Welcome to Amsterdam. You will be met at the airport and transferred by your friendly Emerald Waterways representative to your contemporary Star-Ship, where a quintessentially Dutch adventure awaits.
This morning, you’ll visit the iconic Keukenhof Gardens. Boasting 32 hectares of millions of spring-flowering bulbs, this scenic area is infused with delightful aromas and a swathe of ethereal colours. Soak in sights of tulips, hyacinths and orchids of every colour, creating a swathe of natural beauty as they have been expertly arranged. You will also have the opportunity to see statues that have been commissioned by artists from around the world, each honing in on the annual theme.
A visit to Keukenhof Gardens
Once the ancient Roman settlement of Colonia, Cologne is bursting with ancient architecture. Your included walking tour of the city will touch on the historical charm of its old town, and you will have the opportunity to traverse rustic alleyways, visit iconic monuments and see how archaeologists have uncovered a Jewish quarter that can be dated back to the 13th century.
Your insightful tour will conclude at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cologne Cathedral, a Gothic building whose twin spires dominate the skyline. The original medieval plans for the building were partly found in the attic, and partly found on the stall of a bookseller in France centuries later, meaning that, while construction of the cathedral started back in 1248, it wasn’t finished until 1880.
A guided tour of Cologne
Visit to Eau de Cologne museum (extra expense)
Once a Roman stronghold desired for its strategic value, Koblenz is now a city with a unique blend of historic and contemporary architecture. Today, join your local guide for an insightful walking tour of Koblenz, passing examples of architecture that survived the war years, including the Church of Our Lady.
Admire the natural splendour of your surroundings as you ride on the Koblenz Cable Car, embarking on an aerial journey to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.
Later, a sailing journey through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhine Gorge will highlight the extraordinary beauty of an area that left the philosophers and artists of the German Romanticism movement entranced.
A Tour of Koblenz and a visit to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress
Moselle & Cochem Castle visit (extra expense)
Mannheim – Heidelberg
Heidelberg is a fascinating place, famously described by revered author Mark Twain as “a fallen Milky Way”. Join a guided tour of the old town to discover an “intricate cobweb of streets”, and pass many of Heidelberg’s highlights, including the oldest university in Germany.
Alternatively, embark on an active hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg.
A hike from Mount Königstuhl to Heidelberg
A guided tour of Heidelberg with wine tasting
Kehl – Strasbourg
Dock in Kehl and be transferred to Strasbourg, a city that promises much in the way of beautiful architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Neustadt district is particularly iconic, perfectly encapsulating the Rhineland.
The Neustadt district is yours to discover today during your included tour, as is the Maison Kammerzell, a prime example of German Renaissance architecture. Paying homage to the region’s artistic past, Petite France is an exceptional historic quarter that looks as though it has been pulled directly from an artist’s easel.
A guided tour of Strasbourg
Tour of Riquewihr (extra expense)
A world of ornate cuckoo clocks awaits, as you set off in search of the fairytales of the Black Forest. Your included excursion will be a visit to a Black Forest destination. Alternatively, follow forest trails that twist underneath the lush canopy of evergreens in the Black Forest region, passing beautiful scenery. Mark Twain famously wrote, “Here you can lose track of time in ten minutes and the world in twenty” about his time in the Black Forest.
A Black Forest gateau demonstration and tasting
A guided hike through the Black Forest region
A visit to a Black Forest destination
Basel – Lucerne
Welcome to Switzerland and the quaint Rhine-side town of Basel. After breakfast, you will be transferred by coach to Lucerne, including a two-night stay.
Lucerne is known around the world for its spectacular setting, perfectly encapsulating a traditional Swiss city with a backdrop of snow-topped mountain ranges. Your morning will start with a guided tour of the city, touching on its well-preserved medieval Altstadt, delightful waterfront promenades and colourful buildings.
A guided tour of Lucerne
Train & cable car ride to Rigi – Weggis (extra expense)
Lucerne – Zurich
This morning, transfer by coach from Lucerne to the cosmopolitan city of Zurich, known for its towering church steeples, winding cobbled lanes and contemporary centre. When you arrive, enjoy a guided tour of Zurich, followed by free time to explore its delightful lakeside setting, perhaps discovering its famous old town.
Guided tour of Zurich
After breakfast, it is time to bid farewell to your fellow guests and transfer to the airport, passing a backdrop of mountains and forests on your way.
This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.