Imagine cruising down a river in the middle of Europe, drinking a glass of wine, and glimpsing castle after castle nestled in picturesque German villages. It’s not only one of the most amazing things you can do in Europe, but it’s also one of the most affordable and easy to plan.
A Brief Hitsory: A Rhine River Cruise is a perfect way to see what Europe must have looked like centuries ago. The castles themselves were predominantly constructed between the 12th and 14th Centuries. As your ship rounds the legendary Lorelei rock, you can see what inspired Heinrich Heine to write his famous poem “Lorelei.” Tourists have been flocking to the Rhine valley since 1835, and it is the subject of many poems and even a backdrop in the famous book, Frankenstein. You can see why this stretch of river was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castles start in Rüdesheim and continue north towards Düsseldorf. We usually start in Bingen or Rüdesheim and buy our tickets through K-D Cruises (which stands for Koln-Düsseldorf) for around €20. There are many places to sit and enjoy the castle views on your cruise, food and drink are à la carte, and commentary is provided in multiple languages. You can choose to get off and explore villages and castles along the way and jump back on to continue your trip along the river.
We have often cruised to the village of St. Goar with its Rheinfels Castle, explored a bit, and taken a train back to Bingen. Next time, we plan to check out Bacharach on our way; we hear it’s not to be missed.
We highly recommend you take the time to visit the charming village of Rüdesheim at the end of your day of cruising. Stroll around its unique streets including the cobbled Drosselgasse, take a cable car to the Niederwald Monument, or perhaps enjoy one of its many festivals.
You can also check out special cruise events like the Rhine in Flames where on five nights between May and September, the Rhine comes alive with brilliant fireworks displays. There are also special Halloween, Christmas Advent and New Year’s cruises.
From the Kaiserslautern area, Bingen is a 1-hour drive (with the option of driving across the river to Rüdesheim via ferry for less than €5). For €30, 2 adults can get to Bingen by train from Kaiserslautern HBF using the Rhineland Pfalz Ticket.
As you can see, there is so much to offer along this amazing stretch of river. We always bring our visiting guests and recommend it to community neighbors. If you have been on a Rhine River Cruise or have any questions or comments, we’d love to read them!