Castles on the Rhine and Swiss Alps

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The Rhine is captivated by its contours, shaped by vineyard-clad hills and castles from yesteryear.

Experience the charm of the French Alsace region in its welcoming capital Strasbourg and its priceless gem Riquewihr. Then there's Breisach, rising above the vineyards of the Rhine, and Freiburg, one of Germany's sunniest cities and gateway to the Black Forest. You can taste local flavors - Friedheimer coffee and Kölsch beer - and touch history near guided hikes and bike rides in fabled towns lost in time. Experience the greatness of the destinations you visit, from Amsterdam's colorful canals to the majestic Swiss Alps.

COUNTRIES: FRANCE, GERMANY, NETHERLANDS, SWITZERLAND

RIVERS: RHINE

DAY 1 Amsterdam EMBARKATION

Board the ship for your Swiss Alps & Rhine Castles cruise. (D)

DAY 2 Amsterdam

Excursion options:

    • Canal cruise tour
    • Floriade

You'll enjoy some of the 165 canals in Amsterdam on your canal cruise. Set sail out of Amsterdam later in the day. (B,L,D)

*Please note: The Floriade 2022 Expo is open from April 14 to October 9, 2022.

Cologne Rhine Park

DAY 3 Cologne

Excursion options:

    • "Holy City" walking tour and cathedral visit
    • Kölsch beer and local specialties tasting
    • Cologne bike tour

Enjoy cruising to Cologne. Explore the UNESCO-designated Cologne Cathedral with a guided tour through the Old Town. See the Cologne Rathaus, the oldest town hall in Germany, and other local sights. For a different experience, visit a local tavern to savor its famous Kölsch beer, made only in Cologne, and reibekuchen mit apfelmus, potato pancakes usually served with applesauce. Adventurous types will want to join a guided bike tour of the Rhine and through the Stadtgarten. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 Rhine Gorge

Cruise along the Rhine and view the castles along the river and arrive in Rüdesheim

Rüdesheim Excursion Options:

  • Rüdesheim wine tasting
  • Gondola ride
  • Vineyards hike
  • Guided bike tour of the Rheingau
    • Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum
  • Rüdesheimer Coffee

Cruise through the most stunning stretch of the Rhine Gorge and reach Rüdesheim, a town known for its winemaking. Explore the flavors of Rüdesheim's iconic vineyards by joining a wine tasting. Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal for stunning views of the vineyards. Hike through the town's gorgeous vineyards or join an escorted bike tour along the scenic Rhine River for a more active adventure. Later in the day, check out Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum. Or, taste Rüdesheimer coffee, one of the town's special delights, made with brandy, coffee, and whipped cream. (B,L,D)

Rüdesheim Gondola over Vineyard

DAY 5 Ludwigshafen

Excursion options:

    • "Romantic Heidelberg" excursion
    • Heidelberg Philosopher's hike
    • "Secrets of Speyer" tour
    • Ladenburg bike tour

Ludwigshafen is your gateway to four excursions. Heidelberg, nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany's Castle Road, is perfectly preserved. Discover Heidelberg Castle and the Great Vat, an 18th-century, 49,000-gallon wine cask. Join an escorted hike up the Philosopher's Path and relish panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—and the medieval Old Gate, Altpörtel. Pedal along the Neckar to Ladenburg and explore the shops. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 Strasbourg

Excursion options:

    • "The Gem of Alsace" tour
    • Strasbourg bike tour

Because of its borderline location, Strasbourg offers flavors of both France and Germany. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the European Parliament, the stunning Parc de l'Orangerie, and the Place de la République before strolling through its iconic La Petite France district. Stroll through charming streets past the Cathédrale de Nôtre Dame. Alternatively, ride a guided bike ride through the city and the Parc de l'Orangerie. (B,L,D)

Castle Reussenstein, Germany

DAY 7 Basel

Excursion options:

    • "City of Art" tour
    • Three countries bike tour
    • Lucerne Full-Day Tour

Basel is Switzerland's third-largest city. Basel's remarkable past is still evident in its medieval town hall, lavishly decorated market square, and exquisite 18th-century patrician homes. Tour the city by bike or on foot, which takes you through Switzerland, France, and Germany. Alternatively, take a full-day excursion to Lucerne or opt for one of the morning excursions and visit Lucerne in the afternoon. With each excursion, you will have the opportunity to see Lucerne's Lion Monument - the figure of a dying lion sculpted into a hillside in memory of the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. You will also witness Lucerne's spectacular towers and medieval walls dating back to the 13th century. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 Basel - DISEMBARKATION

Say Goodbye to Basel and prepare for your flight home. (B)

Instead of heading home, add a rail portion to your itinerary if you didn't add it at the beginning. There is a lot more to experience in this region! Contact me to discuss your options.