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Credit: Alastair Miller/Viking

Where to visit on a Rhine cruise - travel photographer reveals the highlights

Author: Vicky Mayer

Published on:

Updated on:

Rhine river cruises are hugely popular and with good reason. There are countless gorgeous destinations along the way - here are some of the best places to visit.

Rhine river cruises are operated by multiple major cruise operators, with Viking among them.

When Viking’s resident photographer and Viking.TV host Alastair Miller travelled along the Rhine, he enjoyed a mesmerising week of culture, fun and gastronomy.

Based in Paris, Alastair Miller is Viking Cruises’ award-winning resident photographer, as well as a regular host on Viking.TV. Having worked for the Times and the Sunday Times, he now travels the world, shooting amazing destinations for Viking.

He recently joined Viking Kara on the Rhine to film an original documentary series – Alastair’s Travels: The Rhine – for Viking.TV, the line’s cultural enrichment channel.

Along the way, he visited the Dutch village of Kinderdijk, learned about Cologne’s historic cathedral, stopped in Koblenz to try the local wine, and enjoyed some great food in Alsace.

Here are some more highlights of his Rhine trip as well as a few of his photos.

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Black Forest

"Despite its name, the Black Forest in autumn is actually lots of wonderful shades of green, orange and brown.

"I rode around on an e-bike – it’s a brilliant way to explore and you can cover so much more distance, with a lot less effort, than on a push bike."

- READ MORE: What you need to know about cruising the Rhine -

Amsterdam

"Taking to two wheels on a traditional Dutch bike was an exhilarating experience.

"The locals in Amsterdam are pretty speedy cyclists, and at first it was a little intimidating, but once you get confident, it really is the best way to see the city."

Rhine river cruises: By bike is the best way to explore Amsterdam. Credit: Alastair Miller/Viking

Cologne

"One of the most interesting things I discovered in Cologne was the story of the “stumble stones”.

"This project, which started in the city and has since spread across Europe, replaces existing cobblestones outside a property with an inscribed stone bearing the names of the Jewish former residents of the building who were deported to concentration camps during the Holocaust. It was both fascinating and moving to learn more about this."

- READ MORE: Ultimate Christmas market river cruise with VIVA Cruises -

Middle Rhine

"On the morning before sailing into Koblenz, we woke up to an incredible sunrise. It’s always worth getting up early, as those hours when the river is so quiet and peaceful can bring some of the most special moments."

Heidelberg

"Meeting modern students at Germany’s oldest university was a really interesting experience and we had a fascinating chat about student life in the city."

Rhine river cruises: Heidelberg is home to Germany’s oldest university. Credit: Alastair Miller/Viking

Why I love the Rhine

Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking UK, reveals why the Rhine is her favourite itinerary...

"I am very proud to be godmother to Viking Sigrun, one of our Longships on the Rhine. This river is especially close to my heart because it’s where my love of river cruising began, on my first ever cruise more than 25 years ago.

"There is nothing better than eating al fresco on the Aquavit Terrace aboard a Viking Longship as you admire the spectacular scenery of the Middle Rhine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with fairytale castles and cathedrals all along the banks. I also enjoy seeing glimpses of local life as you sail past.

- READ MORE: Best world-class cultural cruises -

"One of my favourite cities on Viking’s “Rhine Getaway” itinerary is Basel, an underrated destination that’s just in Switzerland but close to the French and German borders. I like exploring on foot, and I love the way locals embrace the outdoor lifestyle.

"A lot of people commute by swimming or rowing, with their work clothes in a waterproof pack – and that includes some of our colleagues at Viking’s operations HQ."

Rhine river cruises: Cruisers are guaranteed spectacular views when travelling down the Rhine. Credit: Alastair Miller/Viking

Don't miss

Alastair’s Travels: The Rhine on Viking.TV, presented by Alastair Miller. Access is free and all episodes are available to watch on demand.

Get onboard

Eight-day ‘Rhine Getaway’ cruise from Amsterdam to Basel aboard Viking Longship Hermod, departing 10 May 2022, from  2,345.

The fare includes return flights from selected UK airports, eights days on board in a standard stateroom, an included excursion in most ports, all onboard meals including wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, wi-fi (speeds may vary) and gratuities.

To book, please call 0800 319 6660 or visit viking.com

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