River Cruise Itinerary
Start with 2 nights in Zurich, 2 nights in Lucerne, and ending with an enchanting 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam.
Day 1 (Wed, Mar 18, 2020): ARRIVE IN Z''RICH, SWITZERLAND. Arrive in Zurich and check in to your hotel.
Day 2 (Thu, Mar 19, 2020): ZURICH. Set alongside a glistening lake and framed by the Alps, Switzerland'''s largest city, Zurich, seamlessly blends its historic past with its progressive future'''all of which will be on full display during your city tour. One of the top experiences in Zurich is a visit to Old Town where you will find yourself amongst medieval houses, churches and the modern Bahnhofstrasse, a mile-long street featuring exclusive fashion boutiques, stores and street caf''s. (B)
Day 3 (Fri, Mar 20, 2020): ZURICH - LUCERNE. Check out of your hotel and head off on a scenic drive past Alpine lakes before reaching Vitznau. Upon arrival, enjoy a cruise across the tranquil waters of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery. Lucerne'''s beauty and charm is unrivalled. You'''ll discover this beauty on a walking tour. Stroll along Chapel Bridge, admiring the stunning gable paintings above. The mighty mountains of Mount Pilatus and Rigi overlook the swans that glide along the scenic lake and are part of Lucerne'''s everlasting allure. Afterwards, you'''ll check into your hotel. (B)
Day 4 (Sat, Mar 21, 2020): LUCERNE. The iconic Lion Monument, which you'''ll visit was sculpted in memory for the Swiss Guards massacred during the French Revolution in 1792. It has captured the hearts and minds of visitors for centuries, including Mark Twain who praised it as '''the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world.''' You'''ll also visit the spectacular medieval walls and towers, dating back to the 13th century. Located around the Musegg Wall area, the towers rise high over the city, giving great panoramic views of Lucerne, the Reuss River and the surrounding mountain scenery. There are a total of nine towers, including one featuring the oldest clock in the city. (B)
Day 5 (Sun, Mar 22, 2020): LUCERNE - BASEL - EMBARKATION. Check out of your hotel and head to Basel. Before boarding the ship, you'''ll go on a highlights tour of the city. One of Switzerland'''s most cosmopolitan cities, Basel is home to 40 museums (the highest concentration in the nation), a picturesque Old Town and richly decorated Market Square, a 500-year-old Rathaus (town hall) and Switzerland'''s oldest zoo (built in 1870 and home to 600 animal species and exotic flora). (B,D)
Day 6 (Mon, Mar 23, 2020): 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. While there, enjoy a visit to a winery for a tasting of locally produced Alsatian wines. Alternatively, you may wish to go to Freiburg, founded in 1120 and home to the Freiburg'''s M''nster, a Gothic cathedral said to have '''the most beautiful spire on earth.''' You'''ll visit a winery where you will have the opportunity to taste their locally produced wines, and then continue with a walking tour. Those wishing a more active excursion can cycle through the scenic countryside; or go to the Black Forest, a magical land full of cultural traditions, as well as home to elaborate cuckoo clocks, striking half-timber houses, ruined castles and quaint towns. (B,L,D)
Day 7 (Tue, Mar 24, 2020): 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 R''publique. Then walk through its iconic UNESCO World Heritage '''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 Cath''drale de N''tre Dame with its famous astronomical clock. For the active adventurer, you can take a guided bike ride through this captivating city and Parc de l'''Orangerie. Later in the afternoon, be treated to a special Alsatian wine tasting of some of the region'''s most delicious and notable wine. Discover how the Vosges Mountains provide the Alsace with ideal wine making conditions, and as such, Alsatian wines are not only delightful on the palate, but they'''re also highly praised for their fragrant aromas, ranging from bright and fruity to crisp and spicy. (B,L,D)
Day 8 (Wed, Mar 25, 2020): LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY ''' R''DESHEIM. Ludwigshafen is your gateway to a choice of three excursions. Visit Heidelberg, the perfectly preserved medieval city nestled in the Neckar River Valley along Germany'''s Castle Road. Discover the iconic red sandstone Heidelberg Castle and Great Vat, an 18th-century 49,000-gallon wine cask. For a more active adventure while in Heidelberg, join a guided hike up the Philosopher's Path, aptly named during the Romantic Period, and be rewarded with panoramic views of the city. Alternatively, you can visit one of Germany'''s oldest cities, Speyer, known for the largest Romanesque cathedral in Europe'''a UNESCO World Heritage Site'''and the medieval Altp''rtel, Old Gate. Later in the day, sail to R''desheim where you can visit Siegfried'''s Mechanical Music Museum; or taste one of the town'''s special delights, R''desheimer Coffee, ceremoniously made with brandy. (B,L,D)
Day 9 (Thu, Mar 26, 2020): R''DESHEIM ''' RHINE GORGE. Your exploration of R''desheim continues with your choice of three excursions. Take a gondola ride to the Niederwalddenkmal Statue, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the river. Afterwards, indulge your taste buds with a sampling of Riesling wines in the vineyards. If you prefer a more active adventure, you can join a guided bike ride through the town and along the Rhine River to Schloss Johannisberg or hike through the town'''s beautiful vineyards. During the afternoon, set sail along the scenic Rhine River Gorge with its fabled legends and many castles to Lahnstein where you'''ll enjoy a visit to Lahneck Castle. (B,L,D)
Day 10 (Fri, Mar 27, 2020): COLOGNE. Home to one of Germany'''s most revered Gothic masterpieces, the Cologne Cathedral, this 2,000 year-old city is also a bustling cosmopolitan hotspot. Join a guided tour through the enchanting Old Town and explore the UNESCO-designated cathedral, where the remains of the fabled Three Kings'''the Magi''' are believed to rest. Alternatively, ride a bike along the Rhine and through the historic Stadtgarten; or visit a local tavern to taste K''lsch beer and Reibekuchen'''potato pancakes served with apple sauce. (B,L,D)
Day 11 (Sat, Mar 28, 2020): AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS. Eclectic Amsterdam boasts amazing history, art, architecture, and museums, and you have a choice as to how you wish to explore it. The famous canals of Amsterdam await discovery on your city tour beginning with a scenic canal cruise followed by a walk to Begijnhof, known for its Middle Age buildings. For a different view of the city, you can join the Jewish Heritage tour begins with a visit to the 17th-century Portuguese Synagogue and the Jewish Historical Museum chronicling the history of the Jews in Amsterdam. (B,L,D)
Day 12 (Sun, Mar 29, 2020): AMSTERDAM '''DISEMBARKATION. Bid Farewell to Amsterdam as you prepare for your flight home. (B)