Discover the Most Enchanting Castles in Europe on a Rhine River Cruise

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.
Curated By

Tammy Kiefer

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  • Amsterdam

  • Germany

  • Switzerland

  • Cruises

  • Nature Escapes

  • Luxury Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxation

  • Bucket-List

A river posted with houses and a mountain.
Curator’s statement

Welcome to your enchanting journey through the heart of Europe. This river cruise itinerary will take you along the magnificent Rhine from the bustling city of Amsterdam to the serene beauty of Lake Lucerne. Along the way, you will encounter some of the most stunning landscapes, charming towns and rich cultural heritage that defines this region. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

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Where to stay

The Dylan Amsterdam

A stylish Amsterdam hotel with beautifully appointed suites and a convenient location for exploring the city.

Fora Perks
  • Food / beverage or spa credit

  • Breakfast daily

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible

Conservatorium Hotel

A longtime favorite and award winner for its striking architecture, modern style and central location in the Museum Square district.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Dufour by Hotel Schweizerhof Zürich

Class Swiss hotel with elegant furnishings and accommodations as well as a train pickup service.

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.

Unlock perks by contacting Tammy to book your trip.

Day 1: Amsterdam

A picture of Amsterdam's canals posted with small houses.

Your journey starts in the colorful city of Amsterdam, where you will board your river cruise ship. Spend the afternoon exploring Amsterdam's picturesque canal network, charming street and vibrant culture. Don't miss a visit to some of the world-renowned museums and immerse yourself in the art and history of this enchanting city.

Day 2: Cologne

A picture of the Rhine River in Cologne.

Your first stop will be in the German city of Cologne, where you'll have a chance to admire the iconic Cologne Cathedral and wander through the charming Altstadt, or Old City. But be sure to look up as you cruise past, for you will catch glimpses of the beautiful Drachenburg Castle, sitting high atop a hillside overlooking the river.

Day 3: Koblenz

The city of Koblenz seen from a river.

As you journey further down the Rhine, you'll arrive in the romantic city of Koblenz, which is situated at the point where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. Here, you'll have the chance to visit the magnificent Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and the picture-perfect Marksburg Castle, perched on a rocky outcropping high above the river.

Day 4: Rudesheim

The city of Rudesheim with sprawling green hills and a river.

As you arrive in the charming wine town of Rudesheim, you'll be enchanted by the stunning vista of the castle-lined hillsides rising up from the river banks. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic Rheinstein Castle, a gorgeous medieval fortress that seems to emerge straight from the pages of a fairytale.

Day 5: Heidelberg

The city of Heidelberg and its bridge from the Rhine River.

Explore the city of Heidelberg, a picture-perfect town that has inspired poets and artists over the centuries. Here, you'll find the stunning Heidelberg Castle, which dates back to the 13th century and showcases a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Take a moment to wander through the castle's beautiful gardens and take in the sweeping views of the town and river beyond.

Day 6: Strasbourg

Strasbourg from the Rhine River.

You'll reach the charming French city of Strasbourg, which is famous for its distinctive blend of French and German culture. As you cruise past, you're sure to catch glimpses of the impressive Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, set high atop a hill overlooking the city.

Day 7: Basel

Basel from the river Rhine.

As your river journey comes to a close, you'll reach the picturesque town of Basel, nestled on the banks of the Rhine. Here, you'll bid adieu to your ship and continue your journey overland to the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Lucerne, where you can take in the stunning alpine scenery and reflect on the enchanting castles you've encountered on your journey.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Martha's Vineyard: The Perfect Fall Getaway.

Travel advisor Tammy Kiefer smiling in a restaurant.

Travel Advisor

Tammy Kiefer

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on Cruises.