Starting from Basel, experience the romantic Rhine and peaceful Main rivers. Ancient castles, grand palaces and medieval towns are yours to enjoy. Revel in the architectural gems on display—the Würzburg Residenz and Mannheim Baroque Palace. Visit the Alsatian capital of France, Strasbourg and the metropolitan capital of Germany, Frankfurt. Discover the many medieval treasures on this unforgettable journey.
EMBARKATION – BASEL, SWITZERLAND. Embark your cruise in Basel. Tonight, meet your fellow passengers on board.
STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Capital of Alsace, Strasbourg is beloved for its wine culture and enchanting 16th- and 17th-century half-timbered houses which line La Petite France quarter on the banks of the Grand Île (Grand Island), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a tour of the city that takes you past the stunning Parc de l’Orangerie, the European Parliament and the Place de la République and then walk through the iconic “La Petite France” district, which appears to have been lifted straight from the pages of a fairytale. Wander through these charming streets and past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. Alternatively, the active adventurer can go on a guided bike tour.
LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY – RÜDESHEIM. Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three excursions. Visit the Mannheim Baroque Palace—one of the largest palaces in Europe, which is furnished with over 800 exhibits, including 21 large tapestries, ornate furniture, priceless paintings, valuable porcelain and costly silverware, recreating its bygone grandeur. Alternatively, join a walking tour of one of Germany’s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Altpörtel, Old Gate. Or, you can visit the intriguing Speyer Technical Museum, home to a German navy submarine, an Antonov; the largest production propeller-driven airplane ever built, a Lufthansa jumbo jet; and a Russian BURAN orbiter, the counterpart of the American space shuttle. Later in the day, sail to Rüdesheim, where you’ll be treated to a Riesling wine tasting.
RÜDESHEIM. Continue your exploration of Rüdesheim with a choice of excursions. Those who fancy a more whimsical adventure will want to visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum, home to one of the greatest collections of self-playing musical instruments. For an adventure of a different kind, soar over the vineyards of Rüdesheim on a gondola to the Niederwald Monument; or opt to take a bike ride along the Rhine.
MILTENBERG – WERTHEIM. Enjoy a scenic cruise to Miltenberg, the “Pearl of the Main River.” While on your walking tour, you'll discover why this medieval town seems to leap from the pages of a fairytale with its 14th- and 15th-century half-timbered, gabled houses; the famed Crooked House; and the venerable Royal Inn, which has been a working hotel since the 17th century. For those who would like a more active adventure hike to the Miltenberg Castle, offering majestic views of the town and river; or go on a guided bike ride along the Main River. Later in the day, set sail for Wertheim, considered to have one of Germany’s most beautiful city centers with precious half-timbered houses, each one more beautiful than the next. While here, join a walking tour or go to a pretzel bakery for a delicious tasting.
KITZINGEN – VOLKACH. There are several choices of excursions, depending on your interests. Enduring legends make visiting Kitzingen extra fun, especially for Dracula followers, which you can learn more about on a walking tour. Prefer to get more active, go on a bike tour from Kitzingen to Volkach. Alternatively, you can visit either Würzburg or Rothenburg. While in Würzburg, a beautiful city bursting with Baroque splendor, you will visit its crown jewel, the Baroque Residenz Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features an opulent interior, including a grand fresco by Tiepolo. Or, you can take a trip through a thousand years of history while in Rothenburg, Germany’s best-preserved walled town located on the Romantic Road. Later in the day, everyone will be treated to an exclusive wine festival celebration in Volkach, located in lower Franconia.
BAMBERG. Explore enchanting Bamberg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in one of three ways. Join a guided walking tour of this medieval gem where you’ll see its cathedral, Old Town Hall and elegant old mansions. Or taste your way through the city sampling smoked beer, licorice root and Hornla pastry, a local favorite whose recipe dates back to 1427. And for those wishing to explore the town more actively, hop on a bike for a guided bike tour along the Main River and to its quirky quarters beyond the town center.
NUREMBERG– DISEMBARKATION. Disembark the ship in Nuremberg after breakfast and return home.