Known as the Mosel to the Germans and the Moselle to the French, the river that’s one of the longest tributaries of the Rhine covers about 340 miles from end to end. The Mosel River begins at Ballon d’Alsace, in the high Vosages Mountains that sit in France. Its ending point joins the Rhine in Koblenz, Germany, and as the river flows through France, it passes through Joan of Arc’s homeland of Lorraine.
River cruises along the Mosel are enjoyable nearly any time of year. But, from May to September, you’ll experience warm months accentuated by local annual wine festivals taking place in riverside towns like Bernkastel, Traben-Trarbach and Winningen. The celebrations that deck the cities in ribbons and flowers also offer music concerts, fairs and firework displays to delight residents and tourists – and with plenty of wine.
Cruising the Mosel during October is a joy, as autumn colors fill the scenery and temperatures are rather pleasant. Two of the most popular yearly wine festivals to take place along the Mosel, the Boppard and Piesport, happen in October. At Christmastime, river cruisers can enjoy an absolute merry occasion as towns along the Mosel host holiday fairs through Christmas Eve.
The Mosel River acts as an aquatic border between Germany and Luxembourg. As it travels through towns in these countries and in France, it passes beautiful Alpine valleys, lush vineyards and medieval towns. You’ll likely see plenty of wineries and castles as you journey down the Mosel as part of your European river cruise. Depending on your itinerary, you may pass by or stop in towns like Pont-a-Mousson in France, Remich in Luxembourg and Traben-Trarbach in Germany.
As the Mosel flows downstream from its beginning point in the Vosages Mountains, it forms the Mosel Valley. Here, between the Hunsrück and Eifel mountain regions, the Mosel winds through scenery that’s rather industrial, and comprised largely of steel manufacturing and coal mining plants. Most Mosel river cruises only take passengers just past where the waterway meets the Rhine River. The development of the river into a navigable passageway in 1964, in accordance to an agreement signed by France, Luxembourg and Germany, allowed travelers on cruise vessels to begin enjoying the beautiful scenery that’s also present in the Mosel Valley.
Enjoy a cruise on the Mosel and have fun discovering breathtaking scenery.