TUI Rhine Explorer 2022 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 waterlilies, prickly cacti and Smartie-coloured orchids. And if you’re into wildlife, pop into Basel Zoo – it’s home to penguins, gorillas, snow leopards, and everything in between.
It’s into wine country today as you dock in Breisach. This town’s slotted between the rolling vineyards of the Rhine Valley and the spinach-green treetops of the Black Forest. You’ve got until late-afternoon to peel back its old world charm. 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, a former palace that now houses a trio of museums.
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.Both history buffs and green-fingered gardeners will love Mannheim. The city’s five-wing Baroque palace has been intricately restored to its 18th-century glory. And it now houses historical exhibits, as well as the University of Mannheim. Plus, Luisenpark’s landscaped gardens make for a scenic stroll. You can pop in and out of the butterfly house and Chinese Garden, or head up the soaring tower for a bird’s-eye view of the place.
This morning you’ll have a few hours to explore Koblenz. No visit would be complete without taking the cable car up to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. This place overlooks the UNESCO-protected Upper Middle Rhine Valley and has eye-widening views of the point where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet. At lunchtime you’ll set sail through the castle-freckled Loreley Valley, arriving in the town of Rudesheim in the evening. The area’s famous for its wine production – try a glass of Riesling at one of its many bars for a crisp flavour of the region.
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.
You’ll cross the border from Germany into Holland today, as you make a beeline for the city of Nijmegen. It’s one of the oldest settlements in the country, with a centre that's filled with Medieval architecture and signature stepped-roof buildings. Work your way along café-lined Lange Hezelstraat, an idyllic cobbled shopping street. And check out the riverside Lower Town area, where museums and monuments are ten-a-penny.
Depending on your flight, you’ve got this morning to tick off anything you didn’t do yesterday. 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.
|1 April 2022||£1,119|
|6 May 2022||£1,399|
|12 June 2022||£1,685|
|15 July 2022||£1,725|
|14 August 2022^||£1,589|
|2 September 2022^||£1,785|
|9 October 2022^||£1,349|
- Upgrade to All Inclusive from £266pp
- Direct flights from a range of UK airports with 20kg luggage allowance
- 7 nights on board TUI Maya or Isla
- 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