Contoured by vineyard-clad hills and castles from yesteryear, the legendary Rhine captivates. Experience the allure of France’s Alsace region in its welcoming capital, Strasbourg, and its priceless gem, Riquewihr. Fabled towns lost in time present you with the chance to taste local flavors — Rüdesheimer coffee and Kölsch beer—and to touch history up close with guided hikes and bike rides. From Amsterdam’s colorful canals to the majestic Swiss Alps, journey into the heart of the destinations you visit.
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION. Arrive in Amsterdam and board your luxurious river cruise ship.
AMSTERDAM. The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your scenic canal cruise. Tall narrow homes along the water, the beautiful wooden Skinny Bridge and the Anne Frank House are a few of the highlights you will see. Later in the day, set sail out of Amsterdam.
COLOGNE, GERMANY. Enjoy cruising to Cologne, home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral. Join a guided tour through the Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral. Continue to the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, the Overstolzenhaus and the Festival Hall. For a different view of the city, visit a local tavern to taste its famous Kölsch beer, only made in Cologne, and Reibekuchen, potato pancakes typically served with apple sauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten.
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. Drink up the stunning views by soaring high above the vineyards with a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue and afterwards be treated to a wine tasting. For a more active adventure, hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards or join a guided bike tour along the scenic Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg. Later in the day, let Siegfried’s Mechanical Music 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.
LUDWIGSHAFEN. Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three 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 be rewarded with 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 Altpörtel, Old Gate.
STRASBOURG, FRANCE. Strasbourg, the capital city of Alsace, 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, 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 take a guided bike ride through the city and Parc de l’Orangerie.
BREISACH, GERMANY. Breisach is your gateway to several different excursions, depending on your interests. Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Alsatian town of Riquewihr, which looks almost the same as it did in the 16th century. On your walking tour, admire historic architecture as well as famous sights, such as the Dolder Gate. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg’s Münster, a Gothic cathedral said to have “the most beautiful spire on earth.” Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside; or go to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions, as well as home to elaborate cuckoo clocks, striking half-timber houses, ruined castles and quaint towns.
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark after breakfast.