The Rhine and its Historic Highlights 2021 Fred Olsen River Cruise

Bringing some of the river’s most iconic and historic highlights into focus, this absorbing journey makes for an immersive exploration of the Rhine. You meet Brabant in medieval Mainz and visit Worms, an enchanting city of centuries-old sites such as the Romanesque St Peter’s Cathedral, Luginsland vineyard and Europe’s oldest Jewish cemetery, before heading to Strasbourg. You’ve a full-day to explore Strasbourg’s UNESCO-listed centre, on foot via its cobbled streets and on boat tours of the city’s canals; delights such as exquisite Cathédrale Notre-Dame and Petite France await discovery.

Back along the Rhine, across the French-German border, there’s a full day in Speyer too, to wander the town’s beautiful heart and seek-out treasures including the impressive four-spire, twin domed St Stephen’s Cathedral. The following morning you’ll wake to views of the Middle Rhine Valley’s towns, fortresses and vineyards before arriving in Koblenz. Docking close to the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ in Koblenz makes it easy to visit the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress via cable car, discover the Prussian Electoral Palace and much more. Finally, you visit Bonn, birthplace of Beethoven and home to many attractions dedicated to the great composer, as well as a number of sites exhibiting the city’s rich history, from Roman artefacts to World War II landmarks.

Mainz, Rhine

Itinerary

Your 8 day river cruise begins in the stunning city of Mainz, Germany.

There are lots of beautiful sights to discover in Worms: the Romanesque Cathedral, Europe’s oldest Jewish cemetery, the synagogue in the old town, the world’s biggest Reformation monument (Luther Monument), the multimedia Nibelungen Museum, wonderful green spaces with gently splashing fountains, the Hagen statue on the Rhine promenade, Herrnsheim Palace and Park and much more. Enjoy your voyage of discovery through this beautiful city!

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.

The main attractions include the soaring neo-gothic Memorial Church – the tallest structure in the entire Rhineland-Palatinate – which was built between 1893 and 1904 to commemorate the city's imperial protests in the 16th century; the Old City Gate and the 'normal foot', remnants of Speyer's fortifications from the Middle Ages; and reminders of the city's remarkable Jewish heritage, such as the ruins of the medieval synagogue and the 12th century Jewish ritual bath. The late Baroque architecture of the stately City Hall is worth a look too.

Situated at the famous ‘Deutsches Eck’ where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and the magnificent Hunsrück, Eifel and Westerwald mountain ranges converge, it’s no wonder Koblenz is considered one of the most picturesque cities in Germany. The appeal of Koblenz isn’t just skin-deep however; over 2,000 years of history and an abundance of cultural and historical monuments ensure this ancient city is always a memorable and rewarding stop on a German river cruise.

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.

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.

In Cologne, the city’s many other must-visit sights and attractions include the impressive Hohenzollern Bridge, which spans the Rhine near the cathedral; a collection of 12 glorious Romanesque churches including St Kunibert, St Severin and St Andreas; the beautiful Forstbotanischer botanical garden; and several galleries and museums such as the Fragrance Museum and Museum Ludwig, which boasts one of the Europe’s finest Picasso collections. For a taste of the local culture – and of the local brew – be sure to stop by Altstadt district, where bustling pubs and beer halls serve the city’s famous sweet pale ale, Kölsch.

Your adventure ends today in Cologne.

Price Guide

Date Price (pp)
21 July 2021 £1,599
11 August 2021 £1,499
1 September 2021 £1,599

What's Included

  • 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