Cologne, Germany is a bucket list destination for many travelers who love art, history, and culture. Having once played a significant role in Roman trading, Cologne is filled with opportunities to explore its incredible history. The city’s Gothic architecture, many museums, and famous landmarks (such as the Opera House) are major highlights for those who love to appreciate art. Cologne is also a must-visit for beer enthusiasts, as the town is famous for locally brewed beer and numerous breweries!
Many cruises lines offered cruises that include Cologne as a port of call in their itineraries; however, Riviera River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises are currently the only cruise lines that offer cruises from Cologne. The most ideal time to visit Cologne is between September and November or April and June, when the weather is at its peak. For holiday cruises that highlight Europe’s famous Christmas markets, you’ll have to travel during December, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you pack a hat, gloves, and scarf to stay bundled and warm.
British cruise line Riviera River Cruises features a fabulous variety of cruises departing from Cologne. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, there are a few short 4-night roundtrip holiday voyages (featuring yuletide markets) from Cologne. If you are looking for a longer trip, Riviera River Cruises also features a few 14-night cruises that explore the heart of Europe, as well as a number of 7-night cruises that sail along the Rhine. These cruises are available on MS Charles Dickens, MS Emily Bronte, MS Geoffrey Chaucer, MS George Eliot, MS Jane Austen, and MS Oscar Wilde.
Uniworld River Cruises offers a smaller selection of cruises from Cologne, including a 7-night Holiday Market sailing onboard S.S. Antoinette, and a 9-night voyage from Cologne to Frankfurt onboard River Queen.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from Cologne, Germany. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from Cologne, Germany. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from Cologne, Germany:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Cologne, along with a brief description:
♦ Kolner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)
History and culture lovers will rejoice at the chance to visit Kolner Dom, Germany’s largest and most iconic cathedral. This 13th century UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see when spending time in Cologne. Inside, you can view the beautiful stained-glass windows, Three Magi Shrine, the Gero Cross, medieval statues, and a large pipe organ, as well as admire some of the most striking Gothic architecture in the region. For a nominal fee, you can climb up the cathedral’s towers for some of the most breathtaking views of the city, all while learning about how the building was one of the only structures to survive a World War II bombing.
♦ Cologne Chocolate Museum
If you grow tired of traditional art and history museums, an exciting alternative is Cologne’s famous Chocolate Museum! A perfect activity for families and guests of all ages, the Cologne Chocolate Museum will bring you through 5,000 years of chocolate history, complete with sweet treats and unique creations in between. The museum houses a cinema where you can view chocolate commercials from all eras, a greenhouse with live cocoa trees, and a 10-foot tall chocolate fountain (certain to delight young kids). Adults will appreciate the gift shop where you can purchase German and Swiss chocolates so you can bring a taste of the museum home with you.
♦ Schloss Augustusburg Palace
No cruise from Cologne is complete without a visit to Schloss Augustusburg Palace! Guided tours take you inside of this magnificent structure, which boasts a stunning rococo design and some of the original furniture. You can discover the fascinating history behind this summer palace as well as the impressive gardens located on the grounds. No photography is allowed inside the palace, but you will have plenty of photo ops from outside!
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