Grand cities blend in perfect harmony with their historic past and progressive future in Cologne and Amsterdam. Inspirational towns have given way to great stories, such as Heidelberg, where Mark Twain wrote “A Tramp Abroad.” Timeless traditions still remain intact—from the making of Cologne’s Kölsch beer to the making of Rüdesheimer Coffee. Take a front-row seat on this enchanting journey along the Rhine to magnificent cities and charming villages alike.
EMBARKATION – BASEL, SWITZERLAND. Embark the ship. Tonight, gather on board and meet your fellow passengers.
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. (B,L,D) *Please Note: Black forest hike is weather dependent and may only operate at certain times of year. Please refer to your final documents for details.
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. Then walk through its iconic UNESCO World Heritage “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. For the active adventurer, you can take a guided bike ride through this captivating city and Parc de l’Orangerie.
LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY – RÜDESHEIM. 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. Later in the day, sail to Rüdesheim where you can visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Museum; or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy.
RÜDESHEIM – RHINE GORGE. Your exploration of Rüdesheim continues with your choice of three excursions. Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards. If you prefer a more active adventure, you can join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg or hike through the town’s beautiful vineyards. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles to Lahnstein where you’ll enjoy an exclusive festive celebration.
COLOGNE. Home to one of Germany’s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral, this 2,000 year-old city is also a bustling cosmopolitan hotspot. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral, where the remains of the fabled Three Kings—the Magi— are believed to rest. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten; or visit a local tavern to taste Kölsch beer and Reibekuchen—potato pancakes served with apple sauce.
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS. Amsterdam boasts amazing history, art, architecture, and museums, and you have a choice as to how you wish to explore it. The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your city tour beginning with a scenic canal cruise followed by a walk to Begijnhof, known for its Middle Age buildings. For a different view of the city, you can join the Jordaan tour. (B,L,D)
*Depending on docking location, Jordaan Tour may not operate; therefore, an alternative tour will operate instead.
AMSTERDAM – DISEMBARKATION. Bid Farewell to Amsterdam and prepare for your homeward flight.