Cruising in languid luxury along Europe's ancient arteries is counted among some of the world's greatest and most awe-inspiring travel experiences. Leader of the pack, Uniworld, elevates the cruising experience to new heights of wonder with their signature style of all-inclusive luxury and personalised service. Discover what you could expect on a Uniworld river cruise with our photo diary detailing some of the highlights of their popular eight-day Castles along the Rhine itinerary from Amsterdam to Basel.
To the uninitiated, cruising through a river lock is a surprising and exciting experience; these intriguing devices are used for raising and lowering watercrafts between stretches of water flowing at different levels. Some are enormous caverns that can fit multiple river ships, while others are small devices where boats pass through one at a time.
Pulling up to Cologne, it was apparent that it wasn’t your average day in the city. The sun was beaming down, friends and family were picnicking on the grass and revellers were spilling out of riverside bars. The city’s already stunning setting was enhanced by the jovial atmosphere along the riverbank and throughout the city streets on this public holiday.
Certainly one of the most coveted included excursions on the itinerary was the ‘Let’s Go’ bike ride from Koblenz to Boppared. An easy 20km ride along the river, winding along the banks, through quaint villages and past immaculate rows of vineyards offered a unique way of seeing the river. Plus, we got to wave to our fellow passengers on the ship as it cruised past!
The River Empress cuts a fine figure while cruising along the Rhine en route to Koblenz.
Once you’re refreshed after a day of exploring, head straight to the lounge for cocktail hour. Here, the talented bar staff will whip you up a tipple of your choosing using premium spirits, served to you with a flourish and smile. Cocktail hour also runs into the evening debrief, where the next day’s destination and activities are discussed. The head sommelier also reveals the wine pairing for dinner – complete with some words of wisdom and a joke.
Perfect for lazing about with a good read, playing a game of giant chess, running laps, doing yoga and mingling with your fellow passengers, the River Empress’ crown jewel is its multipurpose sun deck. It’s also the best place to be when cruising along the Romantic Rhine.
You won’t know which side of the river to look at when cruising the middle section of the Rhine in Germany. This 130km-long UNESCO World Heritage-listed stretch is lined with over 40 castles and fortifications dating back to the Middle Ages, as well as vineyards and quaint chocolate-box villages scattered across rolling green hills.
You’re certain to spend a lot of time in this sophisticated space. Breakfast and lunch are leisurely affairs with all your staple favourites, as well as healthy choices and regional specialities, across a mix of a la carte, buffet and chef-served dishes.
Local dishes are peppered all throughout Uniworld’s onboard culinary offering. At dinner, expect local delights, such as pork served with mushroom sauce and spaetzle (a German rolled egg noodle) and fruit-laden desserts.
The jewel of the Alsace region is the charming town of Kasyersburg, located a short drive from Breisach. Half-timbered homes from the Renaissance line cobbled streets in its small pedestrian centre. Take the time to amble the main strip, darting in and out of colourful patisseries, boulangeries and small-goods delis. The Alsatian region is renowned for its wine, foie gras and myriad other gourmet ingredients.
All images by Anna Howard.