River cruising is effortless travelling

The thought of packing and unpacking a suitcase as well as checking in and out of accommodation is enough to make you think twice about travelling at all.  Even ocean cruising has its drawbacks – think sea sickness – but experiencing the delights of river cruising is like travelling in another realm.

Rhine River cruising in relaxed style Image: GRACIE

In July we cruised the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam plus a side trip 0n the Moselle.  We had unheard of weather – brilliant sunshine that simply added the final touch.  We chose to cruise with Tauck Tours for 12 days on their superb vessel ‘MS Inspire’ Immediately on board we felt at ease – the ship had a great feel about it.  It’s polished brass, warm tones and tasteful crystal lighting spoke of luxury not overdone.  Attention to detailed fittings in the cabins, left nothing to be desired.  And oh, the bathroom mirrors (a discreet well lit magnifier), ensured beauty support mechanisms comfortably at hand.

‘MS Inspire’ Lounge Image: GRACIE

We loved the unhurried pace, with time to absorb the landscape on either side of the rivers.  The Upper Middle Rhine has castles popping up with amazing regularity, all so drenched in history.  Romance and fantasy just filled the air.

The Rheingau Castle – Upper Middle Rhine Image: GRACIE

This is also the heart of the Riesling wine growing.   Hills terraced with vineyards form stunning backdrops to the castles and villages that keep appearing.  It’s simply a timeless current of history and heritage.

Upper Middle Rhine Image: GRACIE

All to be enjoyed from the relaxed comfort of the deck!

Upper Middle Rhine from ‘MS Inspire’ sundeck Image: GRACIE

‘MS Inspire’ Forward lounge deck Image: GRACIE

At Korblenz, the cruise turned into the Moselle River.  Here the hills rise from the river’s edge at sharp angles, almost appearing to defy the odds of grape growing.  The valley is beyond beautiful with manicured vineyards as far as they eye can see.

Bernkastel as seen from the funicular. Image: GRACIE

View of the Moselle and vineyards from the funicular Image: GRACIE

We never got tired of gazing at the charming towns that line these rivers.  Impossible to pick a favourite.

Klotten – a village on the banks of the Moselle Image: GRACIE

Soaking up the charm wasn’t restricted to viewing from the river.  Once on shore, towns like Bernkastel revealed their magic.  It’s 15th century half timbered houses and rambling narrow streets was totally captivating.  This crooked house has got to be the cutest of the cute!

Bernkastel ‘Spitzhauschen built in 1461 Image: GRACIE

This storybook town and it’s public squares and fountains is nothing short of enchanting.  You almost expect Rumpelstiltskin to come zooming around the corner.

Bernkastel public square Image: GRACIE

Side excursions in the comfort of Tauck’s coaches are offered each day or bicycles are available for the more energetic.  A visit to the Reichsburg Castle provided this stunning view of the beautiful Moselle valley town of Cochem.

Cochem as seen from Reichsburg Castle Image: GRACIE

There’s so much to love about river cruising, the ease of pace, the scenery, onboard comfort and care.  It’s much more fun than dragging suitcases around for a couple of weeks, in an out of hotels, checking transport connections and discovering obstacles you hadn’t bargained on.  It’s all so effortless!  Go choose your river and let it all happen.