Welcome to Amsterdam, a fascinating 700 year old city of picturesque canals, world class museums, theatres and cafés. You will be met and transferred from the airport to your Emerald Waterways luxury river cruise ship. This evening join your fellow travellers for a cocktail reception followed by a welcome dinner. Your Cruise Director will also conduct a port talk to review the activities and itinerary for the days ahead.
This morning you can decide to either enjoy a glass top canal boat tour through Amsterdam’s canal or a guided bike tour. Return to the ship for your first day sailing through the Dutch countryside passing windmills and sailing through locks towards the Rhine River. Tonight the Captain will be delighted to host a gala dinner. Emerald Active: Guided Bike Tour
Cruise along the Rhine River to Cologne, founded by the Romans, the city is one of Germany's oldest and is famous for its magnificent World–Heritage listed Gothic Cathedral. After lunch on board, join your local guide for an included tour of the Old Town, with free time for exploring. Cologne is one of Germany's largest and most modern cities largely due to a rebuilding plan post WWII, and it has many different museums and galleries including a Roman artefact museum.
Cruise to the 2000 year old town of Koblenz, which is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers. Visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress on the opposite side of the river. This fortress was part of the Prussian defences against the French in the 19th century and later used as a headquarters for the American military during WWII. In the afternoon, sail through the spectacular Rhine Gorge, passing countless castles and vineyards as well as the infamous Lorelei statue and Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, which was built on an island in the middle of the river as a medieval toll station. Countless vineyards and medieval castles line the shores of this section of the river, with photo opportunities at every bend. Discover More: Moselle & Cochem Visit (extra expense, please note passengers on this tour will not be able to visit the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress for both tours happen at the same time)
Mannheim – Heidelberg
Continue upstream to the town of Mannheim, located at the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers. There you will visit the medieval town of Heidelberg including the impressive castle which overlooks the town. Enjoy free time there before returning to the ship for lunch and an afternoon sailing.
Kehl - Strasbourg
Once docked in Kehl you will be transferred by coach across the river to Strasbourg, the capital city of the Alsace Region in France. Your guided walking tour will include the Grande Ile, the historical city centre and UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its medieval black and white timber framed buildings, old tanning houses, baroque sandstones buildings, canals and river locks. Your afternoon is free to continuing exploring Strasbourg.
Today you have a choice to commence your magical morning with a visit to the Vogtsbauernhof Museum, an open air exhibition of sixteenth century life, featuring a number of reconstructed Black Forest farms. Alternatively, take part on the Emerald Active hike. Emerald Active: Guided Hike Through a Typical Black Forest Village (active fitness level recommended) EmeraldPLUS: Black Forest Cake Assembling presentation and tasting
Basel Disembarkation – Zurich
Welcome to Switzerland and the Rhine–side town of Basel, the centre for Switzerland's pharmaceutical industry. After, your breakfast you will disembark your ship and transfer to the airport in Zurich for your homebound flight (please book flights after 12 noon).