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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.