Switzerland is where the Rhine river begins in the Southeastern Swiss Alps. Often times cruises depart or finish in Switzerland because they have journeyed or are just beginning there trip. One main stop along the Rhine river is Basel, Switzerland which is the location where the French, German and Swiss borders all meet. Originating in the Swiss Alps makes this river a unique blend of glacial waters and tributaries that carry it out to the North Sea.

The Rhine a Swiss river is one of the longest rivers in all of Europe. The river begins in the Rheinwaldhorn Glacier which is high in the Swiss Alps. The Rhine river gets its name from the Celtic word renos which means raging flood. This is true when the river falls 75 feet down in a strong force known as Rheinfall near Schaffhausen. But the river slows to a much calmer pace in Basel where it becomes navigable. This is where many cruise ships start their journeys out of Switzerland and up towards the North Sea.

The Rhine is the biggest river in Switzerland and travels nearly 870 miles from Basel to the North Sea passing through six countries. The river carves through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands.

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There are many rivers and tributaries that lead into the Rhine river as it heads out to sea. Along the Rhine river cruise, there are many different castles that date back to medieval times. There are also many vineyards and quaint little towns to stop and visit. The local fare and drinks are a main attraction in this culturally rich cruise. Experiencing different cultures, countries, towns and the different ideas that have come from them all are easy and fun to enjoy. Strasbourg and Koblenz are some older cities that have a rich history. Then there is Cologne and Basel which are bigger and busier but have a more modern feel, great for exploring and seeing the many extraordinary landmark buildings.

​Timing Is Of The Essence

The summer on the Rhine river is hot and very busy as expected there are many people who want to enjoy the sun on this unique river cruise. But if you are looking for a time when there aren’t as many people enjoying the sights and sounds of the Rhine river the spring and fall are more moderate.

A popular event during summer and fall on the main Rhine is “Rhine in Flames” which is an associated with wine festivals and seasons celebrations.  These events display some electric firework displays that can be enjoyed from the top of your cruise ship. The rich culture, parties, music, food and dancing that goes on is an amazing experience worth catching.

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​Rivers to the Rhine

The Rhine connects with some tributaries that add to the size, strength and length of the river. The Neckar, Main and Moselle are main tributaries that flow into the Rhine. These other rivers give smaller boats access to regions further away from the reach of the Rhine River. The economic impact of the Rhine River is very critical to the entire region. Many good and industries use the river to transport their product in and out of the region.


The Rhine region has many World War I and World War II historic locations that impacted the political outcomes of many events during that time. If you have an interest in those things, there are many sites to take in that have had an impact on the world. The Treaty of Versailles impacted the Rhine Valley in 1935 at the end of World War I. This and other historic war events can be found throughout the Rhine region on many of the cruise stops that accompany the river.

​Relaxation and Activities

Many of the cruises on the Rhine River provide a variety of stops at different towns and activities or events you can attend to soak up the culture in the region. Easy on and off accessibility allow you to enjoy the variety that these trips have to offer. Some towns even provide tours of castles and vineyard tours that talk about the heritage and history of the area. These are a great way to learn more about a particular town and the people that have inhabited it over the years.

The Rhine River that begins as the biggest and strongest Swiss River is undoubtedly one of the most historic and unique river cruises in the world. Taking on as many countries (6) and variety as it does leaves all with memories for a lifetime. The unique gorge that is on the Main Rhine creates views and scenes that a very special to this region and provide pictures that you can’t stop looking at. If you are on the search for a great cruise, the Rhine River cruise will not disappoint.

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