Blue Water Holidays
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
Experts in River and Small Ship Cruising Holidays since 2002
01756 706500 +44 1756 706500
Blue Water Holidays - ABTA - ATOL - CLIA
01756 706500
+44 1756 706500
Rhine River Cruises

Rhine River Cruises

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.

Cruise Collection 2019 / 2020 / 2021

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

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

We would like to thank every one of you most sincerely for our wonderful cruise down the Rhine. it was, and is an unforgettable experience for George and me, which we will undoubtedly remember forever. I am so glad that I suggested that this was the sort of holiday, at our age we could sit back and just enjoy, After booking we had a couple of friends round and were extolling the services of Blue Water, our agents, they promptly went home and booked for the cruise for themselves ...two weeks before us just checking you out !!! they loved it and assured us that we would enjoy every minute. We did ...Door to door without a hitch! You are to be congratulated on all the members of the crew, from Captain Igor to our cabin boy, a smile and a hand and then another smile, a special mention must be made of Patrik the on board tour manager, and our favourite matre de at the Portobello. Food, wine, entertainment, trips ashore, how could we possibly find fault, Well done Scenic Jewel ..... With our thanks for an Exceptional holiday.

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

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. Itinerary

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 wasnt 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 dont know if I had quiet neighbours or the insulation was great but whatever, it worked. Dining 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. Its a blessing I went on shore to walk some of it off. Ambience 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 hours 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! General 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 60s night and an 80s 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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.

Total Reviews: 43 Read More Reviews...