visit Colmar, a beautiful country town with brightly-painted ancient houses and its charming Little Venice district.


Cochem (Germany)

The waterfront at Cochem is lined with a flower-filled promenade, leading via twisting alleys to its medieval square. Known as the Pearl of the Moselle, the architectural gem of Cochem is surrounded by vineyards producing Reisling, which can be tasted in its cosy wine taverns. There is often the opportunity to visit the gorgeous hill-top castle of Reichsburg overlooking the town.


Cologne (Germany)

Cologne is the capital of the Rhineland and is dominated by the huge spires of its cathedral. The Old Town has welcoming taverns, cafés and plenty of opportunities to buy a bottle of the famous 4711 cologne. Stroll the narrow streets of Old Town and see quaint squares and perhaps visit the Germano-Roman Museum to see finds from Colognes Roman past.


Dusseldorf (Germany)

A visit to Dusseldorf usually marks the start or end of a Rhine River cruise. The Old Town was destroyed in World War II but re-built on its old foundations. The new Old Town has over 200 bars selling the local dark beer, Altbier, and several shopping malls. Walk along the pretty riverside promenade and see the twisted spire of St Lambertus Basilika.



The skyscrapers on Frankfurt's skyline reflect the city's importance as a centre of finance in Europe. The Romer is an old patrician residence which now houses the Town Hall, and there are several public gardens including the baroque Bolongarogarden and the Nizza.

Frankfurt (Germany)

Heidelberg (Germany)

Heidelberg is a beautiful city where visits usually include Germany's oldest university and the picturesque ruins of Heidelberg Castle, from where there are wonderful views of the Neckar River valley. The Altstadt is the charming old town, district, and a funicular can be taken to the top of the Konigstuhl Mountain.


Koblenz (Germany)

Koblenz sits prettily on the riverside where the Moselle and the Rhine meet. Tiny alleys, fountains and old squares lead to the 12th-century church of St Florin. In this rich wine-producing region, a visit to a wine tavern is a must, where you can sample 'Father Rhine' and 'Mother Moselle' at their best.


Mainz (Germany)

Leafy Mainz offers two fascinating highlights. Mainz was the birthplace of Johann Gutenberg, and the city's Printing Museum exhibits the first two copies made of his famous Bible. In St Stephans' church there are wonderful, vivid blue stained-glass windows created by the great 20th century artist, Marc Chagall.


Mannheim (Germany)

A call at Mannheim is usually the departure point for a visit to the old city of Hiedelberg. Mannheim itself has a peaceful park surrounded by restaurants and shops, and Christuskirche has one of the largest organs in Germany. The city is renowned for its many stands selling tasty savoury pretzels.


Miltenberg (Germany)

Miltenberg has rows of richly-timbered houses huddled together on the town's narrow streets and squares. It is well-known for the Crooked House, Main Castle and the Royal Inn, which has been in continuous use as an hotel since the 15th century. The area around Miltenburg is renowned for glass-blowing. Close by is 18th-century Schloss Kleinheubach, a magnificent castle with lovely grounds.


Nuremberg (Germany)

The medieval city of Nuremberg was the site of the War Crimes Tribunal at the Justice Palace. Other World War II sites include the Court House and the Nazi rally grounds at the Zeppelin Fields. The old city is surrounded by 900-year old ramparts which enclose Albrecht Durer's house, the Hesperides Gardens and the Market Square with its fountain. Rulers of the Holy Roman Empire resided at Nuremburg Castle, which includes the Kaiserburg Fortress.


Regensburg (Germany)

Regensburg is one of the finest medieval towns in Europe. Among the sites are the 12th-century stone bridge across the Danube, the Wurstküche - 'Old Sausage Kitchen' and St Peter's Cathedral, renowned for its soaring towers and beautiful stained-glass windows.


Rudesheim (Germany)

The scenic town of Rudesheim has many attractions - it sits at the foot of the Niederwald mountain and in one of the Rhines best wine-making regions. Stroll the gorgeous Drosselgasse and sip a glass of superb Riesling in a cosy tavern or take a tour by gondola up the Niederwald,. Other options include Castle Vollards or a miniature train ride to the eccentric Mechanical Music Museum.


Speyer (Germany)

The charming medieval town of Speyer was once an important Roman settlement, guarded against floods by high river banks. The tombs of German Emperors can be found in its grand cathedral, and one of only four Golden Hats from the Bronze Age cult of the sun is on show in the museum. Excursions to Heidelberg may be offered from Speyer.


Strasbourg (France)

The Grand Ile is the historic centre of Strasbourg, the busy European capital which combines dazzling historic buildings with the offices of the European Parliament and modern commerce. Stroll the fairytale district of Petite France, see covered bridges and the magnificent cathedral.


Trier (Germany)

Explore Trier on foot and discover magnificent Roman remains in amongst fine restaurants, wine-growers taverns and colourful gabled buildings. The main sites are Porta Nigra city gate, the basilica, imperial baths and the ancient cathedral. This distinguished and picturesque city beside the Moselle River was the birthplace of Karl Marx.


Worms (Germany)

Worms is famed for its Liebfraumilch and its ancient Jewish cemetery, which dates back almost 1000 years. The city has outstanding architecture including the 12th-century St Peters Cathedral which was built above a Roman temple to Minerva. There is a monument to Martin Luther in Heylshof Gardens, marking the spot where in 1521 he refused to withdraw his writings.

Wurzburg (Germany)

The magnificent Bishop's Residenz in Wurzberg is one of Germany's largest and most ornate Baroque palaces. It houses paintings by Tiepelo and the famed Residenz Wine Cellar, sometimes open for tastings of Franconian wine and is said to have the most beautiful staircase in existence. Tours along the 'Romantic Road' through the Bavarian Alps to Rothenburg are often available. This medieval walled town has a glorious rural setting, gothic churches and gabled buildings, and the Puppen and Spielzeug Museum of dolls, dollhouses and miniature trains.


Customer Reviews

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We had an unforgettable cruise seeing the Rivers and Castles of Europe on the AMADOLCE, the cruise exceeded our expectations and thankyou to the team at Blue Water for making this happen for us with no problems encountered especially seeing we travelled from Australia to experience it. They were very efficient in keeping us informed along the way. Truly a trip to remember and the sun even appeared when we started the Rhine Gorge section with all the castles, so we all scrambled up to the fantastic sundeck to take in the picture postcard views

"Amacello Christmas Cruise" by S.Simmonds5 star
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The Christmas cruise on board Amacello visiting Christmas markets along the Rhine was my first river cruise and I could not fault it. The standard was incredibly high compared to ocean cruises I have done and I will certainly travel with Ama again.
Why Ama?

It is an English speaking ship. Travelling single I did not want to find myself unable to communicate easily with everyone or it might have been a lonely Christmas,  and I wanted to get the most from my excursions. Michelle at Bluewater had travelled with Ama, she highly recommended the company and she was right.

Very well planned, we sailed through the more industrial stretches of the Rhine during the night and the scenic parts with their steep banks and beautiful castles in daylight. Every day we stopped at a different port of call with a choice of excursions and the option of taking a bike or just doing your own thing.The Christmas markets were in full swing, enhancing the already beautiful towns and villages. The local guides were very knowledgeable and we had headsets and earpieces so it wasn't necessary to hang onto their coat tails walking around. We were small groups of under 20 giving time to ask questions and advice, and always with free time before we had to return to the ship.

On Board

Cabin: Luxurious, modern with sliding doors to a french balcony giving great views and making it very light. Plenty of storage, the case fitted under the bed, flat screen tv with free internet. Compact modern bathroom and shower with body jets etc and quality toiletries.  Robes, slippers and even umbrellas provided. Excellent unobtrusive cabin service. Very quiet, I don't know if I had quiet neighbours or the insulation was great but whatever, it worked.

Where to start! I could not praise the food highly enough, it was top quality, beautifully presented and the open seating meant you could join friends on tables seating from 2 to 8.
Breakfast offered the full buffet experience with the best variety I have ever seen. From champagne, smoked salmon and bagels to a full English and a vast array of breads, rolls
and pastries all cooked freshly on board. Not to mention cereals, fruit, cheese etc. Lunch and dinner were waiter service multi course affairs with a wide choice of menu reflecting the food of the area you were passing through. However, there were always alternatives of grilled salmon, chicken or entrecote steak. At dinner decent quality wine was included and your glass was constantly topped up, they were generous.  At lunch, an alternative was to eat in the lounge where a selection of soup, salads, pasta, cheese and biscuits and a dessert were available for self service. Fruit and biscuits were always available in baskets in the lounge beside the tea and coffee station which was always open. Then there was mid morning snacks, afternoon tea with delicious gateaux and an evening buffet at 10.30! One person I met was coeliac and they always brought her a menu indicating gluten free items. It's a blessing I went on shore to walk some of it off.

Customer service is paramount, nothing fazes them. My cruise itinerary had to be amended at the last minute because the Rhine was flooding and we were not allowed to sail as planned and had to divert half way through. This meant that on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Rolf, our cruise manager, was faced with having to find a fleet of coaches and local guides to take us on our excursions instead of us sailing there. He had very little notice so it must have been really challenging, but he did it and they were excellent. On top of which some passengers, faced with an hour's coach trip, changed their minds about which excursions they wanted to do. Reception staff handled all of this with smiles, no tension or irritation visible at all. That can do attitude was prevalent throughout the ship, nothing was too much trouble and it made for very relaxed and happy passengers. We were even given 20 euros each to buy our lunch as well as a picnic bag because it was too long a journey to bring us back to the ship for lunch. Oh, and following every shore excursion we were welcomed back to the ship with glasses of gluhwein and it was much better quality than at the markets!
122 passengers were onboard, a small enough number to make it really friendly. There is a quiet lounge at the back but it was rarely used, most people gathered in the forward loinge and there was plenty of comfortable seating. Entertainment was provided by a resident pianist who played in the afternoon and evening until about 10 when he livened things up and people danced. A classical trio came on board one afternoon, they were very good. Apart from that we helped decorate the Christmas trees, there was a 60's night and an 80's night, Santa bought us all presents, but it was quite informal and low key. A world away from the floor shows of some ocean cruises and all the better for it.
I travelled solo and it suited me ideally. There were 10-12 of us and we usually ate together in the evenings. I made some good friends and we plan to meet up and maybe do another trip together. Because of the small number of passengers and everyone getting together in the lounge it is really friendly and I would certainly recommend it. Except for the thorny issue of single supplements (which were waived because I booked very late when there was an offer on). 
Dress is informal and casual though most of us brought something a bit smarter for the gala dinner and Christmas.
Whilst it wasn't a cheap holiday the value for money was tremendous with 5 star dining including quality wines, teas, coffees and bottled water,my choice of shore excursions, all included. I found I didn't actually need much money on holiday as it was all paid up front. I had a few drinks from the bar in the evenings and their prices were ok and measures generous. I think Bellinis were 4.20 and cuba libre 5.50 euros.
One great thing about river cruises is the lack of movement in the ship, no fear of seasickness here! And always something to look at on one bank or the other. Take binoculars, plenty of memory cards for the camera and a guide book to identify the
castles and other landmarks coming up on the river.

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    River Rhine
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This was our first cruise and it certainly won't be our last.
If you are after a nice relaxing holiday amongst stunning scenery, shopping
in quaint little towns and villages, being served the most delicious food and
being well looked after, then you couldn't do better than a river cruise.
Our cruise started from a beautiful little town called Cochem on the
Moselle, with it's quaint little shops and hilltop castle, to the stunning city
of Strasbourg on the Rhine. (An overnight stay and a day in Strasbourg is highly
All throughout the cruise, we were well looked after by the staff. There
were only about a dozen English speaking tourists on board, but the staff went
out of their way to provide English speaking guides on the optional tours, or,
if that wasn't an option, a written explanatory guide of what the tour was

The cabin was very comfortable with a large picture window, a desk with
socket (vital for charging mobile phone etc), small wardrobe with plenty of
hangers, a safe, and a small ensuite shower room. The lounge bar was very
spacious and a wonderful place to sit and take in the ever changing views. We
were very lucky with the weather, and were able to spend most of our cruising
time on the sun deck, glass of wine in hand, and enjoying the stunning
countryside with it's vineyards and beautiful castles.
The food on board was lovely. We didn't get a choice, but the menu was
varied every day and we certainly didn't starve. The buffet breakfast was huge;
hams, cheeses, boiled eggs, jams, breads, cereal, fruit, breads and much more.
There were 3 courses for both lunch and dinner with a choice of (free) wines for
both sittings.
There was a choice of optional excursions. We went on a tour of Thurant
Castle in Alken, and the wine tasting excursion and tour around the Mechanical
Music Museum in Rudesheim, all of which were very interesting. Thurant Castle
offered fantastic views over the Moselle valley. We would certainly recommend
spending a bit of time in Rudesheim with it's famous Drosselgasse (quaint little
street with all the wine and beer kellers). There were some fabulous little
shops there too if you wanted to buy some unusual souvenirs.
The entertainment on board was varied and we enjoyed the evening put on by
all the staff with a variety of dance and comedy acts. There was a bingo
afternoon and a keep fit afternoon for us to join in if we so wished.
We would certainly recommend this wonderful cruise, and the only
downside?............. It had to end.

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Not having cruised before, we didn't know exactly what to expect, but we were very impressed with every aspect. The ship was immaculate, the crew were cheerful and very efficient throughout, the food and wine were delicious, and the shore tours were well organised and very interesting. Even the Crew's Show, which we thought might be a little strained (well they're not professional performers after all), was extremely well done and great fun. And to cap it all, my wife won a beautiful Cuckoo Clock in the ships raffle which is now proudly hanging in our hall as a constant reminder of our holiday! Thank you for a terrific cruise - we couldn't fault it!


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    Cologne Cathedral
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The pre-cruise administration was first class and the cruise could only be described as excellent.

The Viking Helvetia was in pristine condition and the staff were smiling and helpful all the time. The cabins were well fitted and plenty large enough, they were thoroughly cleaned and prepared each day and our sheets were even turned back at night.

The restaurant menu was varied, excellently prepared and served by cheerful waiters.

The lounge was comfortable and well presented and was where we took the 'light' lunch each day, not being able to face a full meal on top of the all the other meals. Also in the lounge the entertainment duo were very suitable and good.

The excursions we took part in were all very good and well guided, either by the Viking staff or local guides.

I cannot comment on the travel to and from Cologne as we decided, for various reasons, to travel there by private car as the cruise was starting and ending at the same place. This I would recommend to anyone.

Thank you Blue Water Holiday






"Magical moments on the Rhine" by kate.garnwen5 star
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    Magnificent castle and church at Bacharach.
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    Koblenz, with our vessel visible at the quay.
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    The rooftops of Rudesheim.
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    Historic Heidelberg
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    Our ship, MS Modigliani

The trip was a special romantic birthday present from me to my husband, and it met all our expectations.  We made our own travel arrangements to reach Strasbourg by train, boarding our ship MS Modigliani there.  The vessel was an absolute delight, from its comfortable lounge and bar to our lovely cabin with its views of the river, and from the sun-deck to the dining room, we can honestly say we were delighted. The ship was immaculate.  The atmosphere - and food! - on board were unmistakeably French.  Full marks for the delicious meals and ample portions. Our hostesses (Yasmine, Jessica and Emilie) and indeed all the crew were friendly, welcoming.  Nothing was too much trouble, it seemed.

In the three days (4 nights) we were treated to a perfect view of all the magnificent castles, churches and pretty riverside towns of the Romantic Rhine, while enjoying a coffee or drink on board, as well as fascinating visits ashore, including picturesque Rudesheim and a particularly good value guided tour of historic Heidelberg.

The holiday more than fulfilled our hopes and was over all too soon, leaving us only our memories - and many, many photographs!







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My mother in law is 92, and wanted a holiday to look forward to.  We chose a river cruise as this seemed to be the easiest way for her to see a lot of different sights without packing and unpacking.  I had never been on a cruise before, so didn't know what to expect, but everything went well.  We got on the Viking Sun in Basel and cruised down to Amsterdam, starting on May 3. We had good weather the whole way. The ship was very comfortable, and the food exceptional.  Service was good,and the organisers insisted on strict discipline on starting  and meeting times for the tours; this meant I had to allow lots of time to get my mother in law to places promptly. The Black Forest tour on the first day was especially good, and included a very large cuckoo clock and a slice of Black Forest gateau. Some of the walking was too fast/steep/slippery for my mother in law, but we took our time and left out the parts of the tour which were too difficult. The stretch along the Rhein with the castles was extremely picturesque. The mooring at Cologne was very central and we could walk very easily to the cathedral and other sights such as the Chocolate Museum. The majority of the people on this cruise were from the USA - some even came up to my mother in law and exclaimed over her age and overall good state of health (Gee, you look so swell!).  Overall, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this cruise for someone elderly - they just have to be able to get up and down short flights of steps.  And my mother in law said at the end that she would never have dreamed she would have had such a good time!

"Merry Christmases" by gerard5 star
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    Erudite Guides
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    Santa with his Faeries
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    On board education
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    Plenty of Room
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    Friendly Reception
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    The Lorelei

The most impressive thing first noticed is that the crew, to a man, really care to make this cruise, (Christmas on the Rhine) the very best experience.   The ship is impressively large and the accommodation is very comfortable,  the prevalence of `repeat` passengers bearing witness to these facts.  

The on-shore excursions were in the care of the most erudite guides, whose knowledge was extremely well demonstrated in their talks.   All holidays live or die on their catering capability and the chefs on the Viking Sky were of the highest order of competence,  providing superb food at each and every occasion in embarrasingly large quantities. 

Father Christmas made sure that everyone both got a present and thoroughly enjoyed Christmas night, carols, gluewein, and the usual German bonhomie.   Due to an airline failure the normal boarding procedure was completely negated, but the instant and unfailing efforts of the Cruise Director and the Captain, constantly in touch with us by telephone outside the scope of their normal duties,  enabled  boarding at an unscheduled point.  A further demonstration of the way that Viking Cruises cares for their guests.  

Blue water Cruises performed in equally commendable measure in introducing us to a very pleasant enjoyable, holiday, and will deservedly enjoy our patronage on another occasion.

Gerard Jordan



"Amsterdam to Strassbourg" by Barbara Rolinson5 star
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    The Rhine from Cologne Cathedral
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    Zaanse Schans Windmills
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    One of the many castles on the Rhine

I travelled with my sister, and this was our first river cruise.  We found the ship (Douce France) pleasantly comfortable and the staff accommodating and informative.  We were entertained well, and dined quite extravagantly each day with a wide variety of dishes.  Despite being two of only three English people on board, all communications were translated for us from the French, by one of the crew, which ensured we were fully informed at all times about forthcoming excursions, activities, and general announcements.  We appreciated the written information supplied about the sights along the river side, as we passed each castle and city, and took advantage of all the on-shore trips which enhanced our trip.  We have recommended the cruise to our friends, and will certainly consider joining the same company for one of their other cruises in the future.

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    The Victor Hugo at Rudesheim
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    The 'Romantic Rhine'
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    Passing the Loreley




 These pictures were meant for my original review just sent but this closed after I had added just one image. Hope these can be attached to that review!




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    In Cologne
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    Romantic Rhine
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    Big Lock
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This was a really good cruise despite temperatures being sub zero most of the time.

We were on the MS Europe which was French making the food excellent but the 'English' announcements were pretty ropey.  The cabins were very good and the lounge and restaurant  were fine.

The stops were interesting at Nijmegen, Cologne and Rudesheim whilst at a couple of overnight moorings it was OK to pop to local bars to ring the changes.

The stretch of the Romantic Rhine had some spectacular views and we did the Heidelburg trip which was very worthwhile.

Strasbourg at the end is a beautiful city with a great cathedral, canal tour, shops and restaurants.

For canal fans there are some huge locks to go through.

The 2 gala nights on board were very good especially the New Year's Eve bash with 6 courses and free wine. The service, in general, was first class, mostly Hungarian.

On the down side the entertainment was repetitive and the Crew Show embarrassingly bad. Also our party and others didn't know about the return transfer to Amstedam from Strasbourg so we had made our own return travel arrangements when the tickets/info arrived.

"ROMANTIC RHINE CRUISE" by Ernest Robinson4 star
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The Croise cruise was excellent overall.  The boat was well turned out; all the staff were friendly and efficient; and the food was well presented and delicious to eat.

All in all a memorable trip

"An excellent cruise" by golan14 star
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    Gala night
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    just in the midle of unpacking

Our ship was the Douce France. At first it felt a bit dated but I soon got to really enjoy it. It was really comofrtable and well-equiped. I'd never been on a cruise before but soon learned to relax on the deck with a book and watch the most beautiful stretch of water in Europe pass by.  It felt exotic and cosmopolitan and so far away. The food was excellent and French and it must have been a feat of organisation to serve so many people so well. My dietry needs were catered for. It was amazing to wake up and just look out the window and see darkened river banks and forests then drift back to sleep. The staff were young and friendly and full of life. The fellow passengers were mostly 60+. The excursions were a bit disappointing and in retrospect I would have explored alone for one of them. I really enjoyed the gala night and the lovely young animatrice managed to get me to dance. I was sad to leave the boat. I think the gala evening was spoiled slightly by the relentless giving of leaving instructions. That should have been got out the way before the night began.

"Cruise fine" by Les0 star
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    Viking Sky
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Food and crew excellent. Guided tours generally good. More commentary on passing scenery would have been welcome.Can recommend.

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    Heidelberg Cafe
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    Rhein Castle
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Why did we choose Blue Water Holidays and Avalon again for our second river cruise holiday?

The first cruise was selected purely on brochure and website info.  We wanted luxury and service.  We got much more!  This latter cruise on the Rhein was an easy choice.

River cruising is a floating hotel, with ever changing scenery.  Docking at selected places, you can go on the tours or just do your own thing.  Then in the evening enjoy superb food and good company.  I could get used to this !

About the pictures :-

Heidelberg - a general view from the castle.  The walking tour was too arduous for me, so I sat outside with Max from Tennessee, a fellow traveller, who at 80 had an impish sense of humour.

Café - Again I sat out whilst the group did the walking tour of the town.  Sit in the sunshine and have a coffee.  I like this photo for the ambience of Heidelberg.

Rudesheim - The Mechanical Musical Instruments Museum - fascinating.

Rhein Castle - This is the stretch of the Rhein from Koblenz to Köln that gives the cruise its name, the twisty bit in steep valleys with castles and legend.

Amsterdam - You just have to do the Rondvaart.

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    Tulips in Holland
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    Dutch Windmill
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    The Victor Hugo
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    Beautiful flowers
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    Dutch night cruising

Amstersdam Spring Cruise

Our cruise was a great success in celebrating my 60th birthday.  We were forwarned that there may not be any other Brits on board which did not worry us at all.  It was a surprise to find ourselves amongst the rest of the party on board who were all French!! 

We have all cruised before on larger ships.  The Victor Hugo cruise was rated 3 star but it felt more 4 star with excellent staff and accommodation and the food was a 5 star rating.  There was no choice of menu but each meal was beyond expectation and very well presented. The french crew were friendly and made special efforts to include us in all the aspects of cruise life.

We all came away feeling we would like to experience more river cruises especially if the standards remain as high as we experienced.

"The Rhine on AmaCerto" by S.Howes5 star

We have just returned in June from a one week cruise on the Ama Waterways Amacerto. We flew from Norwich to Amsterdam and were met by a private car transfer in arrivals, a 15 min drive and we were on the ship. We then cruised to Basle and took two flights back to Norwich via Amsterdam again at the end of the week.

The ship is first class as are the staff nothing was too much trouble. We had a french balcony cabin, the bed was zip and link type and very comfortable, plenty of wardrobe space. The bathroom had a large marble type shower, everything was very very clean. The cabin staff were the best we have encountered. There was TV in the cabin which doubled up as a computer and free wifi all the time also.

The food was excellent. It could be help yourself at breakfast and lunch or you could order off the menu at no extra cost. Evening meal was 5 courses waiter service. You could choose where you sat at every meal which would mostly be sharing with other people. Every evening were different maybe regional wines. All tea,coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks were included with meals. Hot drinks were available from a machine self service 24 hrs a day and in the afternoon sandwiches and cakes in the lovely lounge.

We visited the chef's table restaurant on the last night and even though the food could not possibly be any better it was a lovely evening. It held 28 people at the end of the ship and had excellent views.

The dress code was casual all the time, no dressing up was required at anytime although obviously you could in the evenings if wished.

The evening entertainment was low key, the highlight was when 2 girls who were an Abba Tribute act were brought on the ship and it was an excellent night.

Each day there were choices on the trips and they were all managed very efficiently. You were either off the ship about 9 am or 1.30 pm depending on when you were sailing. If the ship docked in a town you could leave the ship on your own to do what you wanted, when you go all inclusive food and trips you tend not to do this though. The pool was small but warm and very pleasant. 80% of the clientele were from the USA.

Room Tip... We were near the back of the ship and there was a lot of engine noise and vibrating when sailing overnight.

We would definitely recommend this holiday to anyone who wants to see the Rhine if you like a fairly active time, getting up quite early in the mornings and also a lot of eating and drinking to fit in !! albeit in first class surroundings, but only of course if you like travelling with Americans, but overall an excellent trip.

This holiday offered us everything we hoped for. The staff were particularly hard working, charming and attentive. Because my sisters mobility was impaired just before we set off it was touch and go whether she could make the trip at all. Once on board the cruise Manager (a terrific asset to this ship), found a shop which hired us a wheel chair so that my sister could access lots more than would otherwise have been the case, however it would improve the situation if in future the ship carried its own chair for just such emergencies.

The excursions were well organised and interesting but occasionally the tour guides were OTT - not a big problem if the ear piece is removed!

All the staff at Blue Water Holidays were helpful whenever I rang. I made some use of the web site but relied more on the personal touch for details. Given my exact requirements for travel with my sister it would have been even better had the admin staff offered more info regarding use of regional airports and assistance with boarding - pressure for info regarding options came from me, which was disappointing in retrospect. However everything which was put in place by your staff was excellent and there were no slip ups or disappointments. Many thanks and well done - we all survived and enjoyed our trip.


"Romantic Rhine" by R.Bramwell5 star

We have recently returned from an Avalon Rhine River Cruise, organised by Blue Water Holidays.  Would love to go again and if we do we shall certainly use the same two companies.

Both the cruise and the organisation were first class. The food on the boat along with the service was exceptional as were the shore trips. One small point however was as the river was in flood and we had to travel by bus to Mannheim we had to wait ninety minutes for our boat to moor as there were no mooring spaces despite a sister ship being tied up and empty. As there was nowhere to sit it would have been nice to wait on board.

However this did not distract and we had a wonderful time. Chauffeur drive to the airport and back, and an extra bonus as all tips were included saving a lot of embarrassment.

"Enchanting Rhine" by OBrien5 star

Our first river cruise and we were not disappointed, from the minute we were picked up from home by our executive car to the airport to then seeing our brand new boat, the cabin was spacious and well equipped with everything you would need, very comfortable bed and pleasantly surprised to see how luxurious the cabin was. APT certainly live up to their reputation with friendly and professional staff. From the cabin crew to waiters and cleaners, who couldn't do enough to make the trip unforgettable. There was a selection of excursions to suit varying needs and very well organised and informative. The tour guides were excellent and had a good sense of humour. We enjoyed all the trips we went on but the most enjoyable by far was the Royal dinner at the Burg Namedy Castle in Andernach. Last but not least was the excellent food on board from a great Breakfast to choice of Buffet Lunch or dinning in the Restaurant to first class Evening dinner. Our choice was the Restaurant every time. We thought this holiday was very good value for money with the great Food and all inclusive Drinks. Thank you Bluewater and APT for a very enjoyable holiday.

My river Rhine & Mosselle cruise with Avalon Waterways on the Affinity was the best of cruises I have had in recent years.
The crew were very helpful and pleasant. the on board facilities & state room comfort were excellent.
The breakfast & lunch buffet selection of meals were first class.
The excursions were varied & well planned.
I would choose Blue Water to arrange my future holiday.

We travelled on Croisi Europe's MS Gerard Schmitter on the 7 day Holland and Romantic Rhine cruise in August.
The standard of the ship was very good (the ship only around 2 years old at the time). We found all of the crew members (particularly the Purser) to be very helpful, courteous and friendly.
The standard of food, wine and waiting service was very high. My partner has some dietary requirements and the restaurant/kitchen staff were very good at providing her with suitable alternatives at every lunch and dinner served.
The main lounge area and piano bar were very comfortable with good table waiting service for drinks. We particularly enjoyed the upper deck piano bar with its outside seating area at the back of the ship, a good place for pre and after dinner drinks or just to relax on the sofas and take in the views when the sun was shining.
There is free WiFi available on the ship (we were also able to connect to the WiFi when in our cabin).
We obviously were well aware of the cruise itinerary before we travelled but it is a fact to consider that the early stage of this cruise does pass through some fairly industrialised areas, the really interesting and scenic areas are, in the most part, from around Cologne and to the south.
We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Blue Water Holidays and Croisi Europe to any friends and family who may consider a similar cruise in the future.

The cabin was slightly smaller than we expected but it was modern, comfortable, well enough equipped and very clean (upper deck cabin). We had some overnight sailings and we found that there was virtually no engine noise or vibration at all so it was easy to get a good night's sleep.

All meals are served in a single sitting and at your allocated table. The majority of the passengers on our cruise were non English speakers, it was good that Croisi Europe made the effort to group passengers for meals according to language spoken; makes things more at ease.

We would say that the cruise was good value for money overall, the quality of the meals was excellent with good variety (strong French influence) and there was a good selection of nice French wines (Reds, Whites, Rose's and Sparkling) to accompany meals. Our package included unlimited drinks -wines, spirits, soft drinks, tea and coffee served throughout the day from after breakfast to around 11:00 P.M. so that also adds to the good value. Some premium drinks (malt Whisky for example) were at an additional charge but prices were very reasonable.

Our overall booking experience with Blue Water Holidays was pleasant, easy and trouble free. The additional information and help with excursion bookings and flight bookings we requested leading up to our departure were always dealt with efficiently and we always found Blue Water Holidays staff to be friendly and courteous.

My friend and I have recently returned from a 4 night Romantic Rhine cruise. From the moment we were welcomed aboard we enjoyed incredible service by the crew as well as amazing meals. We were the only English speaking passengers and every effort was made to ensure we were kept informed of all announcements in English.

There was ample time for shore excursions and shopping and all in all the trip was a great experience.

"The Romantic Rhine" by N.Clay5 star

It was very much a French boat, French speaking, French food with I think 8 English speaking passengers.

We were very well looked after, the assistant purser (Charlotte) was so helpful/charming and did all she could for us, and was our interpreter and guide. Having a dedicated table in the lounge and at mealtimes was very important and again well organised and the food of good quality.

By offering a 4 night, effectively 3 day tour, this was just the right length of time to retain our interest. The mini cruise for us was an important selling point which should be publicised, especially say with an overnight stay in Strasbourg which was a lovely town.


The recent river cruise I have just returned from on board the MS Lord Byron with Riviera Cruises far surpassed my expectations. The quality of the ship was exceptional as was the food and the well planned itinerary.

Blue Water Holidays arranged the cruise efficiently and dealt with things promptly answering all my questions. I can recommend the cruise line and Blue Water Holidays and will certainly use both again myself soon.

"Romantic Rhine" by Ardita5 star

We just completed the five day cruise from Strasbourg to Koblenz and back with
CroisiEurope on the L'Europe. We were a little concerned because it is a French
cruise and we are English speakers. It turned out we were the only
English-speaking passengers and it was no problem at all. The staff made extra
effort to ensure we received all the information we needed and that we could
participate in any activity that we wished. The ship was immaculate. The food
was wonderful. The scenery was spectacular. And, for our mid-20's age sons, the
length of the cruise was perfect. I could have used a few more days! I highly
recommend a few days in Strasbourg either before or after the cruise. It is a
wonderful town.

"Rhine and Moselle" by Joan.R5 star

This River Rhine cruise with Avalon Waterways was my first solo holiday so I was very apprehensive. I need not have worrried. The Cruise was so well organised and all cares were taken catered for. I was never left feeling lonely and Avalon have high standards in all areas. On this holiday the Cruise Director and all the staff were professional and friendly. There was a friendly ,caring attitude on board which filtered through to passengers - most following their example.I would not hesistate in booking further holidays with them as there are many other rivers I wish to explore. 

The Croisi Europe crew on board made every effort to accommodate their English speaking customers, even though there were only 7 in total amongst around 160 French speakers. They translated all important announcements and then met us each day at the dining table to ensure we understood what was happening. They also provided English speaking guides for excursions and kept us in a group together. Very friendly and efficient all round.

"River Rhine with Avalon" by V.Saunders5 star

Very friendly and professional crew. Cruise director Helmut was excellent, the staff in the restaurant were very efficient and friendly. The cabins spotlessly clean.

"Rhine and Moselle" by M.Jones5 star

Our river cruise with Avalon Waterways far exceeded what we had expected.  The cruise, the staff everything about it was wonderful.  The staff could not do enough for you.  We will definitely be doing a river cruise again.

This was our fourth River Cruise with Viking, and as always, the service and attention of the staff were excellent.  We feel really spoiled.  Viking really do know the meaning of Good Customer care and Service.

"Rhine Discovery" by R.Evans5 star

This was our second river having been 11 years ago with Peter Deilmann  who no longer do the river cruises. We found your company extremely helpful in all aspects of the trip from airport transfers to the cruise itself.

Viking Helvetia was a lovely ship with friendly staff, excellent food and comfortable cabins. The Rhine scenery in autumn was particularly beautiful with the lovely colours and as the weather was good we had wonderful days out in the various places we stopped at.

We would certainly recommend your company to friends and family and look forward to travelling with you in the future.

"Viking Sun Antwerp-Basel" by joyce fletcher5 star

We travelled on the Viking Sun on a 15 day river cruise from Antwerp to Basel in July.

This was our third river cruise having cruised the Rhone and Budapest to Amsterdam, but the first with Viking. We chose this particular cruise because we like to cruise for longer than 10 days and we hadn't visited quite a few of the towns along the Rhine or Moselle.

We found the customer service, the food and cleanliness to be excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff.

I would highly recommend Viking

My wife and I recently returned from an extremely successful holiday on the MS Leonardo Da Vinci. In order that our car could remain parked in Strasbourg, we had arranged back to back trips to and from Saarbrücken


As previously, we found we the inexpensive secure car parking arrangements excellent and as usual found the ship was in a pristine condition.


Reception by the Purser and her staff was efficient and very welcoming. Our cabin had been prepared to a very high standard which was maintained throughout the 14 days on board. Most of the crew were Hungarian, managed by French. We were 2 of only 5 English speaking passengers on board, but with a little school French and , where needed, help from the ever attentive crew we were not disadvantaged.

The variety of food produced was amazing, and was served cheerfully and efficiently by the mainly Hungarian waiters. Free flowing wine was served with both lunch and dinner and all drinks over the bar were included as well. All the ports, both down and up the Rhine, Main, Moselle and Saar were interesting and guided tours or excursions were available. Suitable music was provided by an organist, as a background during the day and for dancing in the evening.


All the Ship's crew, from cleaners, cooks, bar staff, receptionists, entertainers, etc. must be commended on their friendliness and attention to detail. Goodness didn't they all work hard!

This was our 5th cruise with Croisi Europe, which speaks for itself. Once again leaving very happy memories of a wonderful 14 day holiday.


Thank you Blue Water Holidays for the efficient administration.

"Cruisin'" by randrcoope4 star

Had a fab time on a 5 day cruise from Strasburg to Koblenz and back.

The food was wonderful, the weather was excellent and the crew were first class.

As first timers we had no idea what to expect but the staff were so friendly and helpful and made us feel really welcome and at home.

We adventured off the boat without goingon trips and had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the peace  and comfort of the river cruise from start to finish.

All in all a fab introduction to cruising and we will return - thank you all for making our first cruise so memorable

Richard and Rose

"Relaxing Rhine" by Peggy4 star



We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the cruise from Strasbourg to Strasbourg with CroisiEurope.  Having had a hectic few days touring Germany before embarking, we were totally relaxed within an hour of arriving on board and found the ship clean, comfortable and stylish with a very polite and helpful staff.  We would thoroughly recommend this company to anyone embarking on a first river cruise.


Jan & Peggy Szymanska

"Croisieurope St Odile" by lovetocruise3 star

It's hard to find reviews for the above company so I thought I'd add my own.  We have just returned from a 5 night cruise from Strasbourg to Coblence and return.  We made our own way to Strasbourg and it's a gorgeous city and worth spending a couple of days there.  Then we caught the cruiser.

This ship is usually mainly for the French but on this cruise there were 42 Brits, including us.  The Brits made it a fun cruise.  If you go on this ship I suggest you ask if there are any Brits on board - it makes a huge difference.

The boat - well, it's clean and the public areas are nice.  It's a 3 star boat.  the cabins are far too small.  The small double bed is up against the wall so you have to climb down the bed to get out or climb over your partner.  There are single bed cabins which might be a little bit more practical.  The shower room is tiny and it is impossible to get a proper shower - my hisband had to hold the shower head and just sort of rince himself.  There is not enough room to get dried either.  It was clean though.

Noise - we were on the upper deck but the vibration and engine noise was really loud and they cruise overnight most nights.

 The food - no choices but the food was really very good.  If you're veggie or need special diet then they will cater for that.  We really enjoyed the food.

 Drinks - wine, beer, water, coke etc were included with meals and they were very generous.  The wine was decent too.  Drinks at the bar had to be paid for but the prices were reasonable.  No grumbles there.

 Itinerary - well the stretch between Strasbourg and Rudesheim is ugly and on most of the cruises you have to do this stretch twice.  On this itinerary we stopped in Rudesheim on the way there and back too which I thought was a waste.  Coblence is nothing to write home about.  Heidelberg was nice.  We were originally booked on a better itinerary - 3 rivers - but had to change it.

 Trips - reasonably priced - we only did the Heidelberg though as the other places were easy to do on your own.  Heidelberg isn't as there isn't really enough time to do it independently.

Price of Cruise - we paid direct in Euros and I think it was dear for a 5 night holiday but the posher cruiselines are much more expensive. 

Would we go again - No.  We much prefer the big cruise liners and luxury!  However it was nice, though basic.  The crew worked very hard and there was a good crowd on board.  We personally wouldn't bother with a river cruise at all a second time.

Hope this helps.  The upshot is - if you get an inclusive deal (travel to Strasbourg included) and you're with other people from the UK and you don't pay too much you'll have a good time.  Don't take a lot of clothes though - nowhere to put them.  Also, be prepared to grit your teeth and face the ordeal of taking a shower.


"thank you" by STEVE0 star






"Rhine Cruise" by JA & KA0 star

The service and friendliness of the staff on CroisiEurope were outstanding. My wife and I were made especially welcome even though we (and one other couple)were English speaking and all the other passengers were French speaking. We were encouraged to participate and our basic French language skills were encouraged.

It is difficult to single out individual members of the crew but I do want to thank Nathalie in particular who translated announcements for us and made sure that we could understood. She also assisted us with the on-board entertainment and with the excursions. Mannue (? spelling) was an excellent master of ceremonies.

Now, about 6-months on from the cruise, we still have very happy memories of a wonderful holiday which we would happily recommend to others.

(And what a wonderful way to combine an excellent holiday with excellent food with an opportunity to improve one's French.)

Blue Water Reviews

Treasures of the Rhine on Scenic Jade

Fri 28 Nov 2014

I have spent several years trying to convince my partner to accompany me on a river cruise, as despite the stereotype that they are for the older generation, I knew he would love river cruising just as much as I do even though we are in our 30s.

Finally after much persuasion he agreed to join me on a 7-night cruise along the Rhine and Main Rivers with Scenic Tours and with such a fabulous itinerary, new ship and all the inclusions we both enjoyed every minute of it!

The itinerary began with an overnight stay in Amsterdam meaning we could experience the city's infamous culture both by night with a walking tour of the red light district, and by day with a canal cruise, before heading on to Cologne with its magnificent Gothic Cathedral.

After an afternoon of cruising we arrived at the Marksberg Castle for our 'Scenic Highlight Experience' a private guided tour of the only intact medieval fortress on the middle Rhine followed by a fabulous medieval feast.

The next morning we woke as we cruised past the famous Lorelei Rock and continued through the Rhine Gorge, passing terraced vineyards and fairytale castles. We arrived in Rudesheim in the early afternoon and after a visit to Siegfried's Mechanical Museum took the cable car to the top of the town before ending our visit with a Rudesheim coffee on the Drosselgasse.

Rejoining our ship we then began our cruise of the 247 mile long Main river to Miltenberg, in lower Bavaria. Here we had a guided tour of the town, with its pretty half-timbered houses, before enjoying some free time to sample the local beer at one of oldest pubs in Germany, dating back to the 15th century. The evening is then spent hiking through vineyards on our 'Scenic Enrich Experience' finishing at a local winery with a good old German 'knees up', complete with barbeque, beer and Bavarian folk music.

We woke in the morning, with slightly sore heads, in Wurzburg, a beautiful riverside city steeped in cultural and architectural heritage. Here we visited the Residence Palace an impressive building with even more spectacular decor inside!

The final stop on this wonderful itinerary was Bamberg, which is so beautiful it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A tour of the city showcased some of its beautiful architectural treasures including the artistic Old City Hall and group of old fisherman's houses, better known now as 'little Venice'. Back onboard, our visit to Bavaria is completed with a beer tasting experience, including Bamberg's smoked beer.

Our evening was then spent cruising towards Nuremberg, where, despite pleas from my partner to stay on for the second part of the cruise along the Danube, we said goodbye to our new friends and disembarked the ship.

Explore the canals of Amsterdam Cologne Cathedral Colourful houses in Cologne Marksberg Castle, a Scenic Highlight Experience Torture chamber at Marksberg Castle Admire beautiful scenery as you cruise through the Rhine Gorge 
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle on the Rhine Scenery along the Rhine Enjoy a visit to Seigfried's Mechanical Music Museum Explore the Drosselgasse Admire the scenery as you journey along the Main river Cruise the Main River to Miltenberg Miltenberg Miltenberg Scenery Miltenberg Half-timbered houses in Miltenberg Discover Wurzburg Castle Wurzberg Resident's Palace, Wurzberg Admire Bamberg's traditional houses Bamberg scenery See the Old City Hall on a guided tour Bamberg Statue in Bamberg

As predicted there are so many things we enjoyed about this cruise, the itinerary being one, but there are many other reasons I would recommend cruising with Scenic Tours:

The Ship: 'We felt like we were staying in a small, luxurious 5* hotel'

The Scenic Jade is currently the newest ship in Scenic's fleet of Space Ships, launched in April 2014. She is opulent whilst still remaining contemporary and modern, with the d'cor creating a luxurious yet relaxing environment throughout. Large windows in the lounge and restaurant allow for fantastic views of the spectacular Rhineland scenery.

Other amenities on board include three restaurants; the main Crystal dining room, Portobello's Italian and Le Rive fine dining restaurant; a small gym, which I am pleased to say I used on several occasions; and a spa treatment room with hairdressing salon.

The Cabins: 'Spacious, extremely well designed and with a wonderful sun lounge balcony concept'

We stayed in a BB category cabin, a middle deck balcony suite. At 19m' the cabins are by no means small, but it also helps that great attention has been paid to detail, with storage space sufficient to accommodate even the most extensive wardrobe.

Over 80% of the ship's cabins are balcony cabins and these all feature the 'sun lounge balcony'. A floor to ceiling glass window that can slide to create an outside balcony or be put up to create an internal sun lounge, so you can appreciate the advantages of having a balcony regardless of the weather ' very useful in early November

Cabins also featured a large flat screen HDTV and entertainment system complete with film library and Mac mini-computer and an extensive minibar which is fully stocked and replenished daily. Bathrooms are small yet perfectly formed, with fabulous power showers and L'Occitane toiletries.

All Inclusive: 'With all the inclusions it was exceptional value for money'

Everything on this cruise is included! Flights, airport transfers, food, drinks, tips and all excursions. All we spent all week was a few Euros when we were off the ship.

Luxurious cabin on Scenic Jade Crystal Dining Room Lounge Gym Bar Portobello's Restaurant Starter at Portobello's Enjoy superb cuisine on board Sample different flavours Trio of desserts Superb selection of food Light lunch Something for everyone Fruit and pastries Cheese and crackers Tempting desserts More desserts Champagne

The Food: 'So much wonderful food, the only problem was we ate far too much of it!'

One thing was for certain, we were never hungry on this cruise! Breakfast was a very well-stocked buffet offering cereals, pastries, fruits, meats, cheese or full cooked breakfast... oh and given this was a luxury cruise, Moet! If we were ever early or late up, there was also the option of breakfast at the Riverside Cafe offering a selection of pastries and cereals.

Lunch was also an extensive buffet with salads, soups, meats and then two or three cooked dishes and accompanying vegetables. If we still had room, there was also a selection of tempting deserts and ice creams ' and there was always room! On some occasions we did prefer a lighter lunch so ate at Riverside cafe where there was a selection of sandwiches and soups.

Most evenings we enjoyed dinner in the Crystal dining room where a delicious menu offered a wonderful selection of regional and seasonal dishes. I particularly liked the open seating dining arrangement, meaning that in the first few days we made new friends over dinner and towards the end we could choose to sit with the friends we had met on board. The dress code was very relaxed, no tie or jackets required for men or overly smart dresses for ladies.

On our last night we are invited to dine in Portobello's Italian restaurant, a small restaurant seating about twenty located at the front of the ship, where after a glass of Verve Clicquot we enjoy a sensational 5-course Italian dinner with accompanying wines.

I must also give a mention to the selection of cakes available at the Riverside cafe during the day! Truly wonderful!

The Excursions: 'It was great to have such an extensive choice'

The excursions offered on this cruise meant we could make the most out of the places visited. A choice of excursions was offered in most ports, so even when we went to places to which we had been before (such as Amsterdam), there was always something new to experience.

The Scenic Tailor Made devices meant that not only could we clearly hear the guides on excursions, but also allowed for independent exploration if we didn't want to follow a group.

The Scenic Highlight and Enrich programmes offered once in a lifetime experiences that we wouldn't have been able to do if weren't on this cruise.

The People: ' We met some fantastic people and formed some wonderful friendships'

Scenic Tours is an Australian company so about 70% of the passengers on the cruise were Australians and they really were great company, down to earth and lots of fun. The age of passengers on board ranged from early 30s to late 80s but it all seemed irrelevant as everyone of all ages mixed together.

Finally, it wasn't just the other guests that made this cruise so special ' the staff on board were extremely attentive, nothing was too much trouble and the cruise director was one of the best I've met.

All in all this really was a truly wonderful experience and one we hope to repeat in the near future ' the Danube next time!

Review by Jenny, Blue Water Holidays

Blue Water Blog

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