The Main is an important tributary of the Rhine in Germany, which it joins near Mainz and together with the Main-Danube Canal it forms a link between the Rhine and the Danube. Cruising this waterway will take you through the beautiful Bavarian countryside and past cities like Frankfurt, Wurzburg, Bamberg and Nuremburg.

Upper Main

The Main is 326 miles (524 km) long, starting near Kulmbach in Franconia where the Red Main and White Main join. The Red Main rises in the Franconian Jura mountain range, 31 miles (50km) in length, and runs through Creussen and Bayreuth. The White Main rises in the mountains of the Fichtelgebirge and is 25 miles (41km) long flowing in valleys of the German Highlands. After the convergence it snakes broadly westerly around the northern end of the Fränkische Mountains to Bamberg.

Lower Main

From Bamberg the Main is navigable and flows among vine-clad hills to Würzburg and then between the forest-covered Spessart and Odenwald ranges to Gemünden. It continues westward to Wertheim and then to Aschaffenburg and from there through Frankfurt on Main to its junction with the Rhine River above Mainz.

Main-Danube Canal

From Bamberg the river is canalised and forms part of the Main-Danube Canal (completed 1992), which links the Rhine and Danube rivers, creating a 2,200-mile (3,500 km) waterway from the North Sea to the Black Sea. It winds for 106 miles (171km) through rural Bavaria from Bamberg on the River Main via Nuremberg to Kelheim on the Danube and climbs over the 175m high continental divide.