The Rhine River, Basel to Breisach

I’m behind on my posting now – it’s been very busy! Anyway, back to Basel for a final 2/3 of a day, then board the ship and sail away…

We had fun with this young fellow at the farmers’ market in the aptly-named Marktplatz. We got several samples of different types of sausages, and walked away with an extremely dense small loaf of bread.

Farmers' market in the aptly-named Marktplatz in Basel
Our main stop was at the Kunstmuseum Basel. We spent a couple of hours there, until the details of all the great art started blurring, then went back to the Hotel Basel and had the desk call us a taxi.

Kunstmuseum Basel
Our ship was docked off in an industrial area far from public transport. We had hoped to check in and then go for a walk but there wasn’t really anywhere to go. We arrived at about 2:00pm and didn’t expect our cabin to be ready until 3:00. Our wet weather continues – not constant rain, but frequent rain.

Ship on the Rhine River at Basel
Some of the differences between ocean cruising and river cruising were certainly evident immediately. People arrive a couple at a time, and one crew member takes your luggage into the ship while you go to the reception desk where there’s no lineup to check in. I like it! 🙂

Boarding Uniworld's River Queen
Our cabin is very small, but lovely. We’re on Uniworld’s River Queen, an extremely highly-rated ship. There are no balcony cabins on this ship, but our Category 1 had almost floor-to-ceiling windows so viewing of the world gliding by is easy.

Our cabin on Uniworld's River Queen
We sailed from Basel at about midnight. I woke up at about 2:00am as we were going though a lock, and went up top to get a few shots. It turns out that I’d have many more opportunities to take night lock shots, though we haven’t been through any during the day yet (the vast majority of our cruising is at night – days are spent in port).

Going through a lock on the Rhine River
The ship’s navigation charts are broadcast on the TV – very detailed, though the writing (town names and such) is difficult or impossible to see.

River charts on Uniworld's River Queen
For our first day in port, on the French side of the river, there were a couple of tour options included at no extra cost – one to Colmar, the other to a couple of Alsatian wine villages, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr. We chose the wine villages. The day started off very wet. This is our ship from the motorcoach.

Uniworld's River Queen
We had very little time in either of the villages – the Albert Schweitzer Museum in Kaysersberg was a walk-by. Schweitzer (1875–1965) was born here.

Albert Schweitzer Museum in Kaisersberg
I quickly ran out of descriptive words for these villages – the long and complex histories, and the architecture, are fascinating. Kaysersberg is generally considered one of the most beautiful communities on the famous Wine Route.


The Constantine Fountain was built in 1521.

Constantine Fountain in Kaysersberg

Constantine Fountain in Kaisersberg
The medieval church in Kayserberg.

Medieval church in Kayserberg
The church’s Gothic altar.

Medieval church in Kayserberg
Cathy just can’t walk by an attractive bakery 🙂

Kayserberg has been producing wine since the 17th Century.

Two of our people got lost in Kayserberg, so our stop in Riquewihr was a half-hour shorter than had been planned. Our walking tours are done with the aid of a Quietvox headset, so you can hear everything the guide says even if she is several hundred feet away.


The main surviving fortification at Riquewihr is very impressive. Most of these villages have been extensively damaged in various wars over the centuries – we’re lucky that anything survives.

Fortification at Riquewihr
Photos of windows and doors are taking up much of my memory card space 🙂

We were back at the ship just after 12:30. We had lunch, then walked into Breisach (which is on the German side of the Rhine). To dock at Breisach, we go up a side channel to the point where this weir and lock were built.

This city was 85% destroyed during World War II, and it’s very impressive that it’s hard to tell in many areas. This is the road up to the St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Ancient road in Breisach
St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen's Cathedral
These murals in St. Stephen’s have been heavily damaged by both war and poor restoration attempts.

St. Stephen's Cathedral
These stones on the north side of the cathedral were from a Roman settlement from 260 A.D.

Roman wall from 260 A.D. in Breisach
There were several very interesting cars in Breisach!

Looking down from the cathedral.

Detail from a memorial to the World War II destruction.

The grand view from the cathedral.

This unusual detail sticks out from the main defensive wall on the cathedral hill.

We found a lovely cafe high on the hill and stopped for a local beer, Waldhaus – very nice.

Waldhaus beer
The view from downtown Breisach.

The view from downtown Breisach.
Back at the ship. When there are more ships than docks, they dock side-by-side, and passengers from the outer ships walk through the inner ships. It’s great advertising when the inner ship is really deluxe 🙂

Next stop, Strasbourg…


The Rhine River, Basel to Breisach — 3 Comments

  1. Such beautiful country! I have family in Mannheim as well as Strasbourg. The colourful half-timbered houses, the wonky roofs curving around cobbled streets, the fountains, the carved windowframes… all so familiar and beloved.

    (P.S. Next time your near that area of France, you really should see the Écomusée d’Alsace near Mulhouse, which is essentially a preserved traditional Alsatian village, complete with working sawmill, school, farms, chapel, bakery… Fascinating and fun!)

  2. I so love the Kayserberg photo you have placed just prior to the Constantine Fountain photo! I think I would need a river cruise to take twice or three times longer so I could give my head a better chance to absorb all the wonderful sights, sounds & mediaeval history. All power to your inner eye, your camera and your recording pen!

    Best Regards,
    Marie G.