Between the old city and Schäl Sick

Panorama trip in Cologne
Light breeze, cool drinks, magnificent view. Anyone who has watched Cologne glide past from a ship will already have understood a great deal about the feeling for life that predominates there. The best way to approach this city is with the relaxed attitude of a flâneur who can take as much pleasure in the cathedral as in a stroll by the Rhine.

The Rhine metropolis has the river to thank for its existence, and the river plays an important role in its life to the present day. The city’s most famous church, one of the most expensive hotels and the most important museum are all located near the waterfront. The city’s inhabitants also make the most of every opportunity to stroll on the river banks or– better still – to sit there and relax with a glass of kölsch or an ice cream. The steps on the left of the Rhine, and those recently opened on the right bank, are always filled with people when the weather is fine. But the panorama can be appreciated best from the middle of the river, from the deck of a KD ship.

The busy world of the Old Town

The cruise begins and ends at the heart of the Metropolis on the Rhine. Almost as if they were in a hidden object puzzle, countless landmarks are to seen next to or above and below one another. Behind the avenue of plane trees on the Rhine promenade the restaurateurs of the Old Town offer the most important products of local gastronomic culture: Kölsch beer and marinated beef. From the midst of the Old Town panorama rises a mighty tower: Great St. Martin is one of twelve romanesque churches in Cologne. To its right, the Ludwig Art Gallery houses under its undulating roof an impressive collection of modern art, including pop art and works by Picasso. And all that is dwarfed by the Cathedral which is considered to be one of the most important examples of gothic or neo-gothic architecture and which attracts 20,000 visitors every day. 

Two-in-One Ticket City tour Cologne Highlights and Panorama Cruises

The view from the other side

From the ship you have a good overview and can already choose which attractions you will be visiting afterwards. If you just want to look, then the best place for a post-cruise drink is the opposite, or right bank, known locally as the "Schäl Sick" or "wrong bank". In the evenings the quay in front of the Hyatt Hotel became so popular with local people that the city council built a 500 metre long flight of steps. It will be part of the Rhine boulevard which is intended to upgrade the right bank and develop into the perfect place to "see and be seen". 

Interesting facts

One hour Panorama Cruise for as little as € 15,00
6 runs daily

One city - two sides

Seven bridges connect the left bank of the river with the Schäl Sick (the "wrong side"). During the one hour panorama cruise you pass under five of them, and each one of them is impressive. They span the 300 metre wide river, bear the weight of the love padlocks (Hohenzollern Railway Bridge), occasionally accommodate art installations (Deutz Bridge) or emulate with A-shaped pylons the silhouette of Cologne Cathedral. The South Railway Bridge spans the river with three arches like its larger sister construction the Hohenzollern Bridge, but the listed steel construction is built to withstand considerably less stress and is currently used almost only for freight traffic. This is in stark contrast to the Rodenkirchen Bridge, which carries the A4 Motorway across the Rhine. 

Modern architecture in the old docks

Totally unburdened the roar of traffic, on board you may concentrate on the attractive aspects of the city, which present themselves in abundance when the ship draws level with the Rheinau Docks. The Chocolate Museum and the Museum of Sport herald the old inland harbour, which has become an exclusive residential area thanks to the giant crane houses. A square metre of living space here costs up to € 8,000: but for that you do get a very beautiful view of the city and the river. The Rheinau Docks are considered to be a particularly successful blend of old buildings and modern architecture. The "Siebengebirge" Warehouse with its seven gables, "Silo 23" with its characteristic roof and the glass structure of the "Kap am Südkai" ("Cape on the South Quay") stand juxtaposed in complete harmony. But don't worry, dangerous currents are not to expected at this headland!

Green meadows and sandy bays

Poll Fields offer the citizens of Cologne open space for recreation and enough room to throw a frisby. These flood meadows on the right bank of the Rhine are also the venue for open-air festivals. On the left bank everything is more peaceful. In the Rodenkirchen district there are small sandy bays and cafés which await unstressed visitors. Elegant art nouveau villas grace the Rhine promenade, much to the pleasure of architecture aficionados. 

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