Day 1 Zürich - Basel.
Welcome to Switzerland, home of the Matterhorn and the majestic Alps! Transfer by coach to Basel, where your river cruise vessel is docked. Meet your crew at an evening welcome reception.
Day 2 Breisach, Germany.
Included today: Breisach. Excursion to the Black Forest, visit a woodcarver's workshop or visit a Black Forest open-air museum.
Located at the foot of Kaiserstuhl Mountain on the French-German border, Breisach is the gateway to Germany's BLACK FOREST region, an area of unrivalled natural beauty with its forests of thick pine trees. The area got its name because the forests are so dense that local residents described them as black. Surely the most well-known products from this region are Black Forest ham, Black Forest cherry cake, and cuckoo clocks. You may opt for a visit to the workshop of a local woodcarver who produces clocks and other carvings, or to the open-air Museum of Vogtsbauernhof to see how life was lived in this area centuries ago. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Strasbourg
Included today: Guided sightseeing, visit La Petite France district and the gothic cathedral.
Situated on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg blends the cultures of both countries in a delightful way. As capital of the Alsace region and seat of the Council of Europe and European Parliament, it is without a doubt an important city, yet it manages to retain its historic charm. In fact, on your walking tour you will discover Europe at its most quintessential. Visit the monumental red-sandstone GOTHIC CATHEDRAL with its ancient murals, stained-glass windows, and fascinating astronomical clock, as well as the magical LA PETITE FRANCE district, home to half-timbered houses, quaint shops, inviting bistros, and a waterfront promenade. Also spend time exploring Place Kléber, a large historic square in the heart of the city, and Place Gutenberg in the heart of medieval Strasbourg, which features a statue of the inventor of the printing press. This afternoon, optional excursions into the Alsace wine country or to the Black Forest are available. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Excursion to Heidelberg, Germany – Mainz.
This morning, an excursion takes you to Heidelberg, home to Germany’s oldest university, which was founded in 1386. Visit the imposing ruins of HEIDELBERG CASTLE, towering magnificently over the city and among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. You’ll also see the famed GREAT VAT, the “World’s Largest Wine Barrel.” At nearly 23 feet high and 28 feet wide, the cask holds over 58,000 gallons of wine and has a dance floor built on top of it! In the afternoon, arrive in Mainz. Strategically located at the confluence of the Rhine and Main Rivers is Mainz, with “civilized” origins dating back to around 38 BC. Today, this is Germany’s largest and most important wine market. The Altstadt (Old Town) has many intriguing shops and the whimsical Fastnachtsbrunnen (Carnival Fountain) on the Schillerplatz, a tribute to the jesters at the city’s annual Carnival celebration. Gutenberg, father of modern printing, was born here and during a GUIDED WALK you’ll visit the captivating GUTENBERG MUSEUM. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Rüdesheim – Rhine Gorge - Koblenz
Included today: visit Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum in enjoy a special treat in Rüdesheim; cruise through the Rhine Gorge; guided walk in Koblenz.
This morning dock in pretty Rüdesheim, a typical Rhine Valley wine town. Visit SIEGFRIED’S MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM, where you’ll see and hear a large collection of self-playing calliopes and music boxes from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and enjoy a SPECIAL TREAT. Downstream from Rüdesheim is the dramatic RHINE GORGE, the most beautiful stretch of 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. Then, arrive at the place where the Rhine and Moselle Rivers meet—the Deutsches Eck (German Corner) with its impressive equestrian statue of German Emperor William I. Join your Local Guide for a WALKING TOUR of the 2,000-year-old city of Koblenz, which reveals an eventful past through its castles, fortress walls, towers, squares, and monuments. (B, L, D)
Day 6 Cologne.
Included today: Choice of guided city walk or Jewish Cologne tour.
Cologne is one of Germany's largest cities, with a river skyline dominated by the soaring twin spires of its magnificent gothic cathedral. This afternoon, choose between an included guided city walk or a 'Jewish Cologne' tour. The Old Town offers up a great choice of cafés, shops and taverns so be sure to try a Kölsch, the favourite local beer and shop for a bottle of 4711, the original 'eau de cologne'. (B, L, D)
Day 7 Amsterdam.
Included today: Canal cruise.
Holland's delightful 700-year-old capital is sophisticated and modern, with a rich and fascinating history. The works of famous Dutch masters can be seen in world-renowned museums such as the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum. There is no better way to see Amsterdam than by canal boat, cruising along elegant grachten lined by stately homes dating back to Amsterdam's 'Golden Age'. (B, L, D)
Day 8 Amsterdam.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK. (B)