Speyer is famous for its Romanesque cathedral but visitors can also enjoy pleasure boat excursion cruises on the Rhine River and Altrhein to see birdlife in nature reserves.
The historical town Speyer is mostly visited to see the cathedral (Dom), which is the largest Romanesque structure in Germany, and to visit one of the largest and best technology museums in Germany. However, visitors can also enjoy day-trip cruises on boats on the Rhine and Altrhein. Boat cruise excursions from Speyer focus on nature and particularly on birdlife present on islands and lakes left by the changing flow of the Rhine River.
Rhine Day-Trip Cruises from Speyer in Germany
The Middle Rhine with the Loreley Valley and endless castles is the most popular part of the Rhine River for day cruises. However, day-trip boat excursions are also available from Speyer.
Through the centuries the flow of the Rhine has significantly altered in the region around Speyer. Changes in the meandering course of the Rhein left numerous oxbow lakes, canals, and islands. The term Altrhein (Old Rhine) refers to the parts of the river that remained connected to the river but aside from the main flow of the present stream.
Boat trips from Speyer are mostly 90-minutes circular cruises that go either up or down river to such old-river waters, which often form the centers of wildlife areas where birdlife can be observed.
Daily boat cruises are available from Speyer from early April to November 1. Sometimes, cruises only depart if a minimum number of travelers board.
In contrast to the practice on the open decks of larger boats, it is not acceptable to bring own food and drink onto the small Rhine River boats sailing from Speyer.
Rhine Boats Sailing from Speyer
Two boats offer day-trip circular cruise excursions from Speyer: the MS Sea-Life and the MS Pfälzerland. These boats have different operators and depart from different points in Speyer but cruise to similar destinations: downstream to the Reffenthaler Altrhein or upstream to the Berghäuser Altrhein.
Pricing is also similar (with the Pfälzerland maybe marginally cheaper) at around €10 per cruise, children about half price, and special offers for families.
The MS Sea-Life Rhine Boat from Speyer
The MS Sea-Life offers daily cruises on the Rhine from Speyer on a boat with a large open-deck area. The main deck is wheelchair accessible. Cruises usually depart at noon (downstream), 2 pm (upstream), and 4 pm (downstream).
The MS Sea-Life boat departs from the old harbor in Speyer (Speyerer Hafen) next to the Sea-Life aquarium.
The MS Sea-Life usually hosts an onboard New Year’s party, as is popular in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Düsseldorf.
The MS Pfälzerland Rhine Day-Cruise Boat from Speyer
The MS Pfälzerland cruises most afternoons from Speyer except on Mondays. The Rhine cruises usually depart at 1 pm (upriver) and 3 pm (downriver). During April and October weekday upriver cruises often depend on whether a group booking is present.
The MS Pfälzerland departs from the Rhine River promenade below the cathedral in Speyer.
For more on day cruise excursions on Rhine River boats see also:
- Traveling Along the Rhine River in Europe
- Rhine and Neckar Cruises from Heidelberg, Mannheim, and Worms
- Rhine and Main Cruises from Frankfurt
- Pleasure Boat Cruises from Mainz and Wiesbaden
- Loreley Valley Rhine River Day Cruises, Germany
- Top Rhine River Day Trip Cruise Lines
- Day Cruises on the Rhine River from Frankfurt
- Top Day Cruises from Cologne on the Rhine River