Rhine River Cruise with AmaWaterways

Cruising the Rhine River

One of the best ways to explore the countries along the Rhine River is to book a river cruise. While several tour operators offer Rhine River cruises today I'm focusing on AmaWaterways. Not only do you visit Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands, you get these ship benefits:

  • A top-of-the-ship pool and Jacuzzi
  • Wellness activities
  • Exquisite cuisine
  • Delicious cocktail drinks available anytime
  • AmaWaterway's famous impeccable service.

But the main reason you choose a Rhine River cruise is for the adventure - the amazing, breathtaking stops along the way. Each place you visit along the Rhine is romantic and truly awe-inspiring. AmaWaterways provides a selection of tours, each one highlighting a unique aspect. And if you have already sailed on the Rhine, AmaWaterways has 25 river cruise options throughout Europe to choose from. We can select one that fits your budget, taste, and sense of adventure.

Four Countries to Explore Cruising The Rhine River

Do you want to spend more of your time in Switzerland, Germany or France? What about the Netherlands? Let’s take a closer look at our destinations on the Rhine River and you’ll see why AmaWaterways travelers keep coming back for more.

Image Rhine River Cruise

Exploring Switzerland

A pristine alpine wonderland, Switzerland is beautiful any time of year.  It’s known for its snowy mountain caps in the winter and lush green hills in the summer. Whether you’re taking a scenic train ride through the Alps or traveling the Rhine by ship, Switzerland will have you wondering if you’ve walked straight into a fairytale. 


Many river cruises on the Rhine start or end in Basel, a city known for its love of art and museums. The city has the highest concentration of museums in Switzerland and is centered around a market square, making it perfectly easy to tour. Basel sits right between France and Germany, two countries which have significantly influenced Swiss culture. Enjoy this melding of cultures as you dine alfresco at a cafe along the banks of the Rhine.


Lucerne takes your breath away when you first see it. If you are on a Rhine River cruise it's worth your time to add on a side trip to this perfect Swiss city. Lucerne makes an ideal pitstop on your trek through Switzerland. Wandering through its majestic streets, you’ll encounter a city dotted with beautiful bridges, cafes and chocolate shops that will satisfy your sweet tooth.  A summer evening in Lucerne will make you never want to leave. Be sure to book a boat tour on Lake Lucerne to see the houses and views up close.


The banking capital and economic hub of Switzerland, Zurich combines pre-medieval roots with modern-day business and entertainment. In addition to its world-class shopping venues, there is plenty of sight-seeing to do. From the Hauptbahnhof - Switzerland’s largest railway station - you can catch a train and soon be on a crisp, glistening mountain peak in a matter of minutes.  You can also explore the city’s incredible rivers and magnificent lake, which has superior water quality for swimming.  Whether its fine dining or hiking trails up Uetliberg, Zurich will keep you busy with plenty to see and do.

Graphic Zurich Delights Your Senses

Stop in France as you cruise the Rhine (Strasbourg)

Parlez-vous français? Non? Well, no worries. A good translation app can do wonders to help you navigate the luscious countryside of France with its mouthwatering cafes and menus. For its food, wine, and historic sights, we love this country for all the right reasons.

Wine & Dine

Wine and France go hand-in-hand, and if you haven’t had a bowl of French onion soup, you’re seriously missing out. Whether you’re stopping at a bakery in the morning for a fresh croissant and cafe au lait, a light lunch of a croque monsieur or a full 3-course French dinner, you will not be disappointed. Luckily, when you book a Rhine River cruise with AmaWaterways you will stop in Strasbourg. The capital city of the Alsace region of France, Strasbourg is charming and a very fun stop along the river. You can wander the shops or stop in to the Cave des Hospices for a wine tour and light beverage during the afternoon.

Botanical Gardens & Shopping 

If wine tasting isn’t your idea of a relaxing afternoon, there is no shortage of other soothing activities in Strasbourg. The Parc de l’Orangerie, Parc de la Citadelle and the botanical gardens are all equally serene places for an afternoon walk or bike ride. If you are a shopper you can find modern shops, local boutiques, and street markets in Strasbourg. Most of Strasbourg’s old town is centered on Grande Île, an island in the middle of the city.

Christmas markets in Strasbourg are so popular you can find them any time of year. Make your way to the southwest corner of the Grande Île to Un Noël en Alsace to browse Christmas decor. And if you happen to be in Strasbourg during the holiday season, we recommend a glass of vin chaud (mulled wine) to keep you warm along the way.

Photo of Strasbourg France on Rhine River Cruise

Cruising Germany with AmaWaterways

Traveling to Germany usually takes tourists to Berlin, Munich and other metropolitan areas. On a river cruise with AmaWaterways, however, you’ll experience a whole new side of the country—one that is more traditional and inviting. You will visit German cultural hubs as well as quaint cities you may not otherwise experience. Rüdesheim and Cologne both offer a variety of entertainment including local musicians and museums, providing for a well-rounded German experience.

Rüdesheim, Germany

Rüdesheim is a charming little city on the Rhine known for its production of Reisling wine. The first thing you’ll notice here is the beautiful combination of history and modern winemaking. Cobblestone streets and medieval-style castles lie just outside the vineyards and tasting rooms of Rüdesheim. You might decide to visit the Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Or, you can take a gondola ride. You might decide to go for a wine tasting hike through the vineyards. One of our favorite things to do here is to take the cable car over the vineyards, up to the Niederwald monument. You can shop at the local shops on the way back before you return to the ship.

Cologne, Germany

A 2,000-year-old city, Cologne is best known for its colorful rows of houses and its famous Christmas markets.  In contrast to the small-town charm of Rüdesheim, Cologne is a much larger city and cultural hub of this area of Germany. Where Rüdesheim is medieval and rustic, Cologne is more Gothic and modern. Visible from the Rhine River, the Cologne Cathedral is a must-see landmark. Its two towers are still some of the largest peaks in the city. The stop in Cologne offers the options of a Holy City walking tour and cathedral visit. Or you can go to the Kölsch Beer tasting. You could also take a bike tour of Cologne.

Photo of River Cruise in Cologne Germany

The Netherlands

What better way to end your Rhine River cruise than right in the heart of The Netherlands, in Amsterdam. You may have heard of Amsterdam's famous red-light district, but there's enough here to keep you busy for weeks.

  • Cruising one of the world’s most elaborate canal systems will show you much of the beauty this city has to offer.
  • A tour through the bohemian neighborhood of Jordaan, which boasts trendy cafes, eateries, and shops will give you many places to browse.
  • The Anne Frank House is located just outside Jordaan and across from the historical Westerkerk Cathedral where Rembrandt was buried in 1669.
  • My favorite museum in the world, the Rijksmuseum, showcases works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. 
  • Another must-see is the Van Gogh Museum.

There's so much to see in Amsterdam that it's worth it to extend your trip for two or three days here before you fly home.

Food in Amsterdam

One of the most pleasant surprises of a trip Amsterdam is the food. If you’re craving something with a pinch of salt, we would recommend Bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), kibbeling (deep-fried fish) or snert (split pea soup). You'll find these dishes in the many small restaurants you'll walk past in Amsterdam. After dinner, enjoy a variety of different sweets including Dutch licorice, poffertjes (puffy pancakes) or stroopwafels (remember to eat them hot and gooey).

These are just a few of the fun and beautiful destinations on a Rhine River cruise. Contact us now to book, river cruises are popular and the best dates book quickly each year! Email sue@travelchangeslife.com or call 941-720-1842. Please go to our About Us page to get our travel resources and tips newsletter.

Photo of narrow homes in Amsterdam along the canal