If your family is thinking about taking a river cruise through Europe, there are many things to consider. One is that a river cruise is not for everyone. With a few exceptions, most river cruise itineraries will not have enough entertainment and activity for small children. However, a river cruise can be both educational and exciting for teens!
Planning a river cruise involves paying close attention to your family’s interests in art, culture, food, and history. Depending on your family’s interests, you can usually find a river cruise that accommodates those interests.
Let’s look at the top five cruise itineraries for your family.
1. Basel, Switzerland
Cruising along the Rhine involves either starting or stopping in Basel, a famous city for its art and museums. Basel has the country’s highest concentration of museums centering around its market square. So it’s easy to tour each.
Situated right between France and Germany, Basel is an excellent representation of Switzerland and how those countries significantly influence its culture. You’ll love what Lucern and Zurich also have to offer when taking a river cruise along the Rhine.
2. Strasbourg, France
Along with wining and dining, France has many things to offer for those on a river cruise. Check out the Cave des Hospices for a guided wine tour. You can also visit the botanical gardens, Parc de la Citadelle, and Parc de l’Orangerie for afternoon walks and bike rides.
If you love shopping, there are Christmas shops that are so popular that they’re open year-round in Strasbourg’s southwest corner. You’ll also find most of the old town centers on Grande Île, an island at the city’s center.
3. Rüdesheim, Germany
Known for its production of Reisling wine, Rüdesheim is a quaint German city along the Rhine. One thing that stands out about this area is its incredible combination of modern winemaking and history. For example, just outside of the vineyards, you’ll find medieval-style castles and cobblestone streets.
There are several things you can see and do during your stop at Rüdesheim. Suppose you don’t want to go wine tasting. In that case, you can take a gondola ride or visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. You can also visit the Niederwald monument and local shops before heading back to the ship.
4. Cologne, Germany
Cologne is a 2,000-year-old German city that’s popular for its Christmas shops and rows of colorful houses. Compared to the small town of Rüdesheim, Cologne is a large cultural hub for this area of the country. You’ll also notice that compared to Rüdesheim’s rustic charm, Cologne is modern and Gothic.
A must-see landmark in Cologne, which you can see from the ship, is the Cologne Cathedral. It features two towers that are some of the city’s highest peaks. You can take a bike tour and go on a Holy City walking tour.
5. Amersterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, the capital city of The Netherlands, is known for its red-light district and carefree lifestyle. Visiting Amersterdam opens up the door to many cultural experiences. For example, you can cruise down one of the most elaborate canal systems that give you a bird’s eye view of the beauty the city has to offer.
For those who prefer to stay on land, you can opt for touring through Jordaan’s bohemian neighborhood. There, you can find various cafes, eateries, and shops. Located just outside of Jordaan is the Anne Frank House. You can also visit the historical Westerkerk Cathedral, which is the burial place for Rembrandt.
There’s no shortage of opportunities for adventure and exploration when you and your family go on a river cruise. When you are ready to start planning, give us a call or send us an inquiry and we’ll match you with your perfect destination expert!
Have you been on an ocean cruise but not so sure you’d like river cruising with your family? Check out our blog post 10 Reasons Why Ocean Cruisers will Love River Cruising.