Style : River cruise
Castles along the Rhine (2022) tour
Cologne Koblenz Castles along the Rhine (2022) Trip

Castles along the Rhine (2022)

Uniworld
5.0 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
8 days
From: $ 2,799 $ 350 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

Find inspiration in the romantic, soul-stirring beauty of the fabled Rhine River, with landscapes celebrated by generations of poets, painters, and composers. Beethoven and Byron loved the romantic landscapes, and the beauty that inspired them is still yours to experience.

Style River cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City Basel
End City Amsterdam

Destinations

Switzerland Netherlands

Attractions & Cities Visited

Koblenz Strasbourg

Activities & Interests

Culture Historic sightseeing River cruise

N/A
See more

Itinerary

2019 version

Basel to Amsterdam


Day 1 - Basel (Embark)

Port - Basel

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Important Note: Uniworld's airport services and transfers to the ship will take place on the Switzerland side of the Basel-Mulhouse Airport. Be sure to enter Customs on the Switzerland side, as guests cannot return to the Switzerland side after they have exited the airport from the France side.


Day 2 - Breisach (Freiburg)

Port - Breisach

Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road and your launching point for an excursion along the celebrated Route des Vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range, or a city tour of Freiburg.

This morning, enjoy leisure time as you sail the scenic Upper Rhine to Breisach.  A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Excursion(s) - Alsatian villages
Excursion Price - $70

An old stone well in Kaysersberg bears an inscription that warns against drinking water and urges the reader to “Drink with moderation old and subtil wine . . . and leave the water to the side.” What better words could guide you as you explore some delightful Alsatian wine villages? Though the remains of a 12th-century castle speak to Kaysersberg’s strategic importance in the Middle Ages, today it is an idyllic village nestled among vineyards. Join a local guide for a one-hour walking tour, passing storybook medieval houses with steeply pitched roofs and a gorgeous Gothic cathedral that was begun by a 12th-century Holy Roman emperor. In modern days, the village is best known as the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer. During your tour of this enchanting village indulge in a tasting of an Alsatian specialty, Kugelhopf, a delicious yeast-based cake traditionally baked in a circular, Bundt mold. Then it is on to Eguishem. The road from Kaysersberg to Eguishem provides quintessential wine road scenery: lush foothills, famous vineyards, castle ruins and quaint villages. You'll arrive in a town so pretty it is regularly ranked amongst the most beautiful in France. Walk its cobbled streets to admire timber-framed buildings painted in every color of the rainbow.

Note: Lunch today will be on your own.

Excursion(s) - Alsatian villages
Excursion Price - $70

Day 3 - Kehl (Strasbourg)

Port - Strasbourg

See Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.

You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own.

Excursion(s) - Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town walk
Excursion Price - $70

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg is both cross-cultural and bilingual. Old and new, French and German all blend together in this wonderful city, which is also considered the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union. Get a glimpse of Strasbourg's grand political role as we drive by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, where the European Court of Human Rights sits. Then get a feel for the cultural side of the city on a walking tour through its enchanting streets.

Excursion(s) - Canals, cobblestones and cathedrals
Excursion Price - $70

Spend your day in the “Crossroads of Europe,” Strasbourg, located halfway between Paris and Prague. See the Strasbourg Cathedral and admire its spectacular Gothic façade built in the Middle Ages. You might even venture to climb up the 332 steps to the top for splendid views among the cathedral’s gargoyles. After your cathedral visit, you may choose to spend the rest of your day exploring, shopping or enjoying a nice lunch in an Alsatian winstub, a wine lounge.


Day 4 - Mannheim (Speyer)

Port - Speyer

Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town.

Excursion(s) - Mannheim vineyard tour and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

Drive to Winery Schloss Janson, where you'll be taken on a guided walk through their vineyards. Learn about the sustainable viticultural philosophy that guides this winery, its six generations of history and why it is known as "the castle without a castle." Your walk will end with a tasting of their estate-grown wines—or artisanal grape juice for non-wine-drinking guests—and lesson on the characteristics of wine from the Pfalz region of Germany.

Due to fluctuations in availability, we will sometimes be visiting an alternative winery on this tour, for a different tasting of this region's excellent wines.

Excursion(s) - Private Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. Most importantly, Wiedemann and his family run their farm and vineyards with the utmost care, tending to them with natural materials only.

The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Excursion(s) - Speyer climbing forest
Excursion Price - $70

Join your dedicated Family Host for an adventure at Speyer’s Climbing Forest. As you’re harnessed safely to ropes and nets, you’ll climb the trees and more than 200 platforms while having fun in the great outdoors with your family members. Choose from 24 different courses, depending on your comfort level, and enjoy fantastic views in this climbing haven.

Excursion(s) - Submarines & space shuttles
Excursion Price - $70

If you’re interested in automotive history, trains or aeronautical technology, you’ll enjoy a stop at the Technik Museum, home to Europe’s largest space flight exhibition. Your family will want to get up close and personal with an original jumbo jet, submarine and rescue sea cruises. See the Russian space shuttle BURAN, an original moonstone, space suits, a Soyuz landing capsule, as well as locomotives, vintage cars, motorcycles and thousands of other exhibits.


Day 5 - Rüdesheim, Boppard

Port - Rüdesheim

Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in the towns of Rüdesheim and Boppard. Enjoy a private tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollrads, take a stroll through beautiful Boppard, or hike through some of the most beautiful landscapes that line the Rhine.

This morning, you’ll cruise out of Rüdesheim and into the sublimely beautiful and romantic Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Excursion(s) - Castle Vollrads wine tasting
Excursion Price - $70

Nestled in the rolling, vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, Castle Vollrads has a square tower that dates back to the 14th century, as does the moat. Just one family owned the castle for 700 years, until 1997, adding on to it and remodeling it over the centuries. While the interior of the castle is rarely open to the public, you will have the opportunity to step inside to see some of the elegantly appointed rooms, including the beautiful gold-embossed Flemish leather wall covering in the 17th-century dining room. Grapes have been grown here for more than a thousand years; records show that Castle Vollrads wines were first sold in 1211. These days the excellence of its Riesling is well known; it’s so well known, in fact, that Schloss Vollrads is one of the few German vineyards whose name stands alone on a wine label—no village name is required. Accompanied by a local wine expert, you will sample three wines in three different locations. There will also be time to wander through the grounds at your leisure.

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim wine village and panoramas of Niederwald Monument (mid-May through late October)
Excursion Price - $70

The huge statue of Germania atop the hill above Rüdesheim is visible for miles. Erected by Wilhelm I to commemorate the unification of Germany following the Franco-Prussian War in 1877, the monument may perfectly embody 19th-century imperial grandiosity—but the ride to and from it is the real point of your expedition. Hop aboard an aerial cable car and begin your ascent to Niederwald Heights. You'll get a great view of the town and the entire Rheingau wine-growing region as you climb high into the air, with the precipitous vineyards falling away below you and spectacular views of the Rhine valley spreading into the distance. Don't worry if you find there are far too many glorious things to see as you ascend; anything you miss while going up, you'll have a chance to catch coming back down. Explore the historic Niederwald Monument, then head back down into Rüdesheim, where you can enjoy some free time.

Note: If the Niederwald Monument is not available an alternative excursion will be offered.

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim walk with local treats (March through mid-May; and late October through November)
Excursion Price - $70

The winemaking town of Rüdesheim boasts countless delights, especially along the enchanting Drosselgasse alley that runs through the city’s Old Town. Follow your guide through this quaint neighborhood and learn how the famous Rüdesheimer Coffee, a coffee infused with Asbach Uralt (a magnificent German brandy) and topped with whipped cream, is prepared. You’ll also visit a small chocolatier’s shop for a sample of their delicious sweets.

Excursion(s) - Boppard village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine hiking
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on a brisk hike up to the Gedeonseck for unparalleled views of the Rhine River Valley. You’ll want to bring good shoes for this steep hike up to the top, where you can look upon the picture-perfect riverbend below.

Take a break at the restaurant here if you would like to rest and have a bite on your own. Alternatively, you could join your guide on a brief walk to Vierseenblick, a spot where 4 stretches of the Rhine can be seen, each looking like an individual lake.

Conditions permitting, we’ll take the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the hill, so you can relax and enjoy the views a little while longer during the ride.

Excursion(s) - Cable car climb to Niederwald Heights
Excursion Price - $70

Board an aerial tramway for a cable car trip up to the Niederwald Monument, and be treated to sweeping views of the Rhine River below. From there, you can choose either a half-hour hike through the breathtaking vineyards or you can hop back on the cable car and head into town.

Excursion(s) - Fairytale Rheinstein Castle
Excursion Price - $70

Head out on a ferry ride across the Rhine to a Medieval castle on the hillside. A visit to Burg Rheinstein feels like stepping back in time to when the castle was first built in 1316, with stone ruins and an old drawbridge that’s still operational. Though the castle was significant for its strategic location, it fell into disrepair by the time of the Palatine War of Succession in the 17th century. It was later restored during Prince Frederick of Prussia’s reign in the Romantic Period of the 19th century. Wander around the castle halls and take in the magnificent views over the Rhine at the gardens and terraces. While you’re out, make sure to ask your Family Host about life in the Middle Ages—they’ve got plenty of fun tales to share!

Excursion(s) - Boppard stroll with ice cream stop
Excursion Price - $70

Day 6 - Boppard, Koblenz

Port - Koblenz

Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a visit to the stunningly medieval Marksburg Castle. As you come upon picture-perfect Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Excursion(s) - “Let's Go” bike the castles
Excursion Price - $70

Explore the beautiful stretch of the Middle Rhine region that lies between Boppard and Koblenz by bike on this 25km ride. You'll pass the romantic, timber frame houses of Spay, the sweeping vineyards of Bopparder Hamm, the famous "German Corner" where the Rhine and Moselle converge, lush Lahn riverscapes and, of course, some fairytale-esque castles. One such castle is the UNESCO designated Marksburg Castle, the only hilltop castle along the Rhine that has never once been destroyed during its long history. It's 13th to 15th century structures have been virtually unchanged since their construction.

Excursion(s) - Koblenz walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Watch the waters of the Moselle meld with the Rhine’s as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner: It’s the perfect spot for a symbol of German unity, an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who united the nation in the 19th century. (There’s another symbol of German unity here too: three panels of the Berlin Wall.) Behind it is Koblenz’s oldest church, St. Castor’s Basilica, first erected in the ninth century, and just one of the charming churches and squares you’ll encounter as you wander through Old Town. Like many Rhineland towns, Koblenz suffered at the hands of Louis XIV’s forces—that’s why you’ll see so many baroque features in the buildings you pass, since so many needed to be reconstructed after the French left. That’s also why the Church of Our Lady has twin onion domes. Despite their travails over the ages, though, Koblenz’s citizens kept their sense of humor: One example of it might catch you by surprise as you pass the fountain known as the Spitting Boy, which spits water without warning.

After the tour, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the Marktplatz (Market Square) and its bounty of shopping and wine bars.

Excursion(s) - Marksburg Castle visit
Excursion Price - $70

With its pale walls, slate-gray roof, and unusually slender towers and turrets, Marksburg looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. But don’t be deceived: this is a powerful fortress, built to withstand attack. Marksburg’s defenses were so daunting that enemies generally chose to leave it alone. That’s why this is the only hill castle in Germany that has never been destroyed—a remarkable fact when you consider its 700-year-long history. Enter the fortress through a drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel—just the first of the many defensive features you’ll encounter on your tour. Notice the “murder holes” in the walls; these would have let defenders pour boiling pitch on would-be invaders. Horsemen once thundered up the Riders’ Stairway, which was hewn into the bedrock, but you can take the steps at a more leisurely pace. Guides will show you the cannons of the Great Battery, once aimed at the Rhine River, and the castle kitchen with its enormous fireplace. You’ll tour the bedchamber, the great banquet hall, the armory, the stables and, if you’re feeling brave, the torture chamber. Don’t miss the re-created medieval garden, with 150 plants used in the Middle Ages for curative (or magical) purposes.

Excursion(s) - Koblenz scavenger hunt
Excursion Price - $70

Situated on the banks of both the Moselle and Rhine rivers, Koblenz is a 2,000-year-old city that features a statue of Emperor William I that marks the confluence of the two rivers. After your morning visit to Marksburg Castle, you’ll join your guide for a captivating scavenger hunt through Koblenz. Along the way, you’ll be introduced to the history of Max and Moritz, a classic German illustrated story by Wilhelm Busch about two young boys who like to misbehave. Find the Schängel Fountain, the fountain of a little boy who randomly spits on people as they pass by, which is located in the center of old Koblenz.

Excursion(s) - Medieval Marksburg
Excursion Price - $70

This morning, venture to the only undamaged hill castle on the Rhine, Marksburg Castle. Step into a real-life fairytale as you enter the fortress through the drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel, the first of many defensive features you’ll see on your tour. Originally constructed to withstand enemy attacks some 700 years ago, you’ll see its cannons, torture chambers and battlements from the time of the knights. Your special family tour will take you on a journey of what it was like to live in the Middle Ages.


Day 7 - Cologne

Port - Cologne

History buffs will enjoy an expertly led tour through Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance façade. Wander through the city’s historical center and take in its charming atmosphere, narrow alleyways flanked by old houses and countless breweries. No matter how you choose to explore Old Town, you’ll also have ample free time to explore on your own.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Excursion(s) - Cologne walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Follow your guide around some of the most popular sites of Cologne, the largest city on the Rhine. You’ll pass the old fish market, City Hall with its Renaissance façade and the old Jewish mikvah (a bath used for ritual cleansing).

Meander through the narrow, cobbled lanes of Old Town, lined with traditional houses in every color and a plethora of restaurants and pubs. One of the city’s 12 Romanesque churches provides a castle-like backdrop to this quaint, riverside quarter of Cologne.

Your local expert will take you all the way to the Domplatte, the square where you’ll find the Cologne Cathedral. Should you wish, you can head inside this Gothic building on your own to see the Shrine of the Magi and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Otherwise, try asking your guide for tips on what to explore. Whatever your interests, our local expert knows all the best spots in town!

Excursion(s) - Gothic cathedrals, gargoyles and chocolate
Excursion Price - $70

This tour will introduce the young travelers in your life to the magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral, whose construction began in 1248, was not completed until 1880. This UNESCO-designated Gothic masterpiece is Cologne’s most recognizable landmark, having dominated the city’s skyline for centuries. Inside, you’ll see the relics of the Magi and other sacred figures, 14th-century stained-glass windows and the stunningly painted choir stalls—all while you learn the history of the cathedral and its art collections, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. After your tour, you’ll be treated to a visit to the local chocolate museum.


Day 8 - Amsterdam (Disembark)

Port - Amsterdam

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight home. Alternatively, you may continue your adventure with our optional post-cruise Amsterdam extension.

Amsterdam to Basel


Day 1 - Amsterdam (Embark)

Port - Amsterdam

Arrive at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.


Day 2 - Cologne

Port - Cologne

History buffs will enjoy an expertly led tour through Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance façade. Wander through the city’s historical center and take in its charming atmosphere, narrow alleyways flanked by old houses and countless breweries. No matter how you choose to explore Old Town, you’ll also have ample free time to explore on your own.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Excursion(s) - Cologne walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Follow your guide around some of the most popular sites of Cologne, the largest city on the Rhine. You’ll pass the old fish market, City Hall with its Renaissance façade and the old Jewish mikvah (a bath used for ritual cleansing).

Meander through the narrow, cobbled lanes of Old Town, lined with traditional houses in every color and a plethora of restaurants and pubs. One of the city’s 12 Romanesque churches provides a castle-like backdrop to this quaint, riverside quarter of Cologne.

Your local expert will take you all the way to the Domplatte, the square where you’ll find the Cologne Cathedral. Should you wish, you can head inside this Gothic building on your own to see the Shrine of the Magi and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Otherwise, try asking your guide for tips on what to explore. Whatever your interests, our local expert knows all the best spots in town!

Excursion(s) - Gothic cathedrals, gargoyles and chocolate
Excursion Price - $70

This tour will introduce the young travelers in your life to the magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The cathedral, whose construction began in 1248, was not completed until 1880. This UNESCO-designated Gothic masterpiece is Cologne’s most recognizable landmark, having dominated the city’s skyline for centuries. Inside, you’ll see the relics of the Magi and other sacred figures, 14th-century stained-glass windows and the stunningly painted choir stalls—all while you learn the history of the cathedral and its art collections, especially the pieces surrounding the Shrine of the Magi. After your tour, you’ll be treated to a visit to the local chocolate museum.


Day 3 - Koblenz, Boppard

Port - Koblenz

Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a visit to the stunningly medieval Marksburg Castle.

Excursion(s) - “Let's Go” bike the castles
Excursion Price - $70

Explore the beautiful stretch of the Middle Rhine region that lies between Boppard and Koblenz by bike on this 25km ride. You'll pass the romantic, timber frame houses of Spay, the sweeping vineyards of Bopparder Hamm, the famous "German Corner" where the Rhine and Moselle converge, lush Lahn riverscapes and, of course, some fairytale-esque castles. One such castle is the UNESCO designated Marksburg Castle, the only hilltop castle along the Rhine that has never once been destroyed during its long history. It's 13th to 15th century structures have been virtually unchanged since their construction.

Excursion(s) - Koblenz walking tour
Excursion Price - $70

Watch the waters of the Moselle meld with the Rhine’s as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner: It’s the perfect spot for a symbol of German unity, an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who united the nation in the 19th century. (There’s another symbol of German unity here too: three panels of the Berlin Wall.) Behind it is Koblenz’s oldest church, St. Castor’s Basilica, first erected in the ninth century, and just one of the charming churches and squares you’ll encounter as you wander through Old Town. Like many Rhineland towns, Koblenz suffered at the hands of Louis XIV’s forces—that’s why you’ll see so many baroque features in the buildings you pass, since so many needed to be reconstructed after the French left. That’s also why the Church of Our Lady has twin onion domes. Despite their travails over the ages, though, Koblenz’s citizens kept their sense of humor: One example of it might catch you by surprise as you pass the fountain known as the Spitting Boy, which spits water without warning.

After the tour, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the Marktplatz (Market Square) and its bounty of shopping and wine bars.

Excursion(s) - Marksburg Castle visit
Excursion Price - $70

With its pale walls, slate-gray roof, and unusually slender towers and turrets, Marksburg looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. But don’t be deceived: this is a powerful fortress, built to withstand attack. Marksburg’s defenses were so daunting that enemies generally chose to leave it alone. That’s why this is the only hill castle in Germany that has never been destroyed—a remarkable fact when you consider its 700-year-long history. Enter the fortress through a drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel—just the first of the many defensive features you’ll encounter on your tour. Notice the “murder holes” in the walls; these would have let defenders pour boiling pitch on would-be invaders. Horsemen once thundered up the Riders’ Stairway, which was hewn into the bedrock, but you can take the steps at a more leisurely pace. Guides will show you the cannons of the Great Battery, once aimed at the Rhine River, and the castle kitchen with its enormous fireplace. You’ll tour the bedchamber, the great banquet hall, the armory, the stables and, if you’re feeling brave, the torture chamber. Don’t miss the re-created medieval garden, with 150 plants used in the Middle Ages for curative (or magical) purposes.

Excursion(s) - Boppard village stroll
Excursion Price - $70

Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.

Excursion(s) - "Let's Go" Rhine hiking
Excursion Price - $70

Set out on a brisk hike up to the Gedeonseck for unparalleled views of the Rhine River Valley. You’ll want to bring good shoes for this steep hike up to the top, where you can look upon the picture-perfect riverbend below.

Take a break at the restaurant here if you would like to rest and have a bite on your own. Alternatively, you could join your guide on a brief walk to Vierseenblick, a spot where 4 stretches of the Rhine can be seen, each looking like an individual lake.

Conditions permitting, we’ll take the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the hill, so you can relax and enjoy the views a little while longer during the ride.

Excursion(s) - Medieval Marksburg
Excursion Price - $70

This morning, venture to the only undamaged hill castle on the Rhine, Marksburg Castle. Step into a real-life fairytale as you enter the fortress through the drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel, the first of many defensive features you’ll see on your tour. Originally constructed to withstand enemy attacks some 700 years ago, you’ll see its cannons, torture chambers and battlements from the time of the knights. Your special family tour will take you on a journey of what it was like to live in the Middle Ages.

Excursion(s) - Koblenz scavenger hunt
Excursion Price - $70

Situated on the banks of both the Moselle and Rhine rivers, Koblenz is a 2,000-year-old city that features a statue of Emperor William I that marks the confluence of the two rivers. After your morning visit to Marksburg Castle, you’ll join your guide for a captivating scavenger hunt through Koblenz. Along the way, you’ll be introduced to the history of Max and Moritz, a classic German illustrated story by Wilhelm Busch about two young boys who like to misbehave. Find the Schängel Fountain, the fountain of a little boy who randomly spits on people as they pass by, which is located in the center of old Koblenz.

Excursion(s) - Boppard stroll with ice cream stop
Excursion Price - $70

Day 4 - Boppard, Rüdesheim

Port - Boppard

Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in beautiful Rüdesheim. Enjoy a private tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollrads or explore Rüdesheim and the impressive Niederwald monument.

Excursion(s) - Castle Vollrads wine tasting
Excursion Price - $70

Nestled in the rolling, vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, Castle Vollrads has a square tower that dates back to the 14th century, as does the moat. Just one family owned the castle for 700 years, until 1997, adding on to it and remodeling it over the centuries. While the interior of the castle is rarely open to the public, you will have the opportunity to step inside to see some of the elegantly appointed rooms, including the beautiful gold-embossed Flemish leather wall covering in the 17th-century dining room. Grapes have been grown here for more than a thousand years; records show that Castle Vollrads wines were first sold in 1211. These days the excellence of its Riesling is well known; it’s so well known, in fact, that Schloss Vollrads is one of the few German vineyards whose name stands alone on a wine label—no village name is required. Accompanied by a local wine expert, you will sample three wines in three different locations. There will also be time to wander through the grounds at your leisure.

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim wine village and panoramas of Niederwald Monument (mid-May through late October)
Excursion Price - $70

The huge statue of Germania atop the hill above Rüdesheim is visible for miles. Erected by Wilhelm I to commemorate the unification of Germany following the Franco-Prussian War in 1877, the monument may perfectly embody 19th-century imperial grandiosity—but the ride to and from it is the real point of your expedition. Hop aboard an aerial cable car and begin your ascent to Niederwald Heights. You'll get a great view of the town and the entire Rheingau wine-growing region as you climb high into the air, with the precipitous vineyards falling away below you and spectacular views of the Rhine valley spreading into the distance. Don't worry if you find there are far too many glorious things to see as you ascend; anything you miss while going up, you'll have a chance to catch coming back down. Explore the historic Niederwald Monument, then head back down into Rüdesheim, where you can enjoy some free time.

Note: If the Niederwald Monument is not available an alternative excursion will be offered.

Excursion(s) - Rüdesheim walk with local treats (March through mid-May; and late October through November)
Excursion Price - $70

The winemaking town of Rüdesheim boasts countless delights, especially along the enchanting Drosselgasse alley that runs through the city’s Old Town. Follow your guide through this quaint neighborhood and learn how the famous Rüdesheimer Coffee, a coffee infused with Asbach Uralt (a magnificent German brandy) and topped with whipped cream, is prepared. You’ll also visit a small chocolatier’s shop for a sample of their delicious sweets.

Excursion(s) - Cable car climb to Niederwald Heights
Excursion Price - $70

Board an aerial tramway for a cable car trip up to the Niederwald Monument, and be treated to sweeping views of the Rhine River below. From there, you can choose either a half-hour hike through the breathtaking vineyards or you can hop back on the cable car and head into town.

Excursion(s) - Fairytale Rheinstein Castle
Excursion Price - $70

Head out on a ferry ride across the Rhine to a Medieval castle on the hillside. A visit to Burg Rheinstein feels like stepping back in time to when the castle was first built in 1316, with stone ruins and an old drawbridge that’s still operational. Though the castle was significant for its strategic location, it fell into disrepair by the time of the Palatine War of Succession in the 17th century. It was later restored during Prince Frederick of Prussia’s reign in the Romantic Period of the 19th century. Wander around the castle halls and take in the magnificent views over the Rhine at the gardens and terraces. While you’re out, make sure to ask your Family Host about life in the Middle Ages—they’ve got plenty of fun tales to share!


Day 5 - Germersheim (Speyer)

Port - Germersheim

Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town.

Excursion(s) - Mannheim vineyard tour and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

Drive to Winery Schloss Janson, where you'll be taken on a guided walk through their vineyards. Learn about the sustainable viticultural philosophy that guides this winery, its six generations of history and why it is known as "the castle without a castle." Your walk will end with a tasting of their estate-grown wines—or artisanal grape juice for non-wine-drinking guests—and lesson on the characteristics of wine from the Pfalz region of Germany.

Due to fluctuations in availability, we will sometimes be visiting an alternative winery on this tour, for a different tasting of this region's excellent wines.

Excursion(s) - Private Doktorenhof vinegar estate visit and tasting
Excursion Price - $70

For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. Most importantly, Wiedemann and his family run their farm and vineyards with the utmost care, tending to them with natural materials only.

The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.

This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience supports Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Excursion(s) - Speyer climbing forest
Excursion Price - $70

Join your dedicated Family Host for an adventure at Speyer’s Climbing Forest. As you’re harnessed safely to ropes and nets, you’ll climb the trees and more than 200 platforms while having fun in the great outdoors with your family members. Choose from 24 different courses, depending on your comfort level, and enjoy fantastic views in this climbing haven.

Excursion(s) - Submarines & space shuttles
Excursion Price - $70

If you’re interested in automotive history, trains or aeronautical technology, you’ll enjoy a stop at the Technik Museum, home to Europe’s largest space flight exhibition. Your family will want to get up close and personal with an original jumbo jet, submarine and rescue sea cruises. See the Russian space shuttle BURAN, an original moonstone, space suits, a Soyuz landing capsule, as well as locomotives, vintage cars, motorcycles and thousands of other exhibits.


Day 6 - Kehl (Strasbourg)

Port - Kehl

See Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.

You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own.

Excursion(s) - Strasbourg panoramic tour with cathedral and Old Town walk
Excursion Price - $70

Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg is both cross-cultural and bilingual. Old and new, French and German all blend together in this wonderful city, which is also considered the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union. Get a glimpse of Strasbourg's grand political role as we drive by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, where the European Court of Human Rights sits. Then get a feel for the cultural side of the city on a walking tour through its enchanting streets.

Excursion(s) - Canals, cobblestones and cathedrals
Excursion Price - $70

Spend your day in the “Crossroads of Europe,” Strasbourg, located halfway between Paris and Prague. See the Strasbourg Cathedral and admire its spectacular Gothic façade built in the Middle Ages. You might even venture to climb up the 332 steps to the top for splendid views among the cathedral’s gargoyles. After your cathedral visit, you may choose to spend the rest of your day exploring, shopping or enjoying a nice lunch in an Alsatian winstub, a wine lounge.


Day 7 - Breisach (Freiburg)

Port - Breisach

Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road and your launching point for an excursion along the celebrated Route des Vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range, or a city tour of Freiburg.

A special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Excursion(s) - Alsatian villages
Excursion Price - $70

An old stone well in Kaysersberg bears an inscription that warns against drinking water and urges the reader to “Drink with moderation old and subtil wine . . . and leave the water to the side.” What better words could guide you as you explore some delightful Alsatian wine villages? Though the remains of a 12th-century castle speak to Kaysersberg’s strategic importance in the Middle Ages, today it is an idyllic village nestled among vineyards. Join a local guide for a one-hour walking tour, passing storybook medieval houses with steeply pitched roofs and a gorgeous Gothic cathedral that was begun by a 12th-century Holy Roman emperor. In modern days, the village is best known as the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer. During your tour of this enchanting village indulge in a tasting of an Alsatian specialty, Kugelhopf, a delicious yeast-based cake traditionally baked in a circular, Bundt mold. Then it is on to Eguishem. The road from Kaysersberg to Eguishem provides quintessential wine road scenery: lush foothills, famous vineyards, castle ruins and quaint villages. You'll arrive in a town so pretty it is regularly ranked amongst the most beautiful in France. Walk its cobbled streets to admire timber-framed buildings painted in every color of the rainbow.

Note: Lunch today will be on your own.

Excursion(s) - Alsatian villages
Excursion Price - $70

Day 8 - Basel (Disembark)

Port - Basel

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg for your flight home (unless, of course, you’ve decided to extend your trip with the post-cruise extension to lovely Lake Lucerne).

Availability

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Price From $ 2,799
Price Per Day: $ 350 per day
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Uniworld.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

118 Uniworld Travel Reviews & Ratings

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5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Value
5.0
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4.9
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4.9
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5.0
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5.0
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5.0

Castles along the Rhine (2022)

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The staff is most efficient and kind.

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The staff is most efficient and kind.

Personnel were all very polite and happy to serve.

5.0
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Personnel were all very polite and happy to serve. Service was timely and professional. Most remembered your preferences and were prepared to assist.
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The service on the Tosca was OUTSTANDING.

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The service on the Tosca was OUTSTANDING. The crew was very attentive, concerned always that we had what we needed and wanted. They could not be more helpful! It was very clear that their first priority was customer service. They take that concept to a new and the highest of standards. It was fantastic. Just as importantly, we got to know them, and they made us feel as if we were home. In particular, the dining staff made sure we always had food that we wanted, were concerned about allergies and offered substitutions if we ever just wanted a chicken breast with rice and vegetables or some steak and potatoes. We wanted for nothing, were blessed with everything. What a trip!
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The staff was very attentive to all our needs.

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The staff was very attentive to all our needs. Yes, I would cruise with Uniworld again.

Everyone that I came in contact with was polite, friendly, attentive and helpful.

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Everyone that I came in contact with was polite, friendly, attentive and helpful.
Vasijelo (sp) deserve special recognition for serving a particularly difficult dinner quest with poise and patience. Jolana (sp) while being friendly and helpful was particularly observant with having drinks ready upon seeing our arrival for meals.
a very enjoyable cruise
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Best service at any price!

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Everyone on board bent over backwards to make our river cruise memorable! Any time there was even the slightest of issues it was immediately taken care of. Even better Uniworld does NOT nickel and dime you - what a pleasant change of pace.
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Details

Ship Name

S.S. Antoinette, River Queen, River Empress

Deck & Cabin Plans

S.S. Antoinette


River Queen


River Empress


Trip ID#:

Uniworld-176

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