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Uniworld Castles Along The Rhine River Cruise

Uniworld Castles Along The Rhine River Cruise

Find inspiration in the romantic, soul-stirring beauty of the fabled Rhine.

Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an insider’s look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg; stroll through the fairytale town of Rüdesheim; and taste delightful white wines in the villages where the grapes are grown.

Castles Along The Rhine River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1: Basel – Embark

Arrive at EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg. If your cruise package includes a group arrival transfer or if you have purchased a private arrival transfer, you will be greeted by a Uniworld representative and transferred to the ship.

Important Note: Uniworld’s airport services and transfers to the ship will take place on the Switzerland side of the Basel-Mulhouse Airport. Be sure to enter Customs on the Switzerland side, as guests cannot return to the Switzerland side after they have exited the airport from the France side.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Breisach (Freiburg)

Breisach is your gateway to the Alsatian wine road and your launching point for an excursion along the celebrated Route des Vins, which hugs the foothills of the Vosges mountain range, or a city tour of Freiburg.

This morning, enjoy leisure time as you sail the scenic Upper Rhine to Breisach.

A special Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you this evening.

Featured Excursions:


An old stone well in Kaysersberg bears an inscription that warns against drinking water and urges the reader to “Drink with moderation old and subtil wine . . . and leave the water to the side.” What better words could guide you as you explore some delightful Alsatian wine villages? Though the remains of a 12th-century castle speak to Kaysersberg’s strategic importance in the Middle Ages, today it is an idyllic village nestled among vineyards. Join a local guide for a one-hour walking tour, passing storybook medieval houses with steeply pitched roofs and a gorgeous Gothic cathedral that was begun by a 12th-century Holy Roman emperor. In modern days, the village is best known as the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer. During your tour of this enchanting village indulge in a tasting of an Alsatian specialty, Kugelhopf, a delicious yeast-based cake traditionally baked in a circular, Bundt mold. Then it is on to Eguishem. The road from Kaysersberg to Eguishem provides quintessential wine road scenery: lush foothills, famous vineyards, castle ruins and quaint villages. You’ll arrive in a town so pretty it is regularly ranked amongst the most beautiful in France. Walk its cobbled streets to admire timber-framed buildings painted in every color of the rainbow.

Note: Lunch today will be on your own.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Kehl (Strasbourg)

See Strasbourg on foot with an insightful local expert, where this historic town with its cobbled lanes, half-timbered homes, giant stork nests and impossible-to-resist pastry shops will win your heart. Kehl, directly across the river from Strasbourg, will be your ship’s base while you explore the Alsatian capital. If you’re feeling adventurous, take advantage of Uniworld’s bicycles or Nordic walking sticks and explore the banks of the river.

You have the entire afternoon to see more of Strasbourg on your own.

Featured Excursion:


Controlled over the centuries by either France or Germany, Strasbourg is both cross-cultural and bilingual. Old and new, French and German all blend together in this wonderful city, which is also considered the legislative and democratic capital of the European Union. Get a glimpse of Strasbourg’s grand political role as we drive by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, where the European Court of Human Rights sits. Then get a feel for the cultural side of the city on a walking tour through its enchanting streets.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Mannheim (Speyer)

Speyer—“spire” in English—is well named, since the four red towers of the Romanesque cathedral dominate the Old Town.

Choose between these activities:


For a different spin on the Palatinate wine region, visit the Weinessiggut Doktorenhof estate for a special vinegar tasting. Yes, you read that right—a vinegar tasting. Founded by Georg Wiedemann some 30 years ago, Doktorenhof produces vinegars from premium wines, rather than inexpensive ones. Gewürztraminer, Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Noir are aged with a century-old vinegar “mother,” as the bacteria that makes vinegar is known, and flavored with a variety of herbs and fruits. Most importantly, Wiedemann and his family run their farm and vineyards with the utmost care, tending to them with natural materials only.

The results make complex and elegant aperitifs, intended to be sipped from a specially designed long-stemmed glass between courses or after a meal. The atmospheric tasting room (think candles, cloaks and choir music) is like no other you’ll ever experience. You’ll have plenty of time to explore their enticing gift shop, too.


Drive to Hockenheim, home of the German Grand Prix. There, a guide will give you an insider’s tour of the ring, including the VIP area, the podium and even the center of the track. The German Grand Prix has not been held here—or anywhere—since 2019, due to a lack of finances that is keeping the future of the German Grand Prix indefinitely in doubt. On tour in the Hockenheimring, however, you’ll immerse yourself in the history of Formula 1 racing in Germany from a perspective few fans have ever gotten to appreciate.


Start your tour with a walk down Maximilian Street. First laid-out by Roman soldiers, it is now Speyer’s most popular promenade, open only to pedestrian traffic and lined by neatly restored baroque houses. Follow this path to the medieval church, where you’ll discover the remnants of an 11th century Jewish community and its vaulted ritual baths. You’ll also see the former mint and Holy Trinity Church on your tour. And to fuel your walk around town, we’ll be treating you to a couple of delicious local snacks along the way.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Rudesheim, Boppard

Experience Germany’s fabled Rhine River in the towns of Rüdesheim and Boppard. Enjoy a private tasting of estate-grown Rieslings at Castle Vollrads, take a stroll through beautiful Boppard, or hike through some of the most beautiful landscapes that line the Rhine.

This morning, you’ll cruise out of Rüdesheim and into the sublimely beautiful and romantic Upper Middle Rhine Valley.

Featured excursion:


Nestled in the rolling, vineyard-covered hills of the Rheingau, Castle Vollrads has a square tower that dates back to the 14th century, as does the moat. Just one family owned the castle for 700 years, until 1997, adding on to it and remodeling it over the centuries. While the interior of the castle is rarely open to the public, you will have the opportunity to step inside to see some of the elegantly appointed rooms, including the beautiful gold-embossed Flemish leather wall covering in the 17th-century dining room. Grapes have been grown here for more than a thousand years; records show that Castle Vollrads wines were first sold in 1211. These days the excellence of its Riesling is well known; it’s so well known, in fact, that Schloss Vollrads is one of the few German vineyards whose name stands alone on a wine label—no village name is required. Accompanied by a local wine expert, you will sample three wines in three different locations. There will also be time to wander through the grounds at your leisure.

Choose between these activities:


Join the Cruise Manager on a walk through this attractive town with a long and surprising history; the Cruise Manager will point out its highlights and recommend a host of activities. Take a chairlift to the top of the hill for a great view of the valley and the river (you can hike the return route, if you’re up for it); enjoy a glass of wine at a local tavern and watch the water traffic on the river; or ride a bicycle along the Rhine promenade. You might also visit Saint Severus Church, whose twin towers dominate the waterfront, or explore the remains of a fourth-century Roman fort. If you’re interested in design and the decorative arts, stop by the Museum Boppard to see the exhibit on native son Michael Thonet, who developed the technique of bentwood furniture in the 1840s. His iconic, lightweight chairs are still popular in cafés throughout Europe. Or simply stroll beneath the trees along the city’s scenic riverside promenade, which is lined with the gorgeous villas of 19th-century entrepreneurs.



Set out on a brisk hike up to the Gedeonseck for unparalleled views of the Rhine River Valley. You’ll want to bring good shoes for this steep hike up to the top, where you can look upon the picture-perfect riverbend below.

Take a break at the restaurant here if you would like to rest and have a bite on your own. Alternatively, you could join your guide on a brief walk to Vierseenblick, a spot where 4 stretches of the Rhine can be seen, each looking like an individual lake.

Conditions permitting, we’ll take the aerial cable car down to the bottom of the hill, so you can relax and enjoy the views a little while longer during the ride.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Boppard, Koblenz

Get to know Koblenz, a historic town with a colorful past and eclectic architecture, and enjoy a visit to the stunningly medieval Marksburg Castle. As you come upon picture-perfect Koblenz, you’ll sail past Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its historic monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I.

Featured excursion: 


Explore the beautiful stretch of the Middle Rhine region that lies between Boppard and Koblenz by bike on this 25km ride. You’ll pass the romantic, timber frame houses of Spay, the sweeping vineyards of Bopparder Hamm, the famous “German Corner” where the Rhine and Moselle converge, lush Lahn riverscapes and, of course, some fairytale-esque castles. One such castle is the UNESCO designated Marksburg Castle, the only hilltop castle along the Rhine that has never once been destroyed during its long history. It’s 13th to 15th century structures have been virtually unchanged since their construction.

Choose between: 


Watch the waters of the Moselle meld with the Rhine’s as you stand on the spit of land called German Corner: It’s the perfect spot for a symbol of German unity, an equestrian statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I, who united the nation in the 19th century. (There’s another symbol of German unity here too: three panels of the Berlin Wall.) Behind it is Koblenz’s oldest church, St. Castor’s Basilica, first erected in the ninth century, and just one of the charming churches and squares you’ll encounter as you wander through Old Town. Like many Rhineland towns, Koblenz suffered at the hands of Louis XIV’s forces—that’s why you’ll see so many baroque features in the buildings you pass, since so many needed to be reconstructed after the French left. That’s also why the Church of Our Lady has twin onion domes. Despite their travails over the ages, though, Koblenz’s citizens kept their sense of humor: One example of it might catch you by surprise as you pass the fountain known as the Spitting Boy, which spits water without warning.

After the tour, you’ll have some free time to enjoy the Marktplatz (Market Square) and its bounty of shopping and wine bars.


With its pale walls, slate-gray roof, and unusually slender towers and turrets, Marksburg looks as though it has been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. But don’t be deceived: this is a powerful fortress, built to withstand attack. Marksburg’s defenses were so daunting that enemies generally chose to leave it alone. That’s why this is the only hill castle in Germany that has never been destroyed—a remarkable fact when you consider its 700-year-long history. Enter the fortress through a drawbridge gate and vaulted tunnel—just the first of the many defensive features you’ll encounter on your tour. Notice the “murder holes” in the walls; these would have let defenders pour boiling pitch on would-be invaders. Horsemen once thundered up the Riders’ Stairway, which was hewn into the bedrock, but you can take the steps at a more leisurely pace. Guides will show you the cannons of the Great Battery, once aimed at the Rhine River, and the castle kitchen with its enormous fireplace. You’ll tour the bedchamber, the great banquet hall, the armory, the stables and, if you’re feeling brave, the torture chamber. Don’t miss the re-created medieval garden, with 150 plants used in the Middle Ages for curative (or magical) purposes.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Cologne

History buffs will enjoy an expertly led tour through Cologne’s Old Town, where three medieval gates remain standing, as does the old city hall with its Renaissance façade. Wander through the city’s historical center and take in its charming atmosphere, narrow alleyways flanked by old houses and countless breweries. No matter how you choose to explore Old Town, you’ll also have ample free time to explore on your own.

In the evening, a special Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner will be prepared for you.

Featured excursion:


Follow your guide around some of the most popular sites of Cologne, the largest city on the Rhine. You’ll pass the old fish market, City Hall with its Renaissance façade and the old Jewish mikvah (a bath used for ritual cleansing).

Meander through the narrow, cobbled lanes of Old Town, lined with traditional houses in every color and a plethora of restaurants and pubs. One of the city’s 12 Romanesque churches provides a castle-like backdrop to this quaint, riverside quarter of Cologne.

Your local expert will take you all the way to the Domplatte, the square where you’ll find the Cologne Cathedral. Should you wish, you can head inside this Gothic building on your own to see the Shrine of the Magi and the beautiful stained-glass windows. Otherwise, try asking your guide for tips on what to explore. Whatever your interests, our local expert knows all the best spots in town!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Disembark in Amsterdam

Disembark the ship. If your cruise package includes a group departure transfer or if you have purchased a private departure transfer, you will be transferred to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight home. Alternatively, you may continue your adventure with our optional post-cruise Amsterdam extension.

Meals included: Breakfast

Luxury, Boutique & Inclusive

The five-star Red Carnation Hotel Collection, serves as the inspiration for the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Its portfolio of boutique hotels are renowned for their interior design that is destination-inspired, gracious service, and thoughtfully chosen amenities—all of which offer a cosy, refined, and laid-back experience.

Likewise, their boutique river cruise ships are stylish floating hotels with inviting spaces, exquisite antiques, custom fabrics and original works of art.

Truly All Inclusive amenities:

• Unlimited premium spirits and wines
Delicious, Five-Star, farm-to-table cuisine
Your choice of Carefully Curated Excursions
• All Gratuities onboard
Onboard Fitness Centre and Wellness Classes with a certified wellness instructor
All scheduled Airport Transfers
• Bicycles and Nordic Walking Sticks for onshore use
Shipwide Internet and Wi-Fi access
Onboard Entertainment and Enrichment

£0 Up to £10,000+

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