May 15, 2018

Moselle River Cruise


Travel writer Brian Johnston provides a fairytale overview of his recent river cruise through Germany.

A few gorgeous days on the Moselle were a highlight of my Scenic Romantic Rhine & Moselle cruise from Amsterdam to Basel.

This compact river provides a more intimate version of the Rhine’s landscapes. A silvery ribbon of river meanders past medieval villages, hilltop castles and famous German vineyards, stacked in spectacular terraces that had passengers glued to Scenic Pearl’s decks.

Our first Moselle stop at Cochem was a corker. The pastel-painted town sits on a river bend between forested hills, one topped by Reichsburg Castle, whose pepper-pot towers are straight from a fairy tale.

A tour with Scenic local guide Katy took us through secret passageways and ramparts before we strolled downhill to admire Cochem’s lopsided medieval centre and shopping streets.

Sailing the Moselle the next day was glorious. After lunch, I jumped ashore for a guided cycle tour that followed the ship to Bernkastel-Kues, our picturesque overnight port. Some of us pedalled the whole three-hour riverside ride, others used Scenic Pearl’s e-bike power for added propulsion.

Flowerboxes bloomed in villages and vineyards rose into a blue sky. A tavern halfway was just the spot for ice cream or cold beer.

From Bernkastel, I opted for a day-long Scenic Freechoice tour to Luxembourg, a curious little country whose hilltop capital has lively markets and medieval ramparts with views into surrounding ravines.

There was still time that evening for me to wander through Bernkastel’s cobbled streets and squares and into the vine-planted hills, where lovely panoramas plunged to Scenic Pearl docked below.