Pages from fairytales come to life as you find inspiration along the fabled castle-laden Rhine and its breathtaking tributary, the Moselle. Encounter some of the prettiest towns along the way: Strasbourg, Riquewihr, Cochem and Bernkastel. Colorful canals and glistening lakes, hilltop towns and the majestic Alps, mighty fortresses and storied castles, and hearty beer and delicate wines— can all be experienced on this fairytale journey through time.
ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – EMBARKATION. Board the ship for your Rhine & Moselle Fairytales cruise.
AMSTERDAM. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam, and you’ll get to enjoy some of them on your canal cruise. 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. You’ll also pass by the Cologne Rathaus, Germany’s oldest town hall, and other local sights. 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 applesauce. Active adventurists will want to join a guided bike ride along the Rhine.
LAHNSTEIN. You have a choice to visit Burg Lahneck, a medieval 13th-century castle, located in the city of Lahnstein; or you can go to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress to take the aerial cable car over the Rhine to Koblenz, which boasts a rich history spanning more than 2,000 years. For those seeking a more active adventure, explore the area on the “Two Rivers Bike Tour,” which takes you along both the Rhine and Moselle rivers; or go on a hike around Lahnstein to Lahneck Castle.
COCHEM. Spend the morning taking in the beauty of the Moselle on this scenic stretch of the river before reaching Cochem with its half-timbered houses and Reichsburg Castle. Join a guided tour through the castle and then walk through its Old Town. For those wishing to have a more active exploration of the area, you can go on a guided hike to the castle or a bike tour through Cochem. Or for a different adventure, follow your palate to one of Europe’s oldest mustard mills in Cochem for a taste of its finest mustard recipe.
TRIER. Set sail for Trier, Germany’s oldest city, where you can discover on a city tour why it has been called the “Rome of the North” as it has impressive Roman relics and nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Alternatively, go in search of the secrets of the Porta Nigra Gate on a tour that takes you back to a time when Rome ruled the world from the Emperor’s seat in Trier. You also have the choice of a bike tour through the historic city center and along the Moselle River; or hike high above Trier to Petrisberg.
BERNKASTEL. Enjoy a scenic cruise to Bernkastel that will enchant you. Walk through its colorful Old Town center and past many medieval and Renaissance buildings on a guided tour that also includes a winery visit and tasting. Cycling enthusiasts can choose to join a bike tour and hikers can opt to trek up to the ruins of Landshut Castle, which dates all the way back to the 9th century.
RHINE GORGE – RÜDESHEIM. Cruise through the captivating UNESCO-designated Rhine Gorge, the most stunningly beautiful stretch of the river, before reaching 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 Musical Instrument Museum charm you or taste one of the town’s special delights, Rüdesheimer coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy, coffee and whipped cream.
LUDWIGSHAFEN. You have a choice of several excursions, depending on your interest. Visit Heidelberg, a perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany’s Castle Road. Alternatively, relive a bygone era on an excursion to the glorious Schwetzingen Baroque Palace. Tour this splendid palace furnished with over 800 exhibits. Or, you may decide to visit Schwetzingen Palace Gardens with more than 100 sculptures and admire an assortment of whimsical buildings. The Apollotempel houses a statue of the ancient Greek god of light and the arts, playing the lyre; and the most spectacular, the Türkischer Garten with a mosque, are a few of the many highlights you will see. You can also hike the historic Philosopher’s Path along the Neckar River or bike to the charming town of Ladenburg and glide past its half-timbered architecture.
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 on a hike in the Black Forest*, a magical land full of cultural traditions. (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.
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – DISEMBARKATION. Disembark the ship and bid farewell to Switzerland as you prepare for your return flight home.