Whenever the word “cruise” is heard, most likely the first thought is of large cruise ships sailing majestically across oceans to tropical or exotic locations. What may not be considered is a river cruise on a historic river. However, this is exactly what The Barge Connection specializes in. The company offers barge and river cruise vacations such as Rhine River cruises, which take cruisers on a trip down the historic Rhine River.
There are many reasons why one may wish to choose a Rhine cruise, not the least of which is the very length of the river itself. The river originates near Richeneau, Switzerland, where it flows for approximately 766 miles. This makes it one of the longest rivers in Europe. It flows through six different European countries—Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Rhine cruises generally follow the main river. However, cruise passengers can be assured that their Rhine River tours will include the Upper, Middle, and Lower Rhine regions.
The most special thing about a Rhine River cruise is the fact that once cruise passengers enter their cabins and unpack; they only have to do it once. Each day will bring a different Rhine River tour of a different city, town, village, or historical landmark along the river’s path, but at night guests will return to their comfortable accommodations on the riverboat.
Some of the tours will include visits to a few of the many castles that are located on or very close to the Rhine River. Between Bonn and Mainz, Germany alone there are 29 castles, while the narrow gorge that connects the towns of Bingen and Koblenz, which is only 39 miles long, has more castles than any other river valley located anywhere else in the world. While many of the castles along this route are in ruins, others have restored and now operate as hotels. In addition, tours are available of these specific castles.
If the idea of a river barge cruise sounds appealing, a brief history of the Rhine River may serve to pique the interest more. This is a very brief history, but it will give some idea as to the events that occurred along this fascinating river. The area where the Rhine is located was considered by the Romans to be the farthest border to which one could travel and still be in civilization. According to the historical records, mythical creatures and Germanic tribesman, known for their wildness, would be found beyond that. Evidence of Roman rule can still be seen, as well as the influence of the middle Ages, in some of the castles and other historic landmarks along the river.
Throughout the years, the Rhine and areas around it have seen many incidences of wars and fighting. The four that have the greatest historical significance were the 30-Year-War (1618-1648); the French Revolution (1789-1799) and World Wars I and II (1914-1918 and 1939-1945 respectively.)
Those taking barge and river cruise vacations to the Rhine River will see many different sites along the way. These will include small villages that still dot the countryside along the area of the Middle Rhine, as well as many of the castles that have already been mentioned.
In addition,riverboat trips will include daytime tours that will include such notable landmarks as the sandstone Gothic Cathedral with its famous astronomical clock as well as Grossmunster, St. Peter, which has the world’s largest church clock face.
Contact us here at The Barge Connection about River Rhine Cruise packages, and let us put our experience and passion for fun, luxurious travel at your service. We are happy to answer your questions, and are dedicated to making your trip a dream come true