Explore one of Europe’s best-loved rivers, the Rhine. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and spectacular scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region’s renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. From Amsterdam and Cologne to Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture.
What is included in the tour
- 7-night river cruise in elegantly appointed accommodations
- Fine dining, including unlimited complimentary hand-selected wines, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
- Sip & Sail cocktail hour with complimentary wine, beer, spirits and soft drinks
- Welcome Cocktail, Welcome Dinner, Captain’s Cocktail and Gala Dinner
- Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
- Small group guided shore excursions with a variety of choices and activity levels
- Live local entertainment
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any meals/services not mentioned in the inclusions
- Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
- Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
- Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances
- Any Taxes
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION
Board the ship for your Rhine Castles & Swiss Alps cruise. (D)
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam. (B,L,D)
Enjoy cruising to Cologne. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral, one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, plus see other local sights. For a different view, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and reibekuchen mit apfelmus, potato pancakes typically served with applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten. (B,L,D)
RHINE GORGE - RÜDESHEIM
Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river before reaching the winemaking town of Rüdesheim. Join a wine tasting to discover the flavors of the town’s iconic vineyards. Or drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal. For a
more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum charm you with its remarkable collection of self-playing musical instruments; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream. (B,L,D)
Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of four excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century, 49,000-gallon wine cask. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher’s Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Old Gate, Altpörtel. Or pedal along the river Neckar to the picturesque medieval city center of Ladenburg and enjoy some free time to explore the shops. (B,L,D)
Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany because of its borderline location. Enjoy a panoramic tour past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République before walking through its iconic “La Petite France” district, lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through charming streets past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. Alternatively, take a guided bike ride
through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie. (B,L,D)
Enjoy getting to know Basel, Switzerland’s third largest city. Long an important university, banking and trade center, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval town hall, richly decorated market square and exquisite 18th-century patrician homes. Tour the city by foot or on a guided bike tour that takes you through three countries: Switzerland, France and Germany. Alternatively, go on a full-day excursion to Lucerne, or opt for one of the morning excursions and visit Lucerne in the afternoon. With either Lucerne excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to see its Lion Monument – the figure of a dying lion carved into a hillside in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792 – which Mark Twain described as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.” You’ll also see Lucerne’s spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. (B,L,D)
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – DISEMBARKATION
Bid farewell to Basel and prepare for your flight home. (B)