River Rhine

River Rhine (or Rhein in German, Rhin in French, Rijn in Dutch) is one of the most important rivers in Europe. Historically it is the basis of the Franconian Empire which followed the Roman empire to become the leading power of Europe. Out of the Franconian Empire, two nations emerged: France and Germany. Ever since River Rhine has been more or less the border between this two nations, and often enough wars were fought about who is to control River Rhins and thus Europe.

River Rhine has a length of 1320 kilometer which equals 820 miles.

River Rhine Map
River Rhine Map

Plan your river cruise in Germany with 10 simple tips

River cruises are an incredible experience!
They have become very famous mostly because each cruise can offer you both a comfortable travel by water and the chance to see more cities, villages and places for less than a couple of hours. Of course like all other trips and especially when they are along the river, there are some advises and tips which can help you to create a well- organized and relaxing journey.

Enjoy and sail!

  1. The length of a standard river cruise is about a week. There are some opportunities for 10 days up to two weeks but for more exotic destinations.
  2. There is an essential thing which each person should check before a river cruise vacation- the weather during different seasons. Germany’s summers are warm and sunny, often extending well into October. Winters are relatively mild, apart from the mountainous regions. Layers are your best option while travelling in Germany. Rain gear is recommended to be always with passengers!
  3. Here are some small and useful packing things that are important for a river cruise: Comfortable walking shoes, some dressier shoes, umbrella, jacket/warm sweater/sweatshirt, sunglasses, sun hat or visor, toiletries (including medical remedies), warm coat, gloves and water-resistant footwear (as needed for cooler months).
  4. A typical river cruiser has four decks, including an upper sun-deck. There are also two to three decks below it, containing a series of staterooms on each side of the ship. Staterooms often have a queen-size bed that can be separated into two single beds, a TV, storage space, and a small, though often modern bathroom with shower and usually no tub.
  5. On the ship you can always find indoor and outdoor dining places. Also there is another opportunity: the easy-breezy alternative to the main dining room, with a pasta station, soup, and light-bites like club sandwiches, cucumber salad, fresh fruits and vegetables, rolls, coffee and dessert, and many other delicious things.
  6. It is important to know that your time in each port is brief, but you’re instantly immersed. The fees for daily excursions most of the times are included in the price for the cruise. Between local entertainment that is brought on-board nightly, cultural/historical lectures by the program director, regional dishes prepared by the chef, and informative guides, you get an excellent feel for the places you’re visiting. There are special schedules and plans which can present to each person an information at what time is an exact event or tour.
  7. Entertainment on a riverboat is not the same as on a large cruise ship- there is no spa centre or a casino. During the day the passengers are either on an excursion or on their way to the next destination. The scenery is so close on the riverbank and it is amusing to sit and observe an ancient castle ruins on a hill or river front villages. Guests on river cruises tend to be a well-travelled bunch with lots of stories to tell as they communicate between each other all the time. So new friendships are formed.
  8. Usually service and staff on a riverboat provide a lot of extra opportunities. Laundry is included in the price, so each person can use it. Also the Wireless Internet is available on the ship at no charge. Most ships offer a library where reading materials, different games and puzzles may be used by everyone. A few ships have other services, such as a hair salon or massage. The information and extra services depends on the riverboat and the cruise.
  9. It is useful if you have some Euro to use the local currency for shops, restaurants and for tips. If you have money only in your credit card probably you will get the worst exchange rate at a currency exchange shop and you will pay a commission.
  10. Cruises are competitively priced, and you should expect to pay from $200 per person per day to $500 per person per day. It depends on the ship, how long will be the trip and the level of accommodations.

Hope we have been useful for your next river cruise adventure in Germany!

Enchanting Christmas in Trier and Cologne

If you are searching for a romantic Christmas Market break, the cities along the Rhine and Moselle valleys can offer you that opportunity. Local vineyards and cinnamon create the calm and cozy atmosphere at the traditional Christmas markets. The beautiful towns in the region can captivate each visitor with their rich history, labyrinthine old quarters and amazing cathedrals. But during the holidays they are even prettier… The historical buildings are illuminated by thousands upon thousands of fairy lights and the mood all over the streets is positive and enchanting.

The Christmas markets in Trier and Cologne are particularly one of the most famous and are quite large.

Christmas market in Trier

Trier, which is Germany’s oldest city, hosts a charming Christmas Market on the Hauptmarkt Square, with a cathedral providing an impressive background. There is also a large Christmas tree in the middle and a little train that can take you between some of the markets.

For more information visit the official website of Trier

Christmas market in Cologne

Cologne is known by its famous Cathedral and is Germany’s fourth largest city. As Christmas approaches there are plenty of things to do, with attractions throughout Cologne, including many Christmas Concerts, Nativity Scenes and a huge temporary ice rink on the Heumarkt. Also in Cologne you can find one of the largest Christmas trees in the Rhineland, fascinating and spectacular.

For more information visit the official website of the market in Cologne

Visit a Christmas market either in Trier or Cologne is a great opportunity to buy an unique Christmas gift and get into the Christmas spirit at the same time. Small wooden huts, lots of handcrafted gifts, wine and festive treats are just a small part of all the possibilities and things to do during a Christmas market adventure. Everything you can expect from the best of German Christmas markets is situated in Trier and Cologne. Even for the children, there is plenty to keep them amused like a puppet theater, a Santa Claus’ grotto, toy stands and much more.

Christmas markets are open from November to the end of December (about 22nd, 23rd ). They have an interesting program and many possibilities to entertain each visitor. You can feel both the taste of Christmas and the enchanting atmosphere of Germany, along the Rhine and Moselle valleys. Finding an amazing and original present, having fun with some of the activities or trying delicious Christmas food, like bratwurst sausages, potato pancakes, sweets, hot tea and mulled wine…

These are the various opportunities offered by the Christmas markets, which can be experienced in the best way only in Trier and Cologne.

Experience a river cruise from Trier to Koblenz

Trier and Moselle- get on board

Trier is a magnificent city in Germany, situated in a valley between low vine-covered hills of ruddy sandstone, in the west of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, near the border with Luxembourg. It is founded in 16 BC and that makes it the oldest city in Germany. Another interesting detail about Trier is that it’s on the banks of Moselle which makes the city a perfect destination for tourists who enjoy both travelling along the river and watching gorgeous views.

Trier’s proximity to its French neighbour is noticeable throughout the city. Especially when it comes to eating and drinking each tourist can feel the difference in the culture. Outstanding restaurants of international standing offer can provide a different dining experience. There are also excellent wines from the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer which is the reason for visitors to enjoy wine festivals and town celebrations very often. The annual highlight is the Moselle WeinKulturZeit, a month-long series of wine, gourmet and cultural events- a taste from everything around Trier.

The Porta Nigra in Trier
The Porta Nigra in Trier

A cruise along the Moselle is not only a memorable experience but it is punctuated with striking castles and charming towns. This is a place where a man can feel the atmosphere of extraordinary Roman ruins, romantic castle-dotted shores, and lively cities. The Mosel Valley is perfect for a leisurely drive where you can stop on a whim and smell the roses along the way. Almost like a fairytale the combination of Mosel and Trier makes the perfect beginning for an exceptional cruise.

Next stop at Cochem

It is a well- known fact that in the most romantic part of the Mosel (or  Moselle) Valley, where the river curves between two hiking paradises – Eifel and Hunsrück – lies the old town of Cochem. The place is also recognized as a centre of the geographical area, especially appreciated by the tourists. There are over 3.300 beds in area hotels, pensions and vacation homes. Of the 350.000 annual overnight guests, 150.000 are foreigners. There are also three large camping areas.

Cochem castle
Cochem castle

As long as you step on the banks of Cochem you are already astonished by its pastel-painted and half-timber homes, winding streets and alleyways, next to a meandering river with vineyards planted at unimaginable angles. A combination which can make your cruise even more relaxing and comfortable as you can enjoy the opportunity to see the charm of Cochem and to feel the legend and the history of the town, which is also rated as one of the most beautiful places along the Mosel. All the castles are rising above Cochem and underline the exclusive architecture of the streets and the houses.

Continue explore the town of Cochem

The Mosel river flows between the main-town and the Cond district, across the river by one of two connecting bridges. A really wide boulevard runs along the river. There is a number of hotels, restaurants, bars and seating areas which can be observed from the river. Also you have the opportunity to take river tours at frequent intervals.

The historical, medieval old town, the unique Moselle countryside with its picturesque and memorable villages makes the cruise along the Moselle one of the things that each person should do during his holiday or free time. A historical journey which leads to the next magical place- Koblenz.

Cruise ending in Koblenz

One of the most interesting things about Koblenz is that the city is situated on both banks of the Rhine and the Moselle. Its name originates from Latin and means “confluence” or “merging of rivers”. Even the name of Koblenz is a reason curious enough to see its narrow streets and romantic corners, situated near the merging rivers. Emperors, dukes and kings have resided in the city where they left historical steps which can be notice all over the streets and through the monuments. Visitors from around the world could also discover the buildings and cultural heritage kept during the years.

The people of Koblenz and all the tourists certainly enjoy the open-air life. They can be seen walking under the big trees and green nature of the Kaiserin Augusta park, the loveliest and most visited park on the Rhine, and on the cultivated banks of the Moselle.

Koblenz has both- an extraordinary situation and magnificent historical atmosphere- a combination which can influence each tourist and can create the perfect feeling for a good cruise end. After a relaxing, comfortable and emotional trip, a person needs to be astonished by something for the last time… this can be achieved by the unique background of Koblenz.

So don’t hesitate to make yourself a well- deserved gift! Germany is waiting for your exceptional personality and in return will give you a possibility to experience a cruise from Trier to Koblenz.

River Rhine is beautiful

The river Rhine in general and the area of Koblenz in particular is one of the beauties Germany has to offer. In 2011 Koblenz was hosting the Bundesgartenschau which is a large exhibition about gardening and landscaping architecture. Every second year or so another German city is elected to host this event which always attract some millions of visitors, both from Germany and abroad. And the good thing about this: after the end of the Bundesgartenschau most of the investments made will stay in place. So no wonder that there is such a tough competition amongst German cities as everyone knows that being a host not only gets you in the headlines of the news, but will also have a positive effect on the infrastructure of your city.

Expect some pictures from last year soon about the Bundesgartenschau 2011 and the beauty of River Rhine!