TUI Rhine Explorer 2021 River Cruise
Find out why the Rhine is one of Europe’s best-loved waterways on this eight-day river cruise that sails you from Medieval Basel in Switzerland, through Germany, to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Your cruise starts in Basel, Switzerland. The old town’s a must-do for first-time visitors – it’s full of well-preserved historic buildings that sit snugly next to each other. Gardening enthusiasts will love the Basel Botanical Gardens. In here, you can spy giant water lilies, prickly cacti and orchids.
This town’s slotted between the rolling vineyards of the Rhine Valley and the spinach-green treetops of the Black Forest. Its main landmark, St Stephen’s Cathedral, is at the centre of a web of pastel-coloured houses and cobbled streets. Head into one of Breisach’s cafés for a thick slab of goose liver pate paired with a bottle of merlot.
Draw back the curtains on Strasbourg this morning. You’ll dock in the port of Kehl and make your way to the city on the other side of the river, entering the north-east of France. Originally a Celtic village, Strasbourg today is home to the European Parliament and is peppered with French and German influences. You’ve got until early evening to tick off its major landmarks, like the restored Cathedral of Notre-Dame, and the 18th-century Chateau des Rohan.
Mannheim, in south-west Germany, blurs the line between classic and contemporary. It’s nicknamed the City of Squares, because of its American, grid-like layout. You’ll find quirky start-ups and an industrial bar scene in Jungbusch. Elsewhere, the grassy lawns of Friedrichsplatz are home to the Wasserturm – a century-old Romanesque tower – and Baroque architecture can be seen in the form of the Jesuit Church and Mannheim Palace. You can get a taste of Italy and the Orient in the Luisenpark. Gondoletta boats bob along the waterways, afternoon tea’s served in the Chinese Garden and there’s a huge tower for panoramic views. Nearby, you’ll find the Old Observatory, which dates back to the 1700s and was visited by Wolfgang Mozart in its pomp.
Rudesheim’s a little town in the heart of Germany’s wine country. It’s part of the Rhine Gorge, a 65-kilometre-long, fortress-filled UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gothic, 16th-century houses line the water’s edge. And this is backed by a hillside sprinkled with walking trails for hikers, castles for historians and vineyards for wine-lovers. Settings like Koblenz’s don’t come around often. The city’s a meeting place of mountains and rivers and the Rhine and Moselle rivers come together here, too. The waterfront’s dotted with UNESCO-stamped forts and palaces, while fairy tale castles christen the hilltops on the edge of town.
Today you’ll sail into Cologne, just in time for lunch. You’ve got all afternoon to explore this 2,000-year old city, so start by treating yourself to a meal that’s a favourite with locals – a halve hahn. This open rye bread sandwich is spread with butter and topped with thick slices of Gouda cheese and onion. Order it with Kolsch, the official beer of Cologne. Once you’re refreshed, make a beeline for the Gothic spires of the cathedral. For a few euros you can climb to the top of one of the towers for unbeatable views of the chimney-speckled city.
Today you’ve got all day to find out why it’s one of the most popular cities in Europe. Amsterdam’s art galleries and museums are recognised worldwide – if you’re going to visit one, make it the Hermitage. This place is a branch of the Hermitage in St Petersburg in Russia and is packed to the rafters with paintings, figurines and valuable artefacts. There’s a constantly changing programme of exhibitions, so you could see anything from Dutch Master canvases to Ancient Greek sculptures.
You’ve got this morning to tick off anything you didn’t do yesterday. There are almost 9,000 buildings that date back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, so you certainly won’t be short of sightseeing. Hire a bike and cycle your way down narrow lanes, or jump onto a canal cruise for a guided tour with commentary.
|5 September 2021^||£1,165|
|12 September 2021||£1,089|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £252pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 7 nights on board TUI Maya
- Airport transfers - to and from your ship
- Full board plus - breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Tea, coffee and juices with breakfast
- Wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner
- Barbecues on deck (weather permitting)
- Free WiFi (signal permitting)
- £120pp Experience Credit per 7 days
- All tips and port charges
- Colmar city tour
- Walking tour of Breisach & wine tasting
- Exploring the Black Forest
- Half-day trip to Colmar
- Strasbourg city tour
- Mannheim walking tour with 'Bertha Benz'
- Heidelberg city tour & castle
- Speyer city tour
- WinzerExpress & Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet
- WinzerExpress cable car & old town
- Rudesheim wine tasting
- Cologne city tour with Cathedral
- Cologne's breweries with sightseeing
- Amsterdam canal cruise & city tour