The romantic Rhine River is one of Europe’s most scenic waterways. Historically significant for centuries, a Rhine River cruise provides unmissable opportunities to sight waterfront castles and fortresses, medieval bridges and fairy tale villages, hilly vineyards and stunning landscapes. Here are four facts about the Rhine River to wow your travel companions on your European river cruise:
4 facts about the Rhine River
The Rhine River flows through 6 countries
765 miles long and flowing through 6 countries, the Rhine River has acted as a link between southern and northern Europe since Roman times. Starting in the Swiss Alps, the Rhine River travels through Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Rhine serves a number of major cities within Europe including; Amsterdam, Cologne, Strasbourg, Düsseldorf, Basel, Mannheim and Rotterdam.
The name of the river changes depending on the country it flows through
The name of the Rhine River is in fact Celtic and can be traced back many years to the Celts who once lived in the region. The word ‘rhine’ originates from the word ‘renos’, which means large, flowing water or raging flow. Interestingly, the name of the Rhine River changes depending on the country it flows through:
The Rhine River is one of the most used European rivers
The Rhine is a working river that is traversed each day by more than 1,600 barges carrying more than 500 million tonnes of cargo. Not only this but the picturesque cliff-side castles, vineyards and towns make it a popular option on a European river cruise. There are several cruise lines that sail the river (including APT Cruising, Emerald Cruises and Scenic River Cruises) and at the busiest point of the cruising season, upwards of 300 river cruise ships will travel along the Rhine.
There are many UNESCO World Heritage sites along the river
The Rhine River is home to many unique treasures that are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Popular sites include Germany’s Cologne Cathedral and Upper Middle Rhine Valley (which were inscribed 1996 and 2002) respectively, the City of Luxembourg’s Old Quarters and Fortifications (which was inscribed in 1994) and France’s Strasbourg, Grande -Île and Neustadt (which was inscribed in 1988).