The Rhine gets its name from the Celtic word “renos,” or “raging flood.”
Rising from two small headways in the southeastern Swiss Alps, the Rhine — one of Europe’s mightiest and most important rivers — flows more than 800 miles north and west through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands before emptying into the North Sea. No other river in the world has so many old and famous cities on its banks, from lovely old gems like Strasbourg and Koblenz, to more modernized capitals like Cologne and Basel.
The middle Rhine, between the German cities of Bingen and Bonn, offers one of the most breathtaking vistas to be found anywhere in the world. Here, steep rock precipices are crowned by the romantic ruins of medieval castles, all shrouded in ancient legends and myths like the Lorelei, the beautiful siren waiting to lure unwary sailors to their doom.
One of the world’s most popular cruising destinations, the Rhine River offers countless options for travelers at all times of the year, from the busy summer season to holidays like Easter and Christmas, when local markets deck themselves in their fairy-tale finest. With an average summer season seeing nearly 300 departures, there’s always a river cruise ship ready to welcome you to the Rhine.