Originating in the Vosges Mountains in north-eastern France, the 340-mile long Moselle flows through the beautiful Lorraine region, before entering the southern corner of Luxembourg where just west of the town of Trier, it turns away towards Germany and eventually joins the Rhine at Koblenz. A relatively small and intimate waterway in comparison to other great European rivers, the Moselle meanders through the beautiful valley of the same name, where vine-clad slopes and gentle woodland make any cruise a carefree jaunt where you can just sit back and enjoy the passing scenery.
The river also has a fascinating past, acting as a vital communications link between the Romans’ territories in Gaul and the bastions they used to keep Germanic tribes at bay. The town of Trier still has a number of impressive ancient imperial monuments which testify to that whilst the remains of feudal castles along its length emphasise the strategic importance of the Moselle in the Middle Ages for the rapacious archbishops of Trier. Koblenz owes its palace, castle and Balduin bridge to the Trier archbishops who wanted to control the town’s key position at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine.
Owing to the river’s relatively small size, many itineraries combine the mid-section of the Rhine from Cologne and Dusseldorf southwards with the smaller and more intimate Moselle down to Trier, adding even more natural and cultural wonders to passengers’ Rhine cruise.
Situated in the heart of the celebrated Moselle wine region, Trier is a mainstay of any cruise which explores the river. Widely regarded as Germany’s oldest city, its historic pedigree speaks for itself and as such, there is a wealth of cultural attractions to enjoy. The Black Gate is the city’s most famous landmark and the only remaining gate of four, which were built by the Romans back in 180AD. The Imperial Roman Baths and St Peter’s Cathedral are two other popular attractions.
Koblenz is a natural river cruise port of call thanks to it being the location of the famous Deutsches Eck where the Rhine and Moselle rivers meet and where tourists regularly gather to take in the incredible views. It’s the perfect place to get your fix of German fortresses and castles, with both Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and Schloss Stolzenfels offering a pleasing combination of compelling history and stunning river views.
Regarded by many sommeliers as the region’s wine capital, Bernkastel is naturally a popular port of call on many itineraries which explore the Moselle’s banks and wine-tasting excursions are often a popular choice. Whether you enjoy a tipple or not, the town is a delight to explore and a guided tour of its charming medieval streets is always a popular choice of excursion for river cruise visitors. The colourful half-timbered buildings you’ll find in its historic market place are a delight and a particular highlight of any visit.
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