The Rhine cruise is something I had waited to do for a many years now. Finally had a chance to take this trip few weeks back. It was a 6 hour trip and we didn't expect the actual cruise boat ride to last only 1.5 hours, rest of it was only bus ride. The boat ride was amazing though! The view on both sides of the river were breath taking and the experience was memorable. the trip guide gave great insights to the history, geography of the area. The dinner was quite a let down, just one course meal. Wine tasting was also not anything major to talk off. Found the cost quite exorbitant in that sense.
Great tour and great tour guide. The locations we visited were all beautiful with a rich history and great sights. Lots of opportunities for great photos both on land and on the river.
We took a bus from Frankfurt and made a few stops along the way before reaching the river. The river cruise lasted about 1 1/2 hours. The views on the river were stunning. The crowing achievement was the Lorelei rock and statue the statue is after the rock so be prepared with your camera!. Beautiful villages along the way, so much so my wife and I were trying decide which house we would want to live in!
At the city we at stopped before the river, my wife took the ski lift down to the bottom and she got some great photos of the area. It had beautiful views of the Rhine. She had to pay an extra 10 euro for that but she felt it was worth the money.
The ship was great and we went on the first day they started the tours so there wasn't a ton of people on the ship. The ship also offers drinks at extra cost. We were able to go topside and get some great views and pictures of the Rhine valley and all the castles! It was the best part of the whole tour!
My only complaint comes about the food that they offer. They took us to a really cool looking restaurant. It looked like a place where the food should have been better than what we got. They served Schnitzel with fries the fries looked and tasted like American McDonalds fries that had been sitting out for a bit. The Schnitzel was medium sized, plain, and tasted like it was frozen then re-heated like a frozen dinner from the supermarket. It didn't taste bad but I thought it would have been restaurant quality not re-heated from frozen at home quality. The German food I had previously eaten even at the German train stations! was so great that I was really expecting better but instead we got more of what I would have expected from a cheap tour in the US. Also, they served Apfelstrudel for dessert but, spoiler alert, it was at extra cost, not included in the lunch. They might have mentioned this online but I don't remember reading about it and they certainly didn't say anything when they were taking orders for it so I wrongly assumed it was at no extra cost. It was around 8 euro per dessert. It was not very good. A dessert from your typical Germany bakery would knock your socks off for far less money. This tasted like a processed American pastry. So I felt overcharged and underwhelmed by the food. I would have gladly paid more money for this tour had it included a full meal that was Germany quality.
Overall it was a great experience. Improve the food and this would be a great tour to take that would offer a high quality German experience that would leave me wanting more.
The trip was very enjoyable and relaxing. Since most companies do not offer cruises until April, I was very happy that this one was offered year round. Our guide was Michael and he was great...funny, helpful, and accommodating. My only suggestion is that we had been told that dessert was extra at lunch it was good so worth it, but still would have been helpful. Also, the wine tasting at the end of the tour could have been a little more generous.
It was a beautiful drive up the Rhine Valley and Michael our tour guide was amazing with sharing information. He also had a lot of patience as the group we were with, was quite a handful. As it was winter, the boats were not running on regular schedules, but Michael managed to find one and we had a very quick trip on the river which was amazing. The food was ok, but not great - smallest portion I have ever experienced in Germany, but was enough for me and the wine tasting is not really worth mentioning as a feature of the tour, but at least you get to taste a little sip of each of the local wines. I think the trip will be amazing during summer months when the weather is better and you can make the most of the boat cruise, but I would not recommend winter tours unless you like driving around the whole day. The scenery was still beautiful and Michael informative, but you do not get to do much.
I never complain but felt compelled to write a personal review of the Rhine Tour we participated in. Our tour guide Michael was very pleasant and entertaining however the trip itself was a disappointment due to the following reasons:
1. The bus allocated to us had the smallest most uncomfortable seats I've ever had the displeasure of using. I was very uncomfortable and I am an average sized woman. This alone spoiled the trip for me, I was that uncomfortable. If you are a larger person or a bigger man you would need to almost take up 2 seats, so steer clear of this one or ask if they have bigger buses. I sat next to a bigger not fat man and I had to literally sit half in the aisle the whole trip.
2. Spending hours in the cramped bus which took far too long - we spent the majority of the time in this tiny bus instead of exploring Ruedesheim or being on the boat. Towards the end we spent 20 minutes in a local bakery to get a cup of coffee that was our sum total of exploring Ruedesheim because there was no time to do any exploring. I would have preferred being allocated a few hours in Ruedesheim to find our own restaurant to have lunch, explore and then return to a meeting point.
3. The restaurant we went to is terrible. I have never seen so much kitsch in my life. It was creepy and cramped and the food was mediocre. Lunch does not include a drink even water so you have to pay inflated prices as only lunch is included in the price. Lunch for us was a small portion of rice with a ladle of vegetable stew we requested vegetarian. Dessert was a whopping 6.50 euro each for a pre-frozen type packaged piece of apple strudel, a squirt of bottled cream and a scoop of ice cream. The red wine I found cloyingly sweet - we were not offered a choice of red such as dry or sweet. The toilet doors don't lock. The wine tasting is offered in tiny plastic cups - more a sales pitch for one to buy the wine. Not the type of wine tasting we're accustomed to.
4. Having just read through the reviews it surprises me that a number of tourists have seemingly complained about the same thing going back some months but clearly the criticisms are not being addressed!
5. The actual cruise was pleasant enough although very short compared to the long uncomfortable bus ride. The toilet I used had run out of toilet paper. The food offered was of mediocre quality and the french fries were terribly over-salted.
6. I would suggest in the winter months that the tour leaves at 9am and returns earlier instead of 11.30am because it gets dark so early. Pity we didn't get to go down the mountain on this tour.
I would not recommend this tour unless the above issues are rectified. Frankly, it's a waste of money. As a tour guide Michael is friendly and engaging but the actual bus, the food offered and the time spent on the road was a real disappointment.
The time on the boat was far too short. The tour started in Frankfurt at 11:15. It could have started earlier, with extra time on the boat. We did not even see Die Lorelei.
Most important, the bus ride to the River was horrible. If you are an average sized American, you can not fit on the bus. The only people who were able to walk down the bus were those under 120 pounds. It was painful and embarrassing to try and walk on the aisles. Makes an airline look huge.
We went on this trip on Sunday 03 Dec, the first day it snowed this year in a Frankfurt which made the trip more magical, our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. The only thing I would change was the amount of time we had at the last stop at a Christmas market, it was very busy and 30 minutes wasnt long enough. The food was ok but not great and the wine tasting was just an extra sell for the restaurant. Overall an enjoyable day.