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The Romantic Rhine

You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
8 days From £1,695 £1,495 per person
4.6 stars(47 reviews)
Rail & Cruise

Experience a leisurely upstream cruise, soaking up the wonderful beauty of the Romantic Rhine.

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Save £200pp on River Cruise 2024 holidays, when you book by 27th August 2024.

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2024 Tour code: RHR24

About the tour

Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Romantic Rhine River. As we cruise through France, Germany, and the Netherlands, we admire stunning forested valleys, charming half-timbered towns, and incredible cities along the enchanting riverbanks. Experience the spectacular scenery of the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site adorned with stunning castles, lush forests, and sprawling vineyards. Discover the sights of enchanting Strasbourg, the magical allure of the Black Forest, and the timeless elegance of Heidelberg.

Interested in this tour but haven't found a date that works for you?
You might also like our similar tour The Majestic Rhine!

Unforgettable experiences

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
Pfalzgrafenstein Castle
Sail through the lush scenery of the Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage site defined by fairytale castles, green forests and the legendary Lorelei Rock. Keep an eye out for the Pfalzgrafenstein - an impressive former toll castle that stands on an island in the middle of the river.
Explore the beautiful riverside city of Heidelberg on a guided tour discovering its ancient buildings and fabulous hilltop castle.
Wander Rüdesheim’s cobbled streets, admire its half-timbered buildings, and experience the famous Drosselgasse alley bursting with life, cosy pubs and inviting wine cellars.
Drachenfelsbahn cog railway
Drachenfelsbahn cog railway
Climb to the top of the Drachenfels on the Drachenfelsbahn cog railway, with wonderful views across the shimmering river and beyond.
Visit Amsterdam, a diverse city of peaceful parks, picturesque canals, unique museums and distinctive architecture.
Tour the vibrant streets of bustling Cologne and visit its impressive Gothic cathedral.

What’s included


Day 1 - To Amsterdam where we board our luxurious ship

Our holiday begins this morning as we meet at London St Pancras. Aboard the Eurostar we head to Amsterdam, where our magnificent ship awaits us.

After a welcome cocktail this evening, we enjoy dinner accompanied by a wonderful performance from a traditional Dutch Sea Shanty choir - the perfect start to our cruise.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Vibrant Amsterdam and the Medemblik Steam Train

This morning you have the choice of two exciting excursions. The first is a sightseeing canal boat tour of vibrant Amsterdam, a city famous for its pretty canals and bridges, friendly people, relaxing parks, unusual museums, and laid-back atmosphere. Soak up the stunning views of the city's picturesque canals and architecture before having time for a coffee or hot chocolate in the museum area.

Alternatively, you could journey through the enchanting Hoorn countryside aboard the Medemblik Steam Train. Admire the picturesque landscape of tulip fields, windmills, and charming villages - the epitome of Dutch culture.

During a delightful lunch on board, we begin sailing to Cologne, embarking on our first relaxing cruise of the holiday.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Lively Cologne

As we approach Cologne this afternoon, we see the magnificent bridges that span the river and the imposing Cathedral. We enjoy a walking tour of the city and, as we explore its vibrant streets and lively squares, we admire the Romanesque townhouses before visiting the city's impressive Gothic cathedral which is the largest in Northern Europe. The intricate spires and magnificent stained glass windows of this UNESCO-listed landmark are captivating as we marvel at the grand architecture.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - The magical Middle Rhine and the wonderful Drachenfelsbahn

We bid farewell to Cologne this morning, setting off on our journey upstream. After breakfast, we head to the top deck as we sail by the historic city of Bonn, once a proud Roman settlement and the illustrious birthplace of the legendary composer, Beethoven.

Continuing upstream, we begin to see the first signs of lush green hills as we arrive in the enchanting town of Königswinter. We enjoy lunch onboard before our journey on the Drachenfelsbahn railway.

This fabulous cog railway rises high into the forests, passing the fairytale Drachenfels castle - which is said to have been the inspiration for the castle in Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty'. We experience wonderful views across the Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany as we climb higher. During lunch onboard our ship in the late afternoon, we set sail. Look out for the impressive Deutsches Eck monument as we approach Koblenz, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle. We moor within easy walking distance for you to explore the beautifully illuminated riverside at leisure before dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Picturesque Koblenz, the enchanting Rhine Gorge, and charming Rüdesheim

There's time at leisure this morning to explore Koblenz, once a Roman stronghold. We recommend strolling to Deutsches Eck where you'll be surrounded by inspiring vistas including the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. After lunch, we commence a highlight of our cruising experience - sailing through the romantic Rhine gorge.

This section of the Rhine is renowned for its spectacular views and the best place to witness them is from the top deck of our ship. The riverbanks plunge deeper here, and we wind around bends surrounded by endless miles of lush green vineyards, ancient castles, and picturesque riverside towns. It's also one of the narrowest points of the river with one of the strongest currents.

As we sail, we hear the fascinating story of the legendary Lorelei Rock which soars almost 500 feet out of the water. This monument has been the inspiration for countless myths and legends, and we hear of them as we sail by.

We then arrive into the captivating town of Rüdesheim, famous for its delicious white wine, especially the dry Riesling variety. Wander its cobbled streets at your own pace and see the charming half-timbered houses, quaint shops, and enticing wine bars in the Drosselgasse alley before dinner back onboard our ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Lovely Speyer and traditional Heidelberg

After breakfast, we step ashore in Speyer this morning and take in the sight of this historic German city and its cathedral. In the afternoon, we journey to the picturesque university town of Heidelberg, known for its lovely Old Town and stunning riverfront which is perfect for a relaxing stroll.

Here, we enjoy a guided tour including a visit to the magnificent ruined, red sandstone castle that towers over the city, providing amazing views of the surrounding forests, river, and cityscape. We return to our ship later for dinner and a restful overnight sailing.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - The enchanting Black Forest or striking Strasbourg

Today, there's a choice of two wonderful excursions. The first is a magical trip into the Black Forest, to witness stunning fairytale panoramas. Experience the beauty of Germany's largest nature park filled with rolling hills, picturesque villages, dense forests, and meadows dotted with wildflowers. As you explore this fairytale setting, you'll learn about the enchanting history and folklore of the region.

Alternatively, you could enjoy a city tour of Strasbourg, where you'll discover its fascinating history, admire its grand architecture and experience its unique character. The city sits on the French-German border and blends the best of the two cultures, with colourful half-timbered houses and cobbled streets. On our tour, we visit the cathedral and the quaint La Petite France district.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, it's time to disembark and say goodbye to our wonderful crew. We make our way to the railway station and head towards Paris where we catch the Eurostar to London St Pancras. Here, we say goodbye to new friends and fellow travellers.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

The Rhine in Flames

The Rhine in Flames is a magnificent procession that takes place every year on the majestic Rhine River in Germany. The river is set ablaze with an incredible display of fireworks and flares, illuminating the entire area with vibrant colours. Crowds line the riverbanks for the spectacle, gasping and cheering. But we have the best seat in the house on our luxury boat which is part of the wonderful display!

Book in May to join the spectacular celebrations - click here to view The Rhine in Flames

Info - Travel Options

We offer a Standard Class and First Class rail options for departures on this tour. You can find out which class each departure is by clicking on the information button in the pricing grid. (Look for S - Standard Class and F - First Class)

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Drachenfels Railway
Medemblik Steam Train


MS Amadeus Imperial
MS Amadeus Star

Enhance your holiday


London Hotels
UK rail connections


4.6 stars4.6 / 5 · 47 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star


5 stars

Submitted 17/Jul

Thank you for an amazing well organized River Cruise Holiday (The Romantic Rhine) which we have just come back from. This holiday was recommended by Bethany Grimes (our Granddaughter) one of your employees. From start to finish everything was 5 star Food, Cabin, Staff and trips out everyday included in the price. Would highly recommend your Company (Great Rail Journeys) for a River Cruising Holiday. Until the next time Pauling and Barrie Grimes.

Collected by Trustpilot

Tony Martin

4 stars

Submitted 16/Jul

Enjoyable cruise on a pretty new ship with great staff. Tour escort was great.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs G Clarke

5 stars

Submitted 15/Jul

Fascinating places with interesting variety and an amazing crew and staff on board with superb food. Can't find a fault with any of it.

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4 stars

Submitted 15/Jul

The ship and tge food were excellent it was a pity the weather was poor. The tour manger and the cruise manager were both very poor

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 15/Jul

A thoroughly enjoyable trip. Well organised and professionally run with experienced and friendly tour managers and ship crew. The food was excellent, the cabin comfortable and the excursions both interesting and scenic. The only downside was the weather (cold and rainy) which I include only because when booking a cruise in July you don’t realise how much it will impact the overall experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

G Gilbert

4 stars

Submitted 15/Jul

All in all a great holiday. The only downside was the food.

Collected by Trustpilot

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River Cruise Holidays 2025

River Cruise Holidays 2025

Experience the magic of cruising along some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways. Glide serenely along the romantic Rhine, explore the blue Danube or meander through the enchanting Douro Valley. With our river cruises, you’ll drift through beautiful landscapes and historic towns.

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