Day 1 Arrive in Amsterdam, Holland (Embarkation).
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. If your flight arrives early enough, you might like to take one of a selection of optional excursions. Then, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)NOTE:Guests must be on board ship by 5 pm.
Day 2 Amsterdam.
After breakfast, set out to discover the treasures of this city by CANAL BOAT, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam’s “Golden Age.” Later, cruise out of Amsterdam and head for Germany. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Cologne, Germany.
One of Germany’s largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years! (B,L,D)
Day 4 Rhine Gorge–Rüdesheim.
This morning sail through the RHINE GORGE, the most dramatic and beautiful stretch of river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Further upstream is pretty Rüdesheim, the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Here you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT, then there’s free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colorful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Cochem.
This morning, as you cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River, it quickly becomes obvious why the Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery, and that this is an important wine-growing area. After lunch, arrive in Cochem, a charming, picturesque town with half-timbered houses and winding streets full of history and legends that will be brought to life during your GUIDED WALK. Visit REICHSBURG CASTLE, built in 1000 AD and furnished with renaissance and baroque furniture. Sitting dramatically atop a conical hill covered in vines, this castle offers splendid views of the little town nestled down below and of the river valley. Cochem is at the heart of the Moselle wine trade and, most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Bernkastel.
This morning dock in the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall and the “pointed house,” built in 1416. Wine growers in this area look after Germany’s largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This afternoon you might like to visit the Wine Museum to learn more about the history of the region’s wine. Before dinner, enjoy a pleasant included TASTING of several of the region’s varietals. (B,L,D)
Day 7 Grevenmacher, Luxembourg–Remich. Excursion to Luxembourg City.
Today enjoy a tranquil morning of cruising or join an optional excursion to the Roman city of Trier. After lunch drive to Luxembourg. Because of its location and natural geography, Luxembourg City has been a place of strategic military significance throughout history; the first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. The city center occupies a picturesque site, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will acquaint you with this city whose layout is complex as it is set on two levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two river valleys (B,L,D)
Day 8 Remich, Luxembourg (Disembarkation).
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)