Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours offers about 30 different itineraries that include the Rhine River. They range in length from 8 days to 36 days. Packages that feature travel on the Rhine River only are between 8 days and 12 days long. Other options combine the Rhine River with other waterways, including the Moselle, Main and Danube. Some of these itineraries feature travel between London and Budapest, Prague and Paris as well as Paris and Berlin.
Cruises that feature the Rhine River only are between Basel and Amsterdam. The 12-day itineraries begin in Zurich and include visits to other cities in Switzerland, such as Lucerne, Bern and Montreux before embarking the river cruise.
Now, let’s take a look at two Rhine River cruise itineraries that Scenic Cruises offers.
The Rhine Highlights is an 8-day cruise between Amsterdam and Basel. If your river cruise begins in Basel, the itinerary is listed as Zurich to Amsterdam. However, you will not spend time visiting Zurich. After your flight arrives, you’ll be transferred to Basel for embarkation. We will be looking at the itinerary from Amsterdam to Basel.
There are three ships in Scenic’s fleet that travel this route. They include the Scenic Amber, Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal. All three vessels carry up to 169 passengers and have staterooms that are between 205 square feet and 475 square feet in size.
Your trip will begin in Amsterdam where you’ll embark on your ship on day one. A Welcome Reception and dinner on board are the highlights for the first night of your river cruise.
You’ll spend day two in Amsterdam. There are three tour options while you’re in Amsterdam. You can take a guided walking tour of the city. If you would like to experience Amsterdam via water, you can take a canal cruise through the city. Or if you would like to travel outside of Amsterdam, you can travel about 14 miles northeast to Volendam and Edam for the day.
Your third day will be spent in Cologne. There are two excursions available – a scenic ride on the Drachenfels Railway, which began operating in 1883. It’s the oldest cog railway in Germany. If you take the train ride, you’ll also visit Drachenburg Castle near the German city of Bonn.
The other option on day three is a walking tour of Cologne. Among the attractions, the Cologne Cathedral, Germany’s most visited landmark and currently the world’s tallest twin-spired church at 157 meters (515 feet) tall.
On day four, you’ll spend a full day in Koblenz. You’ll be able to choose between a guided tour of Koblenz, a trip to Cochem with a visit to the Reichsburg Castle, a tour of a local winery where you’ll be able to sample local wines, or you may decide to take a guided bicycle tour.
On the fifth day of your cruise, you’ll travel to the German spa town of Baden Baden. You’ll be able to choose between three different excursions. You can tour the Roman Bath ruins, enjoy a hike to the 12th-century Hohenbaden Castle or visit the Mercedes-Benz factory in Stuttgart, Germany.
Your ship will be docked in Mannheim on day six. Two excursions are featured – a guided tour of Heidelberg with a visit to Heidelberg’s Rennaissance castle or a guided orientation tour of Heidelberg with an opportunity to explore the city independently.
There is also a Scenic Enrich event in the evening on day six. The event features a private evening concert at a Baroque palace, which is exclusive to Scenic guests.
On day seven, you’ll have the option to travel to Strasbourg or to visit the Black Forest region. If you choose to spend your day in Strasbourg, you’ll be able to visit La Petite France – a historic quarter of Strasbourg, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Strasbourg, Grande-Île and Neustadt. Or you can travel about 22 miles southwest from Strasbourg to Mittelbergheim, which is located in the Alsace region.
Another option on day seven is to spend your last full day near the Black Forest in Germany. The featured excursion is to the Vogtsbauernhof Open Air Museum.
Your trip will conclude on day eight in Basel. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport in Zurich for your return flight home.
Packages are available from April through October. Prices begin at $3,795 person to $4,295 per person.
Romantic Rhine & Moselle
This Romantic Rhine & Moselle is a 15-day itinerary between Basel and Amsterdam. As its name implies, it includes travel on both the Rhine and Moselle rivers. We’re going to look at the itinerary that begins in Basel.
There are six ships available for this cruise, including the three that were mentioned in the previous section – Scenic Amber, Scenic Jasper and Scenic Opal. The three other ships are the Scenic Crystal, Scenic Jade and Scenic Jewel. These vessels carry up to 169 guests and have staterooms that are between 160 square feet and 325 square feet in size.
On day one, you’ll embark on your ship in Basel. The first night features a Welcome Reception followed by dinner served on board.
Day two begins in Breisach near the Black Forest in Germany. You’ll be able to choose between three different excursions – a visit to the Vogstbauernhof Open Air Museum, a hike and a cable car ride or a guided bicycle tour.
On the third day of your cruise, you’ll travel to Strasbourg for a guided tour of the city. Or you can choose to take a picturesque journey to the Alsace region where you’ll be able to sample some local wines.
During the evening on day three, there is a Scenic Enrich event featuring a private concert at the Baroque Palace of Rastatt.
You’ll travel to Mannheim on day four where you’ll be able to choose between a visit to the Hockenheim Formula 1 race track and museum, take a guided tour of Heidelberg, or enjoy a guided orientation tour of Heidelberg followed by time to explore the city independently.
Your fifth day will be spent cruising through the Rhine Gorge and visiting Rüdesheim. You’ll tour Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum followed by a cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument.
On day six, you’ll cruise to Cochem on the Moselle River. You’ll take a guided tour of the city and visit Reichsburg Castle.
Day seven features a scenic cruise through the Moselle River Valley. You’ll have the option to take a guided bicycle tour to Bernkastel.
You’ll have a few different tour options on day eight. You can choose to travel to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for a guided tour, take a walking tour through Trier, or you can enjoy a tour of Bernkastel.
On day nine, you’ll spend the day in Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. You can take a guided tour of the city, visit a local winery or enjoy a guided bicycle tour if you’re feeling more adventurous.
The 10th day of your cruise will be spent in Xanten, Germany. It’s located about 130 miles northwest of Koblenz on the Lower Rhine. You’ll have the option to visit the Archaelogical Park – one of the world’s largest archaeological open air museums, or the opportunity to visit the Zollverien Coal Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Essen, Germany.
You’ll take a guided tour of Maastricht, Netherlands on day 11. It’s Holland’s oldest fortified city.
Day 12 features a few different exursions. You can spend the day in Arnhem where you’ll visit the Arnhem Airborne Museum. You may decide to visit the Netherlands Open Air Museum, which features historic houses, farms and windmills. Or you can choose to take a guided bicycle tour of Njimegen.
The 13th day features a guided tour of Veere, a guided bike tour of Holland’s Delta Works or a visit through the Storm Surge Barrier.
Day 14 is the final full day of your river cruise. You can choose between two excursions – a visit to the UNESCO Historic Centre of Brugge in Belgium, or you can take a guided walking tour of Antwerp, Belgium, which is located on the River Scheldt.
Your river cruise will conclude on day 15. You’ll be served breakfast on board the ship. After disembarking, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your return flight home.
Itineraries are available from August through October. Prices begin at $6,220 per person to $7,490 per person.
Comparisons Between the Two Itineraries
So which itinerary is the best option for you? If you’re interested in a shorter cruise and only want to travel on the Rhine River, then the Rhine Highlights is a great option.
If you have an extra week or so for your river cruise and would also like to travel on the Moselle River as well as visit some additional cities in the Netherlands and Belgium, then the Romantic Rhine & Moselle is a better choice.