The Rhine River spans Central Europe and Western Europe. It flows through or along the borders of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and The Netherlands. It is a major navigation way and played an important role in history and culture of Europe.
The Rhine is commonly divided into the following parts:
- Rhine Valley or Alpine Rhine (Alpemrhein) — from Graubünden to Lake Constance.
Ruinaulta (Rheinschlucht) – canyon created by the Vorderrhein.
- Lake Constance (Bodensee)
- High Rhine (Hochrhein) — from Lake Constance to Basel in Switzerland.
Rhine Falls (Rheinfall) near Schaffhausen.
- Upper Rhine (Oberrhein) — between Basel and Bingen / Rüdesheim, Germany
- Middle Rhine Valley (Mittelrheintal) — the most famous and scenic part of the Rhine between Bingen /Rüdesheim and Bonn / Bad Honnef, with countless wineries and the famous Loreley rock
- Lower Rhine (Niederrhein) — from Bonn and Cologne into the Ruhr, then splitting into a vast delta that covers much of the Netherlands
- Rhine Valley Switzerland
- Middle Rhine Valley (Bingen/Wiesbaden to Bonn), Germany
There are many luxury cruise liners along the river, some just short sections other going from the whole length or into the Main river and to the Danube.
From Amsterdam to Basel, Zurich or Strasbourg or from the Rhine cruise up the Main and Danube to Budapest. The leisurely journey with plenty of stopovers typically takes anywhere from one to two weeks, with accommodation on the boat itself. Large operators include Avalon and Viking.