RIVER CRUISES / THE ENCHANTING RHINE
Two packages available. Land & Cruise OR Cruise only
Day 1 |
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND - EMBARKATION
Arrive in Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship. Meet your fellow travelers tonight at the Welcome Dinner.
After breakfast, your tour of Amsterdam begins with a scenic canal cruise through the city known as the “Venice of the North.” See the tall narrow homes lining the water, the Skinny Bridge, and the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding during WWII. Later, enjoy a panoramic city tour that will show you many key sights, including a photo stop at the windmill famously painted by Rembrandt. You’ll have some free time to explore on your own before returning to the ship. The ship departs this afternoon, en route to Germany.
Day 3 | COLOGNE, GERMANY – KOBLENZ
Enjoy a guided tour of Cologne this morning, which will take you to the Old Town, Cathedral Square, and the city’s majestic 13th-century Gothic cathedral. Afterwards, you’ll have free time to visit some of the local shops or have a coffee at a quaint café. This afternoon, the ship cruises to Koblenz and moors overnight.`
This morning, cruise through the picturesque Rhine Gorge, admiring its many castles and fortress ruins and the legendary Lorelei Rock. Arrive in the winemaking town of Rüdesheim where you will enjoy an afternoon wine tasting with a local vintner. Or, take a Gondola Ride above the town to see the Niederwalddenkmal Statue. Later you’ll have free time to explore the Drosselgasse, the town’s most famous and charming street, a narrow passage lined with shops and taverns. This evening, visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Instrument Museum, home to a remarkable collection of old robotic and self-playing musical instruments. The ship sails overnight.
Day 5 | SPEYER - HEIDELBERG
Arrive around noon in Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities, known for its cathedral, numerous churches and the 13th-century Altpörtel (“Old Gate”). Choose either a city tour of Speyer or a half-day excursion to historic Heidelberg, where you will visit the red-walled castle with its Great Vat (a 49,000-gallon 18th-century wine cask) and see beautiful views of the Neckar Valley and city below. This evening, the ship continues onward to Strasbourg, France.
Day 6 | STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Capital city of the Alsace region in northeastern France, Strasbourg is situated on the Rhine at the German border. After arriving this morning, enjoy a panoramic city tour that will take you past the Orangery, the town’s oldest park, the European Parliament, and the Place de la Republique. Afterwards, take a walking tour of the lovely “La Petite France” neighborhood, where you will see the Gothic cathedral with its famous astronomical clock. The remainder of the day is yours to spend as you wish. The ship moors overnight.
Day 7 | BREISACH, GERMANY
You have two exciting excursions to choose from today. The first is a walking tour of Riquewihr, a picturesque town that looks much as it did back in the 16th century. A second option is a walking tour of Breisach and Freiburg. Breisach is a beautiful town that houses one of Europe’s largest wine cellars. In Freiburg, you will visit the historical city center and the Augustinerplatz, site of Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral constructed of red sandstone. Tonight, the ship cruises to Switzerland.
Day 8 | BASEL, SWITZERLAND - DISEMBARKATION - LUCERNE
Disembark after breakfast for a city tour of cosmopolitan Basel. Long an important center for banking, commerce and trade, Basel’s glorious past is still evident in its medieval Town Hall and exquisite 18th-century homes. After free time for lunch on your own, depart for Lucerne. You will visit the Lion Monument en route, a dramatic sculpture that honors the Swiss Guards killed during the French Revolution. Arrive in Lucerne mid-afternoon and check into your hotel.
Day 9 | LUCERNE
After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of this medieval gem. You will see some of the city’s lovely cobblestone streets, monuments, fountains, public squares, covered bridges and colorful frescoed buildings. The afternoon offers free time to shop for Swiss-made watches, knives and delicious chocolates. Or, if you prefer, join the optional tour and cable car ride to the top of a Swiss mountain with incredible views of the surrounding area (seasonal availability).
Day 10 | LUCERNE - ZURICH
Enjoy a free morning in Lucerne before checking out of your hotel. Enjoy a leisurely cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne to Vitznau, where you will board a motorcoach for a scenic drive to Zurich. Check into your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 11 | ZURICH
Your morning walking tour of picturesque Zurich will include Grossmünster Abbey, St.Peter (with the world’s largest church clock face), Old Town, Town Hall and Fraumünster, which was fully renovated in 2004 and now offers an exceptional 360° panoramic view of Zurich. The afternoon and evening are free for you to explore the town on your own, or you may take an optional excursion to see the Rhine Falls.
After breakfast, bid farewell to Switzerland and prepare for your return flight home.