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A Rhine Romance

Cruising along the timeless rivers of the world has understandably become one of the most desirable ways to travel today. Yet with so many alluring waterways, it can be difficult to choose where to make your splash. Do you choose by country? By sights? By unique experiences? When you choose the romantic Rhine River – with its 800 miles of winding whimsical wonder – you choose all of the above.

Meandering through storied scenery including hillside castles, craggy cliffs, terraced vineyards and the medieval towns of five countries, the Rhine River weaves together a tapestry of history and culture (not to mention countless UNESCO World Heritage Sites), making it the perfect cure for cabin fever and feast for travel cravings.

Gifting you a sail through time and tales, this fabled waterway is as fitting for first-time river cruisers as it is for seasoned, off-the-beaten-path travelers. With one-of-a-kind sightseeing and second-to-none panoramic views, Avalon offers a Rhine River cruise you can bank on.

Why we Pine for the Rhine

The second-longest river in Central and Western Europe, the Rhine flows nearly 800 miles from the white-dusted peaks of the Swiss Alps to the rainbow-hued blossoms of the Netherlands. Offering sweeping views of five countries, an array of cultures and flavors, plus a rich history that dates back to the Holy Roman Empire, this river was once considered the boundary of the “civilized world.” The Rhine is much more than the river of princes, poets and painters – it’s the river of adventure seekers. Here are just a few of the reasons passionate travelers find the Rhine so divine.

    High Five

    Cruising down the multinational waterway of the Rhine with Avalon, you can traverse five countries– Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Austria – exploring picture-perfect towns of bucket-list destinations like Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Amsterdam and Rotterdam along the way.

    Connect Four

    The Rhine River is a ribbon that ties together fascinating countries, cultures and history. It also flows into other legendary waterways, presenting the opportunity to combine a Rhine itinerary with three other renowned rivers – the Moselle, the Main and the Danube – for a more robust river cruise.

    Castles in the Air

    Between Rudesheim and Koblenz, more castles take center stage than anywhere else on the planet. This fairytale fantasy known as the Upper Middle Rhine or Rhine Gorge has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the well-earned moniker, “The Romantic Rhine.”

    A Pop of Color

    Surrounded by brilliant-colored tulips, the waterways of the Netherlands feed into the Rhine River, presenting unrivaled springtime scenery including the beginning, middle and end of the rainbow.

    More to Pour Over

    While many people think of Germany for its "brewtiful" beer scene, the vineyard-lined Rhine River Valley paints a sweeter story with "grape" days that invite you to sniff, swirl and sip your way through everything from Rieslings and delicate Silvaners to full-bodied Spätburgunders.

    Unique UNESCO

    A delightfully dizzying number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be found along the Rhine River Valley, including the Rhine Gorge, the Cologne Cathedral, the Speyer Cathedral and the Town of Bamberg.

    Merry Memories

    There’s no better way to unwrap the magic of the Old World than with a journey through the tradition-rich, German Christmas markets with their mulled wines, handmade sweets and hardy holiday décor on a festive wintry river cruise.

Lose Yourself in the Legend of

The Rhine



Whether it’s your first-time river cruising or even your first time abroad, the Rhine is one of our favorite river experiences. It not only winds, bends and meanders through several, must-see countries, it takes travelers to the storybook settings of fabled, fairytale lands – often on week-long or even shorter itineraries.


Discover extraordinary destinations in Germany, France, and Switzerland on this Rhine River cruise to sample local charms and traditions from Frankfurt to Basel. 

For a week-long vacation, choose the Romantic Rhine.

Seasoned Sightseers

One river. Five countries. The Rhine River not only weaves together diverse countries, cultures and cuisines, it also connects to other legendary waterways to create an in-depth, well-rounded river cruise vacation.


Combining the romance and Rieslings of the Rhine with the untouched, storybook settings of the Moselle, this cruise drifts through time, traditions and three fabulous countries.


Anchored in picturesque ports, Avalon takes travelers off-the-beaten path to discover – and re-discover – the Old World in new ways. Returning visitors to the Rhine will never repeat the same vacation with Avalon.


Explore the Rhine River your way with a varied selection of classic, active and discovery excursions. From history to food and nature to art, our breadth of excursions includes everything from a regional wine-tasting in Eltville and hike up to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress to a Düsseldorf biking tour and Dutch painting class.

For an in-depth adventure, consider the 16-day Magnificent Rivers of Europe or Enchanted Europe itineraries.

Set Your Sights Higher.

Between Rudesheim and Koblenz along the magnificent Rhine Gorge, more castles reach toward the sky than anywhere else on the planet – a towering castle appearing an average of every two-and-a-half kilometers. Along the way, you’re invited to step across centuries’-old drawbridges and into storybook settings to experience the majestic and magical days of yore. Yet with Avalon, it’s not just about the views – it’s about the “to dos!” Here are a few of the formidable fortresses you can experience up close when you set sail with Avalon:

    Marksburg Castle

    On constant watch over the Rhine River Valley and the medieval town of Braubach, Marksburg Castle welcomes you inside her stone walls (with 900 years of “if these walls could talk” history) for a private tour of its miraculously unchanged façade and interiors. Prepare to be touched by its untouched chapel, wine cellar and battlements.

    Heidelberg Castle

    It’s easy to raise a glass to Heidelberg Castle, considered the most important Renaissance structure north of the Alps. In addition to its fascinating ruins and reconstructed facades, its Barrel Building houses the world-famous Great Barrel – installed in 1591 – which holds 130,000 glorious liters of wine.

    Muiderslot Castle

    Don't let the baroque palaces and Renaissance remembrances of this ancient city fool you. The capital of Slovakia's pedestrian-only old town has one of Europe's most youthful vibes.

    Rhienstein Castle

    The rewards for hiking up to this 13th-century castle nearly 300 feet above the Rhine include sweeping views from its soaring turret, a self-guided tour of its chapel and royal crypt and a sip of sparkling wine with fellow Avalon travelers in the castle’s vine-clad courtyard.

Sail and See

Through the widest windows in river cruising, these are just a few of the divine sights of the Rhine that you’ll see – and savor – with Avalon Waterways.

    The Alluring Lorelei

    The iconic Lorelei rock formation is shrouded in mystery and the myth of a maiden who sat atop the cliff and serenaded sailors through the centuries.

    Sweet Cologne

    Built from 1248 to the 1880s, the magnificence of the Cologne Cathedral makes one feel incredibly small. And it should. Its two towers were once the tallest structures on Earth.

    Romantic Rudesheim

    Made popular by the Romantics in the early 19th century, Rudesheim delights with its terraced vineyards, medieval alleyways and quirky, mechanical music museum.

    Gorge-ous Castles

    Experience whiplash in the best way as you sail through the Rhine Gorge and the 40 castles rising high above medieval villages and vineyard-clad hillsides.

    Storybook Strasbourg

    From its twisting, old town alleyways and crooked, half-timbered homes to its cozy winstubs, or Alsatian taverns, Strasbourg offers a walk through the pages of a Grimm fairytale.

    Brewtiful Bamberg

    Dubbed the “Rome of Germany,” the cobblestoned town of Bamberg is not only a beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s also known for its signature, smoked beer.

    Kinetic Kinderdijk

    See the UNESCO World Heritage site near Kinderdijk which features 19 windmills, kept in working order, thanks to the keepers who live and work there.

Dock and Do

While the Rhine conjures up fairytale fantasies of the Old World, Avalon invites you to enjoy new, memorable experiences with immersive sightseeing and active discoveries in every port.

    Show Your True Colors

    Prepare your palette, color your own canvas and discover your inner Van Gogh in a painting class in Amsterdam.

    Swirl, Sip And Swoon

    Travel along the famed Alsace Wine Route on an enchanting excursion into the countryside for an underground, wine cellar tasting of local wines.

    Have A Barrel Of Fun

    Join an expert guide for a tour of Düsseldorf’s world-famous Altbiers. Learn about these historic, top-fermented brews, including what gives them their dark, copper coloring and crisp, fruity taste.

    Make Your Mark

    Walk through Graffiti Street in Ghent where artists create striking spray-can art to their heart’s content. Here, you’re welcome to grab a can and make your own art in the ever-changing, anything-goes alley.

    Tiptoe Through The Tulips

    And the millions of colorful daffodils and hyacinths as you spend a day in breathtaking Keukenhof – known as the “Garden of Europe” – on a Tulip Time Cruise.

    Ride Like The Wind

    Join a biking tour through the Dutch countryside past polders, dykes, windmills and quaint, centuries-old villages.

    Take A Bite Out Of Time

    Explore magnificent destinations and mouthwatering dishes on a culinary cruise to taste local specialties—from cheese to chocolate to crêpes to confectionary delights on the Rhine. 

    Say “oui!” Say “ja!”

    Discover the fusion of German and French culture through storybook Colmar – the “Little Venice” of France and capital of the Alsace Wine Region.

The Rhine Redefined

Just as the Rhine is the only waterway to feature dozens of castles in as many miles, Avalon Waterways is the only river cruise operator that invites you to customize your Rhine River experience with dozens of choices.

More Views

No other river cruise company provides travelers an entire fleet of Suite Ships featuring one-of-a-kind Panorama Suites, Open-Air Balconies, and beds that face the Rhine views on two full decks.

More Itineraries

With 20 cruise itineraries in our Rhine vacation portfolio, Avalon Waterways offers more ways to discover the Rhine River Valley, year-round, than any other river cruise line.

Greater Flexibility

Our Rhine itineraries range from 5 to 16 days, offering travelers a wide selection of vacations to suit a variety of needs and schedules.

More Customization

Our exclusive Avalon Choice® excursion menu offers vacation personalization with a varied selection of Classic, Active and Discovery sightseeing options. An Avalon Adventure Host is also on-hand for on-your-own activities and adventures.

More Immersion

Avalon Waterways is the only river cruise company that offers Active & Discovery cruises, a collection of itineraries with a selection of more active and culturally immersive experiences.

Greater Affordability

With 20 cruise itineraries in our Rhine vacation portfolio, Avalon Waterways offers more ways to discover the Rhine River Valley, year-round, than any other river cruise line.

More Time

With Avalon YourWay, cruising, Avalon Waterways is also the only river cruise company that invites travelers to seamlessly add time in European cities – with included sightseeing and transfers – before and after each cruising vacation.

More Peace-of-Mind

Our travel bookings automatically come with a Peace of Mind Travel Plan, free of charge. This plan gives you flexibility to move your booking to another destination, vacation or brand, if needed, before final payment.