Day 1 Amsterdam, Holland ( Embarkation )
Welcome to Amsterdam! Holland’s capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. This delightful 700-year-old city with its elegant and classic architecture, cafés, restaurants, and lively marketplace has a distinct ambiance. If your flight arrives early enough, you might like to take one of a selection of optional excursions. Then, board your river cruise vessel and meet your crew at an evening welcome reception. (D)
Day 2 Amsterdam
Included today: Amsterdam canal cruise.
After breakfast, set out to discover the treasures of this city by canal boat, cruising through the elegant grachten lined with stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's "Golden Age." Later, cruise out of Amsterdam and head for Germany. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Cologne: Choice of guided walk or Jewish Heritage walk
One of Germany's largest cities and capital of the Rhineland, Cologne straddles the Rhine and is known for its soaring, twin-steepled gothic cathedral. Choose between a GUIDED CITY WALK or a JEWISH HERITAGE WALK. Later, during free time, perhaps visit the Romano-Germanic Museum, home to a large collection of artefacts from the Roman settlement on which modern Cologne is built—a must for history buffs! The Old Town abounds with cafés, shops, and taverns. Be sure to try a Kölsch pale lager, locally brewed in Cologne for over a hundred years, and shop for a bottle of "4711," the original eau de cologne. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Rüdesheim - Rhine Gorge.
Included today: Cruise through the Rhine Gorge; visit Siegfried's Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in Rüdesheim.
This morning sail through the RHINE GORGE, the most dramatic and beautiful stretch of the river. Here, ancient castles stand sentry on lofty cliffs rising 400 feet above the waters. Cruise past the legendary rock of the Lorelei, where echoes of enchanted siren song lured unwitting sailors to their doom. Further upstream is pretty Rüdesheim, is the perfect example of a Rhine Valley wine town, and SIEGFRIED'S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM is a real surprise! Here you'll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Later there's free time to pick up some souvenirs on the narrow, cobblestoned Drosselgasse, where colourful flowers, open-air wine gardens, and live music add to the festive atmosphere (B, L, D)
Day 5 Cochem.
Included today: Guided walk, visit Reichsburg Castle.
This morning, as you cruise the wide, peaceful curves of the Moselle River, it quickly becomes obvious why the Moselle Valley is famous for its beautiful and tranquil scenery, and that this is an important wine-growing area. After lunch, arrive in Cochem, a charming, picturesque town with half-timbered houses and winding streets full of history and legends that will be brought to life during your GUIDED WALK. Visit REICHSBURG CASTLE, built in 1000 AD and furnished with renaissance and baroque furniture. Sitting dramatically atop a conical hill covered in vines, this castle offers splendid views of the little town nestled down below and of the river valley. Cochem is at the heart of the Moselle wine trade and, most notably, the Riesling grape is cultivated, producing a dry to sweet, floral white wine. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Zell - Bernkastel.
Included today: Guided walk in Zell; wine tasting in Bernkastel.
This morning dock in Zell and enjoy a guided walk through this pretty little town. Next up in the middle of the Moselle region is the charming wine village of Bernkastel with its fascinating narrow streets and half-timbered houses that have stood since the Middle Ages. Enjoy a GUIDED WALK that includes the beautiful marketplace with its renaissance-style Town Hall and the "pointed house," built in 1416. Wine growers in this area look after Germany's largest expanse of vineyards, the most celebrated of the vintages being the Bernkasteler Doktor. This afternoon you might like to visit the Wine Museum to learn more about the history of the region's wine. Before dinner, enjoy a pleasant included TASTING of several of the region's varietals. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Grevenmacher - Remich: Excursion to Luxembourg City
Included today: Guided sightseeing
Today enjoy a tranquil morning of cruising or join an optional excursion to the Roman city of Trier. After lunch drive to Luxembourg. Because of its location and natural geography, Luxembourg City has been a place of strategic military significance throughout history; the first fortifications were built as early as the 10th century. The city centre occupies a picturesque site, perched high on precipitous cliffs that drop into the narrow valleys of the Alzette and Pétrusse Rivers. A LOCAL GUIDE will acquaint you with this city whose layout is complex as it is set on two levels, straddling hills and dropping into the two river valleys (B, L, D)
Day 8 Remich, Luxembourg ( Disembarkation) - Paris, France
Included today: High-speed TGV train journey; guided sightseeing
Today, travel by coach to Luxembourg City or Metz to board a HIGH-SPEED TRAIN to Paris, and enjoy GUIDED sightseeing upon arrival. Known as one of the world’s most romantic and lively cities, Paris is a delight for all your senses. Your INCLUDED CITY SIGHTSEEING shows you magnificent must-see sights, such as Notre Dame Cathedral, the unique Louvre Museum with its glass pyramid as a contrast to its ancient architecture, the commemorative Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. (B)
Day 9 Paris.
Included today: At leisure
Today in your free time, stroll down the Champs-Elysées with its lavish cafés, or perhaps visit the world-famous Louvre, Palace of Versailles or Montmartre with its gleaming white Sacre Coeur Basilica and bevy of artists on Place du Tertre. Paris is also well known for its colourful night-life that includes some of the world’s most famous cabaret shows. All of this awaits your discovery! (B)
Day 10 Paris.
Transfer to the airport or station for your journey to the UK. (B)