The Complete Rhine 2021 Fred Olsen River Cruise
With fairytale-esque scenes of beautiful valleys and famous vineyards awaiting discovery, as well as a string of historic, culture-rich towns and cities, a fortnight-long exploration of the Rhine makes for an inspirational, simply unforgettable discovery of the river’s greatest sights and highlights.
Your 15 day journey begins today in stunning Cologne.
The pretty resort city of Königswinter – situated on the east bank of the beautiful Rhine River, just a short sail south from Bonn – is the gateway to one of Germany’s oldest and most beautiful nature reserves, the Siebengebirge hill range.
Although small, the fairytale-esque German town of Cochem is sure to make a big impression. Situated within the breathtaking Moselle Valley on one of the winding Moselle River’s seemingly endless hairpin bends, Cochem is amongst Europe’s most charming and picturesque locations. Sailing here is always simply unforgettable, with views of unspoilt lush-green countryside to enjoy from your riverboat, while in the town itself there are plenty of eye-catching sights to discover too.
Known as the 'heart of the Middle Moselle', beautiful Bernkastel-Kues is an enchanting twin-town spread along both the east and west banks of the River Mosel at the centre of the picturesque Moselle Valley. Set amongst a backdrop of stunning lush-green scenery and world-famous vineyards, including the revered Berkasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues is best known for producing some of Europe's finest and most expensive wines.
As you might expect, many consider Bernkastel-Kues' plethora of wineries and taverns – there are around 100 here serving various types of Mosel and Riesling wines – as the main attraction, however the town has much more to recommend it than just the delicious local tipples.
Beautiful Braubach may be small, but there’s simply no ignoring this idyllic medieval town as you sail along the River Rhine through the heart of the Rhineland. Situated on the Rhine’s west bank, just a short distance south from Koblenz, Braubach captures your attention with its rolling forested hills, picturesque vineyards and fragrant rose gardens; while the sight of the magnificent Marksburg Castle is sure to tempt you ashore to explore.
The compact centre of Braubach oozes with charm and medieval character. The narrow streets here are packed with pretty half-timbered houses and are easily explored in a couple of hours on foot. As you wander around you’ll encounter a few of interesting historic sites, including the 13th century Barbarakirche church, the 11th century Martinskapelle chapel – the resting place of chamber singer Heinrich Schlusnus, one of Braubach’s most famous natives – and remains of the old medieval walls.
If you’ve a penchant for fine wines you’re sure to adore the charming city of Rudesheim. Situated at the foot of gorgeous, lush-green Taunus Mountains in the southern region of Germany’s UNESCO-listed Rhine Valley, Rudesheim is surrounded by huge vineyards and considered the centre of the Rhine’s world-renowned wine industry.
Various types of red, white and sparkling wine are produced in this picturesque region, many of which you can sample at the welcoming taverns and bars in the centre of Rudesheim. The 15th century cobbled street of Drosselgasse – often described as the ‘merriest street in the world’ – is the place to be to try the finest local tipples and traditional culinary treats while soaking up the city’s friendly atmosphere. Wine lovers won’t want to miss the fascinating wine museum at Brömerburg Castle – one of the oldest castles in the Middle Rhine region – too.
Mainz is a stunningly medieval city on the Rhine River. It’s known for its old town, with half-timbered houses and medieval market squares. In the centre, the Marktbrunnen is a Renaissance fountain with red columns. Nearby, a distinctive octagonal tower tops the Romanesque Mainz Cathedral, built of deep red sandstone. The Gutenberg Museum honors the inventor of the printing press with exhibits, including 2 of his original bibles.
Worms proudly claims a spot on the list of Germany’s oldest cities. The Romans settled here as early as 14BC, and under their rule the city developed to be the capital of the Burgundian Kingdom. Today, relics of the fascinating history are scattered across the old part of the city, with imposing churches, remnants of the ancient city fortification and a Jewish cemetery. A day in town is just about enough to cover the essentials.
Part beautifully preserved medieval gem, part unofficial capital of Europe and one of the most important modern cities on the continent; Strasbourg – the glorious capital of France’s beautiful Alsace region – is as cosmopolitan and captivating as they come. The city’s cultural centre is particularly appealing, with its eye-catching old and glittering European quarters boasting an array of diverse architectural treasures.
Compact, picturesque and beautifully well-preserved, stunning Speyer always makes for a rewarding stop while cruising along the beautiful River Rhine. Easily explored on foot, the city is perfect for a few hours of relaxing sightseeing in the sunshine. Having survived the Second World War largely unscathed and unspoilt – something which can't be said about many settlements strategically situated on the banks of Germany's waterways – Speyer is a 'living museum' of magnificent monuments and landmarks exhibiting several centuries of incredible history.
Off all the city's impressive sights, the UNESCO-listed cathedral is without doubt the crowning glory. This mighty architectural wonder has loomed large over Speyer for nearly 1000 years, having been founded by Konrad II in the 1020s, extended by Henry IV in the 1080s and extensively rebuilt in the 18th century after the Palatine War. Today it stands proud as the largest preserved Romanesque church in Europe.
While Koblenz’s beginnings date back to Roman times, the Franks, the French, the Prussians and of course, the Germans have all controlled and heavily influenced the city over the years. Many centuries-old fortifications and castles, impressive palaces and sculpted parks, which offer an insight into Koblenz’s fascinating past, highlight this rich and diverse history. The magnificent 19th century Stolzenfels Castle, watching over the Rhine on the left bank of the river; Alte Berg, the former electoral castle built in the 13th century; the Prussian Electoral Palace, where the Prussian Crown Prince and Kaiser Wilhelm I once resided; and the neo-romantic Prussian Government building are all among the highlights. Also not to be missed is the ancient Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which can be reached via the Koblenz cable car and offers stunning views of Koblenz and the surrounding river scenery from 118 metres above the city.
It’s well worth taking the time to venture into the charming Altstadt district, where pretty squares, ornate churches such as Liebfrauenkirche and St Castor Basilica, and the iconic Vier Türme towers await. In the old town you’ll also find a number of friendly bars and restaurants serving the finest local flavours.
Today, Bonn is often overlooked for its nearby larger neighbour, Cologne, but its unique charms are undeniable. It’s famous for being the birthplace of Beethoven – and of Haribo! – as well as its former position as the capital of West Germany before reunification in 1990.
As you’d expect from a seat of power, Bonn has scores of historical monuments to explore, including Bonn Minster cathedral and the opulent Holy Stairs of Kreuzbirgkirche. The federal quarter is full of modern buildings of glass and steel, and the “Museum Mile” has diversions aplenty; The Museum Koenig natural history museum is beautiful inside and out, while the Haus der Geschichte tells the story of German history from the end of World War II to the present day.
Situated on the Rhine River in the centre of the Rhine-Rhur region, charming Cologne is the beating heart of the beautiful Rhineland. Originally founded over 2,000 years ago by the Ubii tribe, Cologne was once the largest city in the Holy Roman Empire and served as a major trade route throughout the Middle Ages. In recent years the city has been extensively rebuilt and restructured, and is now one of the most important historical and cultural centres in Europe.
Your journey ends today in Cologne.
|14 July 2021||£2,599|
|4 August 2021||£2,499|
|25 August 2021||£2,599|
- Return flights & non UK transfers
- Comfortable en suite accommodation with TV, hairdryer, safe and individually controlled air conditioning
- Tempting cuisine every day throughout your cruise – with ‘early riser’ breakfast, breakfast buffet, casual lunch, five-course à la carte dinner and late-night snacks
- Complimentary tea & coffee station 24 hours a day
- Complimentary afternoon tea & coffee with sandwiches and cakes
- Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner and Captain’s Gala Dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Use of leisure facilities including Fitness Room and Wellness Tub
- Lounge music by pianist, or duo every day
- All local taxes and port charges (where collectable in advance)
- Complimentary bike hire