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Cruises to Heidelberg

Heidelberg (Photo:S.Borisov/Shutterstock)

About Heidelberg

"The town lay, stretched along the river, its intricate cobweb of streets jeweled with twinkling lights. Behind the castle swells a dome-shaped hill, forest-clad, and beyond that a nobler and loftier one. The Castle looks down upon the compact brown-roofed town; and from the town two picturesque old bridges span the river. I have never enjoyed a view which had such a satisfying charm about it as this one gives." --Mark Twain

With a population of 150,000, Heidelberg remains a small, charming city in a beautiful setting nearly 150 years after Mark Twain penned a glowing review in his 1879 travelogue "A Tramp Abroad." And Heidelberg's most charming aspects are, just as they were in Twain's day, focused on the quaint Altstadt (Old Town) and its surroundings. Below the ramparts of Heidelberg Castle nearly 300 feet above, the Old Town and its narrow, cobbled Hauptstrasse (main street) are nestled in snug, picturesque fashion between the Neckar River and the castle hill.

Heidelberg has truly ancient roots. Evidence of human habitation dates back thousands of years -- 500,000-year-old fossilized remains of a likely human ancestor were found nearby and named after Heidelberg -- and the city is also rich with a more tangible history, in its mishmash of ancient, medieval and modern architecture. And this is, perhaps, what makes Heidelberg such a pleasing place to visit. Amid its beautiful natural surroundings, the city's cultural landscape creates a kind of continuous historical narrative that visitors can follow back through the centuries. From the "Old Bridge" -- originally built of wood in the 13th century and most recently rebuilt after much of it was destroyed in the final days of World War II -- to the 2,500-year-old Celtic ruins of the Heiligenberg, you can hardly turn a corner without being confronted by some enduring edifice and its fascinating stories.

  • Why go to Heidelberg?

  • Heidelberg Cruise Port Facilities?

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Scenic Opal
Scenic Opal

11 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

148 Reviews
Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jun 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Avalon Envision
Avalon Envision (Photo: Avalon Waterways)

4 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Frankfurt
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
Dec 8, 2021
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Opal
Scenic Opal

7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Scenic
Dec 5, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Scenic Ruby
Scenic Ruby

7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

97 Reviews
Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jun 19, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Marella Cruises

Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Apr 17, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jun 6, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Oct 5, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jun 12, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jul 31, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Oct 2, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Aug 22, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Emerald Cruises
Oct 23, 2021
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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4 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

75 Reviews
Leaving:Frankfurt
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
Dec 17, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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4 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Frankfurt
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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4 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Frankfurt
Cruise Line:Avalon Waterways
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
May 18, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jun 22, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Aug 14, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Sep 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Amsterdam
Cruise Line:Scenic
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Basel
Cruise Line:Scenic
Oct 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Cruise to HeidelbergDetails

Leaving:Zurich
Cruise Line:Scenic
Jul 10, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Why go to Heidelberg?

Pros:

Aside from being incredibly charming and scenic, Heidelberg has a rich and ancient history to delve into

Cons:

Heidelberg itself does not have a port, so it typically needs to be reached via shore excursion

Bottom Line:

Whether you're visiting Heidelberg Castle or perusing its Old Town, you're sure to be smitten by it

Heidelberg Cruise Port Facilities?

Cruise ships don't stop in Heidelberg, so if you want to maximize your limited shore-excursion time for relaxed pursuits like eating, drinking and shopping, stay near to the Hauptstrasse (main street), a mile-long pedestrianized road that runs the length of the Old Town. Although the Hauptstrasse is dotted with chain stores, boutique shops and cafes can be found there and on many side streets, too.

Good to Know?

The city has a comprehensive network of well-marked cycle paths, but jaywalking visitors distracted by the surrounding sights can pose a hazard when they meander in front of oncoming cyclists. The cyclists don't always pay close attention, so look carefully before you cross.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Despite its modest population of around 150,000 inhabitants, Heidelberg is a challenging city to cover on foot. Some sections of the city are steep, it spans both banks of the Neckar River, and most of the pedestrianized areas are at least partially laid with cobblestone. The Altstadt's Hauptstrasse is, at a mile long, more than enough territory to cover if you're only in the city for a short time and determined to walk.

By Bike: If your cruise ship doesn't have bicycles available for use, your best bet for hiring one in Heidelberg is Fahrradverleih Heidelberg an der Alten Brucke (Heidelberg Bike Rental at the Old Bridge; Neckarstaden 52 / Lauerstrasse 11; +49 (0) 62 21 / 65 444 60).

By Cable Car: A tram runs up the hillside from Heidelberg to the castle above. The mountain railway runs between four stations (including the castle), linking the old city on the level of the river with the summit of the Konigstuhl Mountain, about 1,312 feet above the city. The Heidelberg Card, a tourist pass that includes public transportation, many museums and the lower section of the mountain railway (a separate fare is required for the upper section), can be bought at the tourist information center located just outside the main station, where most tour buses park. (Heidelberger Seilbahn, Oberstrasse 37)

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Germany's currency is the euro. For current currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. ATM's and banks are plentiful, particularly at the west end of the Altstadt, and credit cards are widely accepted in restaurants, bars and shops.

Language?

German is the local language, but English is widely understood and spoken in Heidelberg and much of Germany. A few handy phrases in German will always enamor you to the locals, though, so try these:

Hello / good afternoon: Guten Tag (GOO-ten tahg)
Please / Thank you: Bitte / Danke (BIT-tuh/DAHN-kuh)
Yes / No: Ja / Nein (yah/nine)
Excuse me: Entschuldigen Sie (ent-SHOOL-de-gen zee)
Beer: Bier (beer)

Where You're Docked?

Because Heidelberg lies about 10 miles east of the Rhine along the Neckar River, most visits to the city begin after disembarking the ship at the nearest major port, often Mannheim, and boarding a shore tour bus.


Heidelberg Cruise Reviews
Enjoyed the walking tour of the castle grounds and views out over Heidelberg.... Read More
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Bmadison219
The ship docked in an industrial area and the bus ride to Heidelburg was about an hour each way. The ship offered several tours including one for gentle walkers. Having been to Heidelberg before, I opted to take... Read More
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nancyevans
Loved Heidelberg Castle! Our tour guide wasnt the best, but his idiosyncratic use of the English language gave us laughs for years and years to come.... Read More
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AGBharpist
We enjoyed the tour of Heidelberg Castle that included the history.... Read More
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daviajoy

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