Stunning views, awesome tours, great cocktails, delicious food, comfy rooms, and like-minded people. These are what we and most travelers on their mid 30’s and 40’s expect from a river cruise in Europe. And these were exactly what we got there. This very Summer, we boarded on a 7-day river cruise from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, and here is our Rolling on the Rhine River cruise review.
No kids, no seniors travelers, and no frills, the trips designed by U River Cruises have a perfect approach for young travelers, young souls, and active people.
It’s not only about age, but it’s about having a cruise that suits a specific group of travelers, people who want to experience the classic European destinations with the uniqueness of a river cruise, but with a kind of a millennial twist.
If you ever wanted to go on a river cruise in Europe but were just not sure if it was a good fit for you then keep reading.
In our Rhine river cruise review, we’re going to share all the details of the ship, the service, activities onboard, tours, food, our thoughts about river cruises for young adults, and why we loved it so much.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise Review
We divided this Rhine river cruise review into topics to make it easy for you to understand how U River Cruises works, so you can have a glimpse of how awesome the Rolling on the Rhine cruise was.
The itinerary, tours, and activities on board are specific for this trip, but things like the concept of the ship, the service and how the cruise experience is organized are all the same for all U River Cruises. And in the end we’re gonna list all the itineraries, so you can choose the one that shakes your boat.
Who travels with U River Cruises?
The river cruises by U River Cruises are tailored for young adults. The rule is that you must be older than 18 on the date of travel, but based on our experience I would say that the Rolling on the Rhine river cruise is perfect for people between 20 and 45. If you are older than that but have a young soul and energy enough for cycling, hiking and dancing your shoes off, then the cruise is perfect for you too. As I said before, it’s not about age, but about fitting in with the vibe, and being willing and able to join all the activities.
Freedom is a good word to describe the style of traveling offered by U River Cruises. You can join all the activities offered on the cruise package or follow your own schedule.
We totally recommend this river cruise for couples and even for honeymooners. It’s not a traditional romantic trip, like Paris or Maldives, but it has everything you need to celebrate love, have fun and spend some awesome time together. I also believe it’s a great trip for a small group of friends. I could totally see myself cruising the Rhine river with my besties.
FYI: It’s an adult-only cruise and the legal drinking age onboard is 21yo.
Rolling on the Rhine River cruise itinerary
The itinerary is one of the best assets of the trip. This Rhine River cruise has a great mix of classic, charming and modern destinations. The cruise runs from Frankfurt to Amsterdam [the one we did] and from Amsterdam to Frankfurt.
Depending on the dates of the trip and season, the itinerary may vary to adapt to local experiences, like the blossoming of the tulips or local festivities. Here is a quick review of our Rhine River itinerary:
1st Day – Frankfurt
It was all about settling in, unpacking, discovering the ship amenities, and meeting the crew and the U Hosts. The rooms are free from 3 PM, but if you arrive early you can check in and enjoy the ship’s common areas as you want.
At 6 pm we had the official welcome ceremony, which showed us the safety instructions, an introduction to the crew, and the activities and schedule for the following days.
It is also the first time you get to see all the travelers together, which is a total of 120 passengers if the cruise is fully booked.
After the ceremony and dinner, the U Hosts took us for an evening walk in a neighborhood filled with bars and restaurants.
It was a good opportunity to meet other travelers and try the [not so tasty] Apfelwein, a traditional apple wine from Frankfurt. Do as you wish, but we would tell you to skip it and stay with the traditional and good German beer, a guaranteed thumbs up.
2nd Day – Frankfurt
We had a busy day in Frankfurt. We went for a walking tour in the morning and a lovely bike ride along the river in the afternoon. These two activities were included in the cruise package and we had an awesome time, especially with the bike ride with a beer break overlooking the river.
Onto the ship, we had a Paint & Wine class, which I loved and got seriously tipsy, followed by dinner and a Tequila Karaoke party.
The second-day itinerary also had a Climbing Forest activity for adventurous travelers and an in-depth walking tour for history buffs as a second option, but these two activities were paid separately.
For the sports enthusiast out there, another cool fact about the city is that Frankfurt hosts one of the Ironman European Championships. Ironman Frankfurt usually happens in July, so you might be able to be in town on the same dates.
3rd Day – Rüdesheim and Koblenz
The ship docked on the charming town of Rudesheim around 8 AM and by 9:45 AM we started hiking to Germania Monument & Forest. The town is super cute, packed with little cafes and restaurants, all of them selling the local Riesling wine and the Rudesheim coffee, a mix of caffeine, alcohol, and fire. You can choose to stay in town or walk up to the vineyards.
The hiking is a long way up. It’s high, but the path is not too steep. It is super doable, even for the non-skilled hikers. For those who have a bad knee or ankle, though, I would recommend going up by cable car: it’s easier and you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the Rhine River as well.
We started hiking with the group and soon we were just the two of us, roaming through the vineyards by ourselves. We found a lovely restaurant overlooking the vineyard and river where we stopped for a glass of Riesling and a local beer. Life is simple and beautiful when you are cruising the River Rhine. The hiking was part of the cruise package.
The other morning activity was a tour and wine tasting at Eberbach Monastery, a 12th-century abbey that was used as a filming set on Game of Thrones. Wine and dragons was one of the activities you had to book and pay separately.
At 2 PM the Mixology Class at the Ice bar started on the rooftop of the ship. Great cocktails, laughs and amazing views were the best way to set the mood for an afternoon sailing on the Rhine. Another option on board was to start the afternoon with German Lessons at the U Lounge.
We started the Rhine Gorge scenic sailing by 3 PM. We cruised by stunning castles, medieval churches, charming villages, and green mountains for a couple of hours. It was a marvelous experience, one of the main reasons to go on a cruise on the Rhine River. Even with a grey sky, it was one of the highlights of our Rhine river cruise.
At 5 PM we docked in Koblenz, had a quick walking tour in the city and a visit to the beautiful Rheinstein Castle. Our visit to the castle started by sunset and we witnessed the moon rising from the towers while sipping wine. That was also an experience we’ll never forget.
All the activities we did on the third day were part of the cruise package.
4th Day – Koblenz, Bonn & Cologne
Early in the morning, we cruised from Koblenz to Remagen where the adventurous ones got off the ship for an awesome 24km bike ride along the Rhine River. Although the weather was not that promising, most of the travelers decided to face the chilly wind to enjoy the stunning views and beers by the river.
The bike ride was part of the cruise package and it wasn’t difficult. However, to be able to do it you need to know how to ride a mountain bike safely and be able to complete a 24 km route. After the ride, we met the boat at Bonn city, where the kitchen staff was waiting for us with German sausages, pretzels, and beer.
While we cycled, people on board had fun playing Crime Wine, foosball and enjoying the river views.
We left the clouds behind and arrived in Cologne by 4 PM. The sun was shining, making the city even more beautiful. We could choose whether to join the Cologne in-depth tour [paid separately] or go with our U Hosts for a walking tour around the old town, followed by a night walk to the beautiful Cologne Cathedral – one of the most famous landmarks in Germany – and Kolsch Beer tasting. Both walking tours were included in the cruise package.
Back to the ship, the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s party was lit with all those amazing costumes, wigs and the tacky songs we all love.
5th Day – Cologne & Dusseldorf
The U Hosts knew that almost everybody would have a hangover, so the outdoor activities started only at 11:30 AM. We had a quick guided walk around Dusseldorf with a final stop for a local beer, because that’s how we do it in Germany. Then it was free time, so we walked to the modern side of Dusseldorf to discover the impressive Medienhafen district.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to do on your free time in Dusseldorf, just make sure you have a bite at Carlsplatz, a local market selling from German dishes to delicious kebabs, fruits, and veggies.
During the afternoon, the weather changed and we spent hours on the rooftop lounge admiring the views while sailing from Germany to The Netherlands. It was an afternoon of laughters, drinks and saxophone music, a perfect river cruising experience.
6th Day – Haarlem & Amsterdam
We had breakfast while sailing to Haarlem, a cute town close to Amsterdam. Haarlem has all Dutch charms you can possibly see, like canals, old houses, windmills, and bikes. That morning we could choose between 3 different activities (which was a pretty hard task, by the way!). One was a walking tour with our U Hosts, included in the cruise package. The others were a Haarlem in-depth tour [the one we chose] and, for the adrenaline seekers, there was an activity by the beach with a sailing kart. The people who joined this one said it was amazing and just loved it.
Our walking tour was good, the city is gorgeous and we learned a lot about it. The guide wasn’t that much of a charismatic one, but he got some extra points for taking us for some delicious apple pie tasting and for ending the tour in a cool local brewery.
There was a bike tour happening in the afternoon we were supposed to go, but after the brewery, we decided to explore the town by ourselves. We went for some eating and drinking by the canals until we found our way back to the ship.
We had our farewell ceremony while sailing from Haarlem to Amsterdam, followed by dinner and the most unusual dessert ever: the kitchen staff prepared a Dessert Party for us. Think about music, drums, sugar rain, marshmallows flying around, sweets dancing in the air and mouthwatering desserts being placed in a colorful buffet in the rhythm of the music. It was literally a sugar rush! It was so much fun to watch it (and even better to eat it)! We have never seen anything like this before and I’m so glad we didn’t skip that meal.
After the sugar extravaganza, it was time for a quick walking tour in Amsterdam and a party on the boat. As we have been in Amsterdam many times before [read our guide for 3 days in Amsterdam here], we decided to do our own thing, going out for some drinks and enjoying this incredible city by ourselves.
7th Day – Amsterdam
This was our last day of activities, the sun was shining and we were ready to explore Amsterdam. At 10 AM we boarded on an electric boat to cruise the canals and learn about Amsterdam’s history, architecture, and lifestyle. The boat tour was part of the cruise package, which we believe is a fantastic perk.
Right after the boat we joined the Amsterdam Six Senses tour, a paid activity with a local guide that took us to the vibrant Jordaan neighborhood. We loved the experience, the guide was knowledgeable and fun, the places we visited and food/drinks we tasted were top notch.
During the afternoon, we explored Amsterdam at our own pace. Some travelers joined a bike tour called Amsterdam Old & New and said they had a good time. Just keep in mind that cycling in Amsterdam is not an easy thing, so if you are not confident on two wheels it is better to go on either on a boat or a walking tour.
The last night on board wasn’t that busy. There was a party scheduled but I guess most people preferred to explore Amsterdam’s nightlife than staying on the ship. I don’t blame them, we did the same. Just for reference, it was a pajama party, so don’t forget to pack one.
8th Day – Amsterdam
It was time to pack our bags and leave the cabin before 8:30 AM. After the check-out, we could enjoy the breakfast on our own time and even stay longer on the ship.
My recommendation is to settle your bill the night before check out morning, or pretty early in the morning, so you won’t have to wait in the queue at the reception. A good thing is that you can leave your luggage on the boat for a while so you can enjoy a few hours in Amsterdam without having to carry your stuff with you.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise onshore experiences
The itinerary of this Rhine river cruise is amazing and it’s well complemented by the activities and tours offered onshore. Every day we visited at least one new destination with time to have a glimpse of the city.
The U River Cruises offers activities onshore included in the cruise package in every destination. It can be a walking tour, short or long bike rides, hiking, wine or beer tasting and nights out. There are activities focused on food, drinks, adventure, and culture, so you can pick the ones that match your traveling style. Some of these activities onshore need to be pre-booked like the bike rides, once there is a limited number of participants.
For the U Host Walk you only need to show up with your headphones at the scheduled time and follow the U Hosts.
Also, every day there are U Time Experiences, these are more in-depth tours, adventure activities or a visit to special locations that demand a local guide. This experiences/tours are paid separately and you must book them in advance. On our cruise, the U Time Experiences onshore ranged from 34 to 89 euros per person, per tour. The U Time Experiences are non-refundable.
FYI: you book all the activities at the ship reception and pay for everything at the end of the trip.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise onboard experiences
Every day something fun is happening at the U lounge, or at the Ice Bar, or on the Rooftop Lounge. You can choose what you like to do and book the activities with at least one day in advance.
My favorite was the Paint & Wine, while Rob loved the Mixology class. To be honest, his Long Island cocktail was better than my attempt to paint cherries.
There were also German lessons, foosball competitions, karaoke nights, themed parties and many board games to keep any traveler busy for days.
Every morning there were wellbeing activities free of charge. Yoga classes, stretching time, facial exercises, and Latin dance. You don’t need to book these activities in advance, just wake up early and be inspired to look after your body and mind.
The A, be ready for an Instagrammable river cruise ship
Forget European vintage glamour and classic decoration and be ready for the most modern, stylish and Insta-worthy river cruise ship you have ever seen. The A is stunning! Everything is amazingly pretty and the ship offers endless photo opportunities.
With that said, let’s talk about the facilities/amenities offered on board of The A.
The ship has three decks, the main one is where the U lounge, reception, and some rooms are located. On the lower deck you’ll find more cabins, the Dine [the ship’s main restaurant], spa, gym, laundry, and a coffee/tea station. On the top deck are the Ice Bar and the rooftop lounge. The ship is small, but it has plenty of space for passengers to relax and have fun inside and outside.
U Lounge is the place to be for early morning snacks and evening drinks. The U Lounge has comfy chairs, an impressive bar, a foosball table, and a Dj booth. That is where all the parties and some of the onboard activities happen.
Dine is the main restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s super modern and it has huge windows to appreciate the views.
Rooftop Lounge is the place to be to admire the views while sailing. It has comfy chairs, cozy cocoons, blankets, and even a tent. You can choose your favorite spot to enjoy the cruise under the sun or stars.
Ice Bar is one of the coolest bars we have ever been to. The reason is simple: apart from serving good cocktails, its walls are hydraulics, which means that the bar gets almost flat to pass under the bridges of the Rhine river. One night you are in the bar enjoying a drink and the next morning you go to the deck and the bar is squeezed into a flat surface, like a fraction of the size it was just the night before.
Mugs is a coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water machine station open 24/7. Grab a U mug, prepare your fave beverage and have fun.
Gym is a well-equipped space with free weights, yoga mats, treadmills, bikes, and TRX. It’s open 24 hours and strategically located close to the coffee machine. We used it twice in 7 days. Good ratio, don’t you think?
Unwind Spa offers massages, beauty treatments, and free wellbeing sessions every morning at the Rooftop lounge.
Laundry filled with washing machines, dryers, and iron 24/7 and free of charge. You can do your laundry at no extra cost, but if you feel a bit lazy you can ask the housekeeping team to sort it out for you for an extra fee.
Rhine River Cruise Staterooms Review: we stayed in a gorgeous Suite with two little balconies and endless river view. The bed was huge and extremely comfy, the bathroom was spacious as well. We had a sitting area, a wardrobe, a minibar, and a coffee machine.
There are four types of accommodation on the ship, the Suite that we stayed, the Balcony room, and the Studio that has a river view but no balcony. These three options of stateroom are for two people, if you are traveling in a group of friends or family you can book a Studio Triple, with a river view but no balcony.
All rooms have private bathrooms, shower amenities, hairdryer, luggage storage underneath the bed, a safe for valuables and a flat-screen TV. The U River Cruises don’t have butler services, so you need to unpack your bags. Although the room service is daily and they keep your room and the ship spotless.
Good news, there is wifi throughout the ship and it’s included in the cruise price. Depending on where you are sailing, the signal might not be that strong, but you do have internet while sailing, which is an extra point for U River Cruises.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise Food & Beverage
We ate pretty well during the cruise. There was a different menu every day, with a special touch from the destination we were visiting.
Our Rhine river cruise package included three meals per day:
Early Risers – a light breakfast with fruits, pastries, yogurt, juice, and coffee served on the U lounge from 7 to 8 AM.
Breakfast or Brunch – depending on the activities of the day, breakfast was served from 8 to 10 AM or from 9 to 12 AM. The breakfast was served at the Dine in a buffet style with everything you need, from eggs to sweet pastry, several types of cheese, and even a vegan bar.
Dinner – every day a lovely dinner was served at the Dine in a buffet style or as three courses served on the table in a family sharing style. The menu had a great mix of international cuisine, always followed by delicious desserts and coffee.
Lunch was not included in the cruise package, although on the day we cycled from Remagen to Bonn we had a special lunch served on board at no extra fee. Most of the days we were onshore at lunchtime, so we had lunch in the city or on the food tours.
If you need a bite you can order food at the U lounge at our own expense. There is a vending machine at the reception with chocolate, crisps, and some treats if you have a midnight munchie.
Now let’s talk about beverages. Water and coffee were served for free during all meals. At breakfast, a wide range of juices and smoothies were also served without any extra cost. All alcoholic beverages consumed during the trip were paid, and to be honest, the prices weren’t that expensive comparing with restaurants and bars in Europe.
You can also buy the U Drink alcoholic or nonalcoholic package that covers all the drinks from the bar throughout the cruise. As we didn’t want to drink much, we paid on the go. Still talking about drinks, coffee, tea, water, and hot chocolate are free of charge and served 24/7 at the MUG station.
If you have any food allergies or dietary requirements, let the U River Cruises team know as soon as you book your trip and also during the check-in. This way the kitchen staff can accommodate your needs during all the meals.
U River Cruise responsible travel approach
This is a feature we feel happy to share on our Rhine river cruise review: U River Cruises are paperless and no single-use plastic is found on board.
All the communication is paperless and via WhatsApp. As soon as you check-in your phone number is added on two WhatsApp groups, one for cruise information, guides, and timetables and another one for passengers to chat, share tips, photos, organize meetups and so on.
About single-use plastic, there is no plastic cups, bottle or straws on board. If you didn’t bring your reusable water bottle for day trips and activities, you can buy one on the ship. Tap water is drinkable and there is also a water machine on board.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise Staff
The staff was lovely and attentive during the whole trip. Everything we needed, any doubts about the destinations, tours or schedule, they were always there to help us, especially the U Hosts Sabrina and Boris.
Little details like calling us by our names and knowing our preferences made all the difference, especially during meals. The staff approach was friendly and polite without being posh or impersonal.
FYI: all gratuities are included in the price of the Rhine River cruise by U River Cruises.
Safety on board The A
We felt extremely safe on the ship. The captain and the crew were serious in explaining all the procedures and how we should behave in case of an emergency. On the check-in, we received an ID card linked to our photo and we had to scan it every time we got in and out of the ship. That’s how they can control the number of people on board and if someone didn’t make it back to the ship after a good night out.
Also, only registered guests with an ID card can be on board and there is a security guard at the door at all times.
What is not included Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise
Somethings not included in the cruise price, like the drinks from the room minibar, the purchases on the vending machine and the drinks on board, as mentioned in the food and beverage topic. Food and drinks purchased during the onshore activities are not included either, otherwise specified as a food tour.
Air, train or bus fares from or to the port of embarkation and disembarkation are not included. All the costs related to visa and travel documentation are also the responsibility of the passengers. Travel insurance is not included as well.
Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise price
On the date of our trip, a 7-day Rolling on the Rhine River price was USD 2,799 per person, double occupancy in a Studio room. An average of USD 350 per person per day.
The cruise price included the 7-day river cruise with seven stops, all the facilities, and amenities onboard like accommodation in a comfy room with a private bathroom, cleaning service daily, onboard entertainment and activities, plus activities onshore like walking tours, bike tours, and hiking.
The price also included three meals per day, coffee, tea and water 24/7 and a dedicated staff that will pamper you during the whole trip.
Comparing U River Cruises to other traditional Rhine river cruises, you will see a big difference in terms of price. That’s because of U River Cruises no-frills and green approach. Also, the modern touch, the flexibility on the excursions, and a no butler nor extremely luxurious service make the experience more affordable and perfect for young adult travelers.
Our thoughts on the Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise
After reading our Rhine River cruise review, I’m pretty sure you noticed that we loved the trip. Here is what we liked about our Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise and why we recommend it:
- It’s a stress-free trip. You wake up in a different destination every day with no need of packing and unpacking.
- You have delicious meals planned according to all the activities and included in the price of the cruise.
- Excellent room service.
- Awesome facilities onboard, like gym, laundry and coffee machine [we are coffee addicts, so you can imagine how great it was for us]
- The ship docks in the heart of the cities, it’s easy to get around and explore them.
- All rooms have a river view.
- The activities on board are great fun and included in the price of the cruise.
- The activities onshore were amazing, more adventurous and with a younger touch than the traditional river cruises excursions.
- You can choose if you want to pay or not for a special experience.
- The freedom to do whatever you want and the party mood on the ship was awesome.
- The young vibe, the modern ship, the paperless experience, the vibrant hosts… It was refreshing to be on a cruise full of young souls.
When we started sharing the photos of this trip, a lot of followers, readers, and friends asked why we were doing a river cruise in Europe. Most of them thought that this type of cruise was only for senior adults. However, by the end of the trip, we managed to change their perception and we are happy to say that river cruises for young adults is a cool, unique and unforgettable way of traveling in Europe.
How to book a Rhine river cruise or any other experience by U River Cruises
It is easy to book a river cruise in Europe. What is difficult is to choose the itinerary, as there are many incredible routes, stunning places to visit and experiences to embrace. If you like classic destinations with a modern twist and mixed with good food, wine and beer, then book the Rolling on the Rhine River Cruise.
Are you still searching for the perfect river cruise in Europe? So check out these itineraries:
[Click on the names of the cruise to read the details of each itinerary.]
- The Danube flow [Regensburg to Budapest]
- Dashing Through The Danube [Budapest to Regensburg, it happens in December and it visits some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe.]
- Amsterdam & Brussels Bound [Amsterdam to Brussels]
- Eastern Europe Escape [Vienna to Belgrade]
- Vienna Vibe [Vienna to Nuremberg]
Hope our Rhine River Cruise review was helpful and that by now you are pumped with excitement to click on “book your river cruise here” and start planning your next European adventure.
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