7-Day Rhine River Cruise: A Memorable Journey with Your Son

Embark on a 7-day Rhine River cruise, exploring Amsterdam's historic sites, Cologne's vibrant neighborhoods, and Koblenz's scenic beauty. Discover Heidelberg's picturesque Old Town, immerse in Strasbourg's unique culture, and delve into Basel's rich history.

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Day 1: Amsterdam, Netherlands 🇳🇱:

Morning - Embark on your cruise in Amsterdam: Start your memorable 7-day Rhine River cruise in the vibrant city of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system, and narrow houses with gabled facades, Amsterdam is a city that's brimming with charm and history. As you embark on your cruise, take a moment to soak in the stunning views of the city's skyline, with its iconic windmills and beautiful architecture.
10:00 - Explore Anne Frank House: After embarking on your cruise, take some time to explore the Anne Frank House, a biographical museum dedicated to the Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The museum offers a poignant and powerful insight into Anne's life during World War II. Did you know? The Anne Frank House is the actual building where Anne and her family hid from the Nazis during the war.
12:00 - Lunch at The Pancake Bakery: For lunch, head to The Pancake Bakery, a popular eatery known for its delicious Dutch pancakes. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, The Pancake Bakery has a pancake for everyone. Enjoy your meal while overlooking the beautiful Prinsengracht canal.
14:00 - Visit Van Gogh Museum: In the afternoon, visit the Van Gogh Museum, home to the world's largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh. This museum offers a fascinating insight into the life and work of the Dutch post-impressionist painter. Did you know? The Van Gogh Museum houses over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 700 letters by Van Gogh.
16:00 - Explore the city's charming canals: Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Amsterdam's charming canals. Consider taking a canal cruise to see the city from a different perspective. As you glide along the waterways, you'll pass by historic buildings, charming bridges, and vibrant neighborhoods.
19:00 - Dinner at Restaurant De Kas: End your day with dinner at Restaurant De Kas, a farm-to-table restaurant located in a beautiful greenhouse. Here, you can enjoy a seasonal menu that features fresh, locally sourced ingredients. As you dine, take in the views of the surrounding gardens and the city's skyline.
21:00 - Return to your cruise ship: After a day full of exploration, return to your cruise ship and take some time to relax and unwind. As the ship sets sail for the next destination, take a moment to reflect on your day in Amsterdam and look forward to the adventures that await in the days ahead.

Day 2: Cologne, Germany:

08:00 - Breakfast at Café Reichard: Start your day in Cologne with a delightful breakfast at Café Reichard, a renowned café located right next to the iconic Cologne Cathedral. Known for its delicious pastries, fresh bread, and a wide selection of breakfast options, Café Reichard is a perfect place to fuel up for a day of exploration. The café also offers stunning views of the cathedral, providing a perfect backdrop for your morning meal.
09:30 - Visit Cologne Cathedral: After breakfast, head to the Cologne Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited landmarks in Germany. This Gothic masterpiece boasts the largest façade of any church in the world and offers breathtaking views of the city from its south tower. The cathedral is not just a place of worship, but also a symbol of German resilience and determination. Did you know? The construction of the Cologne Cathedral took over 600 years to complete!
11:00 - Explore Old Town: Next, take a stroll through Cologne's Old Town, a vibrant neighborhood filled with historic buildings, charming squares, and narrow alleyways. Here, you'll find the Great St. Martin Church, the Historic Town Hall, and the Old Market, where locals gather for food, drinks, and socializing. The Old Town is also home to numerous boutiques, galleries, and traditional breweries serving Kölsch, the local beer.
13:00 - Lunch at Früh am Dom: For lunch, visit Früh am Dom, a traditional brewery and restaurant located in the heart of the city. Known for its authentic Cologne cuisine and freshly brewed Kölsch, Früh am Dom offers a unique dining experience. Try their famous Himmel und Äd (Heaven and Earth), a traditional dish made from black pudding, mashed potatoes, and apple sauce.
14:30 - Visit Chocolate Museum: In the afternoon, treat your son to a visit to the Chocolate Museum, a paradise for chocolate lovers. Here, you can learn about the history of chocolate, watch the production process, and even create your own chocolate bar. Did you know? The museum has a three-meter-high chocolate fountain, where visitors can taste freshly made chocolate!
16:00 - Explore Belgian Quarter: Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Belgian Quarter, a trendy neighborhood known for its eclectic mix of boutiques, galleries, and cafes. This area is a great place to shop for unique souvenirs, enjoy a cup of coffee, or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
18:00 - Check-in at hotel in Cologne: After a day full of exploration, check into your hotel in Cologne and take some time to relax and refresh before dinner. Cologne offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses.
20:00 - Dinner at Brauhaus Sion: End your day with dinner at Brauhaus Sion, one of the oldest breweries in Cologne. Enjoy traditional German dishes like Sauerbraten (pot roast) or Rheinischer Döppekooche (a regional potato dish), paired with a glass of their own Kölsch. As you dine, reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to the journey ahead.

Day 3: Koblenz, Germany:

08:00 - Breakfast on the cruise ship: Start your day with a hearty breakfast on the cruise ship. Enjoy a variety of dishes from around the world, while taking in the stunning views of the Rhine River. The cruise ship offers a range of options, from continental breakfast to a full English breakfast, ensuring there's something for everyone. The dining area on the ship is not just a place to eat, but a place to relax and enjoy the serene river views.
10:00 - Scenic beauty of the Rhine Gorge: After breakfast, prepare to be mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the Rhine Gorge. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see attraction, offering breathtaking views of steep vineyards, ancient castles, and charming villages. The Rhine Gorge is not just a natural wonder, but a cultural landscape that has been shaped by human activity over two millennia. Did you know? The Rhine Gorge is home to the legendary Lorelei rock, which has inspired numerous myths and folktales!
12:00 - Lunch at Weindorf: For lunch, visit Weindorf, a local favorite that serves delicious German cuisine. Located in the heart of Koblenz, Weindorf offers a unique dining experience with its rustic decor and warm atmosphere. Enjoy traditional dishes like Sauerbraten (pot roast) and Bratwurst (German sausage), paired with a glass of local Riesling wine.
14:00 - Visit Ehrenbreitstein Fortress: In the afternoon, visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, a historic site that offers panoramic views of Koblenz and the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. This fortress is a testament to the strategic importance of Koblenz throughout history, and a must-see for anyone interested in military architecture. Did you know? The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress is one of the largest fortresses in Europe, and was used as a military barracks and prison during the First and Second World Wars!
18:00 - Return to the cruise ship: After a day full of exploration, return to the comfort of your cruise ship. Take some time to relax and refresh before dinner. The cruise ship offers a range of amenities, from a spa and fitness center to a library and games room, ensuring there's something for everyone.
20:00 - Dinner on the cruise ship: End your day with dinner on the cruise ship. Enjoy a gourmet meal prepared by skilled chefs, while taking in the stunning views of the Rhine River at night. The cruise ship offers a range of dining options, from casual buffets to fine dining restaurants, ensuring a memorable dining experience. Reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to the journey ahead.

Day 4: Rüdesheim, Germany:

08:00 - Breakfast at Café Rosenberger: Start your day in the charming town of Rüdesheim with a hearty breakfast at Café Rosenberger. This family-run café is known for its delicious pastries, fresh bread, and a variety of breakfast options. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Enjoy your meal while soaking in the quaint charm of this beautiful German town.
09:30 - Explore Drosselgasse: After breakfast, take a stroll down Drosselgasse, the heart of Rüdesheim's old town. This narrow, cobblestone street is lined with beautifully preserved half-timbered houses, wine taverns, and shops selling local crafts. The lively atmosphere, coupled with the sound of traditional German folk music, makes Drosselgasse a must-visit attraction in Rüdesheim. Did you know? Drosselgasse is only 144 meters long but attracts millions of visitors each year!
11:00 - Visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet: Next, visit Siegfried's Mechanical Music Cabinet, a unique museum that houses one of the largest collections of self-playing musical instruments in the world. From tiny music boxes to a gigantic orchestrion, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the history of automated music. Did you know? The museum is housed in a 15th-century knight's manor!
13:00 - Lunch at Breuer's Rüdesheimer Schloss: For lunch, head to Breuer's Rüdesheimer Schloss, a renowned restaurant offering a variety of traditional German dishes. The restaurant's charming ambiance, coupled with its delicious food and excellent wine selection, makes it a perfect place for a leisurely lunch.
14:30 - Take a cable car ride to Niederwald Monument: After lunch, take a cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument. The ride offers breathtaking views of the Rhine Valley, vineyards, and the town of Rüdesheim. Once at the top, explore the monument and enjoy the panoramic views. Did you know? The Niederwald Monument was erected to commemorate the unification of Germany in the late 19th century!
17:00 - Wine tasting at Weingut Adolf Störzel: In the late afternoon, visit Weingut Adolf Störzel for a wine tasting session. Rüdesheim is famous for its Riesling wines, and this family-run winery offers a great opportunity to sample some of the best. Learn about the winemaking process and enjoy the exquisite flavors of their wines.
19:00 - Dinner at Zum Grünen Kranz: End your day with a delightful dinner at Zum Grünen Kranz, a traditional German restaurant known for its regional specialties and warm, welcoming atmosphere. Enjoy your meal as you reflect on the day's adventures in Rüdesheim. After dinner, return to your cruise ship and prepare for the next day's journey along the Rhine River.

Day 5: Heidelberg, Germany 🇩🇪:

08:00 - Breakfast at Café Frisch: Start your day in Heidelberg with a hearty breakfast at Café Frisch, a popular eatery known for its traditional German breakfast and stunning views of the Old Town. With a range of options from Brötchen (German bread rolls) to Muesli, there's something for everyone. Café Frisch is not just a place to eat, but a cultural phenomenon that has become a staple of Heidelberg's food scene.
09:30 - Visit Heidelberg Castle: After breakfast, head to the Heidelberg Castle, a must-visit attraction located on the hill above the city. This castle offers a glimpse into the region's rich history, from the Renaissance period to the Thirty Years' War. Did you know? The Heidelberg Castle is one of the most famous ruins in Germany and a symbol of the city!
11:00 - Explore Heidelberg Old Town: Next, embark on a walking tour of Heidelberg's Old Town, a city known for its rich history and beautiful architecture. This journey will take you through the heart of Heidelberg, offering breathtaking views of the Neckar River and the Heidelberg Castle.
13:00 - Lunch at Vetter's Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus: For lunch, visit Vetter's Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus, a local favorite that serves delicious German cuisine. With its warm atmosphere and authentic German beer, Vetter's Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus offers a unique dining experience.
14:30 - Visit Heidelberg University: In the afternoon, visit the Heidelberg University, the oldest university in Germany. This university is a place of knowledge and a must-see for anyone interested in history and academia. Did you know? The university was founded in 1386 and has been a place of learning and research for over 600 years!
16:00 - Stroll along the Philosophenweg: After a day full of exploration, take a leisurely stroll along the Philosophenweg, or Philosophers' Walk. This path offers stunning views of the city and the castle, and is a perfect way to unwind and reflect on the day's adventures.
19:00 - Dinner at Schnitzelbank: End your day with dinner at Schnitzelbank, a restaurant known for its Schnitzel, a traditional German dish made from pork. Enjoy your meal as you reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to the journey ahead.

Day 6: Strasbourg, France:

08:00 - Breakfast at Boulangerie Au Pain de Mon Grand-Père: Start your day in Strasbourg with a delightful breakfast at Boulangerie Au Pain de Mon Grand-Père. This charming bakery is renowned for its fresh, homemade pastries and bread, offering a true taste of French cuisine. From flaky croissants to hearty baguettes, there's something for everyone. This bakery is not just a place to eat, but a culinary experience that has become a staple of Strasbourg's food scene.
09:30 - Visit Strasbourg Cathedral: After breakfast, head to the Strasbourg Cathedral, a must-visit attraction located in the heart of the city. This stunning Gothic cathedral is one of the most beautiful in Europe, boasting intricate carvings and a towering spire. Did you know? The Strasbourg Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world and remains the highest still-standing structure built entirely in the Middle Ages!
11:00 - Explore Petite France: Next, immerse yourself in the unique blend of French and German cultures in Petite France, a picturesque district in Strasbourg. With its half-timbered houses, narrow lanes, and charming canals, Petite France is a living postcard of Alsatian traditions.
13:00 - Lunch at La Maison des Tanneurs: For lunch, visit La Maison des Tanneurs, a historic restaurant located in Petite France. Known for its traditional Alsatian cuisine, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience in a half-timbered house dating back to 1572.
14:30 - Visit European Parliament: In the afternoon, visit the European Parliament, a symbol of European unity. Take a guided tour to learn about the European Union's history and its role in shaping policies. Did you know? Strasbourg is one of the three official seats of the European Union, along with Brussels and Luxembourg!
16:00 - Boat tour on the Batorama: Embark on a scenic boat tour on the Batorama to explore Strasbourg's canals. This tour offers a unique perspective of the city, passing by the European Parliament, Petite France, and the Strasbourg Cathedral.
18:00 - Check-in at hotel in Strasbourg: After a day full of exploration, check into your hotel in Strasbourg and take some time to relax and refresh before dinner. Strasbourg offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses.
20:00 - Dinner at Au Pont Saint-Martin: End your day with dinner at Au Pont Saint-Martin, a restaurant known for its Alsatian specialties and local wines. Enjoy your meal as you reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to the final day of your Rhine River cruise.

Day 7: Basel, Switzerland:

08:00 - Breakfast at Restaurant Kunsthalle: Start your final day of the cruise with a hearty breakfast at Restaurant Kunsthalle, a popular eatery known for its traditional Swiss breakfast and stunning views of the city. With a range of options from Rösti (Swiss-style grated and fried potatoes) to Zopf (Swiss braided bread), there's something for everyone. Restaurant Kunsthalle is not just a place to eat, but a cultural phenomenon that has become a staple of Basel's food scene.
09:30 - Visit Kunstmuseum Basel: After breakfast, head to the Kunstmuseum Basel, a must-visit attraction located in the heart of the city. This museum offers a glimpse into the region's rich art history, from the Middle Ages to contemporary art. Did you know? The Kunstmuseum Basel is the oldest public art collection in the world!
11:00 - Walk along the Rhine River Promenade: Next, take a leisurely stroll along the Rhine River Promenade, a picturesque walkway that offers breathtaking views of the Rhine River and the city's beautiful architecture. This is a perfect opportunity to take some memorable photos of your Rhine River cruise.
13:00 - Lunch at Restaurant Stucki: For lunch, visit Restaurant Stucki, a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves delicious Swiss and international cuisine. With its elegant atmosphere and exquisite dishes, Restaurant Stucki offers a unique dining experience.
14:30 - Visit Basel Minster: In the afternoon, visit the Basel Minster, a stunning Gothic cathedral that dominates the city's skyline. This cathedral is a must-see for anyone interested in architecture and history. Did you know? The Basel Minster was originally a Catholic cathedral and today it is a Reformed Protestant Church!
16:00 - Explore Old Town Basel: Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Old Town Basel, a charming area filled with narrow alleyways, colorful houses, and quaint shops. This is a great place to buy some souvenirs and enjoy the local culture.
18:00 - Check-in at hotel in Basel: After a day full of exploration, check into your hotel in Basel and take some time to relax and refresh before dinner. Basel offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses.
20:00 - Dinner at Cheval Blanc: End your day with dinner at Cheval Blanc, a three-Michelin-starred restaurant known for its innovative French cuisine. Enjoy your meal as you reflect on the unforgettable journey you've had on your 7-day Rhine River cruise.

Tips & Recommendations

  1. Amsterdam: Canal Cruising: While in Amsterdam, consider taking a canal cruise to explore the city's historic waterways. It's a unique way to see the city's landmarks and architecture.
  2. Cologne: Gothic Architecture: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Cologne Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture.
  3. Koblenz: Scenic Beauty: Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Rhine Gorge in Koblenz, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also, make sure to visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for a panoramic view of the city.
  4. Rüdesheim: Wine Tasting: Rüdesheim is famous for its vineyards. Don't miss the chance to taste the local wines and visit the Niederwald Monument for a stunning view of the Rhine Valley.
  5. Heidelberg: Historic Exploration: While in Heidelberg, make sure to visit the Heidelberg Castle and explore the picturesque Old Town.
  6. Strasbourg: Cultural Blend: Strasbourg is a unique blend of French and German cultures. Explore its stunning architecture and try the local cuisine.
  7. Basel: Art and History: Basel is known for its rich history and vibrant art scene. Don't forget to visit the Kunstmuseum, the oldest public art collection in the world.
  8. General Tip: Cruise Essentials: Don't forget to pack essentials for a river cruise, including comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and a light jacket for cooler evenings.

Climate & Weather

  • Amsterdam: Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, experiences a temperate maritime climate with mild summers and cool winters. Rain is a common occurrence throughout the year, so it's advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat when you visit Anne Frank House or take a leisurely stroll along the city's charming canals.
  • Cologne: Located in western Germany, Cologne experiences a temperate oceanic climate. The city has mild to warm summers and cool winters. If you're planning to visit the iconic Cologne Cathedral, it's advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the cooler months.
  • Koblenz: Koblenz, situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers in Germany, has a temperate seasonal climate. The city experiences moderate to heavy rainfall throughout the year. If you're planning to visit Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, make sure to carry a raincoat or umbrella.
  • Rüdesheim: Rüdesheim, a wine-making town in the Rhine Gorge, experiences a temperate seasonal climate. The summers are warm and the winters are cool. If you're planning to take a cable car ride to the Niederwald Monument, make sure to carry a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Heidelberg: Heidelberg, located in southwestern Germany, experiences a warm summer continental climate. The city has warm summers and cool winters. If you're planning to visit Heidelberg Castle or explore the picturesque Old Town, it's advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the cooler months.
  • Strasbourg: Strasbourg, situated on the eastern border of France, experiences an oceanic climate with warm, relatively sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. If you're planning to explore the unique blend of French and German cultures in Strasbourg, make sure to carry a raincoat or umbrella when you visit Strasbourg Cathedral.
  • Basel: Basel, located on the Rhine River in northwest Switzerland, experiences a temperate oceanic climate. The city has warm summers and cool to cold winters. If you're planning to explore Kunstmuseum Basel or the beautiful Rhine River promenade, it's advisable to carry a light jacket or sweater, especially during the cooler months.

What Locals Love

Amsterdam, Netherlands:

  • Café de Jaren: A popular local café with a beautiful canal-side terrace.
  • Electric Ladyland: The world's first museum of fluorescent art.

Cologne, Germany:

  • Päffgen: A traditional brewery serving Kölsch, a local beer, in a historic setting.
  • Japanese Garden: A tranquil spot loved by locals for its beautiful landscape and peaceful atmosphere.

Koblenz, Germany:

  • Forum Confluentes: A cultural hub housing a library, art exhibition, and the Romanticum - an interactive museum.

Rüdesheim, Germany:

  • Weingut Adolf Störzel: A local winery offering tastings of the region's famous Riesling wines.

Heidelberg, Germany:

  • Schnitzelbank: A local eatery loved for its delicious schnitzels and cozy atmosphere.

Strasbourg, France:

  • Pain d'Epices Mireille Oster: A local bakery famous for its traditional Alsatian gingerbread.

Basel, Switzerland:

  • Restaurant Kunsthalle: A popular local restaurant offering Swiss and international cuisine in a stylish setting.

Remember, the best way to experience a place is often to step off the beaten path. Engage with locals, try the street food, and let the rhythm of the cities guide you.